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Puppet Showplace Inc.

 32 Station Street
 Brookline, MA 02445
[P] (617) 731-6400 x 102
[F] --
www.puppetshowplace.org
executive@puppetshowplace.org
Thom Yarnal
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INCORPORATED: 1975
 Printable Profile (Summary / Full)
EIN 04-2546402

LAST UPDATED: 10/15/2015
Organization DBA Puppet Showplace Theater
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years No

Summary

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Mission StatementMORE »

Puppet Showplace Theater is dedicated to presenting outstanding professional puppetry to diverse audiences through performances, workshops, and community outreach activities.

Mission Statement

Puppet Showplace Theater is dedicated to presenting outstanding professional puppetry to diverse audiences through performances, workshops, and community outreach activities.

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year July 01, 2014 to June 30, 2015
Projected Income $470,000.00
Projected Expense $470,000.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Mary Churchill Memiral Fund/Outreach to Underserved Schools
  • Puppet Incubator / New Works Development / Artist in Residence
  • Puppetry Arts Education Programs
  • Youth/Family Puppet Performances

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2012 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Overview

Mission Statement

Puppet Showplace Theater is dedicated to presenting outstanding professional puppetry to diverse audiences through performances, workshops, and community outreach activities.

Background Statement

Puppet Showplace, Incorporated was founded in 1974 by visionary educator and puppeteer Mary Churchill. Mary was known for her witty adaptations of children’s stories that featured strong female protagonists.  She was a regular performer, tireless administrator, and generous benefactor of the theater until her death in 1997.

From the day it opened, Puppet Showplace became a home for touring puppet companies from across New England and beyond.  Many performers became regulars, appearing on stage each season and contributing to the financial support and governance of the theater.  Puppet Showplace has also been the home of the Boston Area Guild of Puppetry since its inception.  

In 1977, puppeteer Paul Vincent Davis became Artist in Residence.  While at Puppet Showplace, Paul developed over a dozen productions for youth and family audiences, receiving 5 UNIMA citations for his work, the highest recognition in American puppetry.  Paul remained active as a performer until his retirement in 2007.  Davis continues to serve on the Showplace Board of Trustees. 

In 2009, Brad Shur became Puppet Showplace Theater’s Resident Artist.  Under Paul’s mentorship, Brad trained in the art of glove puppetry and learned to perform three of the master puppeteer’s classic shows.  He also began developing original productions that incorporate numerous styles of puppetry, from elaborate shadow puppets to full-body puppets.

Puppet Showplace now serves a diverse audience of over 24,000 patrons annually.  In 2013/14 audiences came from 358 Massachusetts towns, 32 States, and five foreign countries.  Although over 90% of the audience comes from the Boston Metro region, close to 7% of our patrons travel more than 50 miles to attend our performances.

Our programming has grown over the years to include camps and classes, school residencies, and presenting collaborations with major cultural institutions. Puppet Showplace is also credited with creating the country’s first adult “puppet slam,” a cabaret-style of short form puppet theater now popular across North America. 

Puppet Showplace has received numerous awards and recognitions over the years, from an Eliot Norton Award Citation for “Keeping the ancient art of puppetry alive for audiences of all ages,” to the Boston Parents Paper’s listings as “Favorite Family Entertainer” and “Best Birthday Party Place”.  Today, Puppet Showplace Theater’s success is reflected in our audience, which includes the children of children who attended shows when the theater was first founded. 


Impact Statement

In the past year we
 
1) Expanded programming:
 
Education Programs - summer camp partnership with Brookline Recreation Department, doubled adult/teen classes and workshops, started residencies at two public schools.  Reached a wider age range of participants with expanded opportunities for older elementary, middle, and high school students. 
 
Family Programs - Began early-evening performances of selected shows on Friday nights.
 
2) Served over 24,000 audience members of all ages, backgrounds, and socio-economic status, with high quality puppetry performances with an average of 6 shows per week, 48 weeks per year. Subsidized hundreds of free and deeply reduced price tickets for low-income groups through our Mary Churchill Memorial Fund for under-served children. Kept our ticket prices low.
 
