Student Scholar Symposium Abstracts and Posters

Document Type


Publication Date


Faculty Advisor(s)

Jocelyn Buckner


According to the 2013 census there are approximately 609,456 people living in Portland, Oregon. There is no demographic data tabulated for 2013, however a look at the 2010 statistics can help paint a picture of Portland and its racial and educational make up. That year, 76.1% of people identified as “white alone.” The African American population constituted 6.3% and the Hispanic 9.4%. While it is true that, typically, Caucasian audiences make up the majority of theatre attendees, perhaps more telling are the statistics regarding education. In Portland, 43.1% of people hold a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared to the 29.2% of the entire state. Studies have shown that theatre audiences are typically white, college or higher-educated, and 50 years or older. While Portland offers this ease of marketability within the typical demographic for live theatre, the 35% of its population between the ages of 18 and 30 provide a new market that is targeted much less frequently. There is far more market research to be done beyond a quick look at the demographics sections of the Census Bureau website to say definitively that a new theatre company would do well, however. In this thesis, I will examine the market more thoroughly to determine not only the potential success of a new theatre company within the city, but the methods I must employ in order to establish it thoroughly and have it succeed not only in those first few critical years following its inception, but beyond.


Presented at the Fall 2014 Undergraduate Student Research Day at Chapman University.