Signature Theatre Company, Inc.

aka Signature Theatre   |   New York, NY   |  http://www.signaturetheatre.org

Mission

Signature Theatre celebrates playwrights and gives them an artistic home. Signature makes an extended commitment to a playwright’s body of work, producing several plays by each resident writer and delivering an intimate and immersive journey into the playwright’s singular vision. Founded in 1991 by the late James Houghton, the Tony Award®-winning Signature Theatre is now led by Artistic Director Paige Evans and Executive Director Harold Wolpert. Signature fosters a cultural community within our permanent home on West 42nd Street, the Frank Gehry-designed Pershing Square Signature Center, which boasts three theatres and two rehearsal rooms, including The Ford Studio, a flexible space that can be converted into a 99-seat theatre.

Ruling year info

1994

Artistic Director

Ms. Paige Evans

Co Principal Officer

Mr. Harold Wolpert

Main address

The Pershing Square Signature Center 480 West 42nd Street

New York, NY 10036 USA

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EIN

13-3641560

NTEE code info

Theater (A65)

Performing Arts (A60)

Performing Arts Centers (A61)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Theatrical Performances

Signature Theatre celebrates playwrights and gives them an artistic home. Signature makes an extended commitment to a playwright’s body of work, producing several plays by each resident writer and delivering an intimate and immersive journey into the playwright’s singular vision.

Founded in 1991 by the late James Houghton, the Tony Award®-winning Signature Theatre is led by Artistic Director Paige Evans and Executive Director Harold Wolpert. Signature fosters a cultural community at our home, The Pershing Square Signature Center, welcoming over 375,000 visitors through our doors each year. Our 70,000 sq. ft. Frank Gehry-designed space boasts three theatres and two rehearsal rooms, including The Ford Studio, a flexible space that can be converted into a 99-seat theatre.

Signature conducts its residency programming at the Center. Residency 1, Signature’s founding resident playwright program, is a year-long, intensive exploration of a single writer’s body of work. Residency 5, the only program of its kind, supports multiple playwrights as they build their bodies of work by committing in advance to three productions of premiere plays. Our Legacy Program invites past Signature writers from both residencies to return for productions of premiere or signature plays.
 
Since 2005, Signature has been a leader in making theatre accessible for all with an unprecedented commitment to affordable tickets through the Signature Ticket Initiative: A Generation of Access. With the support of donor contributions, Signature subsidizes the cost of over 55,000 tickets to $35 for the first five weeks of performances of all six of our season productions.

In spring 2019, Signature provided its millionth subsidized ticket to the public. In 2012, with support from Lead Partner, The Pershing Square Foundation, Signature made a commitment to the Ticket Initiative through 2031, representing over 600,000 affordable tickets in the next 12 years.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Total number of paid admissions

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

No target populations selected

Related Program

Theatrical Performances

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Total number of awarded residencies

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

No target populations selected

Related Program

Theatrical Performances

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Playwrights-in-Residence

Number of favorable critic reviews/awards of art produced given by media or peers

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

No target populations selected

Related Program

Theatrical Performances

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

In 2014, Signature became the first New York City theatre to receive the Regional Theatre Tony Award for our body of work and accomplishments. http://www.signaturetheatre.org/About/Awards.aspx

Total number of works restored or preserved

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

No target populations selected

Related Program

Theatrical Performances

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

This metric tracks any Signature production that is not a world premiere.

Average dollar price for performance tickets

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

No target populations selected

Related Program

Theatrical Performances

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Signature Ticket Initiative pricing

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Signature Theatre celebrates playwrights and gives them an artistic home. Signature makes an extended commitment to a playwright’s body of work, producing several plays by each resident writer and delivering an intimate and immersive journey into the playwright’s singular vision. Signature fosters a cultural community at our home, The Pershing Square Signature Center, and conducts its programming there, including:
- Residency 1, Signature’s founding resident playwright program, is a year-long, intensive exploration of a single writer’s body of work.
- Residency 5, the only program of its kind, supports multiple playwrights as they build their bodies of work by committing in advance to three productions of premiere plays.
- Legacy Program invites past Signature writers from both residencies to return for productions of premiere or signature plays.

