In this case study, the former Traveling Jewish Theatre has taken up residence in San Francisco, but struggles to achieve a sustainable scale while maintaining its avant garde roots. Founded as a traveling collective performing original ensemble work, The Jewish Theatre of San Francisco (TJT) had gradually evolved into a reputable theater producing scripted work on Jewish themes. TJT’s transformation over the years was done to make the theater financially solvent and institutionally sustainable, but with outstanding debt and mounting payables, the company was still struggling to survive.
TJT had several options. The theater had partnered with the San Francisco Jewish Community Center (JCC) for co-productions in recent years, a source of revenue TJT came to depend on. The JCC had floated the idea of absorbing TJT as its resident theater, which could solve the company’s financial problems but would likely result in loss of full artistic control. Or the company could close its space and return to its roots as a traveling collective, which posed a host of challenges of its own. Another possibility was to go under the umbrella of an arts collective providing support and infrastructure to many small companies. Finally, TJT could close. Clearly this was not an ideal choice, but was it preferable to further compromising the mission of the organization?
This case provides a framework for discussions of mission, strategy, and financial management.Publication Date: 2012-02-09
Suggested Citation: Diana Jacobs-Komisar, "The Jewish Theatre of San Francisco (2010)," Yale Theater Management Knowledge Base Case 10-34, February 9, 2012
Keywords: Theater, Performing Arts, San Francisco, California, Culturally Specific Organization, Facilities, Growth Trajectories, Organizational Direction, Mission
Teaching Notes: Yes (please contact firstname.lastname@example.org)
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