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Case Study: The Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts

Business Overview

We are a 2300 seat performing arts center which utilizes just over 200 volunteers for the majority of our FOH Operations. The original structure, known as the Franklin Square Theatre, was built in 1904. Later it became known as the Grand Theatre and was owned by Pauline L. Taylor. At that time, the theatre extended to the line of the former Norwich & Worcester rail line, which is approximately the front edge of the present balcony.

In 1925, Sylvester Poli of New Haven, Connecticut hired Thomas W. Lamb, one of the world's leading theatre architects to make major additions and alterations to the building. Lamb designed a 3,000-seat theatre, decorated with ornately painted plasterwork, marbleized columns and many elaborate furnishings. It offered its early patrons mirrored walls, a grand staircase, a large chandelier and a two-story lobby.

In 1967, National Amusements, Inc. purchased the building, closed the theatre and renovated the space into the Showcase Cinema. This renovation required major interior alterations including the removal of the stage, proscenium wall, upper seating boxes, balcony seating, and theatre seats and then dividing the space into four smaller cinemas. Showcase Cinema IV was closed in the late 1990's and the building was only minimally maintained for the next decade.

Edward Madaus and Paul Demoga, Founders of the Worcester Center for Performing Arts, started the non-profit in 2002 with the intention of purchasing the former grandiose theatre and turning it into a performing arts center. National Amusements transferred ownership to the Worcester Center for Performing Arts, Inc. for a nominal fee and the Light the Lights! Capital Campaign to restore the theatre began! $32 million dollars later, The Hanover Theatre opened on March 14, 2008.

Scheduling Overview

We have over 200 volunteers who are required to work a minimum of two shows per month.

Business Details

Category:

  • Church & Volunteer
  • Non-profit
  • Art
  • Theatre

City: Worcester

State: Massachusetts

Country: United States

...a much more streamlined process. - Meghan Patrick - Operations Manager & Director of Education - The Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts

Previous Scheduling Method

Previously, we would have each volunteer email their requests to a team leader who would then compile their team’s requests and send the team requests to the Operations Manager to enter all the shifts into an Excel spreadsheet. This was done on a monthly basis and emailed to our volunteers. This was extremely time consuming and lead to errors if you were one cell off when entering a schedule or checking your schedule. We also had to go through the same process for shift change requests. Since we were renting uniforms, this excel spreadsheet needed to constantly be updated and send to the rental company for accurate uniform requests. If something was off on the spreadsheet, then the uniform would be missing!

Since ShiftPlanning

Scheduling is much more independent now with this work scheduler. Information isn’t passing through multiple hands, so there is less human error. In addition, staff can see their schedule immediately and don’t need to wait for it to be sent out in order to confirm their schedule. In addition, we’ve seen less errors and shift trading is a much more streamlined process. Volunteers can also see which shows we need more help on and we are able to limit the number of people who can sign-up for a shift so we’re not asking folks to switch into a different event because there are 70 signed up for one and 12 on another. If a shift is full, they simply need to choose another. Therefore, our schedule is more balanced overall.

The ShiftPlanning team has been helpful and responsive. The work scheduler has made the process of signing up for events is easier.

...a much more streamlined process. - Meghan Patrick - Operations Manager & Director of Education - The Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts

Further

We are using the message wall in particular for last minute changes as a quick way to alert the staff to changes and updates. It has also been nice for everyone to see the faces and names of all of the staff members in one place since we have such a large group and work with different people all the time. The birthday feature has been a nice way to recognize folks as well.

ShiftPlanning in action


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