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American Players Theatre (2009)

American Players Theatre (2009)

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Yale School of Drama
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In the summer of 2009, American Players Theatre (APT) finished construction of a new 200-seat indoor theater, the culmination of the most recent strategic plan. The completion of the Touchstone Theatre accomplished APT’s goal of building a year-round venue to complement its 1,148-seat outdoor venue The Up-the-Hill Theatre on its one-hundred ten acre campus outside the village of Spring Green, Wisconsin. In the fall of 2010, APT hoped to begin its next strategic planning process. Some at APT believed that this was the perfect time to begin planning for a third space to create a multi-venue destination festival. Given the Producing Artistic Director’s retirement on the horizon, the lack of infrastructure in Spring Green, and APT’s fragile finances, was the scale and scope of this growth overly optimistic? Could excitement and momentum drive this kind of development? Or would the need for capital improvements and plans for succession push the topic out another ten to fifteen years? This case study explores the reasons for institutional expansion, and the issues of maintaining mission and growing the audience and donor base during a major expansion.

Publication Date: 2009-05-01

Suggested Citation: Tara Kayton, "American Players Theatre (2009)," Yale Theater Management Knowledge Base Case 09-25, May 1, 2009

Keywords: Wisconsin, Theater, Performing Arts, Facilities, Financial Management, Growth Trajectories, Organizational Direction, Audience, Mission, Alignment

Teaching Notes: No


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This case is from the Theater Management Knowledge Base, a body of arts management material created by Yale School of Drama Theater Management students and faculty, overseen by an editorial board of leading practitioners. For more information or for help in selecting cases suitable for your educational or organizational purposes, please email yaletmknowledgebase@yale.edu.