It was January 2012. Matthew Wiener, Producing Artistic Director of Actors Theatre of Phoenix, was one of the main drivers of the emergency fundraising campaign the theater announced in October 2011. The three-phased do-or-die campaign made an open call to the general public, and aimed to raise $500,000 in eight months. Wiener hoped that the campaign, in addition to addressing the immediate cash flow issue, could help attract some major gifts in order to beef up the understaffed company. As Wiener, the staff, and board focused on the fundraising campaign, they thought about the future. Could $500,000 save the company? What actions could the theater take in addition to the campaign to strengthen its financial status? And most importantly, after years of fiscal difficulties, how could Actors Theatre stabilize itself in the long term? This case provides the opportunity to discuss the struggles a mid-sized theater can face and how those struggles can become magnified when the economic climate becomes unfavorable.
Publication Date: 2012-05-01
Suggested Citation: Yu Shen, "Actors Theatre of Phoenix (2012)," Yale Theater Management Knowledge Base Case 12-52, May 1, 2012
Keywords: Arizona, Theater, Financial Management, Organizational Direction, Fundraising, Alignment, Governance, Growth, Professionalization
Teaching Notes: Yes (contact firstname.lastname@example.org)
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