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Arts, Culture, Humanities : Performing Arts

A Contemporary Theatre

In your life. In our name. And on our stage.

two stars

77.98

Kreielsheimer Place 700 Union Street
Seattle, WA 98101
tel: (206) 292-7660   Web Site
EIN: 91-0787792

Board Leadership
Gary Houlahan
Chair

CEO
Becky Witmer
Managing Director

  Score
(out of 100)
Rating
Overall Score & Rating 77.98 two stars
  Financial 69.13 one star
  Accountability & Transparency 96.00 four stars
This rating was published 02/01/2019 and includes data from FY2017, the most recent 990 received at that time.

A Contemporary Theatre (ACT) is dedicated to producing relevant works on contemporary themes. ACT nurtures new and seasoned artists, collaborates with promising playwrights and local performing artists working in a variety of media, and connects audiences to many stages of the creative process. Founded in 1965, ACT was Seattle's first theatre dedicated to producing contemporary plays - and in this commitment, ACT made a unique and essential contribution to Seattle's theatre scene. ACT is dedicated to the creation of New Works and the development of new art. ACT supports these endeavors, critical to our mission, through commissions for new plays, the production of 49 World Premieres in our history, and supporting young art organizations through professional mentorship in our ACTLab. Additionally, our Young Playwrights Program (YPP) provides arts education for young people and encourages the work of young artists.

A Contemporary Theatre (ACT) is dedicated to producing relevant works on contemporary themes. ACT nurtures new and seasoned artists, collaborates with promising playwrights and local performing artists working in a variety of media, and connects audiences to many stages of the creative process. Founded in 1965, ACT was Seattle's first theatre dedicated to producing contemporary plays - and in this commitment, ACT made a unique and essential contribution to Seattle's theatre scene. ACT is dedicated to the creation of New Works and the development of new art. ACT supports these endeavors, critical to our mission, through commissions for new plays, the production of 49 World Premieres in our history, and supporting young art organizations through professional mentorship in our ACTLab. Additionally, our Young Playwrights Program (YPP) provides arts education for young people and encourages the work of young artists.

Financial

one star

69.13

Accountability & Transparency

four stars

96.00

This rating was published 02/01/2019 and includes data from FY2017, the most recent 990 received at that time.
Overall Rating Chart
  Program Expenses
(Percent of the charity's total expenses spent on the programs
and services it delivers)
77.6%
  Administrative Expenses 14.3%
  Fundraising Expenses 7.9%
  Fundraising Efficiency $0.15
  Working Capital Ratio (years) < 0.01
  Program Expenses Growth 1.8%
  Liabilities to Assets 171.5%
All data for Financial Performance Metrics calculations was provided by A Contemporary Theatre on recent 990s filed with the IRS.
All data for Financial Performance Metrics calculations was provided by A Contemporary Theatre on recent 990s filed with the IRS.

Highly Rated

Charity Name & State Overall Score Overall Rating
A Contemporary Theatre (WA) 77.98 two stars
Honolulu Theatre for Youth (HI) 90.97 four stars
Seattle Children's Theatre (WA) 86.49 three stars
Z Space Studio (CA) 85.67 three stars
Kansas City Repertory Theatre (MO) 85.33 three stars

Compare These Charities (Highly Rated)

REVENUE  
Contributions  
   Contributions, Gifts & Grants $2,493,815
   Federated Campaigns $0
   Membership Dues $0
   Fundraising Events $541,903
   Related Organizations $55,535
   Government Grants $144,700
Total Contributions $3,235,953
   Program Service Revenue $3,265,849
Total Primary Revenue $6,501,802
   Other Revenue $815,568
TOTAL REVENUE $7,317,370
   
EXPENSES  
   Program Expenses $5,025,536
   Administrative Expenses $836,967
   Fundraising Expenses $422,562
TOTAL FUNCTIONAL EXPENSES $6,285,065
   
Payments to Affiliates $0
Excess (or Deficit) for the year $1,032,305
   
Net Assets $-1,308,811

Program names and associated costs are listed for the top programs as reported on the charity's most recently filed Form 990. The top programs displayed will include the largest three programs, or those programs covering at least 60% of the charity's total expenses, whichever comes first.

Program Name Amount Spent % of Program Expenses
Play Production $3,388,194 67.4%
A Christmas Carol $933,132 18.6%
Actlab $609,540 12.1%

Ratings History

Form 990 FYE Date Published Overall Score Overall Rating
CN 2.1
2017-12 02/01/2019 77.98 two stars
2016-12 04/01/2018 79.98 two stars
2015-12 11/01/2017 79.69 two stars
2014-12 06/01/2016 75.36 two stars
 
CN 2.0
2014-12 02/01/2016 78.54 two stars
2013-12 06/01/2015 71.64 two stars
2012-12 04/01/2014 82.31 three stars
2011-12 03/01/2013 87.96 three stars
2010-12 03/01/2012 79.38 two stars
2009-12 09/20/2011 78.83 two stars
 
CN 1.0
2009-12 04/01/2011 67.88 one star
2008-12 05/01/2010 70.23 two stars
2007-12 08/01/2009 85.35 three stars
2006-12 07/01/2008 71.28 two stars
2005-12 07/01/2007 77.83 two stars
2004-12 03/01/2006 65.02 one star
2003-12 04/01/2005 77.15 two stars
2002-12 05/01/2004 74.78 two stars
2001-12 02/05/2003 73.13 two stars
2000-12 10/15/2002 77.62 two stars

The data displayed on this tab is provided by the IRS in the form of Publication 78 and the Business Master File (BMF).

