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How to Run a Theater: A Witty, Practical and Fun Guide to Arts Management Paperback – July 1, 2004

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About the Author

Jim Volz is a nationally known theater producer, author, educator, advocate, and columnist. He is a professor at California State University and president of Consultants for the Arts. He lives in Orange County, CA.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Back Stage Books; 1st edition (July 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0823083136
  • ISBN-13: 978-0823083138
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #399,337 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Suzanne Celentano on October 16, 2004
Format: Paperback
Volz' How to Run a Theater should be required reading for anyone working in the field of arts management -- be they artists or managers or artist/managers -- and anyone training to work in this challenging field. Written in the "witty" style that the subtitle suggests, this text offers an extensive overview of the many challenges that theatre managers face today, and more importantly, sound advice on how to succeed in spite of them. Volz offers us in-depth insights into such real managerial dilemnas as: season planning, budgeting, and audience development and such life management issues as: goal setting, networking and surviving in the competitive field of arts management. Using knowledge gained through over three decades of work as a nationally-recognized arts consultant and university professor, Volz not only inspires his readers to make their artistic dreams into reality, but, like any good consultant, teaches them how to do so. Perhaps best of all, this advice is offered with an appropriate blend of humor and perspective, encouraging readers to pursue their artistic goals, and to enjoy the process of reaching them along the way.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Jeannette Jaquish on March 7, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book tells how to do a traditional board of directors type theater. I am making a more rudimentary theater and needed to know how to create a board that would protect my investment in a building, help me with guidance, some fund raising, some outreach, but not saddle me with its own philosophical pronouncements that might hurt ticket sales in favor of their whim.

I actually, skimmed through every page, searching for the practical knowledge I needed. This book has no nuts and bolts about theaters. It could be about many kinds of non-profit enterprises. Not a word about anything hands-on and maybe I was mistaken to expect that, except the title is "How to Run a Theater" so maybe I did have reason to think it would describe scheduling rehearsals alongside scheduling set building, or how to research building codes, how to build a stage from scratch, what to look for in a building, what certified professionals I would have to hire, or profit vs non-profit theatering.

And the mild humor and Dear Abby suggestions lightened it but got repetitive. I presume most people don't read the whole book but at least 4 times he tells me to be on time and be respectful of other people. Well, who can argue?
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Cindy Melby Phaneuf on September 1, 2006
Format: Paperback
Our staff continues to use this book. Jim Volz makes things simple and clear, and he saves us boatloads of time trying to figure out how to do things ourselves from scratch. HOW TO RUN A THEATER is also a great training tool for new staff. We are using various chapters as preparatory reading for our strategic planning meetings. I am proposing that our management classes use this text. I am so happy Jim wrote this book.

Cindy Melby Phaneuf

Founder/Artistic Director, Nebraska Shakespeare Festival

Isaacson Professor of Theatre, University of Nebraska-Omaha
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By M. Maullar on March 30, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book is amazing. I have been teaching graduate level theatre management courses for 18 years. I have also managed several professional theatres. I discovered this book at the beginning of this year; too late to require it for my students...but I have used much of the information and insights in this book for class lectures. Next year, it will be required reading for my students. Volz covers every major area of theatre management in a fun, succinct and educational manner. I love it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By K. Lieu on July 18, 2011
Format: Paperback
Jim breaks things down to the tea. It is truly a must for all businesses, not just theatre. I thoroughly enjoy reading and learning his many life tips and advice for young and old theatre goers, like myself. Thank you. I will be using this the rest of my life.
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