Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Paying the piper

A year ago, when I first approached Jim Jackson and Birgitta De Pree about hosting a playwriting group at the Millibo Art Theatre, they loved the idea and agreed that we could use their venue for free the first six months while we worked to attract new members. After that, they would charge us a nominal fee.

That six months became a year, which was more than generous on their part. But now their board has voted to require a fee of all outside groups.

The fee I negotiated is $300 per year for twelve monthly meetings. That breaks down to $12.50 an hour. If you've ever had to rent a theatre, then you'll know how incredibly cheap that is. When I was running Pikes Peak KidStage, we would often do our shows at District 20 school auditoriums, and they charged $200 an hour.

So I think we can swing this. The challenge is finding a convenient and equitable way to do so.

One thing I don't want to do is a charge a per-meeting fee. That would be a constant headache to collect.

Instead, what I would like to do is charge all writers and actors a $25 annual membership fee. I think we have at least 12 people who would be willing to join, which would meet the $300 fee. If we get more people, the extra money would be used for cookies and other goodies. If we get a lot more people, we could reduce the membership fee.

Spectators would always be able to attend for free. Besides encouraging a large and enthusiastic audience, this would give potential writers and actors an opportunity to check our group out before they commit.

I hope this won't be a financial burden to anyone. Let me know what you think.

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