3) Created a sustainable financial and fundraising environment with a revitalized board and new tracking systems.
 
4) Initiated a successful internship program.
 
In the next year our goals include:
 
1) Expanding Puppet Playtime, a program for children ages three and under.  Creating long term residencies in more schools, the production and presentation on tour and on site of new works by our resident artist, and new efforts to nurture emerging puppetry artists for both children and adults.
 
2) Undertaking deferred maintenance and improvement projects in our historic venue, including climate control, floor and furniture refurbishing, light and sound system improvements, and computer system upgrades.
 
3)  Establishing and developing new partnerships, with the Outside the Box Festival, Gifford School in Weston, Boston College, and other educational institutions, Brookline Recreation Department, Brookline Local First, Wheelock Family Theater, and many more relevant arts and community organizations in the region and nationally.

Needs Statement

1) To fully fund the Mary Churchill Memorial Fund for low-income and underserved children, which provides free and deeply reduced price tickets to groups of children who would otherwise not be able to participate in any of our programming. $10-20,000/year.
 
2) To carry out deferred maintenance and improvements on our historic venue, including climate control and efficiency, new flooring, new seating, and improving the theatrical lighting and sound systems. $100,000
 
3) To bring staff structure up to a more sustainable level, and increase staff pay to adequately reflect a living wage for arts professionals. Total need: $50,000/year.
 
4) To expand the Board of Trustees, and have all major expertise areas covered.  Currently need additional legal, financial, and fundraising expertise. To get an adequate volunteer corps, including for operations and special events, and a volunteer coordinator to manage them.

CEO Statement

As New England’s Puppet Theater, we celebrate joy and creativity as essential, valuable elements of human life.

We value children and are inspired by their innate honesty and imagination. We believe in the time-honored technical principles that make good puppetry and respect the life-long effort needed to achieve excellence in the field.
 
We share our passion for puppetry as a vital, living art form and strive to engage audiences of all ages, abilities and backgrounds.  We support the use of puppetry for entertainment, in education, and as a means of creative self-expression.
 
We welcome the participation of artists at all levels, from professionals to amateurs and emerging artists. We constantly strive to make our work accessible to all.

Board Chair Statement

During 40 years of operation, Puppet Showplace Theater has become a treasured cultural institution and community destination for the performing arts. With a long history of being run by the founder, the biggest challenge the theater has tackled is raising the professionalism of the administration and building the board. 

Puppet Showplace is run by an experienced staff and volunteer board of trustees.  We have spent the last decade streamlining operational systems and procedures so that we can expand the services we offer to the community. 
 
We are supported by contributions from individual donors, local businesses, and foundation and government grants.  As the puppeteers who were part of the early history of the Showplace retire, we are working to educate and train the next generation of puppetry artists. 
 
Many of the veteran performers have named Puppet Showplace in their wills and we are interested in developing a deferred giving program. 

Geographic Area Served

METROWEST REGION, MA
GREATER BOSTON REGION, MA
Greater Boston and New England, plus patrons from all 296 towns and 55 cities in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  Tourists from 13 states and 8 foreign countries also visited the theater in the past year.

Organization Categories

  1. Arts,Culture & Humanities - Performing Arts Centers
  2. Education - Educational Services
  3. Arts,Culture & Humanities - Theater

Independent research has been conducted on this organization's theory of change or on the effectiveness of this organization's program(s)

No

Programs

Mary Churchill Memiral Fund/Outreach to Underserved Schools

The Mary Churchill Memorial Fund provides subsidized tickets and free or reduced price puppetry programming to under-served schools and children across the greater Boston area. 
Budget  $10,000.00
Category  Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Puppet Shows
Population Served Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent Children Only (5 - 14 years) Infants to Preschool (under age 5)
Program Short-Term Success  The theater receives thank-you letters from the students and schools served by the fund, which are shared with local and state politicians.
Program Long-Term Success  School children across the greater Boston area will be able to overcome financial barriers and to access formative experiences with live puppetry arts. Schools will be able to rely on this funding and will forge robust ties with Puppet Showplace Theatre that result in additional program innovation for this target population.
Program Success Monitored By  A set budget amount is allocated each fiscal year and success is judged by whether the fund has a zero balance at the end of the fiscal year.
Examples of Program Success  The Mary Churchill Memorial Fund allowed Puppet showplace to welcome students from preschools and elementary schools in Dorchester and Roxbury. 

