Daily Rehearsal: The profit in non-profits

December 20, 2011

1. The Second Annual Donny's Skybox Holiday Festival is running through the end of the year, so for classic comedy times, do not miss.

2. Though the news last week that Detroit would not be moving to Broadway (instead opening off-Broadway at Playwrights Horizons) might have seemed sad, the general sentiment has been "Well, that makes sense." "All in all, just another reminder that the real American theatre is not happening on Broadway and the gulf between the two gets wider and wider," wrote Garrett Eisler of the Playgoer. One commenter on the Artsbeat post about the change wrote, "This is good news for all concerned. It's an off-Broadway play if I have ever seen one. The Steppenwolf production was enjoyable, but it's not the most compelling piece of work you will ever see. This gives it a better chance to find an audience."

3. Also out of New York: Patrick Healy wrote last week about the predominance of non-profit theaters "becoming more aggressive about producing work that can sell tickets, as a hedge against the unpredictability of private donations and subscription renewals." It's a question that came up in WBEZ's look at whether holiday shows were profitable for various Chicago theaters, in the post and in the comments. But blogger Isaac Butler questions the journalistic rigor that went into Healy's piece, writing that "...many commercial producers are furious about these practices [as some non-profits] get enormous tax subsidies and labor discounts due to being nonprofits. There are many people in the funding community who think this is a scandal and possibly illegal." Head to the comments for further thoughts on the legality of the issue.

4. iO's Whirled News Tonight is still running, and it's The A.V. Club's recent pick for their "It Still Moves" series.

5. Pinkalicious has been extended for some time -- through most of the Spring (May 27). I wonder if children's shows do well because of the need for kids to consume things over and over again. That and whole entire preschool classes taking field trips together.

Questions? Tips? Email kdries@wbez.org.