Looking at a Production

As of this morning, the current Fundraiser tally is:


Let’s keep the momentum going and try to drum up some more interest!

By now you may be asking, “Within each production, what exactly will you use this money for?”

Well, let’s take a look:


We have announced that we intend to produce Swan Lake for our 43rd Season. This is arguably one of the biggest productions in our repertoire.



In order to have a completely fleshed out cast, we need a grand total of 42 dancers! That’s 42 contracts and 42 paychecks covering several weeks of   rehearsal as well as the actual performances.



There is also the San Diego Symphony Orchestra, whom we employ for every major production. So now we have to add in the musicians and their contracts for dress rehearsals and performances.



We must contract the theatre. We are the resident ballet company for the San Diego Civic Theatre and the Balboa Theatre. The Civic is one of the largest venues available to ballet companies in San Diego County, and is highly sought after. Therefore we must book the theatre well in advance of the actual show. The cost of renting those venues isn’t trivial.

We couldn’t run the show without stagehands, and both the Civic and Balboa theatres are IATSE union theatres. This is good because it means we get the best, most professional union stagehands. It also means that we must pay union wages. Don’t get us wrong, it’s most certainly worth it!


Of course you couldn’t come see us without buying tickets, right? That means we need a box office. In fact, we have to utilize two: our own right here at the California Ballet Center, as well as the Theatre’s. Both have a staff that must be paid for their time, and supplies that must be provided.


alice Then there’s the matter of costumes and sets. Both must be maintained, and both must be transported to the theatre from our warehouse, as well as fitted to each dancer. That takes a truck rental, a driver, and a wardrobe mistress.


vitalyhigh Did we mention the dance floor? Ballet is very high impact, and the floors in most theatres are too hard for our art form. Because of this, we must rent and lay a special dance floor to prevent injury to our dancers. This takes a truck rental to transport the floor, and more man hours to lay it.



As you can see, there is a lot that goes into mounting a production, and this is just an overview. Ticket sales cover only part of the cost of a show. The rest comes from people who become members of the California Ballet Association, grants from the government, and donations from our community – from people like you!

So take a moment and think about whether you can afford to give $10 out of your tax return. While your at it, consider the fact that since we are a 501(c)(3) organization, your donation is tax deductible in most instances. That means you can start saving on next tax season by donating now!

-The California Ballet Staff


2 Responses to “Looking at a Production”

  1. Tiffany Says:

    Thanks for the insight. It’s fascinating to understand just how much goes into a production and how many people (and how much money) is involved!

  2. a ballet fan Says:

    Indeed! It all looks so effortless when it’s all put together. Amazing.

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