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Manager's Salary?

Printed From: Community Theater Green Room
Category: Theater Administration
Forum Name: Money Talk
Forum Discription: Questions about fundraising and promotion
Printed Date: 7/18/24 at 12:52pm
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 8.05 -

Topic: Manager's Salary?
Posted By: definitelytara
Subject: Manager's Salary?
Date Posted: 2/12/10 at 1:15pm

We are trying to determine what an average Community Theater Manager's salary is. We are applying for a grant in an effort to start paying our volunteer manager but are not sure how much to ask for.

Thanks for your help!!

Posted By: 75director
Date Posted: 2/15/10 at 12:14pm
Wow, that's a tough question.  A lot would depend on what exactly you're going to be asking this person to do, what qualifications you expect and your own local job market/cost of living.  A little more info about your situation would help give a better idea of what the position should be paid.

Posted By: definitelytara
Date Posted: 2/15/10 at 2:11pm
Hey, thanks for your reply.

Actually, the person who started this theater has been running it for five years already as a volunteer. She thinks it is about a 1/3 time position. They recently got non profit status, and have asked me to help them apply for a city grant in order to help pay her a salary. She manages the box office, space rental, production schedule, etc. She has a BFA and many other credits/experience.

We are trying to find out what a typical salary might be in order to determine how much grant $ to ask for. We are located in a small/medium sized city in the northeast.

Thanks for your input!

Posted By: JoeMc
Date Posted: 2/16/10 at 6:47pm
Can you check out similar City grants awarded in your area?
Also think about suplimenting any grant stipend with a % per seats sold, say about $1/seat as an incentive.
Genheraly grant bodiies have a specified maximum amount for specific type of  grants awarded.
Further with the seat supliment you may find there is less reliance required upon securing this or any future grants.

[western] Gondawandaland
"Hear the light & see the sound!
{may you always play to a full house!}

Posted By: definitelytara
Date Posted: 2/16/10 at 10:10pm
All good ideas. Thanks for your reply!

Posted By: John Luzaich
Date Posted: 3/25/10 at 11:20am
Salaries are all over the place for a fulltime manager.  A mid range is probably $40,000.  I know Executive Directors/General Managers around the country that have a BFA with full time jobs that are generally in the $30,000 - $50,000 range. 


Posted By: KEB54
Date Posted: 3/28/10 at 12:12am
I agree with John.  I'd say full time in our area is low $30K.  It's definetly a job of love and not money.


Posted By: lparks
Date Posted: 4/01/10 at 2:55pm
I'm not sure about Managers, but as the Producing Artistic Director, I both handle the management and artistic decisions of our community Theater, and I receive $36,000 per year. That seems to be the lower-end of the living wage were I live.

If you hire a manager straight our of high-school (hey, iv seen it done), then you could get by with paying them $8 an hour. Keep in mind, however, that you'll be getting a 'high school "manager" for that rate. Any professional manager with a BFA and Business Administration (which should be the minimum considered to manage a theater company), your looking at least $30,000 per year in the mid-west. Although, another local 'semi-professional' theater company has proven me wrong on this. Both the Artistic Director and General Manager work 40+ hours per week, and their pay is $11,000 (AD) and $7,000 (GM) per year, respectively. I guess it depends on if you can find a house-wive with no job that loves theatre, and is willing to spend her day managing your company for $3 an hour Shocked

Landon Parks,
Producing Artistic Director,
Bloomington Repertory Theatre Co

Posted By: KEB54
Date Posted: 5/04/10 at 11:34am
If I were a funder considering awarding a grant for a 1/3 time manager, I wouldn't flinch at a request of $15,000 - $20,000. Generally Fringe benefits are part of the request and it is not uncommon for that to be 30 - 50% of the salary.
That brings the question, are you set up to pay an employee -- Insurance, unemployment, worker's comp, etc.? Check with your lawyer. You may be better off giving the manager a stipend or honorarium.


Posted By: clewis
Date Posted: 5/04/10 at 3:38pm
Hi Definitely, a couple of things.  First you need to think your region not just "average" because there is a huge range around the country.  Check in to see if  you have a nonprofit association in your state or a state arts or humanities counsel (state government pages).  These organizations can give you salaries in comparable nonprofit agencies (by budget and type, ususally).  Then you need to think about whether there are any benefits attached as well -- huge variable.  SOme states have nonprofit associations that offer insurance buyins for small organiztions.   Calien

Posted By: dramatically
Date Posted: 7/10/10 at 12:51am
Definately contact your workforce development office or something similar.  A salary just means so much different depending on where you're located. 
Our organization was paying 35,000, which in our area is quite decent (we have a very low cost of living).  We have a wildly successful program for our area though.  Our other theatre staff makes very little.  Full time program managers make around 20,000 with no benefits, part time office staff is still in the minimum wage range.  High turnover, even with people who really love what they do. 

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