Open Book

 

RESERVE YOUR LIVING TICKET

Support a living wage for theatre workers through your Living Ticket donation.

THE SHORT VERSION: In a hurry? Check out our Current, Minimum, and Living wage budget and giving levels, and then reserve your Living Ticket! Easier than following the complex politics of the inhabitants of the planet Backstorius VII…though maybe not quite as much fun.

At a more leisurely moment (when not building strange new fantasy worlds in your mind, of course), read more about the Open Book program below, and the Living Ticket program here.


THE LONG VERSION:

What is Open Book? | How does it work?
How much should I donate? | What are other ways to give?
Show me the budgets! |  Why three budgets?
Reserve your World Builders Living Ticket | Just want to give?
Caveats & Context | Past Budgets

What is Open Book? Flux is now transparent: you can read us like an Open Book. As part of Flux’s Open Source Theatre initiative and Living Ticket program, Open Book makes our entire production budget available online. If you give financially as part of your Living Ticket, you’ll know exactly where your resources are going, and more importantly, to whom. A goal of the Open Book and Living Ticket programs is to empower an honest conversation about the cost and value of theatre in order to help Flux pay equitable living wages to all of our collaborators. Learn more about the WHY of Open Book here.

How does it work? If you’re reserving your Living Ticket, or simply want to support Flux’s work with  a financial gift, please look over the following three budgets to help inform at what level you might give. In a hurry? Go ahead and reserve your ticket now, and then come back when you have more time to consider your gift. Don’t worry, we’ll remind you. Want to support Flux and our production of World Builders, but can’t give money at this time? Click here to learn other ways to support the work, and remember, you’re not required to pay anything to attend World Builders other than your time–and we mean that sincerely. Ain’t no guilt tripping at this dance, so only get on the floor if you feel the music.

What are these three budgets exactly?  Our “Current” budget is just that–what we’re expecting to spend on artist compensation and all other costs. Our “Minimum” budget looks at what our expenses would be if Flux paid all of our production collaborators the minimum wage of $11.00. Our “Living” wage budget imagines what it would take for Flux to pay a living wage (and to start, we’re using the MIT Living Wage Calculator to figure that out). In those second two budgets, you’ll also see our materials and other costs rise for reasons laid out below. One thing we want to point out: all of our production contributors are paid equally.  This pay equity is central to Flux’s ensemble values. (Though for roles that work a significantly different number of hours, you’ll note a different rate.) We may not have a lot of financial resources yet, but what we do have is a commitment to transparency and equity, and so we hope you’ll use your Living Ticket to help us reach these better budgets.

Well, I can afford to give some money this time, so how much should I donate? Here are some ideas to consider when giving:

  • Do you know your hourly wage? If so, imagine your hourly wage multiplied by the 2 hour length of the show, then add 30 minutes for actor call time.
  • If every seat was filled by someone giving $37.65, we would make our Current Budget. If you give more, you’re helping to support keeping Flux accessible for those who can’t give that much–you rock!
  • If every seat was filled by someone giving $84.92, we would make our Minimum Wage Budget.
  • If every seat was filled by someone giving $111.17, we would make our Living Wage Budget.
  • Every dollar counts, so if those numbers feel out of reach, please know that $20, $10, $5 all help us keep Flux accessible, equitable and sustainable. And if you can’t give financially at this time, we sincerely value the gift of your time…and there are other ways to give.
  • Got what you need? Reserve your Living Ticket here, or if you can’t make the show but want to support our work, go here.
  • Are you feeling daunted by those Minimum and Living Wage numbers? Keep reading for more Context & Caveats on how our other fundraising efforts–such as foundation support and our annual appeal–as well as our ensemble leadership model help make those numbers achievable and sustainable.

Enough with the context, show me the money! All right, but we’ve added a bunch more context and caveats below the numbers if you want the full deets of what we’re talking about.

Click here to access the our current, minimum and living wage budgets.

 CAVEATS

Caveat the First: Those Minimum and Living Wage budgets do not fully reflect the scope of Flux’s labor. Because Flux is an artist-driven ensemble, most of our artists are also producers, which means in addition to our work directly on the play, we’re also doing all of the administrative tasks, from contracts to postcard design to sweeping the stage. The good news is that when you give to Flux, you’re giving directly to artists being paid in an equitable fashion, and getting more bang for your giving buck. The bad news is those numbers still don’t factor in all the additional sweat equity we put in beyond our artistic roles. Some of our general operating support comes from our annual appeal and other fundraising efforts, but currently those funds fall well short of what’s needed. We’ll figure out how to properly represent that with Open Book soon, but in the meantime, we caveat.

