Year of Award


Document Type

Professional Paper - Campus Access Only

Degree Type

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Name

Fine Arts (Integrated Arts and Education)

Department or School/College

Creative Pulse Program

Committee Chair

Karen Kaufmann

Commitee Members

Michael Butterworth, Randy Bolton


budget, community, leadership, research, theater


University of Montana


My final creative project explores research about what makes a successful community theater and tracks development leading a theater troupe in my hometown of Great Falls, Montana. In my lifetime, three theaters began, thrived and perished in Great Falls. The Green Room, Center Stage and Summer Musicale started as little more than groups of friends who loved theater putting up a show. All three experienced success for several years. However, all three eventually crumbled. Before I built my own troupe, I needed to spend some time planning and learning how to avoid what my predecessors failed to do. I examined my involvement and experiences with these three companies. My reflection, discussions with other theater members, and investigation revealed that lack of experience, inadequate financial understanding and low standards of quality contributed to each of their demises. Following reflection on these companies, I gained insight into what makes a successful theater by interviewing community members who are familiar with theater organizations and the community of Great Falls. With their input and my own reflections I then researched what the experts had to say on the subject. These experts either started their own now prospering companies or they consult with theater companies on how to make an organization better. Equipped with the knowledge from all of these resources, I formulated my own plan to produce quality theater in Great Falls I established the beginnings of a theater organization to produce creative work.

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© Copyright 2009 Janelle Francine Munson