The creation of a strategic planning model for small not-for-profit theatres: An internship project



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Texas Tech University


Although business management practices have been studied since the late nineteenth century, only recently has the not-for-profit world of arts administration begun utilizing basic business principles. Even though the business world has proven the effectiveness of those principles, many arts organizations still resist integrating business principles into their daily working activities. The field of strategic planning has received very little attention from the not-for-profit world of theatre. An absence of knowledge about the field as it pertains to theatres, as well as a fear of the time consuming nature of planning, limits the uses of this type of planning which ultimately has the potential to enhance the efficiency of these organizations. This study combines current theories of strategic planning from the business world with working knowledge of small not-forprofit theatre organizations gained through an internship program at Theatre Three in Dallas, Texas, in order to create a general planning model specifically for small not for-profit theatres. The implementation of worksheets and formats at Theatre Three helped refine these tools. Planning systems offer small not-for-profit theatres a way to examine their relationship to the outside world, and to account for changes in that world as they plan for their future.



Amateur theater, Theater management, Nonprofit organizations