Thanks to donors like you, our students have enjoyed a century of standing ovations. Your continued partnership can keep the applause going in the future.
The performing arts have been central to KU for 100 years. During the past century, the Department of Theatre & Dance has produced more than 1,000 plays for a combined audience of approximately 1 million theatregoers. In addition to performances in Lawrence, our productions have traveled to 11 countries, nine U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and more than 20 of Kansas’ 105 counties. We have graduated nearly 3,000 theatre majors, many of whom have gone on to distinguished careers.
We accomplished this through a combination of creative ingenuity, Midwest work ethic and the generosity of our friends and alumni. As a community, you have supported Jayhawks with scholarships, travel awards, and most recently, the Katherine Pryor Student Emergency Fund. Thanks to generations of faculty, staff, students and donors, the KU Department of Theatre & Dance stands on a foundation of artistic excellence and state-of-the-art pre-professional training.
Now it’s time to invest in the next 100 years. In pursuit of that dream, we are excited to announce the launch of the KU Theatre & Dance Centennial Production Fund, which will ensure the sustainability of our program for years to come. While the university has maintained its support for Theatre and Dance at consistent levels, our costs of production — like those of every theatre in the country — are rising faster than inflation.
As we continue to expand access and inclusion for underrepresented students, patrons with disabilities and other members of our community, we also must continue to invest in technology and trained personnel that allow us to do so safely and equitably.
The Centennial Fund
A robust production program fosters an immersive college experience. Opportunities on and offstage are a critical component of education in the performing arts. Producing our Theatre and Dance season at the standard necessary to prepare students for the next level costs more than $300,000 per year, of which state funding covers less than half. The balance comes from ticket sales, student fees and the generosity of donors. An endowed production fund will allow us to close this gap, making it possible to keep student fees and ticket prices reasonable, ensuring continued access for all.
- Every $10,000 contributed to the Centennial Production Fund will generate approximately $500 per year in perpetuity. That’s five costumes, 10 gallons of paint or 15 hours of live musical accompaniment.
- Every $100,000 raised will cover the annual cost of a fully produced show in the William Inge Memorial Theatre, our black box.
- Raising $1 million will cover the cost of a full-scale musical on the Crafton-Preyer Theatre stage every year, FOREVER.
Regardless of amount, your contributions to the Centennial Production Fund will become part of an endowed principal. The support of an annual revenue stream will ensure we can secure rights to the hottest shows, book the best guest artists and continue to invest in the state-of-the-art technical equipment our students need to be competitive in the 21st century.