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: $300 individual, or $275 each for groups of 3+ until November 1. After November 1, fee increases to $350 individual or $325 each for groups of 3+. Meals and breaks included in fees.

Registration is closed.

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 – 6:30pm Welcome Reception with cash bar (co-hosted by AACT)

Saturday, Nov 4
8:00am Breakfast provided
9:00am Morning Session
12:30pm Lunch provided - "Share Your Wares" Tables
1:30pm Afternoon Session
5:30pm Adjourn for the day. Evening open for small group meals on your own and attending arts events.

Sunday, Nov 5 
8:00am Breakfast provided
9:00am Morning Session
12:30pm Lunch provided 
1:30pm Afternoon Session
5:30pm Group Dinner at The Concourse
7:30pm Evening Session
10:00pm Adjourn for the day

Monday, Nov 6
8:00am Breakfast provided
9:00am Morning Session
Noon 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 Concourse is offering free onsite parking (while available), a free airport shuttle, and complimentary Wi-Fi to all Directors' Conference participants.

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.

Questions about this conference?

Contact Sarah Marty at, 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!