Mission Statements - what are they?
"A mission statement one of the most important things a company should do," says veteran community theatre consultant Twink Lynch. "It's one of the first things a company should do when it starts out, and it's a good idea to look it over every once in a while as the years go by."
Why is a mission statement important? For one thing, it crystallizes just why you formed your group in the first place. It also helps others to know just what you're all about. It lets company members, your audience and the arts community know what you are and what you stand for. And as the years go by, it helps newcomers to understand as well. It also helps keep you on track. For it's too easy to spread yourself too thin, or to go off in directions for which
A mission statement or artistic statement is a shared vision of what your company is all about. Here are some examples from around the country:
Waimea Community Theatre, Kamuela, HI
Mission: To provide an outlet for creative community involvement, while seeking to produce quality entertainment
Raleigh Little Theatre, Raleigh, NC
Raleigh Little Theatre is a nonprofit organization whose purpose is to enrich, educate and entertain our community by providing a superior theatre experience.
Looking Glass Theatre, Providence, RI
The mission of The Looking Glass Theatre is three-fold: First, to create participatory theater, to involve a core group of students physically, emotionally, and intellectually with actors prior to performance to present a collaborative effort. Second: to adapt contemporary prose and poetry to inspire the desire to read. Third: to create original material revolving around social issues and values pertinent to the lives of young people.
San Jose Repertory Theatre, San Jose, CA
San Jose Rep's mission is to stimulate, celebrate and enhance understanding of ourselves and others through the shared experience of live theatre by producing new plays and classics marked by innovative interpretations and a reflection and inclusion of our community and the world in which we live.
Weathervane Community Playhouse , Akron, Ohio
The mission of Weathervane Community Playhouse is to entertain, inform, and educate, thereby enriching the cultural life of the Greater Akron area. Weathervane shall provide area residents the opportunity both to attend and to participate in quality presentations of a cross-section of the finest theatrical works available. Weathervane shall provide education in the theater arts to adults and children. In meeting these goals, Weathervane shall be mindful of the standards of its audiences and shall maintain fiscally sound management.
Cleveland Public Theatre, Cleveland, OH
The mission of Cleveland Public Theatre is to inspire, nurture, challenge, amaze, educate and empower artists and audiences, in order to make the Cleveland Public a more conscious and compassionate community.
Cleveland Public Theatre is an alternative performance company with a priority commitment to help develop original theatre artists from our area -- particularly those whose work is experimental in form and/or challenging in content. We are known as one of the nation's leading experimental & political performance venues, sponsoring much dance, music, poetry, and performance art as well as theatre. We sponsor several multi-cultural ensembles and function as an artistic home for dozens of self-producing artists.
CPT's intent is to utilize the performing arts to make the Cleveland public a more conscious and compassionate community. During this season we hope to inspire in all of us the willingness to explore new ideas and generate dialogues concerning class, the social order and economic justice.
Tallahassee Little Theatre, Tallahassee, FL
The mission of the Tallahassee Little Theatre is to create opportunities for community participation in enriching theatrical experiences. Our focus is on inclusion and quality, giving the public a well-balanced theatrical season, and striving to meet with excellence all of the demands placed on a community theatre.
TLT will accomplish its mission by:
A. Continuing to produce eight or more theatrical productions of high artistic quality each year;
B. Increasing the theatre's impact on and service to the community; and
C. Generating the necessary resources and efficiently managing those resources in support of the first two goals.
Elgin Community Theatre, Elgin, Il
The mission of the Elgin Community Theatre is:
To produce a broad range of theatrical presentations of the highest possible quality;
To provide hand-on learning experiences in all aspects of theatre production and management;
To provide a program of educational experiences in all aspects of theatre for youth and adults;
To celebrate the achievements of our volunteers and staff;
To provide value for our many valued supporters;
To join with other community theaters for mutual assistance and enrichment.
Central Stage Theatre of County Kitsap,
To provide a community-based musical and dramatic performing arts organization for the purposes of:
Presenting quality family entertainment.
Creating opportunities for children and adults to develop talents in all aspects of theatre arts.
Providing recognition and support to encourage the youth of Kitsap County.
Objectives supporting this mission statement are:
To sponsor approximately five productions per year which will be
predominantly musicals, two of which will be productions for children.
To be recognized as a significant cultural asset by the local
To develop and draw from local talent to the maximum extent possible.
To enhance development of youth in the theatre arts through cooperative
ventures with local schools via workshops and sharing of resources.
To sustain and increase recognition and financial support to talented
youth through scholarships and other means.
