Two Are Better Than One: Exploring Mutually Beneficial Collaborations Between Large and Small Theatres


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MA in Arts Administration

Citation of Original Publication


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Small and large theatre organizations face unique challenges relative to their size. Through collaboration, organizations of disparate budget size can find unique solutions to some of these challenges and achieve mutually beneficial outcomes in areas such as community impact, audience expansion, reduced production costs and organizational structure. The best methods for successful collaboration and positive impact are recognized and assessed by examining the impetus for and the results of past successful collaborations. Small theatres can benefit from access to greater resources, visibility and organizational mentorship. Large theatres can benefit from exposure to unique audiences, reduced production costs and creative approaches to structure and operation. Each collaboration discussed differed structurally and produced different outcomes, though some similarities existed. Flexibility, transparency, communication and setting reasonable expectations are, along with the inherently collaborative nature of theatre, proved to be the most important elements of success. The positive outcomes from collaborations generally outweigh the complications and setbacks. Collaborations between theatres take many forms, but the opportunities to share resources and expertise can benefit organizations both large and small and strengthen the landscape of nonprofit theatre.