Theatre Communications Group

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Theatre Communications Group
Theatre Communications Group Logo.jpg
Theatre Communications Group Logo
Founded 1961
Type Theatrical
Headquarters New York City, New York, United States

Theatre Communications Group (TCG) is a non-profit service organization dedicated to nurturing, strengthening and promoting professional non-profit theatre in the United States.[1] As of 2014, TCG has over 700 member theatres located in 47 states; 172,000 individual members; and 150 University, Trustee and other business affiliates.[2] TCG is currently headquartered at 520 Eighth Avenue in mid-town Manhattan.[3]

TCG offers training, networking and research opportunities to its members, including their annual Fiscal Survey and the resulting publication, the TCG TheatreFacts Report.[4] In addition, TCG awards over $2 million in grants each year to nonprofit theatres and individual theatre artists through philanthropic partnerships, including the MetLife/TCG A-ha! Program.[5]

Each year, the organization hosts a number of events for its members on special topics in the nonprofit theatrical industry, including the Fall Forum for Governance in New York City [6] and the annual TCG National Conference, held in a different American city each year.[1]

The organization also publishes American Theatre magazine and ARTSEARCH, a theatrical employment bulletin,[7] as well as trade editions of play scripts, including ten winners of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

TCG was awarded Tony Honors for Excellence in Theatre in 2005.[2]


The Goodman Theatre in Chicago, one of the original founding members of TCG

Theatre Communications Group was established in 1961 with a grant from the Ford Foundation in response to their then arts and humanities director W. McNeil Lowry’s desire to foster communication and cooperation among the growing community of regional theatres throughout the country.[8] Though initially run as a Ford Foundation administered program, TCG independently incorporated in 1964.[9]

The organization began with a membership of 15 regional and community theatres, and nine university drama departments under the leadership of Pat Brown.[10] In its first decade of operation, other leaders included Michael Mabry, Joseph Zeigler and Hartney Arthur.[11] In 1972, Peter Zeisler was named Executive Director, a position he would hold for 23 years.[12] Under Zeisler’s leadership, TCG created many of its longest-running programs, including annual National Conference, American Theatre Magazine and TCG Books.[11]

After Zeisler retired in 1995, the organization was lead, respectively, by John Sullivan, (1993-1997) [13] Ben Cameron (1996-2006), and Joan Channick (1999-2006).[14] Under the leadership of Cameron and Channick, TCG was named the United States Center for the International Theater Institute in 1999 [15] and Tony Honors for Excellence in 2005.[2]

Teresa Eyring began her tenure as Executive Director of the organization in 2007, and continues in this position today.[16]


Theatre Communications Group offers three forms of membership: theatre, individual, and affiliate.[2]


To be eligible for a TCG theatre membership, a theatre must be a nonprofit organization with Federal tax-exempt status and fulfill the following standards of professionalism, as defined by TCG:

  • Minimum operating budget of $50,000 is the most recent fiscal year.
  • Paid professional leadership
  • Artist payroll of at least 15 weeks or 50 performances
  • Minimum cumulative rehearsal time of 30 hours per individual production.
  • One year of continuous operation as a distinct organization.
  • Recognized community impact.
  • Demonstrated diversity in funding sources.
  • Actor compensation of Actors’ Equity minimum or at least 20% of the organization’s total operating budget.[17]

TCG member theatres are subdivided into six groups, according to annual operating budget size:

  • Group 1 ($499,999 or less)
  • Group 2 ($500,000 to $999,999)
  • Group 3 ($1,000,000 to $2,999,999)
  • Group 4 ($3,000,000 to $4,999,999)
  • Group 5 ($5,000,000 to $9,999,999)
  • Group 6 ($10,000,000 and above)

Budget groups are used to determine Member theatres annual TCG Membership dues and in industry research conducted by the organization.[18]

Benefits for member theatres include invitations to TCG industry events, including the TCG National conference; eligibility for all TCG grant programs; participation in and access to all TCG-lead research, including the annual TheatreFacts report; discounts on listings in TCG publications, including American Theatre and ARTSEARCH; and special access to TCG staff and facilities, among others.[19]


Individual membership to Theatre Communications Group is open to all interested parties and can be obtained through an annual membership fee. Individual member benefits include subscriptions to American Theatre Magazine and IM Wire, a bimonthly e-newsletter; discounts on TCG publications, including TCG Books and ARTSEARCH; and access to ticket discounts at TCG member theatres.[20]


Affiliate membership to Theatre Communications Group is available in the following forms: business affiliates, funder affiliates, university affiliates, not-for-profit affiliates, international affiliates, and trustee affiliates. Benefits for affiliate members include access to Theatre Communication Groups individual members and member theatres in the form of networking and advertising opportunities; and access to TCG publications, research data, and selected services.[21]