Puppet Incubator / New Works Development / Artist in Residence

Puppet Showplace Theater collaborates with artists to foster the development of new puppetry works. The theater achieves this by maintaining a resident artist position, organizing "Incubator" community events for artists with works-in-progress, acting as a fiscal sponsor or project adviser for emerging puppet companies, and providing artists with opportunities to showcase their work to audiences of all ages.
Budget  $10,000.00
Category  Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Artists-in-Residence
Population Served Adults Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) Families
Program Short-Term Success  At the end of each year, Puppet Showplace will have presented 2 world premieres as part of its programming season and will expand its roster of touring shows by adding new works. Artists, empowered and inspired by the Incubator community, will submit pitches for new projects accompanied by production plans that articulate steps from conception through implementation. The Showplace will offer resources such as rehearsal space, grant stipends, and invited-showing venues to artists with works-in-development. Audience members will attend preview showings of new works-in-development and will celebrate artists who successfully premier their shows. The resident artist will have the structure and support needed to tackle challenging creative projects, as well as the time needed to reflect and grow as a professional.
Program Long-Term Success  New works are essential to the vitality of the puppetry arts. Our long term success will see Boston as a hub for creative innovation in puppetry performance. Audiences of all ages will be touched by experiencing new works that take advantage of modern technologies and materials, speak to current issues, and resonate with contemporary aesthetics. Artists will have the resources necessary to create their best work, and the confidence and professional ambition to tour their performances to communities across the region.
Program Success Monitored By  Puppet Showplace tracks the productivity of the resident artist by monitoring his schedule and bookings through the year. The Incubator program tracks the number of interested and involved artists who have successfully prepared production plans or scripts and reports are made to the board on qualitative milestones. When new works debut, audience members are surveyed to assess the impact of the performance.
Examples of Program Success  Puppet Showplace seasons have included two world premier performances developed by local artists since 2012.  A new interactive performance program for pre-school children has begun performances and is selling out every week. All of the artists creating these works are based in Boston and are in their 20s and 30s. The Showplace has partnered with these artists to attract support from the Children's Theatre Foundation of America's Harris Grant Program and from the Henson Foundation. The artists met regularly and received feedback from peer professionals about their ideas. The theater offered them rehearsal space and opportunities to perform excerpts from their works in front of audiences of all ages. Audience feedback was uniformly positive and constructive, and requests to present these productions on tour have begun to be booked.

