The issue of business—also known as survival. How do you manage your career, your theater company, your board of directors, your marketing, your calendar? How do you use development and marketing to make more and better art? How do handle all the nuts and the bolts—and the "nuts"? See if we can manage to cover this topic without boring you.

Don't break copyright law


Copyright law protects an artist's right to get paid, explains this law student. Violating it is both rude and a federal crime. Read on.

BLOG: LORT House Down 2: Financial Boogaloo

Innovation | Management | Vision

Another LORT theater goes down. RIP Georgia Shakespeare.

BLOG: Across the Nation

Management | Production | Social Service

Bifurcation in Philly, 99 seaters in LA, and a complete inability to do much in Ferguson.

BLOG: Back From the Woods

Management | Social Service | Vision

I return from a week free from news, only to return to find that Labor Day is a slow news day.

Dialogue, Cont.: Making everything art


Because artists will make art, Molly transforms this dialogue into poetry.

BLOG: Audience: Engaged! (or not)

Management | Vision

Is audience participation the wave of the future, or just another pothole on the bumpy road to audience engagement?

BLOG: Searching for Meaning in the Birth and Death of Arts Organizations

Management | Vision

Should we go about pruning back the number of arts organizations out there?

BLOG: Space Quest!

Innovation | Management

The struggle to find the spaces to perform in continues. (Also, what not to do when adapting Shakespeare.)

BLOG: Long Live the NEA Chair!

Management | Process | Production

The internet cried out, and the President (maybe) listened. Also, why not try Dollar Tree theater?

Five tax mistakes actors make


Actor, author and accounting expert Mark Bradley wants to help his fellow thespians avoid audits and maybe even get a few bucks back this tax season.

Life after Mu


Our look at transitions in local theater continues as outgoing Mu Performing Arts Artistic Director Rick Shiomi looks to his freelance future.

Looks like you made it?

Management | Vision

Actor/writer Tom Lommel talks about 'making it' in LA

Running with swords

Management | Production

A comic/dancer/director/actor/improvisor/fight choreographer/mother explains how her performer hyphens improve her parenting

Markets making art ill

Management | Vision

You should blame mediocre theater on economics. But not for the reasons you think.

Amateurs, academics, and money


In the first essay in a series, we take a look at how economics effects artistic output.

Suggestion box

Criticism | Innovation | Management

We're considering a major redesign of the website in the coming months. Now is your chance to send us your suggestions.



Wall Street, politics and a word for our sponsors.

Space for rent


Specs and contact information for twenty good rehearsal spaces.

Letter to a young actor in Minnesota

Management | Training

Want to be more involved in the film world? Read this letter from actress Karen Landry Mulkey with invaluable advice on making the move to Los Angeles.

What I learned from Bab's Casting

Management | Training

What does a performing artist need to know about the casting process for commercial work? What has changed or not changed in the last 21 years?

Mom, I got news for you...

Innovation | Management

No wacky playwright, living on absinthe and cobwebs, is Victoria Stewart. No regular paycheck or stability has she either.

Twitter for theaters

Innovation | Management

Tips and tricks for using Twitter to promote your theater.

The perils and promises of social media


Sarah Rattanavong-Wash investigates whether social media really builds audiences.

The Ins and Outs of a Two-Actor, Two-Child Household; Or, We Stand Alone Together


Katy & Caleb McEwen admit how they balance family and work life.

“Everybody” is not the audience: Marketing as creative work


Artists develop lasting connections with audiences and donors by authentically representing themselves

To be or not to be... Paid, that is.


How do we price our worth – our work, time, talent, experience and expertise?

Performance programs: Keep, toss or archive?


Camille LeFevre on the Performing Arts Archives at the U, which is where her performance programs should be.

Social media for theaters: Facebook

Innovation | Management

How Facebook can be used to promote your theater.

Odd-jobs: Performance outside of theater


Sometimes, a performer must take an odd job to make ends meet. Natalie Rae Wass has taken a lot of them.

Creating improv

Innovation | Management | Process

It's not easy creating structures for improvisational comedy. Mike Fotis discusses how he does it.

The arts under a Republican Congress


With a budget crisis ahead, Republicans are calling for cuts to federal and local budgets. What might this mean for the arts?

