Friday, August 24, 2012

Transparent Budget for Wilford's Conversion

Now that I've had a month to recuperate from Wilford's Conversion, I'll be posting now and then about the work that went into it, the information I gathered, and the lessons I learned. Here's a summary of our budget:

We made $1089.50 selling tickets at the door. $5 each for adults. That means we had 217.9 paying audience members. (My dad told me that he let someone in for $4.50.) This worked out great for us, because I spent money based on the expectation that we would have at least 180 paying audience members. And then, of course, there were expenses I didn't originally anticipate . . . In summary, we got very close to breaking even.

Total Spending        $1282.29

Actors' Pay                $480.00
Costumes                   $398.95
Tithing                       $108.95
Sound                         $100.00
Publicity                       $87.79
Props                            $49.97
Scripts/Binders            $24.03
Auditions                     $19.85
Playbill/Tickets            $12.80

Although we didn't make a profit, I decided to pay tithing (Yes, I'm a Mormon) on what we made in ticket sales. The "Auditions" cost was the cost of printing audition posters, and other audition forms. Actor's pay depended on the size of the role. Each actor earned $10-$80.

I was very grateful to find a sound guy willing to provide the equipment, and man the sound board for three performances. However, working with a cheap system proved to be a liability in the end. For future performances, I will make sound a bigger budget priority. Planning to perform outdoors didn't work out for us, either. I'll be posting soon about affordable performances spaces that I want to consider. Many of these will come with their own mic system, or be small enough that actors can easily project their voices.

I certainly spent more money on costumes than I would have liked. My original plan was to spend only $200. The most expensive items were men's early 19th century jackets rented from Hale Center Theater (both the West Valley City, and Orem locations). I tried to justify keeping the actors in shirts and vests, but in the end, I decided it didn't make sense for the actors to go without jackets in the play's winter scenes. I'll post more on costumes soon.

Next year, I plan to spend more money on advertising, and host a greater number of performances (5 or 6 instead of 3).

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