As a non-profit 501(c)3 our staff, board members, and performers are all owners of Top Billing Entertainment Performance Academy. As such, we are all stake holders and all of us partner together to make the shows happen; as the Executive Director I want to make our budgets and processes as transparent as possible. We have been blessed over many years by amazing donations of money and items, but mostly of volunteer hours. We do musicals because we love doing them. Not every child is an athlete, and musicals can uniquely feature performers of all ages with special needs in addition to those with amazing dancing, singing, and acting skills in a team oriented environment. In addition to the athletic and music components, stage musicals help build discipline, confidence, and presentation skills. We love giving the performers a Broadway level experience where every one of them gets a featured solo moment, but to create these professional level productions takes a small army. We are especially proud of the amount of national awards our productions and performers have received as well as the amount of talent scouts and agents that attend our shows to recruit our performers.
If we charged each performer for the instructional time, costumes, sets, theater time, etc. which we provide for each production, the cost per person would range from $500-$700. Instead we ask each performer sell tickets or program ads to help cover the costs. We are working on grants and other income streams, but currently have been making ends meet through donations from our staff and board members. Below is a sample budget of the costs for our summer productions. The biggest factors are the amount of performers in the show, the length of time we are in a theater, and the cost for the performance rights, but with the rehearsal space and other costs added in, we are generally always operating at a deficit.
Again we do the shows because we love doing them. The musical productions are also good advertising for our private lessons and classes (although the majority of our musical performers do not take any) and they help launch our performers to the next level. To keep all this awesomeness going, we truly need each performer and their families to follow through on their commitment of volunteer hours and ticket sales, as well as maintain a positive and supportive learning environment. We are planning for and hoping in the near future that large grants and other income streams will come our way, and would love any help offered, but mainly need everyone to take up their small burden to help make the large musical productions possible. When we all work together, we can make dreams come true.