Theatre In Wyoming Theatre in Wyoming There you are sitting in a theatre watching a play. You say to yourself, this play could be so much better if they would do that different. Of course the designers could do things differently, they might have even considered the same things that you have, the only thing wrong with that is that type of stuff takes money. What most people don’t realize is that the theatres in Wyoming are very under funded. Theatres in Wyoming are not able to support themselves alone they need outside funding.
Every play that is put on has a budget. This budget is split into different amounts for each department in the theatre. This is all of the money that they’re allotted. The department has to try extremely hard to stay under budget. Of course this is common sense. Except this is hard to do when a performance needs things and the set needs things.
All of these things that the departments need and want costs money. This is why the technical director has to decide exactly what the show can have to make it great and what it can’t. That’s why people say that the play could be better if We just don’t have the funding. People that agree with the statement theatres in Wyoming are not able to support themselves alone have their own reasons for this belief. Tammy Jackson of Cody says, No because educational and non- profit theatre isn’t a high priority among the entities that primarily fund them. I agree with this statement.
Until there is a bigger interest in the theatre this will always be a problem. If the theatres were supported the same as sports then this problem wouldn’t be such a problem (Eckardt). Chuck Erven responds to this statement by saying, No. Audiences are limited, Wyoming has a lower arts endowment and private giving than any other state. Some people disagree with my opinion. Some people think that the theatres in Wyoming can support themselves.
Ann Eckardt says, Yes, they can but it would be the equivalent of substance farming. The learning and the growth could barely be measured. I think she’s saying that because the theatre is such a learning experience that anything can and will happen to help. This means that no matter how much a person thinks they know there is always something that a person can learn. The theatre world changes everyday with new technologies popping up. Such things like new lights and different types of ways to make scenery.
The theatres in Wyoming isn’t just under funded it’s very under funded. There is an association called the National Endowments for the Arts (NEA) that has the power to decide what states get money for their theatre programs. This program has the power to disperse $5,000,000 for Arts Education Partnership Grants (NEA: Arts in Education), $5,610,000 for Musical Theatre (NEA: Opera- Musical Theatre), $8,825,000 for Theatre Programs (NEA: Theatre Programs), and $27,467,000 for Basic State Grants (NEA: State and Regional Programs). Out of all of this money the NEA divides it up among different states. Out of all of this money Wyoming doesn’t get a single dime (NEA: Art Forms).
This isn’t fair. Most of this money goes to California and New York. They chose to give this money to companies and colleges that can definitely support themselves and still have money to spare. I think they need to consider giving money to the states that have the potential to have good companies if they were given a chance. One such state would be Wyoming.
Wyoming gets about 80% to 90% of its money from the state money. This money goes towards salaries and running costs (Erven). There are a few forms of funding available for Wyoming. One such funding is State Arts Council National Endowment for Arts (Erven). The one major grant that CWC puts in for is the Wyoming Arts Council (Erven).
There are a lot of ways that we can solve this problem in Wyoming, some of which have been tried. Some of them work and some of them don’t. One person thinks that we could Seek corporate sponsorships and partnerships much like athletics have done (Jackson). This is where a company pays for the team’s expenses and in turn the team is named after the company. At least this is how it works with sports.
The way this would work for the theatre would be the same concept. Others think that the public should support the theatres (Eckardt). Charles Erven thinks that if we get Endowments and large donor based giving programs, will help out a lot. I think that if we could find a way to get the government to budget a little money for Wyoming it will help out a lot. Also if the NEA wouldn’t be so stubborn with their grants and give little Wyoming a chance that would work too.
I think they’re stubborn in the way that they think that Wyoming doesn’t have much of a theatre program therefore we don’t need money. I think the most effective way that the theatres in Wyoming have found to fund their theatre programs is to get support for a family or a person. The theatre in turn names the theatre building after them or names the company after them. This works to an extent. It’s great that there are people out there that appreciate the arts but sometimes it’s not enough.
In some instances the shows that are being put on take a little more money than they were budgeted. This causes them to go in the red and causes the family/ person to have to fork over more money to get them out of debt. If we had outside funding from the government that would give the family/ person and the theatre a break, instead of breaking them. The theatre affects the community the most. The main people in the community that the theatre affects are the children in the communities.
Ann Eckardt says, Theater trains our youth, teaching them vocal communication skills, teamwork, building skills, expands creativity, and instills confidence. She has a point the theatre is a very team oriented activity that causes the communication skills to heighten. The theatre is also a place that people can go to find themselves and to have a sense of belonging. Tammy Jackson says, Theatre entertains and educates us. It shows us who we are and who we can be Most people appreciate the theatre because they enjoy being told a story.
People would be better educated and entertained if there was a little more money for these wonderful shows and more support for the theatre, what it stands for, how much it can help. There are so many ways that we could get more people involved in the theatre in Wyoming, but not too many people try. We could get more people involve if there were more Children’s theatres and if they expanded funding for theatre in the summer recreation (Eckardt). In my opinion if we had more workshops for children to participate in, this would help the people to become more involved with the theatre. If there were more opportunities to summer stock in Wyoming we would get more of the older people involved. Also this would bring more people from different states to Wyoming.
This helps to get the word around that we have a theatre program and that people should give money. If we got more people involved then maybe there would be more funding for Wyoming. In conclusion the NEA needs to find a way to help get some money to Wyoming because we can’t support our theatre alone. Granted we really don’t have a whole lot of theatre in Wyoming and we don’t have any professional theatres per say. This doesn’t mean that we don’t have people that aren’t interested in learning and participating in the theatre. Until we get more money and people involved Wyoming will never be able to support itself when it comes to theatre.