National Community Theatre Managing Directors' Conference

Sat, Nov 18 – Tue, Nov 21, 2017



At a glance

What: National Community Theatre Managing Directors' Conference

When: Sat, Nov 18-Tues, Nov 21

Where: The Lowell Center on the UW-Madison campus

Cost: $375, or $325 each for groups of 3+ until Nov 1. Then fee increases to $400 per person or $350 per person for groups or 3 or more.


Community theatre managing directors gather at UW-Madison to work together, share stories of challenges and solutions, learn about other theatre operations, and meet colleagues from across the country. This 4-day, biennial conference is held exclusively for individuals employed in an administrative or artistic position in a community theatre organization. Nonparticipating observers will be allowed to register if space permits.

Unique conference features

  • Learn of challenges and solutions faced by theatre directors just like you
  • Share your own expertise, resources, and stories
  • Collect copies of organizational materials from other theatres
  • Receive a detailed profile of each theatre represented at the conference
  • Compile and receive a “2015-2017 Hits and Misses” list
  • Make connections from around the country that you can rely on year-round
  • Spend 4 days on the beautiful UW-Madison campus, one block from scenic Lake Mendota and historic State Street with dozens of shops and restaurants
  • Return to your job feeling inspired and filled with new ideas!


Facilitator(s) guide the group through a managed but vibrant discussion of various topics including marketing strategies, fundraising challenges, staffing issues, outreach activities, and systems for selecting a season. All who wish to contribute may do so by asking questions, identifying specific problems, or providing other useful input.

As part of this professional development experience, all participants are invited to bring copies of their season brochures, staff handbooks, fundraising materials, organizational charts, and promotional materials to share with the group.  Bring or send many copies to share.

2017 Conference schedule

Saturday, Nov 18
5:00pm – 7:00pm Welcome Reception with cash bar (co-hosted by AACT)

Sunday, Nov 19
8:00am Orientation Breakfast
9:00am Morning Session
12:30pm Lunch buffet 
1:30pm Afternoon Session
5:30pm Dinner at The University Club
7:30pm Evening Session
10:00pm Adjourn for the day

Monday, Nov 20 
8:00am "Share Your Wares" Breakfast
9:00am Morning Session
12:30pm Lunch buffet 
1:30pm Afternoon Session
5:30pm Dinner on your own
7:30pm Evening Session with MTI Music Theatre International
10:00pm Adjourn for the day

Tuesday, Nov 21
8:00am Breakfast
9:00am Morning Session
11:30am Conference adjourns

2017 Housing & parking information

Details coming soon

Questions about this conference?

Contact Sarah Marty at

Final thoughts

Special thanks to the American Association of Community Theatre (AACT) Directors Conference Committee and Executive Director Julie Crawford for their continued support of this conference.

We hope to see you in November 2017!