Here's a Thought…
I would first like to start off by thanking everyone who supports the Athens Drama Club and watched our performance of GodSpell on the 8th, 9th, and 10th of April 2011. I would also like to tip my hat to Ms. Vina Miller, the pit, and all others who stayed every night to help out. This work of art could not have been achieved without your talents.
I am a senior at the Athens Area High School, who was chosen for the role of Judas in our performance of GodSpell. As an Athens FBLA member I had a natural curiosity of the finances and business behind our school play. When I talked to my teacher and viewed our contracts with the owners of the GodSpell play, I was shocked to find that the rights to perform the play alone are over $3,200.
When our performances were finished, I couldn’t figure out why our school was performing plays that make roughly $2,200 of revenue and cost us roughly $4,200 total. Music departments don’t have the kind of money needed to support a bill such as this. After all, our entire music department receives less than $5,000 a year to be split up among the band, orchestra, chorus and drama department.
I began to question what kind of example our school is showing when a business can’t come close to breaking even when there are no employee expenses and they have a free team of marketing students at their disposal, aka Marketing/Business Management class. Should we even have a class to teach students about a business that can't make a profit?
By not using what our school has at hand we have cost the taxpayers another $2,000 dollars. If our school were to make our own play and advertise with our marketing students some quick numbers will show we could realistically make $8,000-$10,000 profit. This would make our music department financially independent from the schools budget. Just simply by using our resources our plays could at least break even and with some extra work we could make the music department significantly better.
Although my calculations have only been for our plays, my idea could be used in all of our schools’ classes that produce a service or product such as; reflections, pottery, art, CADD, and services from students at Vo-tech. If we can make all of our classes financially independent from the school’s budget through marketing and production, the only thing left for the school to finance is teacher wages and building upkeep.
Ethan J. Matthews