AACT Spotlight Magazine Spring 2024 issue

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The State of Community Theatre Today

The past three years have seen theatre companies of all sizes adapting to new ways of engaging audiences, volunteers, and learners.
So, how are community theatres faring in the process? What are the issues that affect them most, and where are the areas of hope—and occasional triumph?
To answer those questions, AACT Board Member Michael Cochran—Executive Director of Market House Theatre in Paducah, Kentucky, and Mary Doveton—Executive Director emeritus of Theatre Lawrence in Lawrence, Kansas—created a survey that would shed some light on the state of community theatre today.
The results were a mix of the expected and unexpected. Perhaps the factor that most affected the findings is the nature of those theatres that responded to the request to take part in the survey. As Cochran points out, “Community Theatres span the spectrum of budget, seating capacity, and community population. However, the largest segment of the 342 theatres that responded to our survey have smaller budgets and theatre seating capacity, and draw from smaller community population bases.”

The full report is in the Spring 2024 issue of AACT Spotlight Magazine. Click here to view the magazine.

In that same issue of AACT Spotlight, new MACT Board Member, Rachel Bohnsack of Northern Starz Theatre Company of Ramsey, is quoted in an article on The Penguin Project. Northern Starz has made The Penguin Project part of its season for many years.

The Penguin Project has children with disabilities assume the role of artists, while their peers become mentors. Together, they take part in a four-month-long journey to stage a musical. Since 2004, thousands of young people across the country have benefited and had their lives changed through participation in this program.

Also in that issue, local dramaturg and director, Faye Price, is interviewed about her experience as an adjudicator at AACTFest 2023. Faye has also adjudicated at past MACT*Fests.