AACT Survey of Community Theatre Trends (part 2)

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AACT conducts occasional surveys of community theatres to identify trends. It recently released the results of it’s latest survey. Some excerpts from the survey are below.

One hundred and forty-one theatres filled out the complete survey. The results may offer some surprises, along with confirmation of what many of us have learned from our own experience. It’s always interesting to see how your theatre compares with others around the country. But you’ll also find data here that will help in your work of shaping your theatre’s artistic direction.

The Survey Universe
AACT’s survey focused on what theatres are offering in their current or upcoming season. Most, but not all, theatres offer a traditional fall-to-spring season. Whatever calendar is used, what constitutes a “main” season can be different for different theatres. Some offer only youth/family shows or provide those productions outside their main season. Some theatres offer a summer series or shows in a second venue, among other options.

The survey reveals that more non-musicals than musicals were slated for production this season. The largest group (30%) of theatres produce three non-musicals a season, with the second largest group (22%) producing two non-musicals each year. Especially striking is that of the 263 different titles scheduled, almost three quarters (73%) of the titles were scheduled by just one of the surveyed theatres—underscoring the breadth of community theatre programming.

The Data:
30% of surveyed theatres produce three non-musicals a year
22% produce two non-musicals a year
19% produce four or more non-musicals a year
17% produce four non-musicals a year
12% produce one non-musical a year

Most-Scheduled Plays (includes ties)

  1. The Play That Goes Wrong
  2. A Christmas Carol (multiple versions)
  3. Clue
  4. Misery
  5. The Book of Will (tie)
  6. A Christmas Story (tie)
  7. Love/Sick (tie)
  8. The Mousetrap (tie)
  9. Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express (tie)
  10. Over the River and Through the Woods (tie)
  11. Steel Magnolias (tie)

Most-Scheduled Playwrights

  1. Ken Ludwig
  2. Jones Hope Wooten
  3. Lauren Gunderson
  4. Neil Simon