MGMT 253/THAR 280

An Interdisciplinary Course

Sponsored by

The School of Arts and Sciences and The Wharton School

University of Pennsylvania


Course Description:

A study of the creation and presentation of art (e.g., theater, film, music, painting, etc.), the context of public culture and the management of for-profit and not-for-profit cultural organizations. A combination of lectures by instructors and practitioners, case studies and consulting projects with regional institutions will illustrate the relationship between art and business.

Who Should Take This Course:

1) Undergraduates who are considering a career in private or not-for-profit organizations that present the results of creativity to the public.

2) Undergraduates who wish to study the relationship between the arts and business.


1) Dr. Larry Robbins, Adj. Prof., Mgmt. Email:

2) Dr. John Katz, Visiting Professor, English. Email:

3) Dr. Cary Mazer, Assoc. Prof., English. Email:

Prerequisites: None

Course Requirements:

Papers: One 3-5 page historical/analytical essay (due 10/ ) 30%

Two 3-5 page case analyses (due 9/23 and 11/2 or 11/11) 35%

Term Project: Group paper and presentation of

consulting project (paper due, 12/2-12/9) 35%

Required Reading: Coursepack of case analyses and supporting





Sept. 7 -- Issues Related to Creating and Presenting Art (Katz, Mazer, Robbins)


Sept. 12 -- Commercial Theater, Not-for-Profit Theater: An Historical Overview (Mazer)

Readings: (Note: The following readings will support the section of this course devoted to theater, but they will also be useful for other topics. Please read as much as you can as soon as you can.)

Bernheim, The Business of Theatre, pp.46-74

Kotler and Scheff, Standing Room Only, pp.3-27

Langley, Theatre Management and Production in America, Ch. 5-6

Wolf, Managing a Nonprofit Organization in the Twenty-first Century, Chapter 1

Sept. 14 -- The Business of Show Business (Mazer)

Sept. 19 -- The Not-for-Profit Theater I (Mazer)

Sept. 21 -- Curating Performance (Mazer)

Readings: Langley, Theatre Management and Production in America, Ch. 10







Sept. 26 -- Art Follows Business; Business Follows Art (Robbins)

Readings: Kotler and Scheff, Standing Room Only, pp. 29-63; 157-185

Cases: The People's Light and Theatre Company; American Repertory Theater

Sept. 28 -- The Not-for-Profit Theater II

Guest Speaker: Naomi Graebel, Managing Director, Wilma Theater

Readings: Carver, Boards That Make a Difference, pp. 24-39

Oct. 3 -- Broadway and Off-Broadway

Guest Speaker: David Stone, President, Stone Productions


Oct. 5 -- A Brief History of the American Film Industry (Katz)

Readings: Squire, ed., The Movie Business Book, 2nd ed., pp. 96-165

Litwak, Dealmaking in the Film and Television Industry, pp. 218-250

Oct. 10-- Putting the Deal Together (Katz)

Readings: Baumgarten et al, Producing, Financing and Distributing Film,

pp. 229-242

Oct. 12 -- Production (Katz)

Oct. 17 -- Exhibition, Distribution and Exploitation (Katz)

Oct. 19 -- -- Film: Law, Production, Festivals (Katz)

Guest Speaker: Phyllis Kauffman, Director, Philadelphia Festival of World Cinema


Oct. 24 -- Entertainment in the New Millennium

Guest Speaker: Paul Burger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer,

Sony Entertainment (UK)


Oct. 26 -- Structure of Public Institutions (Robbins)

Oct. 31 -- Finance: Do Budgets Reflect or Create the Cultural Product?

Guest Speaker: Mark Weinstein, General Manager, The Pittsburgh Opera

Nov. 2 -- The Role of Labor in the Arts (Robbins)

Case: Lights Out at the Met

Nov. 7 -- High Art, High Stakes: Metropolitan Opera

Guest Speakers: Philip Sipser (Labor Lawyer); Joe Volpe (General Manager)

Nov. 9 -- The Mission of Public Art Museums (Robbins)

Case: Philadelphia Museum of Art

Nov. 14 -- The Art of Fundraising

Guest Speaker: Andy Robinson, Independent Funding Consultant

Nov. 16 -- Decision Making in the Arts (Robbins)

Case: Festival Repertory Theater

Readings: Carver, Boards That Make a Difference, pp. 24-39; Wolf, Managing a Nonprofit Organization in the Twenty-first Century, Ch. 2, "The Board," pp. 45- 81

Nov. 21 -- Making the Case for the Future (Katz, Mazer, Robbins)

Nov. 23 -- Thanksgiving

Nov. 28 -- Student Presentations

Nov. 30 -- Student Presentations

Dec. 5 -- Student Presentations

Dec. 7 -- Student Presentations

















Selected Bibliography:

Baumgarten, Paul A., Donald C. Farber, Mark Fleischer, Producing, Financing, and Distributing Film: A Comprehensive Legal and Business Guide, 2nd ed. New York: Limelight, 1992.

Bjorkegren, Dag. The Culture Business: Management Strategies for the Arts Related Business. London and New York: Routledge, 1996.

Carver, John. Boards That Make a Difference. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1990.

Drucker, Peter. How To Assess Your Nonprofit Organization. San Francisco: Jossey- Bass, 1993.

Garey, Norman H. Garey. The Movie Business Book, 2nd ed., Jason E. Squire, ed.

New York: Simon & Schuster, 1997

Hoving, Thomas. Making the Mummies Dance: Inside the Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1993.

Kotler, Philip and Joanne Scheff. Standing Room Only: Strategies for Marketing the Performing Arts. Boston: Harvard Business School, 1997

Langley, Stephen. Theatre Management and Production in America. New York: Drama Publishers, 1990.

Powell, Walter. The Non-Profit Sector: A Research Handbook. New Haven: Yale, 1987.

Vogel, Harold L. Entertainment Industry Economics. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1994.

Wolf, Thomas. Managing a Nonprofit Organization in the Twenty-First Century. New York: Fireside, 1999.