Starting a new improv theater


Jill Bernard, one of the cofounders of HUGE Theater, discusses the process of creating a new improv venue in the Twin Cities.

Four artistic types, and why they may not get along

Management | Process

Max "Bunny" Sparber lists four approaches to the creation of a performance, and why these approaches may conflict with each other.

The "Culture Wars" explained, finally


From the birth of the NEA to the battle fields in Minnesota, Patrick Scully explains the "Culture Wars" coherently, vividly, and quickly.

More than cabaret

Innovation | Management

How do you put politics into dance? Or build a queer-identified space where straights feel welcome? Why do it at all? Patrick Scully answers

Small theaters everywhere


By the mid-90s, the Twin Cities suddenly appeared to be crawling with scrappy, spunky, young, and tiny independent new theaters. Carolyn Pool dove right in.

Pay my rent

Management | Vision

It's never going to work as long as landlords get more grant money than artists.

Mission speaks

Innovation | Management

The conventional wisdom says that new work is too hard to produce successfully. Mixed Blood's Artistic Director Jack Reuler begs to differ.

Using the tubes

Criticism | Management

Two rules for online media: If you build it, they won't come, and everything will take more labor than you think. Scared? Don't worry. There are options.

The follow-up

Criticism | Management

Some journalists will tell you that they haven't got time to answer their phones. Call them anyway.

The press release

Criticism | Management

Don't give reporters reason to curse you. Make sure your press release spreads word of your show, easy and smooth.

System error


The board president's moping. The actor's angry. The audience is harassed, and the managing director's thinking of hitting someone with an auction clipboard.

Just wondering


Long-time dance critic Camille LeFevre shares what she wonders about the coming year in dance. Questions, questions, questions.

Interview with Dominique Serrand

Management | Vision

From religion to Minnesota's Legacy Amendment to health care reform, one of the forces behind Jeune Lune speaks.

The plan


Ivey Award founder Scott Mayer won’t let the economic crisis get him down. How and where does he see a chance we all want to seize?

Surviving the crisis


How does Mu Performing Arts plan to stay the course during this financial crisis?

Script work

Management | Vision

In a nonprofit world that has adopted too many Wall Street values, all this exciting new work out there gets squeezed off the stage.

Direction home


Go to Hollywood to be a movie star. Go to New York for a Broadway smash. But if you want to develop your craft, stay here.

The good, the bad, and the ugly


Our industry is better able than most to think outside the box. That will serve us well.

Surviving in Minnesota


How has Minnesota welcomed Asian-American artists? How does Mu Performing Arts intend to survive and prosper in this crisis?

$hiny object$

Audience | Management

Before they’ll buy a ticket, your audience wants to see that you’re competent. Welcome to graphic design.

Subscriber basics


The nonprofit theater subscriber has been around since the regional theater movement began. Can they survive in a new economy? Should they? Why and why not?

Multi-theater complex


Three historic theaters to program, 5800 seats to fill, and a city to please. Find out why you can see Wicked one night and Gordon Lightfoot the next.

360 degrees

Management | Process

Theatre in the Round's Steve Antenucci describes how to grudge, kick and scream your way to a season.

Administrative artists


Theater is collaborative, but the economy is competitive. Kathleen Spehar-Hansen tries to find balance in service to the community.

Fantasy job


How do are you supposed to play this game? When will you know if you win? Sometimes you earn points in the most unexpected places.

You are here

Management | Vision

Do you need to be in a "good theater town" to make good theater? An award-winning playwright tries to build his career in more remote locations.

In case of emergency


Don't panic. Organizations and programs exist to help performing artists survive difficult times. Use this brief reference guide in case of emergency.

The Matchmaker

Management | Vision

Is the solution to an actor’s career woes found in an old system? Casey Greig calls it patronage but you might think it's another old word that starts with 'p.'

Always difficult

Management | Vision

Artistic survival is always a challenge. How much harder does it become when your entire mission is to agitate against what comes too easily?

Playing conference rooms for fun and profit

Management | Social Service

David Mann has been able to make a living in the corporate world. By actually teaching them how to be more like the theater people.