The annual survey examines the attendance, performance and overall fiscal state of the U.S. professional not-for-profit theatre industry.
The report showed that the average combined individual contributions from trustees and non-trustees rose annually, outpacing inflation by 25.4%. This support, along with a 38.6% increase in aid from foundations, helped off-set decreases in other contributed income streams, including significant declines in government support: federal (-56%), state (-19%), and city/county (-27.8%). Overall, contributed income increased 12.6% from 2010.
According to the statistics, the rise in net assets was also driven by increased earned income. On average, single ticket income grew by 1.6% since 2010 and remains the greatest source of earned income annually. Average total ticket income increased 4.2% between 2013 and 2014, but only 0.8% over the five-year period. The study also showed that education/outreach programs and children's programs were an additional source of earned income.
Up to 86% of theatres reported revenue from rentals annually, while booked-in events brought in 33.4% more income. Concessions income rose 43% and was at a five-year high in 2014. Overall, earned income from sources other than tickets and investments increased 25.5% from 2010.
"'Theatre Facts 2014' gives us hope that theatres have not only weathered the worst of the Great Recession, but made strategically sound decisions along the way to emerge in a stronger financial position," said Teresa Eyring, executive director of TCG, in a press statement. "Cash flow is still a serious concern, however," she continued. "The field faces considerable challenges in sustaining and building audiences.”
The report showed that subscription income decreased 2% over the five-year period, though it remains the second largest source of earned income. And while there was a 3.7% increase in the aggregate number of resident performances offered between 2010 and 2014, aggregate resident attendance declined 1.9%.
"It’s an exciting story of adaptability and resilience, but it’s complicated by ongoing challenges with working capital and building audiences," Dafina McMillan, director of communications and conferences at TCG, told Playbill.com.
Working capital was negative in each of the five years, but improved over the past two years. Overall, the study showed that not-for-profit theatres contributed over $2 billion to the U.S. economy and attracted 32.8 million attendees.
For further information, see the Trend Theatres and Profiled Theatres sections of the full report at TCG.org/tools/facts/.