Monday, January 31, 2011

Producing Theater

I'm sick today. So sick that I'm thinking about the process of producing theater. I'm not so sick as to do it myself, but I'm sick enough to think about it. Stomach virus or food poisoning. Considering the bug that's been going around I suspect stomach virus.

Watch me segue into the next part:

Say you and a few friends come to New York. You want to build a theater company but you don't have very much money.

Firstwise, try to get some people together who get along. People who respect one another's talents. People who have positive attitude, who actually want to see their theater get done and not people who just talk a game but really don't want to do anything and who secretly get jealous of you when you get something done.

Next you need to figure out your "mission". Let me take a moment out here to ask you not to do something. Remember that idea you had for "The Cherry Orchard" back in college? Or that other play you read and always wanted to play the lead in? Or any other play that's already been done? Don't do them. Please. They've already been done. And, quite frankly, they've been done better. Over the last several hundred years some bozo has thought they could do that play better than someone else. And one of those bozos did. The other bozos? Not so much. Guess which category you're in? Heck, no, go ahead and produce another 12th Night. No really. I'm kidding. Don't.

So what is your mission? It's to develop new works. Go ahead, say it with me: "Our mission is to develop new works."

Now as far as actually producing new works, here's where producing at Theatresource pays off for you. As a producer you need to get a show up on its feet in front of an audience. You just have to. You can't tell how a show is working 'till it's up and running. You can start with a reading, but eventually you have to have actors in costumes and maybe some light and sound cues to actually see the dang show. And the biggest expense in doing that is renting a theater. You can get Theatresource for free if you're able to sell 30 $18 tickets.

So make a year-long plan where you produce between 1 and 3 works. Workshop the show using Theatresource's "development series" so that you're not renting and instead you're working on the stage of whatever other show is there. Your total budget can be as low as a few hundred dollars and you get to see a show on its feet so that you can make needed changes and develop it.

In a year you're going to have your show in good shape.

You're not going to make money hand over fist in theater. The only people who can do that are a half-dozen Broadway shows. But you can be a theatrical producer without spending thousands of dollars.

In the meantime, Pedialite tastes terrible.

1 comment:

absarforex said...

good information on this blog.nice job