It is becoming more and more common for artists and groups to produce work for the first time. Amateur and professional theater companies are springing up across the country, and there are a lot of things that people should know before taking a new project on.
- Identify your audience - Who are you going to try to get to come see your show? It's essential to identify what market you would like to target. A play or musical written for a younger demographic will probably not do well with an older audience, and vice versa.
- Read scripts - it's important to read (and re-read) the scripts you are interested in. Read everything and anything you can get your hands on, and identify key issues that will come up. After you've read something that you're interested in, hand it off to someone with expertise in other aspects of the theater, whether it be an actor, designer or director, and ask them for their suggestions and opinions. A script that reads well on paper may not work on stage, or may end up being too heavy in the technical department, whether it be cast size, or costume or set requirements.
- After selecting a show, you have to budget. How much money do you have? How much money are you going to have to raise to make the show possible? There are a lot of factors that will come into play, and once you estimate how much the show will cost, you can begin to plan your fundraising goals. Keep in mind that everything will probably cost you more than you think, and you should increase your budget accordingly. You can always cut back later on.
- Select a venue - Choosing a venue is an important part of producing a show. You need to find a venue that has the technical resources you need, and an audience capacity that makes it realistic to make some of your money back. There are theaters who charge you a flat rate per week, and some that will take a certain percentage of your box office earnings to pay those fees.