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How to Start a Theatre Company

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According to Statista, the theatre industry was worth an incredible $9.37 billion in 2019, which declined by 32.5% in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Now people are allowed to return to venues to watch live performances, theatre productions are in huge demand with the public.

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If you want to cater to the audience’s needs, unleash your creativity, and build a successful business, consider launching your own company. 

If this sounds interesting, but you’re unsure where to start, read the following advice on how to start a theatre company.

Identify Your Start-up Costs

Despite wanting to start a theatre company to create exciting shows that capture audiences’ imaginations, you must remember you’re running a business. 

To develop award-winning plays or musicals year after year, you must have firm control of your cash flow, target a specific market, and charge the right ticket prices to develop a healthy return. 

Build a solid business strategy by establishing your start-up costs and ongoing expenses, such as a venue lease for a theatre space or rehearsals, staff salaries, marketing costs, and licensing and insurance fees.

Secure Capital or Find Volunteers

Once you have pinpointed your various start-up and ongoing costs, you may need to secure investment to make your theatre company a reality. 

If you struggle to find investment, you could ask ambitious creatives to donate their time until the company generates a profit. 

For example, talented performers set designers, and makeup artists might be happy to initially work for free to get the company up and running. 

Once the business generates a steady profit, you can provide them with a weekly wage.

Minimize Costs

It doesn’t matter if you receive investment or go down the volunteering path; you’ll need to minimize costs as much as possible to increase your profit margin. 

For example, you could buy second-hand props and costumes, hold performances at affordable venues, and rehearse in public spaces, such as parks or people’s homes. 

Also, you’ll need to find quality hair and makeup products at an affordable price to bring productions to life on the stage. 

This theatre makeup store provides all the items you may need at value for money prices, such as foundation palettes, mustache wax, or a tear stick.

Find New Revenue Sources

As money is tight when starting a theatre company, look for additional revenue sources to increase profitability. 

For example, you could provide paid acting classes for local youths or at various camps across the country. 

If you have a large venue that’s going to waste for days at a time, rent the space to a local business or church when it’s vacant to improve your company’s finances.

Pick a Business Structure

Once you have developed a business strategy, gathered your team, and sourced a venue, you’ll need to choose a business structure for your theatre company.

The most popular legal entities include:

  • Sole proprietorship
  • Partnership
  • Limited Liability Company (LLC)
  • Corporation

An LLC or corporation might be the smartest option, as it will prevent personal liability if the theatre company faces a lawsuit.