Services and events[edit]

Theatre Communications Group primary activities include providing networking opportunities for members; conducting field research and publishing findings on the American not-profit-theatre industry; coordinating professional development; organization and individual grantmaking; and industry advocacy.[22] Research activities, which are conducted among member theatres, include an annual fiscal survey and a publishing of findings in TheatreFacts,[23] an annual staff salary survey; and periodic education and governance surveys.[24]

Annual grantmaking activities, conducted in conjunction with foundation partners, include the New Generations program, supporting mentorship of international theatre professionals and artists;[25] The Fox Foundation Resident Actor Fellowships;[26] the MetLife/TCG A-ha! Program, supporting artistic and managerial innovation at not-for-profit theatres;[27] the Leadership U[niversity] Program;[28] the internationally focused Global Connections program;[29] and the Audience (R)Evolutions program, in support of innovations in audience development.[30]

Theatre Communications Group’s member networking activities are primarily conducted in the form of annual events. The largest of these events are the Fall Forum on Governance and the National Conference. The Fall Forum on Governance is held in New York City and is programmed around a different central theme each year. Past themes have included “Investing in Vitality,” “Leading the Charge,” and “Capitalizing an Art Form.” The National Conference is held in a different city in the United States each year and is also programmed around a central theme. Recent TCG National Conferences have included “Learn to Teach” in Dallas, TX;[31] ); “Model the Movement” in Boston, MA;[32] and “TCG at 50: What If…” in Los Angeles, CA.[33]

Publishing activities[edit]

TCG Books[edit]

Founded in 1984, TCG Books is considered the largest independent publisher of dramatic literature in North America. As of 2014, it has published the work of 235 playwrights and theatre professionals in over 1,600 titles, including 13 winners of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, one winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, as well as numerous Tony, Drama Desk and OBIE Award winners. TCG Books' authors include Annie Baker, Eric Bogosian, Peter Brook, Caryl Churchill, Will Eno, Athol Fugard, Quiara Alegria Hudes, David Henry Hwang, Tony Kushner, Tracy Letts, David Lindsay-Abaire, David Mamet, Lynn Nottage, Suzan-Lori Parks, Sarah Ruhl, John Patrick Shanley, Stephen Sondheim, Paula Vogel, Thornton Wilder, August Wilson, and many more. TCG also serves as the exclusive U.S. distributor for Playwrights Canada Press of Toronto, Padua Playwrights Press of Los Angeles, New York publishers 53rd State Press, Chance Magazine, League of Professional Theatre Women, PAJ Publications, Martin E. Segal Theatre Center Publications and Playscripts, and London publishers Nick Hern Books, Aurora Metro Publications and Oberon Books.[34]


