Last night Mortar Theatre was one of many Chicago theatre companies to attend the Chicago Storefront Theatre Summit III. We met as fellow theatre artists to discuss issues pertaining to Chicago storefront theatre companies. Some of the issues discussed were ways to get non-traditional audiences into theatres, internal structural management ideas for theatre companies, creating open communication between company members and volunteers, and ways to deal with company members and volunteers who feel burnt out just to name a few.
It was exciting and invigorating to be discussing these topics with so many theatre companies around Chicago! It was great to know that we are all not alone when it comes to dealing with the many issues that arise when starting, building and/or continuing a theatre company’s growth. The meeting was not about solving these issues or hearing a person/s tell anyone how to solve these problems, but it was chance to listen and bounce ideas off of one another to learn and grow together. Every company has their own unique way of working and there is not one right way to do things. So it was fantastic that we were all able to come together to share, listen and learn ways other companies handled particular situations and how those outcomes affected the company.
Mortar Theatre would like to continue the discussion and get some of your perspectives on these issues. What is your specific internal company structure and what are the pros and cons when dealing with company management and decision making? Where do you think Chicago storefront theatre is going? How can we come together as a community of Chicago theatre artists and companies to help each other from going under? Ideas or thoughts on ways to get non-traditional audience to fill those empty seats? Feel free to add any questions that you might have to the discussion. Lets talk!