Non-Profit Theatre: A National Epidemic
During fall of 2011 had the opportunity to intern with the Idaho Shakespeare Festival (ISF). The ISF team develops and produces theatre in Boise while working in congruence with the Great Lakes Theater Festival (GLTF) in Ohio, and the Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival (LTSF) in Nevada. I expected to focus on Boise’s own particular theatre hub, but due to this unique partnership I gained nation-wide insight. ISF is a successful, well known theatre, enjoyed by Idahoans beyond the typical “theatre folk”. ISF and its partner companies, produce primarily Shakespeare… the world’s already most produced playwright, ever, while continually gaining popularity. This is nearly astounding considering society’s current emphasis on all things fast paced, high action, and 3Dimensional. With production in its off-season, my time was needed in their main office. Many hours were used logging patron information in the company database, creating fliers, mailing newsletters, preparing information for the Shakespearience tour, and developing a map and record system for onsite recognition of patron donation. The efforts needed to run a nonprofit theatre are vast. Nonprofit theatre flourishes against all odds because of one particularity though, the audience. ISF emphasized firstly on producing great theatre and secondly on gaining and maintaining an audience. I intend to bring the great insight ISF has given me directly into my future career in the theatre and hope to aid in the flourishing of non-profit theatre upon my graduation from Boise State University.
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