Puppetry Arts Education Programs

Puppet Showplace Theater classes and workshops to audiences of all ages pre-k through adult. Educational programming is developed by resident and affiliated teaching artists and is offered both on-site in Brookline and off-site at host institutions and partner venues. Program content ranges from craft activities, to camps, to studio workshops for emerging professionals. Programming is offered in a variety of formats including single session workshops, weekly afternoon or evening classes, school residencies, or day camps. Content is customized to suit the needs and interests of target ages and populations.
Budget  $20,000.00
Category  Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Puppet Shows
Population Served Adults Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) Families
Program Short-Term Success  Students will have the vocabulary needed for literacy about the puppetry arts. They will be able to recognize key elements of puppet performance (breath, focus, etc.) and distinguish between different styles of puppetry. Students will apply their skills to specific creative endeavors, and will continue to make and share work outside of class.
Program Long-Term Success  The greater Boston area and the New England region will have a high level of literacy about puppetry arts and appreciate the work and contributions of master puppeteers. Puppetry craft, building, and performance traditions will remain vital in the New England region, with skills passed from masters to apprentices at all ages and skill levels. Puppetry performance and craft techniques enable creative expression in contexts ranging from parades to parlor plays.
Program Success Monitored By  All students (or parents) in classes, camps, and on-site workshops receive a survey. Respondents rate content and instructor quality, share what they thought was most successful, and offer suggestions about ways to improve and directions for future programming. The Puppet Showplace invites adult students to showcase their final projects at puppet slams, and both camps and after school programs end with a final showing. Extended residencies are monitored by teachers and school administrators who report to the artistic director about their students' learning and experiences. 
Examples of Program Success 
Demand for Puppet Showplace's educational programming increases each year. The teaching artist roster has grown each season, and the curriculum has become more varied to include diverse styles of puppetry. Our educational programs have also continued to reach diverse populations, including students with special needs. Adult students have returned as performers, displaying their new work on our stage and beyond. We have also seen them apply their puppetry skills on theatrical productions in greater Boston (the Artistic Director of the Lyric Stage company is a Puppet Showplace graduate). Survey responses are uniformly enthusiastic. In the first year of summer camp, a parent wrote the following assessment:
"Our son was perfectly thrilled with the experience. The mastery and charisma of the instructor, the warm and gifted assistants, the healthy doses of recreation and sport and the ambience of a cherished theatre, all combined to be an experience he treasures."

Youth/Family Puppet Performances

The Puppet Showplace presents the magic of puppetry arts by presenting unique and captivating puppet shows created and performed by professional artists drawn from across the country. The theatre is intimate, seating only 95, and is designed specifically for puppetry performance. A different show is presented nearly every week during the appx. 50 week programming season. Families with young children, school and camp groups, and other community organizations attend shows throughout the year. Performances feature many styles of puppetry from marionettes to shadow puppets. Many children are experiencing live theatre for the first time; many adults are astonished by master puppeteers' expert skill and craftsmanship; audiences of all ages are touched by the creativity of the puppetry arts experience.
Budget  $428,000
Category  Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Puppet Shows
Population Served Families Infants to Preschool (under age 5) K-12 (5-19 years)
Program Short-Term Success  Participate in the cultural life of the region.  Share creative experiences with friends and family.  Learn proper audience comportment for live performances.  Enjoy the show, discuss, respond creatively
Program Long-Term Success  Young children will have an imaginative creative cultural experience that they treasure. Families cultural orgs and others will have reliable access to a creative, professional, high-quality cultural destination in their community.
Program Success Monitored By  Nightly report, AD observation, reviews/media, surveys, ticket sales and memberships
Examples of Program Success 
The Puppet Showplace is expanding its reach to a broader audience with expanded programs like Puppet Playtime for toddlers and Summer Camp in partnership with Brookline Recreation for 7 - 10 year-olds.  Both programs sell out on a regular basis.   

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

The biggest challenge is, of course, money.  The theater is expanding its board and sponsorship opportunities for businesses to participate more fully in the programming.

Management


CEO/Executive Director Mr. Thom Yarnal
CEO Term Start May 2013
CEO Email executive@puppetshowplace.org
CEO Experience
Arts leader with exceptional organizational skills and sophisticated business savvy. Diverse business, performing arts, and teaching experience.  Successful record of board development, nonprofit advocacy, and expanding financial and volunteer support for nonprofits.
Thom has been producing live theater for over thirty years. He has produced, directed, choreographed, and taught in theaters and colleges across North America. His puppetry work in New York City included producing the Brazilian puppet troupe Grupo Contadores de Estorias and directing the world premieres of “The Overstuffed Chair” and “The Marriage of Heaven and Hell.” In the Fox Cities of Wisconsin, he developed the largest non-profit theater education program in the state and produced 34 productions including the puppet extravaganza, “James and the Giant Peach.”
Thom has participated in the Eugene O’Neill Puppetry Conference and taught mask performance at several theaters and universities. Since 2010 Thom has been producing traditional dance and music events throughout New England, including “Boston Wassail!” an annual 12thNight celebration in Jamaica Plain.
 
