EDtA Publishes Report Detailing Impact of COVID-19 on School Theatre
Nov 16, 2020
Education

Many Dramatists Guild members have had their shows licensed by school theatre programs. The Educational Theatre Association has surveyed these programs, and recently published a report containing an in-depth analysis of how theatre education in schools around the country has been impacted by the pandemic.

"The economic impact of COVID-19 on the arts and cultural sector across the U.S. is estimated at $13.9 billion (Americans for the Arts, September 2020). Less frequently discussed but also profound is the pandemic’s financial implications on middle and high school theatre programs. Our analysis shows these programs have suffered substantial revenue losses, with 91% of schools forced to cancel performances in spring 2020. For many programs, ticket revenue provides their main source of funding, as 44% receive no financial support from their districts. Money lost to investments in canceled productions coupled with lack of spring ticket sales created a ripple effect on current season budgets. In fact, 22% of programs faced cuts for the 2020-21 academic year. While not unexpected, the cancellations and lost revenue are troubling and have the potential to leave school theatre programs at significant risk in the coming years. Many survey respondents reported 2019-20 revenue losses that were substantially more than they earned, and it is likely the economic downturn will substantially limit other funding support this school year and beyond..."

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