Theatre Communications Group Releases 32nd Annual Report; Not-For-Profit Theaters Add $1.94 Billion to Economy

Not-for-profit theatres contributed nearly $1.94 billion to the U.S. economy and attracted 34 million attendees, according to Theatre Facts 2011. Released by Theatre Communications Group (TCG), Theatre Facts is the only in-depth report that examines the attendance, performance and overall fiscal state of the not-for-profit professional theatre industry. Theatre Facts 2011 is based on the TCG Fiscal Survey, compiling data from theatres' fiscal year ending between October 31, 2010 and September 30, 2011. First published in 1980, the annual Theatre Facts report examines unrestricted income and expenses, balance sheets, attendance, pricing and performance details.

"After several years of difficult economic news, Theatre Facts 2011 shows audiences rebounding and working capital on the rise," said Teresa Eyring, executive director of TCG. "Other notable trends include a rise in contributed income led by individual donors, an upswing in hiring with theatres adding 10% more employees, a five-year increase in both capital campaigns and rental income, and growing attendance at stage readings and workshops. These trends suggest theatres are beginning to climb out of the Recession by leveraging their fixed-and human-assets in meaningful ways."

Following are highlights from Theatre Facts 2011, now available on TCG's website, A narrative version published in American Theatre magazine that provides case studies and anecdotes from prominent managing leaders will be available at in November.

The Universe section provides the broadest snapshot of the industry for 2011, examining an overview of 1,876 not-for-profit theatres-179 theatres that completed the TCG Fiscal Survey and 1,697 theatres that filed IRS Form 990. Using an extrapolation formula based on annual expenses, findings include:

Theatres attracted over 34 million attendees at 177,000 performances, up from 31 million in Theatre Facts 2010.
The majority of theatres' employees are engaged in artistic positions, with an average workplace consisting of 60% artistic, 28% technical and 12% administrative personnel.
51% of total income came from earned sources and 49% from contributions.

The Trend Theatres section provides a longitudinal analysis of the 113 theatres that have responded to the TCG Fiscal Survey in each of the past five years (2007-2011). Findings include:

58% of theatres ended 2011 with a positive Change in Unrestricted Net Assets (CUNA), up from 40% in 2009, but slightly down from 64% in 2010. For the theatres with negative CUNA in 2011, the majority of those negative bottom lines were not severe.
Average working capital (unrestricted resources available to the theatre to meet obligations and day-to-day cash needs) was negative in each of the five years, though 2011 saw an improvement over the low of 2010. At the same time, capital campaigns continued to leave theatres with substantial growth in investments and new, improved or expanded facilities, with a 27% rise in fixed assets over the past five years.
Total income increased 15.5% from 2010 to 2011 and 3.4% over the five-year period and supported 8.4% and 1.7% more of expenses, respectively.

Earned Income
Earned income increased 8.3% from 2010 to 2011, but declined 3.9% from 2007 to 2011.
Overall ticket sales and attendance rose from 2010 to 2011, with increases of 3.9% and 2.5%, respectively. However, over the five-year period, both areas did fall by 0.4% and 4%, respectively.
Average single ticket income in 2011 increased 6.6% from 2010 and saw a 13.3% growth over the five-year period.
Single ticket attendance was also on an uptrend from 2010, with the number of single tickets bought increasing by 5% but was down by 1% over the five-year period.
Subscriptions held relatively steady from 2010 to 2011, with the one-year change for subscription income, subscription tickets and the number of subscribers at -0.2%, 0% and -2%, respectively. Although average subscription income decreased 17.6% over the five-year span, subscriptions still remain the second largest income generator for theatres.
Although staged readings/workshops make up a smaller percentage of overall attendance, attendance at these events increased by 15.9% from 2010 and 80.5% over five years.
Rental income saw a 45.7% increase over the five years, with 80 to 86% of theatres earning income from rentals annually, which demonstrates that theatres are taking advantage of their down time to earn ancillary income from their fixed assets.
Average capital gains from investment assets rebounded 163.3% from 2010 and were at their five-year peak in 2011 at an increase of 13.9%, recovering from the severely negative numbers in 2008 and 2009.

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