Caveat the Second: That Living Wage budget is not an actual Living Wage.  The Living Wage number cited above and outlined below is not in itself a living wage because: 1) it doesn’t represent full-time employment, 2) it doesn’t include health benefits, which are pretty key to living, and 3) it assumes our collaborators have no dependents, which isn’t true for all of us. We’re using this simple version for now, and we’ll continue to refine how we define Living Wage as we go.

Caveat the Third: All these budgets are estimates. That’s how theatre works–you make projections based on past productions and the unique context of each show. We will be sharing a final budget here that breaks down our expenses in greater detail once the production has closed.

Caveat the Fourth: We are learning as we go. While we need you to hold us to high standards and pass with your best critiques, we ask that you do so with a generosity of spirit because we’re in uncharted waters here. Though we’re building on some of the great models of accessible theatre, such as Mixed Blood’s Radical Hospitality and free Shakespeare in Central Park, we’re after something different, and there are no maps (though if you find some, please do send them our way).

Caveat the Fifth: We’re not expecting the Living Ticket to be our only source of income. It’s possible Flux might thrive as a solely community-funded theatre, but we expect to support both production and general operating expenses though other earned and contributed income streams. That’s one more way you can help: if you know a corporation looking to develop a meaningful partnership in civic responsibility, or a foundation that aligns with Flux’s values and aesthetics, please help connect us. In addition, we are considering the Living Ticket and our annual appeal separately: the first funds productions, and the second funds our general operating and other programmatic activity. And as Flux develops around 50-60 new plays a year, that’s a lot of activity!

CONTEXT

1. Where did you get those Minimum Wage budget numbers? For a minimum wage under the current NY state law of $11.00, we would need to pay $825 for rehearsal ($11 x 75 rehearsal hours allowed) and $132 for performances ($11 x 3 hours per show x 4 performances) for a minimum wage total of $957.

2. Where did you get those Living Wage budget numbers?  MIT’s Living Wage Calculator posits that in New York City, $14.52  is a living wage for a single adult with no dependents. Obviously, that doesn’t include everyone on our team, but for the moment, it’s good place to start. We used the same calculations of hours as we did for the Minimum Wage budget outline above.

3. Why do non-personnel costs also rise with each budget? In addition to wanting to offer our contributors sustainable wages, we also want to hep bring their visions to life with fewer accommodations. While Flux’s designers and directors have often worked miracles on shoestring budgets, just as often they’ve had to sacrifice a key element of their artistic vision on the altar of financial necessity. While that’s true for all artists, and especially theatre artists, as our budgets rise to pay our people more, we also want to make more possible artistically.

OTHER WAYS TO GIVE

Spread the word: It’s never been easier to bring your 10 best friends to a Flux show, since there are now no financial barriers to attendance. Maybe your 10 best friends will give financially, maybe they won’t; but you’ll have helped Flux bring our work to a wider audience, and there’s nothing more important than that.

Volunteer box office and tech support: We always need an extra set of hands, whether it’s in front of the house or back stage during our tech week. Skilled hands are always helpful, but willing hands are all that matters.

Contribute artistically: In addition to our full productions, Flux develops between 50-60 new plays a year through weekly, rigorous play development–and we could use your help. If you like what we do, and want to contribute artistically, please contact us and we’ll begin collaborating!

Contribute civically: Flux has a number of community partners with organizations taking direct action to make life better in our shared communities. Whether you want to join the Accompaniment Program and support immigrant rights with New Sanctuary, or bring food to Judson Memorial Church’s Bailout Theater, please contact us to find out how you can contribute to Flux’s community development work.

Connect us to resources: Do you know of free spaces to rehearse, or affordable locations for full productions? Do you have connections with community organizations or corporations that share Flux’s values and might want to collaborate? Let us know what connections and relationships you have that might strengthen our shared work.

Open Book is a part of Flux’s Open Source Theatre initiative.

PAST BUDGETS

Flux’s premiered Open Book and the Living Ticket with Salvage in the Spring of 2015. As we produce more shows using this model, we’ll post them here so you can compare our budgets and our actual results. If we post any reflections on the blog, we’ll link those here, too.

World Builders NYC: Budgets

Marian, or The True Tale of Robin Hood: Budgets

Rizing: Budgets

Salvage: Budgets | Actuals | Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Roundup

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