Theatre Communications Group publishes American Theater Magazine, a periodical focused on the non-profit professional theatre, and ARTSEARCH, a career and job search resource for performing arts professionals.[35] American Theatre Magazine is published 10 times a year and distributed to TCG members free of charge.[36] ARTSEARCH is published digitally and released on a quarterly basis.[37]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Herbert, James (April 29, 2013). "Theater Conference Comes To San Diego". The San Diego Union-Tribune. 
  2. ^ a b c d Volz p. 199-200 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Volz" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  3. ^ Baker p. i
  4. ^ Boehm, Mike (December 7, 2012). "Nonprofit theaters' fiscal mood improving, national survey shows". Los Angeles Times. 
  5. ^ Maier, Marissa (August 24, 2012). "Funding Theater Across the Nation". Backstage. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  6. ^ Lancourt, Joan. "A Report on the TCG Fall Forum". StageSource. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  7. ^ "Publications". Theatre Communications Group. Retrieved 19 November 2012. 
  8. ^ Schanke p. 188
  9. ^ Hoffman, Theodore (Winter 1968). "A Hard Times Letter to TCG". TDR. MIT Press. 12 (2): 21–27. JSTOR 1125315. 
  10. ^ Evans, Everett (March 11, 2003). "Deaths: Pat Brown, led Alley Theatre". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  11. ^ a b Cameron, Ben (December 2004). "Auld Lang Zeisler". American Theatre. Retrieved 11 March 2014. 
  12. ^ Carr, David (January 19, 2005). "Peter Zeisler, 81, Co-Founder of Guthrie Theater, Dies". The New York Times. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  13. ^ King p. 186
  14. ^ Armbrust, Roger (June 19, 1998). "Ben Cameron: TCG's New Exec Tackling Nonprofits' Challenges". Backstage. 39 (25): 3. 
  15. ^ Fowler, Nancy (October 5, 2011). "Take Five: Shakespeare Festival director gains global perspectives in China". St. Louis Beacon. 
  16. ^ Conklin, Aaron R. (August 26, 2013). "Stage Write: An Outsider's Perspective on APT". Madison Magazine. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  17. ^ "Theatre Membership: Eligibility". Theatre Communications Group. Theatre Communications Group. Retrieved 31 March 2014. 
  18. ^ Giraud Voss, Zannie; Glenn B. Voss (October 22, 2013). "Profiled Theatres" (PDF). TheatreFacts 2012: A report on the fiscal state of the professional not-for-profit American theatre: 22. Retrieved 31 March 2014. 
  19. ^ "Theatre Membership: Benefits". Theatre Communications Group. Theatre Communications Group. Retrieved 31 March 2014. 
  20. ^ "Individual Membership". Theatre Communications Group. Theatre Communications Group. Retrieved 31 March 2014. 
  21. ^ "Affiliate Membership". Theatre Communications Group. Theatre Communications Group. Retrieved 31 March 2014. 
  22. ^ Williams, Albert (August 19, 2009). "Steppenwolf's Martha Lavey named president of TCG board". Chicago Reader. Retrieved 1 April 2014. 
  23. ^ Vella, Allan (January 7, 2014). "Is Your Nonprofit Theater Headed for its Final Curtain Call?". Nonprofit Quarterly. Retrieved 1 April 2014. 
  24. ^ Bradley, Tiffany (March 29, 2011). "Open Arts Network Partner Profile: Theatre Communications Group". Fractured Atlas Blog. Fractured Atlas, Inc. Retrieved 1 April 2014. 
  25. ^ Armbrust, Roger (June 23, 2004). "TCG New Generations Program Deadline Set". Backstage. Retrieved 1 April 2014. 
  26. ^ Preston, Rohan (October 7, 2013). "Actor Sun Mee Chomet receives national award". Star Tribune. Retrieved 1 April 2014. 
  27. ^ Maier, Marissa (August 24, 2012). "Funding Theater Across the Nation". Backstage. Retrieved 1 April 2014. 
  28. ^ Toppman, Lawrence (August 24, 2012). "Charlotte theater director wins $75,000 prize". Charlotte Observer. Retrieved 1 April 2014. 
  29. ^ "Bond Street Theatre Breaks Ground in Myanmar". Broadway World. Wisdom Digital Media. Retrieved 1 April 2014. 
  30. ^ "Su Teatro Receives National Grant". North Denver Tribune. February 6, 2014. Retrieved 1 April 2014. 
  31. ^ Taitte, Lawson (May 3, 2012). "Theatre Communications Group to hold 2013 conference in Dallas". Dallas News. Retrieved 1 April 2014. 
  32. ^ Brown, Joel (June 14, 2012). "Chicago's Hypocrites, local playwrights featured at Emerging America Festival". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 1 April 2014. 
  33. ^ Johnson, Reed (June 12, 2011). "'Theaterpalooza' hits L.A. area in June". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 1 April 2014. 
  34. ^ "Programs and services". About Us. Theatre Communications Group. Retrieved 14 April 2014. 
  35. ^ BWW News Desk (October 10, 2012). "TCG Books Releases THE OBERON ANTHOLOGY OF CONTEMPORARY AMERICAN PLAYS, VOL. 1". Broadway World. Retrieved 14 April 2014. 
  36. ^ Marks, Peter (February 1, 2013). "Broadway, coming to a nonprofit theater near you". The Washington Post. Retrieved 14 April 2014. 
  37. ^ "The ARTSEARCH". Publications. Theatre Communications Group. Retrieved 14 April 2014. 


  • Baker, Annie (2012). The Vermont Plays. New York, NY: TCG Books. ISBN 978-1-55936389-1. 
  • King, Jr., Woodie (November 2003). The Impact of Race: Theatre & Culture. Applause Theatre & Cinema Books. p. 186. ISBN 978-1557835796. 
  • Sheila McNerney Anderson (March 2007). "The Founding of Theater Arts Philanthropy in America: W. McNeil Lowry and the Ford Foundation". In Robert A. Schanke. Angels in the American Theatre: Patrons, Patronage & Philanthropy (1st ed.). Southern Illinois University Press. pp. 173–190. ISBN 978-0809327478. 
  • Volz, Jim (June 2013). How to Run a Theatre: Creating, Leading and Managing Professional Theatre. New York: Bloomsbury Metheun Drama. pp. 199–200. ISBN 978-1-4081-3474-0. 

External links[edit]