Open source theatre?

Roy Blumenthal has come up with an interesting concept. It is an open source business model which includes equal ownership of the business. The initial expression of this business model seems to be a theatre company which operates in Hillbrow. I am still working through some of the initial posts on the OpenBusiness site so take a look at Roy’s operating principles which do shed quite a bit of light on this novel idea though:


1. This collective is a business, aimed at making money for the people working in it.

2. The collective is co-owned by every individual who works in it. Each co-owner owns on equal share of a fund called the Shareholders’

Fund. If there are ten individuals employed by the collective, there will be ten equal shares.

3. Salaries are all equal. No person gets more or less salary than any other person working in the collective.

4. Those who participate in projects get shares in a trust fund, called the Participation Fund. This trust fund is funded by a percentage of profits from projects. Shares are allocated according to participation.

5. People get one share per discreet unit of participation. For instance, if the project calls for two actors, a facilitator, a director, and a driver, there will be five shares allocated to the project. If one of the actors is also the driver, that person will get two shares. Or if two people share the driving responsibility, those two people will each get half a share. In other words, shares are based on functional roles. (These are yet to be determined.)

6. Projects are costed to cover running and operational costs, as well as profits.

7. Profit participation happens only after costs are covered. Costs include salaries.

8. Profit participation is split as follows:

—x% gets reinvested in the business. (Eg: 20%)

—y% gets paid to the dealmaker, the person or people who put the particular deal into place. (Eg: 20%)

—z% gets paid into the Participation Fund. (Eg: 30%)

—p% gets paid into the Shareholders’ Fund. (Eg: 30%)

9. Participation in particular projects is earned, not granted.

10. Individuals may keep their shares, or may sell their shares, according to a formula to be determined.

11. If an individual underperforms according to criteria to be determined, that individual will be asked to leave the collective. On leaving, that individual will sell all of his or her shares in the Participation Fund and in the Shareholders’ Fund back to the collective, and will be paid out at the full value of the shares.

It is certainly an exciting project and I look forward to seeing it evolve and grow.

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