Monday, September 29, 2008

Mission Statements

It's fun to play mad libs:

(theatre company name) is dedicated to the production of (adjective) plays that (adjective) the human condition. Through (verb), (verb), and (noun) we (verb) with audiences to produce the best theatrical experience possible. Through innovative (noun) we present the stories that matter to (group of people).

It's the "we do plays" mission statement. Anyone who has spent time around the theatre knows about the weak mission statements that try to set the company apart from those around them when really there is nothing special about what they do.

So what is the use of a mission statement?

1) Out line the core values on which the company is build. Be specific: these are the philosophical tenants that you will go to bat for every time! (See Ben Cameron's address on value)
2) Describe how the company's pursuit of those values set it apart from the companies around it - and how they are able to do it better.
3) Summarize the obstacles that stand in your way and outline what needs to be done - and perhaps why.

This statement becomes very important as a part of a case for support and soliciting charitable donations. Beyond that, the only real use is the leading statement on a press release. However, this does not mean that this is not one of the most important things your organization will do. It sets the course for all other actions that you will take. This is not a one time only thing either - this is a statement that grows and evolves as the company does and in perspective to the changes in society and audience.

As you sit down to form your theatre company and write your mission, if you find that you are frustrated and having a hard time putting this together, then you are in trouble. This should be an act of love. This should be something that every member of your organization is able to immediately spout out three or four of the core values - if not the whole mission itself. Use this as both a selling point and a rallying point. It should reflect your passion and the need of your message within the community.

Happy Birthday: Miguel de Cervantes (1547-1616)

No comments:

Post a Comment