fbpx Not-For-Profit Theatre and Commercial Theatre | HowlRound Theatre Commons

Not-For-Profit Theatre and Commercial Theatre

Content in this section focuses on the intersection between the not-for-profit and commercial theatre fields and writing about specific shows that have been developed and produced by companies in each sector. Start with Diane Ragsdale’s foundational 2012 essay “In the Intersection: Partnerships in the New Play Sector” or purchase the whole book.

The Latest

Singin' a Black Girl's Song- Ntozake Shange and for colored girls who have considered suicide / when the rainbow is enuf
Podcast
Singin' a Black Girl's Song- Ntozake Shange and for colored girls who have considered suicide / when the rainbow is enuf
by Leticia Ridley, Jordan Ealey
22 June 2022
Connecting Collaborative Passion to a National Network
Podcast
Connecting Collaborative Passion to a National Network
by Jeffrey Mosser, Mara Isaacs
15 February 2022
Committing to a Community
Essay
Committing to a Community
Ronee Penoi and Shanta Thake in Conversation
by Ronee Penoi, Shanta Thake
4 January 2022
Singin' a Black Girl's Song- Ntozake Shange and for colored girls who have considered suicide / when the rainbow is enuf
Podcast

Singin' a Black Girl's Song- Ntozake Shange and for colored girls who have considered suicide / when the rainbow is enuf

22 June 2022

This episode explores the recent revival of Ntozake Shange’s for colored girls who have considered suicide / when the rainbow is enuf, directed and choreographed by Camille A. Brown. Hosts Leticia Ridley and Jordan Ealey contextualize the production, its ongoing relevance and legacy, and its resonance in Black feminist theatre, dance, and performance.

From the Ground Up Podcast image featuring Mara Isaacs.
Connecting Collaborative Passion to a National Network
Podcast

Connecting Collaborative Passion to a National Network

15 February 2022

Tony Award-winning producer Mara Isaacs discusses how she puts collaboratively creative work in front of national audiences through her producing organization, Octopus Theatricals. This final episode of season two holds hot takes on boards, theatricality, and the connective tissue around artist-centered producing.

A smiling woman and a woman speaking with a microphone.
Committing to a Community
Essay

Committing to a Community

Ronee Penoi and Shanta Thake in Conversation

4 January 2022

Ronee Penoi and Shanta Thake discuss their transitions into new leadership roles as Director of Artistic Programming at ArtsEmerson and Chief Artistic Officer of Lincoln Center, respectively—including their work to shift narratives on stage, see institutions as community resources, and keep deep listening at the core of their leadership practices.

From the Ground Up Podcast image featuring Rachel Dickstein.
Process Performances and the Completion Commission
Podcast

Process Performances and the Completion Commission

15 December 2021

Rachel Dickstein, Artistic Director of Ripe Time, takes us through her experience with Center Theatre Group’s completion commission for their adaptation of SLEEP. She also spotlights some necessary and helpful relationships with tour presenting partners, the Association of Performing Arts Professionals, as well as champion and friend Diane Rodriguez.

Kamilah Forbes portrait.
Imagining a Way Forward
Essay

Imagining a Way Forward

Discussions on Theatre and Race

30 March 2021

Kamilah Forbes, artistic director of the Apollo Theater, speaks with Wes Jackson and P. Carl about the American theatre being a very slow-moving ship, genre-crossing for artists and organizations, systemic racism in the field, and more.

a vintage show poster
Trade Show Business
Essay

Trade Show Business

Rethinking the Commoditized Theatre and the Public Space

22 October 2019

Charles M Pepiton discusses professional theatre’s commercial roots, how mission statements of non-profits today focus on social engagement, community-based development, and more.

two audiences looking on a stage at two tables with food and pots on them
Sympathy for the Incel?
Essay

Sympathy for the Incel?

On Oklahoma! and Jud Fry in the #MeToo Era 

26 June 2019

Catherine M. Young discusses the recent Broadway production of Oklahoma!, which she believes, despite inclusive casting and adventurous aesthetics, asks audiences to pay more attention to white men than anyone else.

Teenage Girls on Stage
Essay

Teenage Girls on Stage

Young Women Who Do Things

13 October 2017

Following the success of The Wolves, Helen Schultz looks at why are there so few dramas about teenage girls on stage and compiles a short list of plays about teenage girls by women playwrights.

How Can You Turn Awareness into Action?
Essay

How Can You Turn Awareness into Action?

A Roadmap Toward Economic Justice for Theatre Folk

29 June 2017

Matthew Clinton Sekellick discusses moving beyond awareness with action, advocating for theatre artists and administrators to join forces with existing social justice movements.

