Better Business Bureau Report for
Main Street Theater at Autry House

Better Business Bureau Report issued November 2014
Better Business Bureau Report expires November 2015

Does not meet one or more standards
This charity does not meet one or more of the 20 standards for Charity Accountability. Find out more...

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Charity Contact Information

Name: Main Street Theater at Autry House
Address: 2540 Times Boulevard
  Houston, TX 77005
Phone: 713-524-3622
Web Address:
Also known as:Main Street Theater
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Better Business Bureau Comments

Year, State Incorporated: 1979, Texas
Affiliates: None
Stated Purpose: Main Street Theater’s mission is to create theater that challenges its audience to think and its artists to grow. We accomplish this by presenting an articulate and compelling product in an intimate setting, creating significant employment for Houston-based artists, and memorable theatrical experiences for audiences of all ages.

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Evaluation Conclusions


Main Street Theater at Autry House does not meet the following 2 Standards for Charity Accountability.

Standard 1: Oversight of Operations and Staff - Organizations shall have a board of directors that provides adequate oversight of the charity's operations and its staff. Indication of adequate oversight includes, but is not limited to, regularly scheduled appraisals of the CEO's performance, evidence of disbursement controls such as board approval of the budget, fund raising practices, establishment of a conflict of interest policy, and establishment of accounting procedures sufficient to safeguard charity finances.

Main Street Theater at Autry House does not meet this Standard because its board of directors does not:

  • Review the performance of the chief executive officer at least once every two years.

Standard 6: Board Policy on Effectiveness - Have a board policy of assessing, no less than every two years, the organization's performance and effectiveness and of determining future actions required to achieve its mission.

Main Street Theater at Autry House does not meet this Standard because:

  • The board of directors does not have a written policy stating that, at least every two years, an appraisal be done assessing the organization’s performance and effectiveness and determining future actions required to achieve its mission.
In addition, the Houston BBB requested but did not receive complete information on the organization’s finances and is unable to verify the organization's compliance with the following 2Standards for Charity Accountability: 11 and 12.
Main Street Theater at Autry House meets the remaining 16 Standards for Charity Accountability.
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Main Street Theater produces the following three programs in two facilities: a 274-seat theater at our location in the Museum District and a 99-seat arena stage in the Rice Village: The MainStage is in its tenth season under an Actors’ Equity Association Small Professional Theatre contract and produces a wide array of classical and contemporary works, world premiere productions and musicals. Main Street’s Theater for Youth is Houston’s serves 130,000+ children and families from the greater Houston area through productions that encourage literacy by linking plays to school curricula. Each in-house play is based on a book that the students are reading in school or at home with their parents. They also tour one elementary-age play and one Shakespeare production to schools throughout Texas. For all programs, school groups receive free ancillary resources, including educational materials, talkbacks and artist visits to the classroom. Through The Curtains Up Fund, all Title I school students (one-third of the student audience) see a play with free or discounted ticket. MST's Education Department has been designed to spark a lifelong appreciation of theater by encouraging young people to participate in all aspects of play production. The curriculum teaches essential skills such as creative thinking, teamwork, self-confidence and communication. Through year-long classes, outreach programs and camps both on-site and at satellite locations, students are able to develop their voices, bodies, and imaginations through a challenging and fun curriculum. In 2013, they presented 684 performances of 13 theatrical productions to a total audience of 144,842 people, including over 116,000 children and families. They also provided arts education activities to 34 schools, serving 3,052 children and employing 140 teaching artists.

For the fiscal year ended August 31, 2014, Main Street Theater at Autry House's program expenses were:

performances & classes 1,773,170
Total Program Expenses: $1,773,170
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Chief Executive : Rebecca Greene Udden, Executive Artistic Director

Chair of the Board: John M. Cornwell, Ph. D
Chair's Profession / Business Affiliation: Associate Vice-President for Institutional Effectiveness, Rice University

Board Size: 18

Paid Staff Size: 20

*Compensation includes annual salary and, if applicable, benefit plans, expense accounts, and other allowances.
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Fund Raising


Method(s) Used:

direct mail, invitations to fund raising events, print advertisements, grant proposals, internet
Fund raising costs were 5% of related contributions. (Related contributions, which totaled $1,481,948, are donations received as a result of fund raising activities.)
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Tax Status


This organization is tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. It is eligible to receive contributions deductible as charitable donations for federal income tax purposes.
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The following information is based on Main Street Theater at Autry House's audited financial statements for the fiscal year ended August 31, 2014.

Source of Funds  
contributions 1,412,047
ticket sales 1,072,585
tuition 453,226
other 79,090
government grants 69,901
investment return 9,560
loss on disposal of property/equip -30,551
Total Income $3,065,858


Uses of Funds as a % of Total Expenses

Programs: 83%  Fund Raising: 3%  Administrative: 14% 

Total income $3,065,858
Program expenses $1,773,170
Fund raising expenses 72,451
Administrative expenses 293,879
Total expenses $2,139,500
Income in Excess of Expenses 926,358
Beginning net assets 1,194,829
Ending net assets 2,121,187
Total liabilities 987,122
Total assets $3,108,309

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The BBB has processed no customer complaints on this company in its three year reporting period.

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An organization may change its practices at any time without notice. A copy of this report has been shared with the organization prior to publication. It is not intended to recommend or deprecate, and is furnished solely to assist you in exercising your own judgment. If the report is about a charity and states the charity meets or does not meet the BBB Standards for Charity Accountability, it reflects the results of an evaluation of information and materials provided voluntarily by the charity. The name Better Business Bureau is a registered service mark of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, Inc.

This report is not to be used for fund raising or promotional purposes.

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