Melbourne Theatre Company has announced that a dazzling result at the box office in 2013 has helped the company deliver a sound financial result that, accompanied by a series of other achievements, has added a sparkle to the company’s Diamond Jubilee celebration.
In 2013 MTC generated $23.2 million revenue, comprising 71.5% ticket sales, 9.3% net government grants, and other revenue. Having generated the highest box office in its 60 year history at $13.5 million net – a margin of $750,000 over the previous record year of 2011 – and the highest number of single ticket (non-subscription) sales in a decade, MTC returned a net surplus of $37,232.
“A great theatre company must find a large broad audience and, through it, have impact for good and shed insight on our whole society,” said MTC Chairman Terry Moran AC.
“In my view, MTC has achieved a sustained contribution to Australian and Victorian culture shared by only a handful of cultural organisations. For our sixtieth year, the company had a new leadership team of Artistic Director Brett Sheehy and Executive Director Virginia Lovett and it was gratifying to see the public respond so positively to their inaugural artistic programme.”
“The previous team of Simon Phillips and Ann Tonks saw a succession of artistic and box office triumphs, and they were a hard act to follow; yet our box office has increased and the critical and audience reception of the shows was wonderful.”
“Season 2013 became one of the most successful in our long history, providing good evidence that theatregoers will get behind a strong artistic vision and follow it in new directions. It also meant that Derek Young, who stepped down as MTC Chair at the end of 2013, could set sail on a high tide after 19 years on the MTC Board, nine as Chair.”
Executive Director Virginia Lovett said, “2013 marked significant change for Australia’s longest running theatre company; a new leadership team began its inaugural year, and we celebrated our sixtieth anniversary. With such a pedigree and foundation, it was the year for the Company to confidently and excitedly face the future with renewed energy and vision.
“As the state’s flagship theatre company, MTC has a responsibility to lead, foster and engage the wider community. In 2013, MTC reached out, not only through programs such as Open Door and the NEON Festival, but in every aspect of our day-to-day approach to making theatre for Melburnian and Australian arts lovers. I am proud that we have done all this and also achieved a very sound financial result.”
Among MTC’s key achievements in 2013 are:
- MTC’s subscriber base – the biggest theatre subscriber base in Australia – remained steady at 19,816 subscribers.
- The company presented a total of 677 performances with total attendances of 263,000, including 11% from regional Victoria and interstate.
- It produced 12 mainstage productions, including 5 World Premieres of Australian works and 5 Australian Premieres, commissioning 8 Australian writers and producing three of their plays in 2013.
- Reflecting a renewed commitment to theatre for young people and families, MTC presented its first family show in over a decade, together with one education show. 8,656 students attended MTC shows and 1,453 students participated in learning activities.
- It announced its first international tour in 30 years – the invitation to present David Williamson’s new play Rupert at Washington DC’s Kennedy Center in 2014; presented its first international co-production One Man, Two Guvnors; and produced one interstate tour, Red to Brisbane.
- MTC established new connections and collaborations with National Theatre of Great Britain, Arts Centre Melbourne, Melbourne Festival, Melbourne Comedy Festival, Queensland Theatre Company, Belvoir Theatre Company, Multicultural Arts Victoria, City of Melbourne, Tourism Victoria and Destination Melbourne, and played an active role in the development of the Melbourne Arts Precinct Blueprint
- It inaugurated the NEON Festival of Independent Theatre, collaborating with 5 independent companies who gave 52 performances, sold 6,477 tickets (35% first-time attendees) and remitted 100% of the $121,000 box office to the companies involved.
- MTC played a significant role in the theatre industry ecology, employing 95 actors and 71 creative artists, and a total of 450 casual and fulltime staff.
- It hosted 8 graduate directors and designers and 14 stage management, design and directorial secondments.
- It established MTC Connect, a multicultural outreach program, and the new Women Directors Program.