Recent Boston area consulting includes:
Country Dance Society Boston Centre - Strategic Planning
Dorchester House Multi-Service Center - Database Management
Greater Boston Business Council - Event Planning
Lavender Country and Folk Dancers - Volunteer Coordination and Project Management
Musicians of the Old Post Road - Audience Development
Third Sector New England - Interim Leader Consultant
 
Regional Theater management includes:
Syracuse Stage, Syracuse, NY
13th Street Repertory Company, New York City, NY
Theater for a Young Audience, New York City, NY
P.S.1, New York City, NY
Parkside Theatricals, New York City, NY
TOVA Theater, Philadelphia, PA
 
Grant committies:
New Jersey Council on the Arts
Philadlephia Cultural Alliance
Theater Alliance of Greater Philadelphia
Wisconsin Arts Board
Northeast Wisconsin Arts Council
 
Co-CEO --
Co-CEO Term Start --
Co-CEO Email --
Co-CEO Experience --

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
-- -- --

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
-- -- --

Awards

Award Awarding Organization Year
-- -- --

Affiliations

Affiliation Year
-- --
Member of state association of nonprofits? No
Name of state association --

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --

Collaborations

--

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

--

Foundation Comments

--

Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 3
Number of Part Time Staff 6
Number of Volunteers 10
Number of Contract Staff 55
Staff Retention Rate % --

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 0
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 3
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 2
Male: 1
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Yes
Organization has Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers 3
Management Succession Plan --
Business Continuity of Operations Plan --
Organization Policies And Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes
State Registration --

Risk Management Provisions

--

Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? Yes
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually

Governance


Board Chair Ms. Maria Finison
Board Chair Company Affiliation Nonprofit Arts Consultant
Board Chair Term July 2013 - June 2016
Board Co-Chair John Lechner
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation Fablevision
Board Co-Chair Term July 2013 - June 2016

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Paul Vincent Davis Retired Voting
Maria Finison Community Volunteer Voting
Ken Gatto Retired Voting
John Lechner Fablevision Voting
David Levenson Tourism Cares --
Ayanna McPhail Practicing Lawyer Voting
Alice Schaefer Retired Voting
Rebecca Schwartzberg Cambridge School of Weston Voting
Judith Woodruff Community Volunteer --

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Advisory Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 8
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 4
Male: 5
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 2
Board Meeting Attendance % 100%
Written Board Selection Criteria Yes
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 90%
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes

Standing Committees

  • Board Development / Board Orientation
  • Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
  • Executive
  • Finance
  • Human Resources / Personnel
  • Operations

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

Puppet Showplace is expanding the Board of Trustees and has advertised in nonprofit websites and is currently asking donors and patrons to serve on committees as a stepping stone to board service. 

Foundation Comments

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Financials


Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2012 (%)

Fiscal Year July 01, 2014 to June 30, 2015
Projected Income $470,000.00
Projected Expense $470,000.00
Form 990s

2014 990

2013 990

2012 990

2011 990

2010 990

Audit Documents

2014 Review

2013 Review

2012 Review

2011 Review

2010 Review

IRS Letter of Exemption

IRS Letter of Determination

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2014 2013 2012
Total Revenue $448,678 $387,294 $349,472
Total Expenses $413,521 $359,577 $321,769

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2014 2013 2012
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
-- -- $18,328
Government Contributions $0 $0 $0
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified -- -- --
Individual Contributions $77,508 $33,127 $29,651
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue $318,044 $316,493 $272,635
Investment Income, Net of Losses $2 $25 $8
Membership Dues $19,725 $25,009 $18,403
Special Events $23,193 $4,401 $7,078
Revenue In-Kind -- -- $3,369
Other $10,206 $8,239 --