Signature’s resident playwrights include: Edward Albee, Annie Baker, Lee Blessing, Martha Clarke, Will Eno, Horton Foote, María Irene Fornés, Athol Fugard, John Guare, Stephen Adly Guirgis, A.R. Gurney, Katori Hall, Quiara Alegría Hudes, Samuel D. Hunter, David Henry Hwang, Bill Irwin, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Adrienne Kennedy, Tony Kushner, Romulus Linney, Kenneth Lonergan, Dave Malloy, Charles Mee, Arthur Miller, Dominique Morisseau, Lynn Nottage, Suzan-Lori Parks, Sarah Ruhl, Sam Shepard, Anna Deavere Smith, Regina Taylor, Paula Vogel, Naomi Wallace, August Wilson, Lanford Wilson, Lauren Yee, devised theatre collective The Mad Ones, and members of the historic Negro Ensemble Company: Charles Fuller, Leslie Lee, and Samm-Art Williams.

Signature and our artists have been recognized with Tony Awards, Pulitzer Prizes; MacArthur “Genius” grants, and Lucille Lortel, Obie, Drama Desk, AUDELCO, and Artios Awards as well as the 50/50 Award for Gender Parity in Theatre, among many other distinctions. In 2014, Signature became the first New York City theatre to receive the Regional Theatre Tony Award for our body of work and accomplishments as an institution. In the last three years, three of our Residency 5 playwrights have been honored as MacArthur “Genius” Fellows: Branden Jacobs-Jenkins (2016), Annie Baker (2017), and Dominique Morisseau (2018). Our organization and artists have made lasting contributions to the American theatrical canon.

Since 2005, Signature has been a leader in making theatre accessible for all with an unprecedented commitment to affordable tickets through the Signature Ticket Initiative: A Generation of Access. With the support of donor contributions, Signature subsidizes the cost of over 55,000 tickets to $35 for the first five weeks of performances of all six of our season productions. In spring 2019, Signature provided its millionth subsidized ticket to the public. In 2012, with support from Lead Partner, The Pershing Square Foundation, Signature made a commitment to the Ticket Initiative through 2031, representing over 600,000 affordable tickets in the next 12 years.

Playwrights are central to Signature's mission, and Signature's unique relationship with our playwrights assures a safe space to create, develop and have their work produced. Signature's comprehensive resources are conducive to our Residency programs, offering our artists opportunities for multiple readings and workshops in our two rehearsal spaces, including The Ford Studio; dramaturgical support from our Artistic Department, and private workspaces in our administrative offices. With the Pershing Square Signature Center's three theaters, our artists and Artistic team have the opportunity to envision play productions in distinct stage configurations, exploring which will be appropriate for each work.

The Center reflects Signature’s commitment to creating a cultural community. It is open to the public, with one main entrance for all, welcoming over 375,000 visitors each year. The Center is a go-to space for theatregoers and makers alike to engage in our season productions, free educational opportunities, special events, and programming by our rental partners. Visitors can also enjoy amenities like our café, bookstore, and free Wi-Fi access. The Center has brought diverse constituencies into one vibrant gathering space, proving we are an accessible home for artists, audiences, and the New York community.

Our burgeoning Education Program is a crucial part of our commitment to offering theatre access for all. Launched in 2017, our Free Student Matinees have garnered enthusiasm from students, educators, and artists and are now a regular part of our season programming. Signature’s Free Student Matinees offer high school students free performances of select season productions. Students and teachers are given specially designed study guides crafted by our artistic staff to use as resources in preparation for each production. Following the performances, students engage with the playwrights and cast about their questions and discussion topics.

The architecture of the Center embodies Signature's commitment to create a cultural community. The Center's ethos brings together diverse constituencies into one gathering space, providing an accessible home for artistic performance. The Center is open to the public, with one main entrance for all to share. Our lobbies bustle with artists, staff, rentals, neighbors and audience members attending a production, mingling at a special event, partaking in educational programming, enjoying the café, perusing our bookstore, accessing free-wifi, and holding meetings in our lobby.

Signature complements the audience experience at the Center with over 50 dynamic events through the Signature Spotlight Series, interactive pre-and post-show events directly connecting our ticket-buyers and Center visitors with playwrights, creative teams, and Signature staff. These events are all free and open to the public. To enrich our audiences’ experience, we also provide video and technology resources in our lobby, on social media, and on our website; as well as essential readings in The Nancy Keen Roche Bookstore. We also engage with our constituents through Sig Socials, free events for audience members, visitors, and partners. These events serve over 4,000 people each year and have included health & wellness fairs, trivia nights, and dance parties.

