Theatre Management Resources | AACT

Theatre Management Resources

Helping You Meet the Challenge
Online & Print Resources

Managing a theatre can be a challenge, but there are resources readily available to help make things go more smoothly. Online—aside from the AACT website—you’ll find the most help on sites devoted to the arts in general, as well as those that address how to manage a nonprofit organization. We’ve also included some highly rated books that can shed light on the management process and help you navigate through the inevitable hurdles.

Online Resources


  • Webinars: AACT offers virtual educational programs to benefit theatre organizations, regardless of location or budget size. Topics include management, marketing & community outreach, education and youth programming, and volunteers, among other topics:
    • Roundtables: Monthly, panel-based discussions available to AACT members only
    • Virtual Masterclasses: 75 to 90-minute, in-depth explorations of specific skills or topics
    • Industry Connections: 30-minute presentations from major theatre resource providers showcase their services and support for theatres.
  • AACT's Resource Library provides articles on a wide spectrum of topic, including Administration and Management, Advocacy, Boards & Governance, Business & Legal Forms, Fundraising & Grants, Insurance, Job Descriptions, and more: (To view, you must be signed in.)
  • More: Go to the drop-down menu at the top of this page, and look for “Making Theatre”, where you’ll find a number of management topics, including Theatre People (basic job descriptions), Rights and Royalties, Finance and Budgeting, and Fundraising and Grants, among others.

Americans for the Arts

On the main menu, click on "By Topic" to find resources on: Advancing Arts Locally, Arts & Business, Arts & Economy, Arts Education, Arts Marketing, Cultural Equity, Disaster Preparedness, Funding Resources, and Professional Development.

National Council of Nonprofits

On the main menu click on "Running a Nonprofit" for resources on budgeting, business planning, compliance, filling state and federal forms, finance, strategic planning, tax issues, employment and HR, fundraising and resource development, governance and leadership, marketing and communications, and DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion).

TechSoup is an online community that brings nonprofits various technology solutions that can help maximize operational efficiency and outreach. Resources include articles and educational tools on the best use of technology for an organization, as well as discounted products and services from various software partners, including Microsoft, Norton, and Intuit. Notably, through TechSoup, Adobe grants 501(c)(3) Nonprofits free access to Adobe Express Premium, with video creation tools, social media content scheduling, PDF editing, royalty-free Adobe Stock collection photos, and free document templates. TechSoup also offers discounts on computer products from Lenovo and Dell, as well as companies that offer IT services.

The Printed Page

Building the Successful Theater Company, by Lisa Mulcahy. Using interviews with leaders from 19 diverse and vital theatre companies from the recent past and present, Mulcahy explores what makes for success in funding and finances, using social media, working with corporate sponsors and establishing artistic collaborations. Theatre leaders provide sage advice on locating performance space, developing a business plan, and even rehearsing and publicizing productions. [Allworth Press, 2016]

Managing Arts Organizations, by David Snider . In today’s world, arts organizations must be flexible, adaptive, and nimble to survive and thrive. Snider shows why success lies in the ability of arts managers to engage, adapt, and innovate. Each chapter focuses on a specific topic, with principles, stories, advice, and best practices related to that topic. The appendix includes eight case studies regarding financial management, marketing, programming, DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) efforts, and accessibility across multiple disciplines. [Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2022]

Running Theaters: Best Practices for Leaders and Managers, by Duncan Webb(Second Edition). Based on surveys and interviews with theatre managers and experts in important functional areas, Webb provides insight into managing regional, campus, and community theatres. This second edition includes information on recent programming trends, marketing in the digital age, and the evolving role of theatres in economic and community development. Chapter topics include front- and back-of-house operations; building and working with a board of directors; financial management; and the necessary skills and attributes of a successful theatre manager. [Allworth Press, 2020]

The Stage Producer's Business and Legal Guide, by Charles Grippo (Second Edition). Attorney, producer, and playwright Charles Grippo provides advice on managing a not-for-profit theatre company; crowdfunding your production; new opportunities to raise money; self-production; licensing and producing plays; devised theatre and collaborations; creating jukebox musicals; theatrical insurance; negotiating contracts; working with a board; and using third-party intellectual property. [Allworth, Press 2019]

Theatre Management: Arts Leadership for the 21st Century, by Anthony Rhine. Designed as a textbook, this would be of most use to someone moving into a new administrative position, or considering such a move. Rhine covers a wide range of topics for both commercial and nonprofit theatre management, from developing a mission statement to communicating with stakeholders, from marketing and promotion to fund development platforms, from governance structures to community engagement. [Bloomsbury, 2018]

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