What is a theatre producer?

The producer is the person that “puts on the show”.

A theatre producer oversees all aspects of a theatre production, from the generation of an idea to the day-to-day management when it is on stage. They are the person responsible for the financial, strategic and managerial aspects of staging the production.

A producer will:

  • Obtain the rights for the project (play or musical)

  • Select and engage the creative team

  • Negotiate and issue contracts

  • Ensure legal compliance

  • Create and manage a budget

  • Book the venue

  • Create a production timeline

  • Raise the money

 “I fell into producing by mistake. I had a project that needed to be seen and my only option as I saw it was to do it myself. 
I paid closer attention to what others were doing, cold called several people for advice or assistance and used my well tested abilities as a practical person who gets things done to move the project forward. Somewhere along the way, I discovered that the person who did what I was doing was usually called a producer.”

Tolu Agbelusi

Bridge the Gap Participant 2018/19

Producer/Poet/Playwright/Educator


How do I become a theatre producer?

There is no one way to become a producer! You do not need any specific qualifications but training does help. Either formally at schools and colleges where theatre producing courses are now more widespread, or working directly in the industry in a multitude of other roles to gain experience of the theatrical process. An eye for detail, strong people management, good communication skills and a personality that thrives on risk are just some of the helpful attributes.

 

A lot of people become producers from other roles in the theatre:

  • If you are a writer, you might have found it easier to sort the logistics of getting the show on stage yourself. You have therefore produced your own show.
  • If you are a director, you may have found yourself working closely with the producer, getting involved in the financial budgeting of the production and the relationship with the theatre. Or you might have been doing all these things yourself!
  • If you are an actor, you may have found that you wanted more control over the production and preferred the action off stage to on.

At Stage One, we feel that in order to produce efficiently and effectively, the role should be separate to other creative roles of your show. We aim to support artists who wish to transition to producing or understand the need for a producer on their production.

 

A Theatre Producers skill-set: 

  • Negotiation
  • Communication
  • People management
  • Knowledge of theatre audiences & appetite
  • Scheduling
  • Leadership
  • Business management
  • Financial planning
  • Problem solving
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