Guthrie Theatre Reports $3.8 Million Deficit in 2023

The Guthrie's report comes during a time when non-profit theaters across the coutry are struggling with rising costs.

By: May. 17, 2024
Guthrie Theatre Reports $3.8 Million Deficit in 2023
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The Guthrie Theater has announced a financial loss of $3.8 million for its most recent season, attributing the deficit to increased expenses and the ongoing challenges stemming from the pandemic, reports Biz Journal.

This season marked the Guthrie's first full season since the onset of the pandemic. Attendance for the Guthrie's performances, education, and community engagement programs grew significantly, from 162,928 in the 2021-2022 season to 302,881 in 2023. In the 2018-2019 season, the last full season before the pandemic, attendance exceeded 350,000.

“While the Guthrie is faring well in relative terms, we are not immune to the challenges our industry faces in the wake of the pandemic," said Joseph Haj, the theater's artistic director. "Though reporting a deficit is sobering, I remain optimistic about the Guthrie’s future, and I am confident we will continue to fulfill our mission, vision and core values."

The theater's financial report highlighted operational expenses and costs related to the aging of the theater's building as primary factors for the deficit. Additionally, lower-than-projected ticket sales and donor support contributed to the financial shortfall.

Despite these challenges, the Guthrie saw an increase in season ticket holders, rising from 11,700 in the previous season to just under 14,000. The theater also received funding from over 5,000 donors.

"Despite a challenging year, I’m optimistic about our ability to find efficiencies, reduce risk, return to a balanced budget and ensure the long-term health and vitality of the Guthrie," said Trisha Kirk, the Guthrie's managing director.

Photo: Mark Vancleave