I brought this up at lunch and an arts professional dining with me said something to the effect of “Yes, a lot of people don’t know the difference between the Indiana Repertory Theatre and community theaters like Indianapolis Civic Theatre and Beef & Boards.”
The fact that Beef & Boards is actually a fully professional company only highlighted the dilemma. If the media and people in the arts industry here don’t realize which companies are pros, how can the general public be expected to sort it all out?
Beyond that, how much does the distinction matter to you when you buy tickets? Does it make a difference knowing, for instance, that the actors at Indianapolis Civic Theatre or the players with the Philharmonic Orchestra of Indianapolis are unpaid?