The key to success for a community theater organization is to form a team of people who are interested and like-minded to form you organizational structure. A formal organizational structure requires filing information with your State Department of Justice – Charities Division (for Oregon the link is) (www.doj.state.or.us) and with the Federal Government if you choose to become a non-profit organization.
Formal documents needed include Business Name Registry with your State, Articles of Incorporation, organizational By-laws, a Board of Directors, a thoughtful Mission Statement, projections for the annual budget, liability insurance for the organization, a location to rehearse your shows, a location to present your shows, and so on.
If the organization is to become a 501(c)(3), tax-exempt organization, then the proper forms must be filed with the IRS (www.irs.gov/charities/index.html)
If you choose to operate as a ‘not-for-profit’ short of being a 501(c)(3) or a ‘for profit,’ then rules and regulations should be formally written so that everyone involved in the organization understands and complies with its purpose and goal.
We have learned that the greatest success an organization can have is to not only involve the adults, but the youth as well. Many great ideas and work efforts come from our cast members and their peers – artistic, script presentation techniques, plus some great acting techniques and tricks.
Either way, as long as everyone involved is pulling in the same direction, the successes and rewards of contributing to the cultural offerings of your community will be immeasurable.