Seattle Shakespeare Company Ends Year with Significant Budget Surplus

As You Like It celebration
The cast of As You Like It (2012)

Seattle Shakespeare Company closed out our books for the 2011-2012 season and we have ended the year with a positive fund balance. It marks the 11th straight year that we’ve operated with balanced budgets.

“In a year when we transitioned to a new artistic director and took several strategic risks, it is quite a testament to the artistry on our stage and dedicated support of our artists, audiences, donors, board, and staff,” said Managing Director John Bradshaw. The budget surplus is attributed to several factors: subscription and single ticket sales exceeded goal; the company’s annual auction, Bill’s Bash was $60K over goal; and foundation support was higher than expected. The company’s successes over the past few seasons have allowed the theatre to build a reserve fund of $50,000.

“This past season showed just how these amazing classic works can serve as a mirror for issues of the day,” said Artistic Director George Mount. “From the same-sex lovers striving for the right to love who they love in ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ to the Occupy movement reflected in the crowds of ‘Coriolanus’ almost every single play we produced had a corresponding headline that showed up in the news of the day.” Seattle Shakespeare Company expanded its audience capacity by producing two plays at the Playhouse at Seattle Center in addition to two plays at the Center Theatre.

Season ticket sales at the theatre increased for the 4th year in a row, defying national trends in declining subscription sales. “We’re on track again to see an increase with season ticket sales for the upcoming season,” said Bradshaw. “It’s very heartening to see that we can sustain our audience growth while exceeding our financial goals.” Overall attendance for the indoor performances dipped slightly from the previous season which can be attributed to one less production, 14 fewer performances than last year, and a handful of weather-related cancellations.

Seattle Shakespeare Company served more than 52,000 people from across the state in 2011-2012. The company’s programs included 90 indoor performances, 36 free outdoor Wooden O performances, 65 state-wide touring performances, and a range of camps for youth and in-school residencies.

“What many people may not know is this is not an anomaly for us,” said Bradshaw.  “We have seen consistent organizational growth while balancing our budgets for years, all while fulfilling our mission. We steward are resources well, have amazing support and enthusiasm from the community, and plan strategically for our future. We’re proud to serve the people of this city and this state. Sometimes steadfast and solid does win the race in the long run.”