November 25, 2001 Rework Case 3 St. Louis Repertory Theatre is a non-profit theatre operating out of a building on the campus of Webster University. It strives to be an integral part of the community by serving not only theatre lovers but also children. It has an outreach program that teaches children in the community to love the theatre. It also strives to be an indispensable institution by the St. Louis community. It wants to maintain the highest quality possible in every facet of its operations. It also wants to attract and keep the most outstanding professionals that it can. Although it is a non-profit organization, it still wants to maintain financial strength and stability.
St. Louis Repertory Theatre is facing a new problem, which needs a solution very quickly. Webster University has given St. Louis Repertory Theatre a new proposal, which requires them to pay $100,000 per year in rent.
This proposal needs the Board's full attention and cooperation. When factoring in the new expense of $100,000 per year for rent, it can be seen that sometime in the near future the expenses are going to exceed the revenues. Revenues constraints are an equally important problem due to the fact ticket revenue cannot be further increased. This is a serious problem because St. Louis Repertory Theatre cannot continue to operate at the quality standards it strives to achieve when they are out of money. The Board of Directors needs to approve a plan that will prevent St. Louis Repertory Theatre from going bankrupt in the near future so that it can continue to be an integral part of the St. Louis community.
It can be seen that the theatre desperately needs growth. There are many reasons for this. First of all, if the theatre does not continue to grow there is simply no way it can stay in business when faced with the new expense of $100,000 per year. Growth in ticket sales is almost out of the question. The shows are practically sold out with the exception of the seats that are saved for each performance. One area of growth that could be focused on is the outreach program. This program could be taken to communities outside of the St. Louis area and thus this would increase the knowledge in various communities of the St. Louis Repertory Theatre. However, this program is currently losing money so its growth potential is questionable.
Growth would mean a lot to St. Louis Repertory Theatre. Not only would growth ensure the continuance of operations at the theatre, but it would also increase the indispensability of the theatre in the St. Louis area. By increasing growth, you can increase donations by corporations and theatre lovers and thus increase quality and financial stability, which the theatre desperately needs.
Having prepared the budget, it is obvious that sometime in the future, the expenses are going to surpass the revenues. The solution to this problem is to build a new building on the campus of Webster University. By doing this, the number of performances could be increased. This would increase the revenues generated by tickets, souvenirs, etc. The new building would be funded by capital donations so it would not cost the St. Louis Repertory Theatre its own money. This new building would also allow The Rep to use its own facilities at any time, whereas this is not possible with the current arrangement. The new building would also not prevent the use of the old building to practice in. Acting seminars could also be conducted in the old building in order to generate even more revenue for the theatre.
In order to build the new building, $15 million dollars must be raised. This presents a challenge to St. Louis Repertory Theatre to raise this money. By meeting with its Board of Directors, $5 million dollars should be generated at that meeting alone from the 48 members. This leaves $10 million dollars that must be raised. It is likely this money will be raised over the next 5 years. In order for this plan to work, it is imperative that it has the full support of each and every member of the Board of Directors.
In order to get this support, many things must be presented in order to convince them to sign on to this plan. For the members of the Board concerned with the financial aspects, they must be shown the hard facts concerning the numbers involved for the future of the theatre. I would begin by explaining the revenue/expense curve and warn them of the future implications not building the building would mean to the theatre. For the theatre lovers, I would have Steve Wolfe explain his artistic vision and why it is necessary to build a building exactly like the one currently at Webster University. I would also make sure that each and every member was aware of the vision and goals of the theatre. This would ensure that they all understood how important this new building is in continuing the already established clout and quality that is the St. Louis Rep.
I would also like to show the members of the Board what an honor it would be to donate to this theatre. For the businesspeople, they would not like to have their names on something that goes under, but something that succeeds. In order to get their donations, I would tell them of the plans for the recognition of their donations. For example, banners with their names and their company names could be hung in the entranceway to the theatre. For the theatre lovers, I would tell them that they could have a room named after them upon donation. I believe that these incentives, as well as the recognition they would receive throughout the community, would be catalysts to get them to pledge their full support.