Peter Brosius, the Artistic Director of The Children’s Theatre Company (CTC), was talking animatedly with Teresa Eyring, CTC Managing Director, while leaving the Cargill Stage and crossing underneath the brand new 40-foot tall wood and glass dome. It was the opening night of Anon(ymous), a contemporary adaptation of The Odyssey for teens that would close the 2005-06 season in CTC’s new performing space. While the crowd was heading towards the main entrance, Brosius and Eyring were talking about the upcoming Board of Governors meeting. It would be the fourth board meeting this year with one main issue on the agenda: the new Strategic Plan.
It had been an intense year, marked by CTC’s 40th Anniversary and the eagerly-awaited building expansion designed by Michael Graves. Brosius’s long standing ambition of extending programming to pre-schoolers and teens was finally a reality and it was getting the unconditional praise of the media; terms such as “stunning” , “striking” or “engaging” were not uncommon in the reviews of the new productions. However, CTC’s rapid growth was not without challenges: an accumulated operating deficit of $1.5 million, and significant cash flow difficulties were starting to raise some red flags in the organization. As Karen Bohn, a member of the CTC Board of Governors, noticed, “The Board feels strongly that we cannot continue to have deficits. It is damaging the reputation of the organization. It is demonstrating that we are willing to spend more money than we were raising, and that does not send a good message to the community.”
Brosius and Eyring were very aware of the importance of the upcoming meeting. After six months of conversations, retreats, and hours of debate, sometimes heated, the planning process was at a turning point when it was necessary to make tough decisions. The final goal of this meeting was clear: the blueprint of a new strategic plan made up of no more than 5 key strategies that would guide the organization for the following 4 years.
Publication Date: 2009-09-01
Suggested Citation: Sergi Torres, "Strategic Planning at The Children's Theatre Company," Yale Theater Management Knowledge Base Case Study #07-09, September 1, 2009
Keywords: Minneapolis, Culturally Specific Organization, Organizational Direction, Strategic Planning
Teaching Notes: No
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