Professional vs. Community Theatre
by Artistic Director Sean McCall
What’s the difference between “professional theatre” and “community theatre”?
The simple answer is, that in a professional theatre like Old Creamery, everyone associated with a production (directors, technicians, designers AND actors) are being paid for their time, talent, and expertise.
Professional theatres often pay larger royalty fees when licensing the shows they produce.
Over 90% of the people performing in and working on our productions make their living in the theatrical arts. The other few percent are local artists who may have other forms of income, but none the less are paid professionals working on our stage.
We maintain an active relationship with Actors’ Equity Association – the union for professional actors and stage managers in the United States and over 40% of the roles each season go to union members who not only receive livable salaries for their work, but also benefit from contributions paid by the theatre toward the members’ union pensions and health insurance.
Over 50% (by far the largest item in the Old Creamery’s annual operating budget) goes toward employee compensation for full time staff, part-time workers, and over 50 contracted artists each year.
We also provide housing for our out of town performers and interns in a large former bed and breakfast which is now owned by the Old Creamery and is located in West Amana.
While community theatres sometimes pay their management and directors/designers, community theatre performers are not financially compensated for their time or talent.
Sometimes the above factors can be confusing to patrons who pay similar (if not greater) ticket prices for community theatre productions.
We like to say that we’re “the professional theatre in your community” and when you support professional theatre you’re supporting the artists we employ whose job it is to entertain you. On behalf of all of them, we say “Thank You”!