Since opening The Pershing Square Signature Center in 2012, we have achieved many milestones. Signature and our artists have been recognized with Tony Awards, Pulitzer Prizes; MacArthur “Genius” grants, and Lucille Lortel, Obie, Drama Desk, AUDELCO, and Artios Awards as well as the 50/50 Award for Gender Parity in Theatre, among many other distinctions. In 2014, Signature became the first New York City theatre to receive the Regional Theatre Tony Award for our body of work and accomplishments as an institution. In the last three years, three of our Residency 5 playwrights have been honored as MacArthur “Genius” Fellows: Branden Jacobs-Jenkins (2016), Annie Baker (2017), and Dominique Morisseau (2018). Our organization and artists have made lasting contributions to the American theatrical canon.

In addition, we have provided countless free programming events and formed strategic relationships with a growing network of community partners, including non-profits, affinity groups, and education systems. Current and recent partners include: The New Group, Theatre Development Fund, Sadie Nash Leadership Project, iMentor, Harlem Book Fair, Well Read Black Girl Festival, Asian American Arts, Legal Outreach, Rehabilitation Through the Arts, among over 40 others. School partners include: Bronx Community College, LaGuardia Community College, Manhattan Community College, among 50 other high schools and colleges.

In 2012, with support from Lead Partner The Pershing Square Foundation, Signature made a commitment to the Ticket Initiative through 2031, representing over 700,000 affordable tickets in the next 12 years. Signature must raise an additional $1 Million each year to subsidize the 55,000 affordable tickets. Since its launch, the Ticket Initiative has provided over a million subsidized tickets for people to enjoy and share the powerful experience of theatre by our resident playwrights. In the 2019/20 Season, we will continue to build on the groundwork we have laid to provide affordable theatre for all.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Suggestion box/email,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

Financials

Signature Theatre Company, Inc.
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
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  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Signature Theatre Company, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 7/21/2020
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Mr. Edward Norton

Actor and Philanthropist

Term: 1996 -


Board co-chair

Ms. Nina Matis

Vice Chairman & Chief Legal Officer, iStar

Michael Rauch

Retired of Counsel, Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver, & Jacobson LLP

John Studzinski

Managing Director and Vice Chairman, PIMCO

Leslie Bains

Retired Senior Executive, Citi and HSBC

Richard Berry

President, Zuberry Development Corporation

Doug Chittenden

Executive Vice President and Head of Institutional Relationships, TIAA

Bernard Dikman

C.P.A., Private Practice

Barbara Evans

Artistic Director, Signature Theatre

Kate Hope

Arts Patron and Volunteer

David Klafter

Counsel, Pershing Square Capital Management, L.P.

Timothy Little

Partner, Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP

Daniela Lundberg

Film Producer, Stay Gold Productions

Nina Matis

Vice Chairman and Chief Legal Officer, iStar

Christine Millen

Retired Partner, Deloitte

Dominique Morisseau

Playwright

Lila Neugebauer

Writer and Director

Edward Norton

Actor and Philanthropist

Peter Norton

Art Collector and Philanthropist

Nancy Northup

President and CEO, Center for Reproductive Rights

Kristen O'Hara

Arts Patron and Volunteer

Laura Pels

President, The Laura Pels Foundation

Sean Peterson

VP for Government Affairs, American Express Company

Michael Rauch

Retired Of Counsel, Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver, and Jacobson LLP

Pablo Salame

Director, Goldman Sachs

John Studzinski

Managing Director and Vice Chair, PIMCO

Susan Weiner

General Counsel, NBCUniversal News Group Executive Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, NBC Universal

Richard Willett

Vice President, Wines by Morrell

Harold Wolpert

Executive Director, Signature Theatre

Sara Zilkha

Arts Patron and Volunteer

Susan Weiner

General Counsel, NBC Universal News Group & EVP NBCU

Richard Willett

Vice President, Wines by Morrell

Harold Wolpert

Executive Director, Signature Theatre

Sara Zilkha

Arts Patron and Volunteer

Margot Adams

Writer and Philanthropist

Joseph Baker

President Emeritus, Medicare Rights Center

Joseph Baker

President Emeritus, Medicare Rights Center

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes