National Community Theatre Managing Directors' Conference

Fri, Nov 3 – Mon, Nov 6, 2017

Information subject to change

At a glance

What: National Community Theatre Managing Directors' Conference

When: Fri, Nov 3 – Mon, Nov 6, 2017

Where: Madison Concourse Hotel, 1 W. Dayton Street, Madison WI

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

or register by phone at 608-262-2451

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

Friday, Nov 3
5:00pm – 7:00pm Welcome Reception with cash bar (co-hosted by AACT)

Saturday, Nov 4
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

Sunday, Nov 5 
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

Monday, Nov 6
8:00am Breakfast
9:00am Morning Session
11:30am Conference adjourns

2017 Housing & parking information

Our conference site for 2017 is the Madison Concourse Hotel, 1 W. Dayton Street, Madison WI (map»), 608-257-6000.

We have reserved a block of Premier Level Guest Rooms with a rate of $149/night.

The room block will be released to the public on October 6, so make your reservations early!

To reserve a room, call the Concourse Hotel at 1-800-356-8293 or reserve online. Whether registering online or over the phone, mention that you are part of the National Community Theatre Directors Conference.

The Concourse offers free onsite parking (while available), a free airport shuttle, and complinentary Wi-Fi.

Questions about this conference?

Contact Sarah Marty at, 608-263-2790, or Maureen Friend at, 608-263-7055.

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!