Theatre Producers

Theatre Producers

Brandon Ballentine

A theatrical producer is the person ultimately responsible for overseeing all aspects of mounting a theatre production. The independent producer will usually be the originator and finder of the script and starts the whole process. The producer finds the director, and then begins the primary goal which is to balance and coordinate the business and financial aspects of mounting the show in the service of the creative realization of the playwright's (and the producer's) vision. This may or may not include casting, but often will include casting approval. The producer may be responsible for securing funds for the production, either through his or her own company or by taking on investors in the production via a limited partnership agreement, the producer becoming the General Partner with unlimited liability (and because of this will often bring on board other general partners). The producer will probably have optioned the play from the playwright which would
include all rights including film and television rights if the production will enhance their value, and may have included the royalty agreement. Then comes the time to work with theatrical agents, negotiate with the unions, find other staff, secure the theatre and rehearsal hall, obtain liability and workers' compensation insurance, and post bonds with the unions.

Although the producer is responsible for hiring creative teams, this is generally done in consultation with the director and the playwright who like to have approval. The producer also hires the production team including the General Manager, Production Manager, House Manager, Stage Manager etc. at his or her own discretion. In many cases the producer is required to use front of house staff (such as the house manager, box office, ushers, etc.) and backstage personnel (stage hands, electrician, carpenter, etc.) supplied by the theatre owner.

The producer is responsible for creating and overseeing the budget. He or she sets...

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