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2014 2013 2012
Program Expense $342,585 $316,642 $273,768
Administration Expense $32,987 $17,042 $17,260
Fundraising Expense $37,949 $25,893 $30,741
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 1.09 1.08 1.09
Program Expense/Total Expenses 83% 88% 85%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 38% 69% 56%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2014 2013 2012
Total Assets $79,918 $77,628 $55,071
Current Assets $61,010 $57,795 $33,067
Long-Term Liabilities $50,173 $83,969 $85,269
Current Liabilities $3,884 $2,955 $6,761
Total Net Assets $25,861 $-9,296 $-36,958

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2014 2013 2012
1st (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
2nd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
3rd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --

Financial Planning

Endowment Value --
Spending Policy N/A
Percentage(If selected) --
Credit Line No
Reserve Fund No
How many months does reserve cover? --

Capital Campaign

Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Purpose --
Campaign Goal --
Capital Campaign Dates -
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount --
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? Yes

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2014 2013 2012
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 15.71 19.56 4.89

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2014 2013 2012
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 63% 108% 155%

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

--

Foundation Comments

Financial summary data in the charts and graphs above is per the organization's Form 990s for fiscal years 2014 and 2013 and per the audited financials for fiscal year 2012. 

Documents


Other Documents

No Other Documents currently available.

Impact

The Impact tab is a section on the Giving Common added in October 2013; as such the majority of nonprofits have not yet had the chance to complete this voluntary section. The purpose of the Impact section is to ask five deceptively simple questions that require reflection and promote communication about what really matters – results. The goal is to encourage strategic thinking about how a nonprofit will achieve its goals. The following Impact questions are being completed by nonprofits slowly, thoughtfully and at the right time for their respective organizations to ensure the most accurate information possible.


1. What is your organization aiming to accomplish?

Puppet Showplace uses the art of puppetry to provide the highest quality entertainment and educational experiences to audiences of all ages.  It is our responsibility to help mold the performing arts audiences of the future, while challenging older audiences to look at the world through fresh eyes.

The theater has spent the Great Recession building its infrastructure and refining its programming.  With the improving economy we are now poised to capitalize on this foundation and expand the reach of the theater. 

Our goal is to make audiences aware of the amazing breadth of expression possible through puppetry and improve the quality of New England's professional puppeteers.  Our classes, workshops and play development programs are all designed to accomplish this. 
 
The measure of our success will be in the changing attitudes of audiences, who will come to see puppetry as an integral part of the performing arts landscape in the region.   

2. What are your strategies for making this happen?

We are currently expanding the board of trustees and developing new sources of income.  With additional resources we can further expand our educational offerings and provide the human resources necessary to staff the expanding programs.

3. What are your organization’s capabilities for doing this?

Puppet Showplace is run by an experienced staff of four early-career professionals with degrees in Arts Administration and Theater Education.  A roster of 50 professional touring puppet companies perform on a regular basis and provide workshops to an audience of 24,000 patrons annually. 

The core audience of Greater Boston residents is made up of parents who remember coming to Puppet Showplace as children and are eager to pass on the sense of wonder they experienced at the theater to their children. 

The volunteer board of trustees reflects the broad demographics of the region and a wide range of ages and professions.  They are a hard working transitional board eager to develop a more professional board that can partner with staff to raise the profile and financial stability of the organization. 

4. How will your organization know if you are making progress?

The theater's progress is measured by the expanding programs, the elimination of debt, and the improvement of the audience experience.  In the past year the debt has been reduced by 50%.  A new treasurer has instituted monthly reporting that is helping staff reach realistic goals on a monthly basis.

The theater's traditional reliance on ticket sales alone is being replace with substantial fundraising efforts and outreach to local businesses for sponsorships.  By fiscal 2016 the theater is hoping to have half of the programming underwritten by sponsors.  At the same time the educational programming will be expanded to provide additional income to the operations.
 


5. What have and haven’t you accomplished so far?

Puppet Showplace Theater has been in existence for 40 years, but as an organization it is entering adolescence.  It is experiencing the growing pains of any organization at this stage of development, but the staff and board all realize the changes that need to be made to accomplish the growth that they strive for.