Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
L. A. Frerer
Although the amount of theatre being performed in Hays, Kansas in 1978 had been relatively limited in comparison with some other cities, the good attendance at University theatre productions and at performances by touring companies and occasional community theatre productions indicated that a regular theatre program should be organized in Hays. A special effort was made in that direction by the author in conjunction with the Hays Arts Council (HAC), who loaned their theatre facility and allotted $200.00 from their Drama Fund to help with the project. After taking into consideration the size of the theatre, the amount of money allotted, the people available to help, and the audience's tastes, a season was planned wherein three shows would be performed at the Arts Center with the author handling duties concerned with production and management. The productions were: Mimeline, a mime company from the University which performed both improvisational and rehearsed pieces, Basement Noise, a variety show which used local talent, and Sorry, Wrong Number , a one-act thriller performed by the Shortgrass Players community theatre group. Each production was performed twice. Total seating capacity was one hundred for the first show and one hundred twenty for each of the last two. For each production, the author handled publicity, planned for the serving of food, helped to secure properties, furniture, set pieces, etc. for each director, acted as house manager at every performance, and helped with strike and clean-up . She also saw to it that the director of the HAC had the information needed for printing the programs. Evaluation was based on several things. A questionnaire handed out at the performances of Mimeline, as well as comments from audience members to the author and to Mrs. Heil, indicated a very favorable response and the hope that such productions would continue. Also, the attendance was good for each of the three productions: one hundred-six attended Mimeline, seventy-six saw Basement Noise, and ninety-seven attended Sorry, Wrong Number. A total profit of $296.45 was made for the HAC Drama Fund. The author drew several conclusions and made suggestions and recommendations at the end of the season which applied both to the HAC and to other communities wishing to build a strong theatre program. These included the possibility of a small community theatre paying someone to perform the duties of a general manager who could efficiently handle matters of business and community relations, investing pro fits not only to produce more shows, but to improve the theatre facility, implementing a patron program, and continuing to search for variety in productions.
Copyright 1979 Sheilah Philip
Philip, Sheilah, "Creating a Spring Season of Theatre: A Project in Production and Management" (1979). Master's Theses. 1758.