We asked theatres to describe their staff structure to find out more about paid & volunteer staff
Does your theatre have goals or plans to increase paid staff positions? If so, what are those positions?
At this time, we have no plan to increase the number of stipend positions, but the amount can vary depending on the type of show or workshop.
Not in the short term
No. We pay technical contributors on shows, and we pay the band for musicals. Otherwise, everyone is volunteer.
No Plans yest but if any, it would be box office
Yes, we would ideally like to be in the financial position that we could have paid staff for our movie screenings - this would be concession and projectionist positions.
ADDING MORE PAID TECHNICAL STAFF IS OUR NEXT STEP
Yes eventually for directors and actors
Yes. Can’t go into specifics.
Do you have any general thoughts or feelings on whether or not community theatre 'should' have paid staff
In our case it is part of our vision to have volunteer community members led by trained theatre professionals.
I don't think there is an approach that works for everyone. For us, the only theater in our area, where people have a lot of other outside activities well established, the stipends guarantee that our main staff will show up and do the best job possible. In contrast, we also have many volunteer positions, like selling tickets before the show, and these people, who do not earn a stipend, do not show up reliably.
Most community theater with barely get by if there fortunate enough to have paid staff that's great
...sometimes volunteers actually do more/better work than low-paid staff. If you have staff earning “glorified stipends,” sometimes they will decide to do only as much as their pay merits to them – when those same people might’ve done more before getting paid. Money can make people weird. Bottom line: it all needs to be done in context. Is it an extra reward for what they do? Is it an underpaid staff position? They have different connotations, which can lead to issues if not handled well. Such matters are more important than adherence to a label of “community."
It's wonderful to have local volunteers for community theater - I think that's a core value - however, there are times when volunteers can be tapped out as far as their availability. I do feel that a healthy mix is a good thing, especially in a small community such as ours where our paid staff is typically youth.
As they grow it becomes necessary. You can only go so far on free/love labor.