There you are sitting in a theatre watching a play. You say to yourself, this play could be so much better if they would do that different. Of course the designers could do things differently, they might have even considered the same things that you have, the only thing wrong with that is that type of stuff takes money. What most people don’t realize is that the theatres in Wyoming are very under funded. Theatres in Wyoming are not able to support themselves alone they need outside funding.
Every play that is put on has a budget. This budget is split into different amounts for each department in the theatre. This is all of the money that they’re allotted. The department has to try extremely hard to stay under budget. Of course this is common sense. Except this is hard to do when a performance needs things and the set needs things. All of these things that the departments need and want costs money. This is why the technical director has to decide exactly what the show can have to make it great and what it can’t. That’s why people say that the play could be better if We just don’t have the funding.
People that agree with the statement theatres in Wyoming are not able to support themselves alone have their own reasons for this belief. Tammy Jackson of Cody says, “No because educational and non- profit theatre isn’t a high priority among the entities that primarily fund them.” I agree with this statement. Until there is a bigger interest in the theatre this will always be a problem. If the theatres were supported the same as sports then this problem wouldn’t be such a problem (Eckardt). Chuck Erven responds to this statement by saying, “No. Audiences are limited, Wyoming has a lower arts endowment and private giving than any other state.”
Some people disagree with my opinion. Some people think that the theatres in Wyoming can support themselves. Ann Eckardt says, “Yes, they can but it would be the equivalent of substance farming. The learning and the growth could barely be measured.” I think she’s saying that because the theatre is such a learning experience that anything can and will happen to help. This means that no matter how much a person thinks they know there is always something that a person can learn. The theatre world changes everyday with new technologies popping up. Such things like new lights and different types of ways to make scenery.
The theatres in Wyoming isn’t just under funded it’s very under funded. There is an association called the National Endowments for the Arts (NEA) that has the power to decide what states get money for their theatre programs. This program has the power to disperse $5,000,000 for Arts Education Partnership Grants (NEA: Arts in Education), $5,610,000 for Musical Theatre (NEA: Opera- Musical Theatre), $8,825,000 for Theatre Programs (NEA: Theatre Programs), and $27,467,000 for Basic State Grants (NEA: State and Regional Programs). Out of all of this money the NEA divides it up among different states. Out of all of this money Wyoming doesn’t get a single dime (NEA: Art Forms). This isn’t fair. Most of this money goes to California and New York. They chose to give this money to companies and colleges that can definitely support themselves and still have money to spare. I think they need to consider giving money to the states that have the potential to have good companies if they were given a chance. One such state would be Wyoming. Wyoming gets about 80% to 90% of its money from the state money. This money goes towards salaries and running costs (Erven). There are a few forms of funding available for Wyoming. One such funding is State Arts Council National Endowment for Arts (Erven). The one major grant that CWC puts in for is the “Wyoming Arts Council” (Erven).
There are a lot of ways that we can solve this problem in Wyoming, some of which have been tried. Some of them work and some of them don’t. One person thinks that we could “Seek corporate sponsorships and partnerships much like athletics have done” (Jackson). This is where a