A Collective Call Against Critical Bias
Essay

A Collective Call Against Critical Bias

26 June 2017

A collectively authored essay by leading artists, academics, and theatre advocates about Paula Vogel’s Indecent and Lynn Nottage’s Sweat on Broadway amid a conversation about critical bias toward women playwrights and playwrights of color.

Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Conflict Over Billing
Essay

Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Conflict Over Billing

7 December 2016

Matthew Clinton Sekellick unpacks the crediting dispute over the Broadway production of Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812, and the implications for the relationship between non-profits and commercial producers.

Where is the Union for Arts Admin Workers?
Essay

Where is the Union for Arts Admin Workers?

25 November 2015

Thom Dunn makes a case for union protection for the marketers and fundraisers and other theatre administrators who all play important roles, working long hours for little pay or glory.

From The Public to Broadway
Essay

From The Public to Broadway

Fun Home’s Growing Pains

22 October 2015

Manuel Betancourt on the development journey of Tony-winning Broadway musical Fun Home by Lisa Kron and Jeanine Tesori.

Windy City Midwifery
Essay

Windy City Midwifery

Birthing the New Musical in Chicago

18 August 2015

Aaron Hunt on new musical development in Chicago, Illinois.

In Defense of Broadway. Plus 2015 Must-See (And Can-Afford) Shows
Essay

In Defense of Broadway. Plus 2015 Must-See (And Can-Afford) Shows

4 June 2015

Jonathan Mandell on  the intersection of not-for-profit and commercial  theatre, and how to  affordably see  Broadway's best  of 2015. 

Franchising Theater and its Implications for Marketing
Essay

Franchising Theater and its Implications for Marketing

27 April 2014

Rob Yoho offers an overview of the Neo-Futurists and their triumphs in theatre franchising.  

two signs that say "nonprofit" and "for profit"
The Private Theater, aka “Dynamic Pricing”
Essay

The Private Theater, aka “Dynamic Pricing”

27 March 2014

In the last couple of seasons I’ve become aware of a ticket scheme already practiced by some of our larger regional theaters, and currently under consideration at some where my plays are produced. And this practice goes by a very catchy and newfangled name. It’s being called “dynamic pricing.” But it’s not a new practice. It’s actually quite old, and has a more familiar name. It’s called "scalping".

Photo from The Jungle Book.
Monoculture, and Pleasures of The Jungle Book
Essay

Monoculture, and Pleasures of The Jungle Book

31 October 2013

Allison Vanouse writes about Disney Theatrical Enterprise's approach to theatermaking, and how high art and children's theater meet in their regional theater collaboration: The Jungle Book.

Skyline of New York City.
Is New York City part of America? Off-Broadway and the Regional Theater Tony Award
Essay

Is New York City part of America? Off-Broadway and the Regional Theater Tony Award

26 July 2013

Jonathan Mandell writes about the inclusion of off-Broadway theaters in the Regional Theater Tony Award, and why we should end the rhetoric of us vs. New York.

Cover of Diane Ragsdale's book "In The Intersection."
How “In the Intersection” Made Me Go To The Library
Essay

How “In the Intersection” Made Me Go To The Library

16 May 2013

Daniel Burmester reflects on "In the Intersection" and the call for more artists who are looking at the big picture of the American theatre – not just from production to production.

What Price Idealism, or Who You Gonna Dance With?
Essay

What Price Idealism, or Who You Gonna Dance With?

15 May 2013

Todd London shares why prioritizing the ideals of theatre companies—particularly not-for-profit theatre—is essential. 

The Twitter logo.
Weekly Howl on Thursday, May 16
Essay

Weekly Howl on Thursday, May 16

Best & Worst Practices in Commercial/Not-for Profit Theater Partnerships

13 May 2013

The topic for this week's Howl will be Best & Worst Practices in Commercial/Not-for Profit Theater Partnerships: What's working well? What needs to change? We'll be using Tory Bailey's article Response to In the Intersection as a starting point.

Response to "In the Intersection"
Essay

Response to "In the Intersection"

12 May 2013

Tory Bailey shares her experiences working in not-for-profit theatre.

The Not-So-Bountiful Trip to Broadway
Essay

The Not-So-Bountiful Trip to Broadway

24 April 2013

Alisa Solomon shares the complex history of A Trip to Bountiful's journey to Broadway.

In the Intersection
Essay

In the Intersection

Partnerships in the New Play Sector

16 October 2012

Diane Ragsdale summerizes her report on the meeting between US Non-Profit and Commerical Theater Producers in Washington, DC in 2011, and what she learned there.