GOLD2023

Nu Sass Productions

Strong Women, Great Theatre

aka Nu Sass   |   WASHINGTON, DC   |  www.nusass.com

Mission

Nu Sass Productions strives to encourage marginalized genders in all aspects of theater, especially in those roles traditionally dominated by cis-men. Nu Sass seeks to offer marginalized genders opportunities to expand the roles they take on in the theater and try new things. Nu Sass explores how putting marginalized gendered actors into roles originally written for cis-men can change the overall experience for the audience. Above all, Nu Sass aims to create engaging, thought-provoking art while being a responsible local and global citizen.

Notes from the nonprofit

We are a small and quickly growing nonprofit. For over a decade our theatre has been led primarily by one of our founders, Aubri O'Connor. It has taken a long time to get to the place where we can bring on additional leadership, but now that they are established we are seeing the results quickly. Our 5 year plan had us moving from a $25,000 budget to a $100,000 budget by 2025, which we are on track to achieve. Our partnership with Compass consulting allows us to regularly check in on where the company is and where it needs to go, providing support for our board, or company of artists, and our leadership. When we set out 15 years ago, we simply wanted to see more women on stage passing the Bechdel test. Now we want to empower our artists to be changemakers and create opportunities for others behind them. We will probably never be a shiny Broadway organization, because where we do the most good is at the starting line making sure marginalized genders get those critical first chances.

Ruling year info

2016

Executive Director

Aubri O'Connor

Main address

4023 5TH ST NW

WASHINGTON, DC 20011 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

81-0989746

NTEE code info

Performing Arts (A60)

IRS filing requirement

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

Communication

Blog

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?

Supporting Women+ in the Arts

Roughly 1/4 of all characters are written for cis-men, and roughly 3/4 of actors are marginalized genders. The statistics are no better off stage, or on the page. These numbers simply don't add up to equity.
Nu Sass was founded to disrupt the status quo in theatre that creates and sustains advantages for cis-men in the arts.
We utilize gender blind casting and pro-active hiring to ensure more marginalized gender artists have opportunity in and access to experience and advancement in theatre.
We work to create a safe space for marginalized genders and the LGBTQIA+ community.

Population(s) Served
Artists and performers
Women and girls
LGBTQ people
Economically disadvantaged people

Where we work

Awards

Helen Hayes Award recommendation 2023

theatreWashington

Affiliations & memberships

Helen Hayes Award 2023

theatreWashington 2023

theatreWashington 2022

theatreWashington 2021

theatreWashington 2020

theatreWashington 2019

theatreWashington 2018

theatreWashington 2017

theatreWashington 2016

Capital Fringe Festival 2018

Capital Fringe Festival 2017

Capital Fringe Festival 2016

Capital Fringe Festival 2015

Capital Fringe Festival 2014

Capital Fringe Festival 2013

Capital Fringe Festival 2012

Capital Fringe Festival 2011

Capital Fringe Festival 2010

Capital Fringe Festival 2009

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 free seats filled for performances

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

Adults, Women, LGBTQ people, Artists and performers

Related Program

Supporting Women+ in the Arts

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

284 free seats out of 913 sold = 32% free of charge across all three shows in 2022. This includes Pay What You Will, 100% discounts, and complimentary tickets.

Number of participants engaged in programs

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

Young adults, Older adults, Women and girls, LGBTQ people, Artists and performers

Related Program

Supporting Women+ in the Arts

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

We hired 47 unique positions across 3 performances. Of those, 37 were of marginalized genders - 79% of our total artists!

Total number of paid seats filled for performances

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

Artists and performers, Women and girls, LGBTQ people, Adults

Related Program

Supporting Women+ in the Arts

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

623 audience members across 3 projects, with a minimum ticket price of $5 and an average ticket price of $17.

Total dollars paid to artists

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

Adults, Women and girls, LGBTQ people, Artists and performers

Related Program

Supporting Women+ in the Arts

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

We saw a dip between 2020 and 2021 due to Covid. We were able to finish our first project before the shutdown, and had to pivot for the next 24 months before returning with a new business plan.

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 using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals, To provide professional development opportunities for individuals we work or engage with.

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We share the feedback we received with the people we serve, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, We don’t have the right technology to collect and aggregate feedback efficiently, It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time

Financials

Nu Sass Productions
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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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Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Nu Sass Productions

Board of directors
as of 12/05/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Brian Flores

Michael Nasser

Journey Donovan

Sheerin Gryloo

Joey Davis

Sheena Koshy

Maria Heitmann

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 ? No
  • 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? Not applicable
  • 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

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 12/5/2023

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, or other sexual orientations in the LGBTQIA+ community
Disability status
Person with a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

Disability

No data

We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Equity strategies

Last updated: 12/05/2023

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
Policies and processes
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.