Public boards: Questions of representation on supervisory boards of german, austrian and swiss theatres

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  • Thomas Heskia

Governance of theatres in German-speaking countries has been studied primarily in relation to their powerful artistic directors. However, the author suggests that their power relates to the weakness of the supervisory bodies. He analyzes the role of the supervisory boards of 153 theatres in Germany, Austria and German-speaking Switzerland to explain why the specific history of the theatres as outsourced public institutions, their different legal structure, administrative federalism in Germany and cultural differences have led to the lack of comparable standards across regional jurisdictions. Despite far-reaching structural changes in recent decades, governance appears to need further development. This article explains why overall control still lies in government structures rather than in supervisory boards, why diversity is almost completely lacking, and why even a well-designed supervisory structure cannot prevent a governance crisis in theatre.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Arts Management
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)32-47
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 01.09.2021