EIN 91-0787792
Name in IRS Master File A CONTEMPORARY THEATRE INC
NTEE Code A65
NTEE Classification Theater
NTEE Type Arts, Culture and Humanities
Classification Educational Organization
Subsection 501(c)(3)  (View the list of codes)
Activities (119) Other cultural or historical activities
(59) Other school related activities
Foundation Status Organization which receives a substantial part of its support from a governmental unit or the general public   170(b)(1)(A)(vi)
Deductibility Contributions are deductible
Affiliation Independent - the organization is an independent organization or an independent auxiliary (i.e., not affiliated with a National, Regional, or Geographic grouping of organizations).
Group Name [Not Applicable]
Ruling Date December, 1965
Filing Requirement 990 (all other) or 990EZ return
Fiscal Year End December
IRS Forms 990
(provided courtesy of Foundation Center)
(Log In or Register Now to View Forms 990!)
  • December, 2016
  • December, 2015
  • December, 2014
  • December, 2013
  • December, 2012

The data displayed in this profile is provided by the IRS for free in the form of Publication 78 and the Business Master File (BMF).

Compensation % of Expenses Paid to Title
$89,419 1.42% Becky Witmer Managing Director
Other Salaries of Note
$94,131 1.49% John Langs Artistic Director

Highly Rated

Charity Name & State Overall Score Overall Rating
A Contemporary Theatre (WA) 77.98 two stars
The Flea Theater (NY) 86.38 three stars
City Theatre (PA) 86.46 three stars
Theatre for a New Audience (NY) 93.28 four stars
Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OR) 87.08 three stars

Compare These Charities (Highly Rated)

This charity has an official representative registered with Charity Navigator.

Official Charity Response

Those close to ACT know that it has navigated financial hurdles over the years and has needed to borrow in one form or another for decades. The recovery started 15 years ago when the problem of having a structural deficit was consuming the organization. The baton of responsibility has been continually passed and our leadership now has the duty to keep it going. In December 2018 ACT retired their debt entirely. Here are four key drivers to our recovery:
 

Leadership + Vision: Board and staff leadership must be in alignment if a plan has any hope of being accomplished. Our recovery goes back to the board and staff leaders who led the turnaround in 2003, to those who invested in the company through the recession giving it room to breathe, to those who helped ACT to adapt to the needs of its new, yet historic facility, and to those who developed innovative programs like the ACTLab and ACTPass. The board and staff were aligned towards a big vision to make ACT a vibrant and vital part of this community. The same and more are part of ACT’s strategy today. Our Strategic Planning work is focused on a three-year cycle working towards a longer-term vision to the year 2025, which is the Centennial of our historic landmark home, the 60th Anniversary of ACT, and the 50th Anniversary of our adaption of A Christmas Carol. With Leadership and Vision, I am confident we can accomplish great things by that milestone year.

Value: You must have a broad base of loyal supporters and to do that you have to serve your community. That community must believe in your mission and we are fortunate to have a community of people who value contemporary theatre. One of our points of pride is that we are 98% local. From actors, directors, designers, carpenters, electricians, and staff, ACT has relationships with its family of artists in the Seattle/Puget Sound region and we support the creative economy and provide jobs. Audiences have developed affection for the artists and staff over our five decades. Our venues are intimate, so the connection between the theatre artists community and audiences is powerful. In 2007 ACT also opened its doors to the greater community by creating the ACTLab. With four stages and multiple event spaces, we have the facility resources needed to give other artists and organizations a home to perform and partner with. Our value and identity are now linked as a hub for live theatre and a home to hundreds of artists working in a variety of forms. As one patron recently said, “We think ACT brings value to the community and we are proud to support it.”  If we can continue to bring value to the community, we will continue to fulfill our mission.

Support: The loans we had were necessary at the time and we’re grateful to those who trusted us with their resources. A few years ago, ACT’s closest supporters pledged to help retire the debt and establish funds needed for urgent capital improvements. Those commitments were critical to helping us pay off loans and reduce our dependency on our line of credit. Now, we are in a Stabilization Initiative and we have both long-standing and newer funders who are dedicated to making sure that we stay as far away from the need to borrow as possible, while still producing theatre at a scale that excites our audiences and adheres to our mission.

Financial Discipline: ACT’s Board Finance Committee adopted a funds use policy and budgeting principles that have helped the theatre to develop the discipline necessary to operate sustainably. Our Director of Finance was instrumental in making sure the staff understood the value of a balanced budget and has been a dependable partner for me as we work to build solid budgets and cash flow projections. Every department, not just the revenue generating ones, know their role in meeting financial goals. Early in 2018, we established a Debt Retirement Task Force of current and past Trustees who helped formulate a plan for ACT to eliminate the debt. This group of leaders were tremendous partners in bringing the plan to completion. As one of them quoted to me, “Good luck comes to those who plan.”

Charity Contact Info

A Contemporary Theatre
Kreielsheimer Place
700 Union Street
Seattle, WA 98101
tel: (206) 292-7660
fax: (206) 292-7670
EIN: 91-0787792

Visit Web Site

Board Leadership

Gary Houlahan
Chair

CEO

Becky Witmer
Managing Director

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