The Shakespeare festival of Dallas: An internship report



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Texas Tech University


The internship with the Shakespeare Festival of Dallas was undertaken due to an interest in theatre management in the nonprofit sector. During the course of the internship, the Festival's continued existence became Questionable. As a result, the focus of the internship turned to a study of the Shakespeare Festival of Dallas, its organizational structure, and its financial and management practices since the inception of the Festival in 1972. The study seeks to determine whether the problems were inherent from the beginning of the organization, or were caused by the trouble incurred during the years of 1983 to 1985.

The study is organized with the 16 years of the Festival divided into 5 segments: (1) the beginning, 1972-1975; (2) the growing years, 1976-1979; (3) prelude to trouble, 1980-1982; (4) the troubled years, 1983-1985; and (5) recovery, 1986-1987. The major areas of concern are the festival's statement of purpose, organizational structure, financial structure, management practices of the Festival, the Guild, and the Texas Shakespeare Theatre.

Based on the study, conclusions include the following: (1) the Shakespeare Festival of Dallas survived several management changes even though there was no clear statement of purpose for the organization; (2) the Festival experienced growth during years of strong management and continued to fare well after management changes due to the direction given by a strong artistic director; (3) without strong management or artistic direction, the Festival's problems were compounded by lack of a clear statement of purpose, a Board without clearly defined roles, and changes in the outside environment; and (4) a new executive director and a new artistic director working in tandem, coupled with a new, energized Board, a tenacious Founder, and a new statement of purpose has led to recovery of the Festival which is experiencing growth once again.



Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616 -- Dramatic production -- Case studies, Nonprofit organizations -- Texas -- Dallas -- Administration, Theater management -- Texas -- Dallas -- Case Studies, Shakespeare Festival of Dallas -- Administration, Theater -- Study and teaching (Internship)