This is a copy of my speech on the topic “Theatre Management in the development of the Chinese Cultural Industry” at the China International Venue Alley conference in Hangzhou, September 2013.
As many of you know, I have spent more time than any other foreign musical theatre professional — 10 years in China — closely observing, and in many cases, quietly working with, both government and commercial theatre organizations throughout China as this country has introduced and rapidly commenced (although somewhat limited) international practices in theatre management. All levels of national, provincial and municipal Government suggests that funding will continue to erode and reduce and that local theatres needs to find their own ways to be financially self sustaining with a few years. This is the international model. The real problem is to ask how many people in this room of 300 or so General Managers and Chinese Theatre Executives are satisfactorily assured that their respective theatres can be largely self funded by consumer ticket sales, corporate sponsorship, rentals and licensing within a few years? I think the realistic answer is very few. As a rapidly growing industry, we need to think