March 5 will mark exactly one year since the Manship Theatre in the Shaw Center for the Arts hosted a live performance inside the venue. It’s not the kind of anniversary the theater’s executive director, Melanie Couvillon, will be celebrating.
Like so many performing arts venues around the country, the 325-seat Manship Theatre has spent the past year trying to hang on. Couvillon has slashed expenses, furloughed staff, reallocated funding and gotten creative about marketing the theater in new ways that are still permissible within public health guidelines.
It’s led the theater to explore new ways to generate revenues, including private movie nights for groups of up to 50, a deal that costs $550 and comes with free popcorn and a staffed cash bar.