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How much of your theater program is funded through your school districts?

  • 1.  How much of your theater program is funded through your school districts?

    Posted 7 days ago
    I am curious to find out how much funding most school theater programs get from their school districts. Our school provides funding for our director and a business manager. Thanks for sharing if you feel comfortable.


  • 2.  RE: How much of your theater program is funded through your school districts?

    Posted 7 days ago
    Hello,
    Our school district pays for staff in the form of Supplemental pay (like a coach)  for Director, Tech Director (both who teach during the day at least one production class), Choreographer, Vocal Director, Pit Orchestra Director, Sound Engineer.  This is for the entire year, but may be specialists for a single production (i.e. the musical) and if I don't need a position. like a choreographer, for the musical, I can use that supplemental contract to support another position for a different play (like a costumer for a historical straight play).    Everything else is paid for from ticket sales.

    I hope that helps.
    Holly

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    Holly Thompson
    Worthington Kilbourne High School
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  • 3.  RE: How much of your theater program is funded through your school districts?

    Posted 7 days ago
    Our school does not have any theatre courses. I do not currently work full time for the school district, though I have in the past as a preschool teacher's aide. My position as Thespian Director is to be responsible for the organization as well as putting on two shows a year of my choice. Usually that is one play and one musical but sometimes we do a variety show and sometimes we add another play. There is a small stipend to accomplish those three tasks for me only. If I decide to do an extra show, add on any summer activities, or take on anything else extra it is simply voluntary. We receive no other money from our school district for other staff or for anything else. Our funds mainly come from our ticket sales, but also from business ads the students sell in our program, donations, and any other small fundraisers we choose to do through the year. I pay a tech director/assistant director (who is a former theatre student) from our funds. When we do a musical, we pay the music director, assistant choreographer (I choreograph our shows) and any brought in musicians if we need them. All of that also comes from our theatre funds.

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    Lisa Groves
    Clinton Community High School
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  • 4.  RE: How much of your theater program is funded through your school districts?

    Posted 7 days ago
    I get a contract for each of the 4 shows we produce, and there are contracts for an asst. directors for fall play and MS,  and 2 positions for the musical (Vocal and choreo). I have a royalties budget that covers what I need. I have a  set/costume budget for fall show and one act, set/costume for MS, set/costume for musical. We (I) build/pull all of our costumes, sets are pretty simple.  I'm really careful, and since I control the whole thing, I plan the season so I'm not overextended, so I come in at/under budget. They pay for a lighting tech. I think I'm pretty lucky. Tickets sales go into a general activity fund.

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    Wendy Harms
    Theatre Arts Instructor
    Manitou Springs High School
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  • 5.  RE: How much of your theater program is funded through your school districts?

    Posted 6 days ago
    My district pays for my (dirtector's/advisor) stipend, the stipend of my technical director and there are budget line items which pay for the choreographer and dues for ITS students, and festival fees for some. There is also an $8,000 line item which is for our musical which happens every other year. I have full descretion as to how this is expended. There are other line items for books and materials which I can use for my classes or my after school program. Hope this helps.
    Cathy

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    Cathy Archer
    Rutland High School
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  • 6.  RE: How much of your theater program is funded through your school districts?

    Posted 6 days ago
    My school has a small guest artist budget for the art and theatre programs, and I am allowed to use some of that money to pay a music director (or a second director if we're doing multiple straight plays), a choreographer, a lighting designer, and musicians. We don't have a band or chorus program, so there's no one in my school who can fill these roles. The rest of my expenses (including theater rental) are paid for from ticket and ad sales. In the rest of our district, I believe the directors get a small coach's stipend for directing the competitive one-act (since they compete in the same league as high school sports), but there are ongoing conversations about whether they also deserve a similar stipend for working on the musical.

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    Cassy Maxton-Whitacre
    Theatre Department Coordinator
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  • 7.  RE: How much of your theater program is funded through your school districts?

    Posted 6 days ago
    Hi Suzanne,

    I'm retired, but during my tenure as a Theatre Director there was very little school system support for the program.

    1. My salary as a Theatre Teacher.
    2. Stipend for being a Theatre Director - This stipend was the same as the Football Head Coach, though he had only the Fall Season and mine covered the entire year.
    3. The space - We had a lovely Theatre - The County paid for capital improvements and renovation as well as the basic sound and lighting gear - which I was expected to maintain.
    4. The electric bill - I never saw that thank heavens - At one point, there was an effort to have me pay for the theatrical lamps, but I pointed out that, if the Theatre Department paid for them, I would remove them from the instruments when there was not a production to save lamp hours. That ended that.

    Other than these, we lived and died by ticket sales and our Booster fundraisers. I generally tried to keep those two money streams separate and not put any booster money directly into productions. I didn't want them thinking they had a voice in the process of the artistic program. The booster money went for larger scale purchases for the program as a whole such as a Genie Lift, compressor, computer equipment, and tools. Ticket sales provided all production budget including any hires of choreographers and music directors.

    Hope this helps.

    Bob

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    Robert Smith
    VA Treasurer
    Virginia Thespians
    Centreville VA
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  • 8.  RE: How much of your theater program is funded through your school districts?

    Posted 6 days ago
    Thanks everyone. Interesting how different it is district to district.

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    Suzanne Safran
    Producer
    Central Bucks West High School
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  • 9.  RE: How much of your theater program is funded through your school districts?

    Posted 5 days ago
    Hello Suzanne,
    In 2012 EdTA conducted a Landscape Survey of Theatre Education in US High Schools that has a wealth of benchmarking data. Here is the link: https://higherlogicdownload.s3.amazonaws.com/SCHOOLTHEATRE/7f9e7fa8-ea41-4033-b6a3-1ce9da6a7b6f/UploadedImages/Advocacy/Survey_supplemental_docs/Survey%20of%20theatre%20education%20in%20United%20States%20high%20schools%202012_web.pdf

    There is a section on funding sources and play production on pages 23-25. While it's a few years old, it will give you a big base size for comparison.

    Hope this helps you make the case for greater funding!


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    Julie Cohen Theobald
    Executive Director
    Educational Theatre Association
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  • 10.  RE: How much of your theater program is funded through your school districts?

    Posted 5 days ago
    Our district contracts for six  advisor positions, as we call them, extra pay extra duty. Thespian Advisor/Director, Thespian Producer, Costumer, Scenic Artist, Technical Director, Music and Pit Orchestra Conductor and Choreographer. Each positions stipend is based on hours and the number of students involved. Other than that the district does not support any production or troupe activity. Our activity is, however allowed to maintain it's own budget from year to year and through careful budget oversight, we have been able build up a nice buffer budget and to support student fees for membership and other events.

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    Jill Campbell
    Gifted Support Teacher
    State College Area High School
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  • 11.  RE: How much of your theater program is funded through your school districts?

    Posted 4 days ago
    I am a high school teacher/director.  I teach both Theatre and English.  Extracurriculars:  Most of our staff receives a stipend from our BOE.  Those positions include Director (fall play, spring musical, competition, and a student-directed showcase), Production Manager, Vocal Director, Orchestra Conductor, Choreographer, Costume Designer.  Our Technical Director is a salaried position and he runs every event in the auditorium in addition to set construction, lighting, sound, and crew management for all shows.  Our set designer is paid via our Performing Arts Boosters.  Our district gives us an annual budget of $50,000 to cover all other expenses for our two productions and ticket sales go directly to the board.  This could change after the pandemic but hoping it remains!

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    Laura Russo
    Teacher/Director of Theatre Arts
    Chatham High School
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