Clayton Community Theatre, Clayton, MO
The Clayton Community Theatre is a not-for-profit organization in cooperation with the School District of Clayton and City of Clayton, whose membership includes any person interested in its objectives, which are to:
Provide fun and entertainment to the community in a theatrical venue;
Express artistic, civic and educational abilities and interests in our community;
Provide quality entertainment through theatrical productions;
Showcase local talent; and
Bring an enjoyable theatrical experience to our community.
Here's another one:
"Our goal is pretty simple; to put on shows that people want to come and see, even if they wouldn't normally go to the theatre.
To achieve this, we put the emphasis on telling the story, making it accessible, relevant and, above all, entertaining.
From the choice of play through design and rehearsals to the performances themselves we focus on our audience; providing entertainment for a wide range of tastes and producing theatre that has true mass appeal."
"The company was started by three people who wanted to entertain audiences and make them laugh (a lot!). With this in mind we created our mission statement:
“Turning pissing around into an art form.”
BIG WOW are silly, satirical, rude, and if audience reaction is to be believed, very funny. "
"Walkabout Theater Company is a collective of writers, performers, directors, designers and visual artists that have come together out of a mutual desire and compulsion to develop original work through the collaboration and exploration of varied mediums. We believe that theater at its best is a transformative experience for both audience member and performer. Through theater we grapple with humanity's questions seeking glimpses of that which is greater than ourselves."
LOST is dedicated to the advancement of the individual through the co-operation of the group. We strive to offer people the chance to explore the world of theatre in all its facets. At LOST you have the right to succeed, the right to fail - but above all the right to try.
What is LOST?
The principal object of the company shall be the promotion of the arts, with particular emphasis on youth theatre; and the advancement of education and training of children and young persons in drama.
- Extract from the Constitution of the LOST Youth Theatre Company"
"We believe that all young people should have the opportunity to attend outstanding theatre, irrespective of their cultural, social or economic background. Our mission is to increase young people’s access to the best of live theatre in London (particularly those young people with limited resources, opportunities or support) and to enable them to engage creatively with that experience.
As an independent charity, Mousetrap Theatre Projects is in a unique position to select the appropriate or relevant theatre productions in and beyond the West End that stimulate and inspire young people. We devise programmes that use theatre as a catalyst to explore ideas, learn new skills, develop creativity and offer new perspectives. At the heart of our education and outreach work is the desire to open doors to young people who might otherwise consider London’s rich cultural heritage closed to them.
- To develop programmes in consultation with users and in response to an identified need
- To work collaboratively with other arts and education organisations and theatres
- To maintain our strategic and programming independence
- To deliver our programmes with rigour, integrity and artistic excellence
- To evaluate and refine programmes on a continuous basis"
What about a Mission Statement for a NEW theatre - a theatre that as well as putting on plays, also provides resources for writers, actors, educators and others?
Well...one could turn to this and end up with....
We are committed to pursuing a long-term commitment to employee dignity by quality products and improved returns of the highest integrity.
Our efforts involve providing unquestionable personal gain with education in functionality from the bottom up.
But the key is to keep it simple. I like the Hijinx statement:
"to create high quality theatre which is accessible, entertaining and challenging for small communities throughout Wales and England."
The Enchantment Theatre one is somewhat longer:
"Enchantment Theatre Company exists to create original theater for young audiences and families. We accomplish this through the imaginative telling of stories that inspire, challenge and enrich our audiences, on stage and in the classroom. In doing so, we engage the imagination and spirit of our audience until a transformation occurs and the true grace of our mutual humanity is revealed.
- We believe that theater has the power to illuminate, transform and heal.
- We believe that experiencing theater is essential for children to thrive.
- We believe that we have a responsibility to nurture, honor and respect the imagination of our audience.
- We believe that fables, fairytales and myth stimulate intuitive thinking and encourage the possibility of mystery and magic in our lives.
- We believe that theater can create community by bringing together a diverse audience encompassing all ages and backgrounds.
- We believe that we have a responsibility to reach out to children and families who may not otherwise have access to the unique kind of artistic and educational experiences that we can provide.
- We believe that how we work with one another matters.
- We believe that creating a working environment that encourages collaboration and creativity enables artists and staff to be fully self-expressive.
- We believe that including younger performers and staff in our ensemble keeps our work vital and ensures its continuity."
Well, it's bringing together the experienced and the inexperienced, naive enthusiasts with professionals, able with the disabled. It's trying to provide a means by which dreams can be fulfilled, incomes guaranteed and a variety of avenues, explored.
And to allow all participants to have fun on the way.
Bringing all that together I came up with:
By the fusion of disparate talents to come up with an end product that is to the immense satisfaction of all. That end product being high quality theatre that is challenging, stimulating, educating and entertaining - and to have fun along the way.
Comments are welcome.