Funding is a constant concern for D.C.’s nonprofit theaters. While deep-pocketed donors and season subscribers help offset some costs, and online crowdfunding can work in certain situations, theater companies often seek financial support from larger businesses who act as community partners. When No Rules Theatre Company Artistic Director Joshua Morgan decided to present Boeing-Boeing, Marc Camoletti‘s farce about an architect in Paris who’s engaged to three different flight attendants, he knew exactly which corporation to reach out to.
No Rules performs its D.C.-area shows at Signature Theatre in Arlington (it also produces shows in Winston-Salem, N.C.). Boeing is based in Chicago, but employs more than 500 people at its regional headquarters near National Airport. No Rules board members reached out to reps at Boeing who, Morgan says, were eager to engage with the area in a new way. Discussions quickly went beyond the play’s title: When Morgan brought up No Rules’ outreach efforts, particularly among the deaf and hard-of-hearing community, Boeing became more energetic, he says.
Accepting funding from corporations is not a new development for the theater. Morgan says that ticket sales only cover about 50 percent of costs for productions. In addition to contributions from individual donors, the company currently receives funds from Wells Fargo and the GE Foundation.
Both parties are energized by the arrangement: Boeing gets to partner with the only theater company in the U.S. producing its season in two different states; No Rules gets support and attention from a multinational corporation. “It means a lot if people on the outside can see what we do,” Morgan notes.
Boeing-Boeing runs to June 29 at No Rules Theatre Company at Signature Theatre, 4200 Campbell Ave., Arlington.