Pre-Meeting Workshops

As part of its continuing effort to provide professional development for administrative leaders of theatre programs, NAST will offer two workshops immediately prior to the 2018 Annual Meeting. Please review the descriptions and information below regarding fees and registration.

Pre-Meeting Workshop
for New and Aspiring Theatre Administrators in Higher Education

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Wednesday, March 28, 9:00 a.m. – 3:45 p.m.

Pre-Meeting Workshop
for Seasoned Theatre Administrators in Higher Education

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Wednesday, March 28, 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m

Pre-Meeting Workshop for New and Aspiring Theatre Administrators in Higher Education

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

9:00 a.m. – 3:45 p.m.

Registration is required for this workshop.
A separate fee of $150 is required, which covers materials, refreshments, and a box lunch.
The workshop fee must be paid at the time of registration.

This workshop has been designed to address several of the most important areas of concern for theatre leaders in the early years of their administrative careers. Faculty members with an interest in administration, and those aspiring to take on administrative roles in the future, are also welcome to attend. Each segment will involve a basic briefing on a topic, followed by ample opportunity for interaction and discussion. The content will focus on principles and approaches applicable to all types of institutions.


Wednesday, March 28

9:00 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.

Introductions, Orientation, and Welcome from the President

9:15 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

Administration as Performance

Like an actor preparing to perform on stage, the savvy arts administrator knows that in theatre, as in life, the best performances are based on depth and application of knowledge, adequate preparation, a cohesive vision, a positive attitude, and the ability to learn and grow from mistakes. This session will focus on the role of the theatre executive as an administrator, present ways to develop and enhance interpersonal and group communication, and discuss personnel challenges and strategies to address them.

10:15 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Establishing Connections in the Academic Community

Connections developed beyond the theatre unit can be of great benefit to the theatre program. Today’s theatre administrator must establish and cultivate relationships among the theatre unit and academic communities within and beyond the institution; develop strong and long-lasting relationships with other administrators and community leaders; design approaches that can be used to explain the activities of the theatre program and advocate for support within the academic community; and implement good internal practices to be used when representing the theatre unit on and off campus.

Several short examples describing successes and failures will assist attendees to explore ways to find their own approach to establishing and cultivating relationships. These short case studies will serve as springboards to open conversation among attendees.

11:15 a.m. – 12:00 noon

Financial Management: Important Considerations/Helpful Ideas

Theatre programs are expensive to build, manage, sustain, and maintain. Financial management involves attention to a multitude of issues ranging from facilities management, to resource allocation, to setting faculty compensation, to establishing and maintaining scholarships, and many others. Each issue poses its own pressure that must be considered in the budgeting process.

This session will highlight common issues encountered by theatre administrators, propose helpful suggestions for dealing with such issues, and offer guidance with regard to resources that theatre administrators can study which may provide useful information and helpful insight.

Specific topics to be discussed include budgeting for “the knowns” and affording the unexpected, prioritizing and managing technological costs, long-range financial planning, fiscal accountability, and approaches to ensure fiscal stability.

12:00 noon – 1:00 p.m.

Box Lunch and Open Discussion

1:00 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.

Goals, Planning, and Time Management

This session will address the value of and procedures for establishing realistic goals and objectives as the basis for effective long-range planning and time management. Starting with the premise that one person or theatre unit cannot do everything, goal setting is an effective way to establish both personal and community priorities. When successful, this effort focuses planning. Time management is an increasingly important concern for all administrators and faculty. Successful administrators learn multiple skills associated with responding to requests of all types efficiently and effectively without spending more time than is absolutely necessary. Examples of successful ways to think about time and to plan for its effective use will be presented.

2:00 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.

Working with Faculty

While an administrator’s role involves guiding curricular developments, budgeting and financial management, and operating within institutional policies, many administrators find that their already busy days can be filled with a variety of issues related to faculty – poor performance, power struggles, and resistance to moving the department forward to adapt to changing needs and expectations. This session will explore some of these issues and consider approaches and strategies for handling the many and disparate personnel-related challenges faced by theatre administrators. Attendees will discuss practical tips for creating pleasant environments and promoting healthy and productive relationships among faculty. Broad conversation regarding the issues should result in a plethora of ideas, which should assist administrators to address their own specific institutional challenges.

3:00 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.

Working with Deans and Other Administrators

One of the many facets of administration is the necessity to work with other administrators in various contexts and in related and nonrelated disciplines. The assistance of peer administrators can be invaluable in assisting a theatre administrator to address the aspirations of the theatre unit. This session will address several critical principles and issues associated with developing rapport with fellow administrators. Questions will be considered, such as: How can the theatre administrator establish rapport with fellow administrators? What actions and activities can enhance established rapport? What role can or should other administrators play in supporting the theatre unit’s initiatives?

3:45 p.m.

Adjournment of the Pre-Meeting Workshop

Participants are invited to attend the Reception for Pre-Meeting Attendees (5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.).

Pre-Meeting Workshop for Seasoned Theatre Administrators in Higher Education

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Registration is required for this workshop.
There is no fee for this workshop.

The responsibilities of the theatre administrator are diverse and multifaceted. Each day brings new challenges and opportunities. Over time, the roles and responsibilities of an administrator often expand, change, and evolve. This pre-meeting workshop, especially designed for seasoned administrators, will include both short presentations and discussions related to various issues affecting the work of theatre administrators. Topics will be established by the workshop leaders. Seasoned administrators from all types of institutions and from all levels of administration are welcome.

Participants are invited to attend the Reception for Pre-Meeting Attendees (5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.).