SF Theatres Cutting Back

The San Francisco Chronicle has pulled all the news about Bay Area theatres cutting their budgets, their staff and their seasons into one article. There’s two ways to read it: a depressing story about the economy hitting theatres hard, or an encouraging story about how theatres prepared for a downturn they knew was coming.

Some statistics from the article:

  • American Conservatory Theater: eliminated three high-level management positions, reduced its budget by about $1.5 million, suspended its Second Stage and First Look productions.
  • Magic Theatre: reduced staff and postponed one of its six shows until next season.
  • Shakespeare Santa Cruz: 2009 season cut back from five shows to three.
  • American Musical Theatre of San Jose: closed.

But the majority of the article focuses on companies that are doing okay, for now:

[M]ost local theater administrators had foreseen the need for extra-conservative planning. Most take a deep breath before saying their companies are in good shape — so far. “Tightened belts” is one of the most common metaphors in use. “Knock on wood” is another.

Read the rest here.