Yo! What’s your problem!?!

Nope, this blog isn’t about what I said to the cab driver that almost ran me over in the snow yesterday.


This blog is about you.

I started this blog about producing theater six years ago (!)  because, well, no one else was doing it.  And I remembered what it was like when I was wanting to produce theater six years before that, and, well, couldn’t find any information online or offline to help me with my goals.  Or my problems.

So I started blogging, with the sole goal of sharing some of what I do to help you with your goals.  And your problems.

But how can I know what those goals and problems are, without asking you?

Which brings me back to this blog.

What is your problem these days?  What is holding you back?  What can I do to help?  What can I write about?  What kind of event can I organize?  What can I do to help you produce more, write more, act more . . . whatever.

Give me a comment below, or hey, send me an email and let me know what your problem is, or what you’d like to know, and I’ll do my best to deliver some content that is directed right at you.

Sound good?

Hit it.


(Got a comment? I love ‘em, so comment below! Email Subscribers, click here then scroll down to say what’s on your mind!)

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  • Michael DiGaetano says:

    I enjoye that writer/composer meet up you had a few years back. Even though I have a fantastic partner, it was nice to meet others and see what they’re looking for. Maybe more of those for possible collaborations

  • John says:

    Ken – I’m among several playwrights like me who are considering self-producing a showcase or limited run production of a full-length play. Because we all have had previous successful careers, we each have enough contacts to be able to raise the money for a modest production. What holds me — and others like me — back is the lack of an individual to serve as the producer. I don’t have the desire or the skill set to act in that capacity, nor do I think that’s the best use of my time. So the problem is, how to find a producer with some experience in NY who is able and willing to participate in self-production.

  • Ed Katz says:

    Hi Ken,
    Thanks for asking!
    I have 2 for you:
    1A- How do you determine who would be the best person to direct your show?
    1B- What process do you go through to make that decision?

    2- How do you handle it when you are convinced the script needs more work in a couple of areas but the writer doesn’t agree? (this is before a director is on board)
    Thanks, again!

  • Debbie Saville says:

    What comes to mind for me in regards to your question would be to blog on some common themes of creating/producing that would relate to the theatre community both within and outside the realm of Broadway.

    And to those who read this, I can tell you from experience, Ken’s sound advise in his blogs, seminars, consults, has guided me towards a summer 2014 premiere of a new original musical.

  • I hope we can work together on getting the “Aretha Franklin Broadway Musical” on Broadway.

  • Donald Jordan says:

    Hey Ken, I really enjoy your blog and I appreciate your work in making it happen. I am the Artistic Director at an Equity nonprofit regional theatre and I wonder if you might have a blog every couple of weeks about the challenges and opportunities of that area? Perhaps even some guest bloggers from that world?
    Also, I think as many opportunities as possible to network to meet and help each other as we all work together in our art
    Thanks again for all you do,
    Don Jordan
    Oklahoma City Repertory Theatre

  • Greg Wright says:

    I have one for you. Why is the theatre industry so behind the times? From marketing to websites and SEO, they seem incredibly slow to adopt new technology and tactics. But they are also lacking in customer service, which, as we know, is a huge driver of repeat business. Here is a specific example (and free suggestion to any theatre that wants it). I saw Matilda last night at Shubert. It’s freezing outside. Doors don’t open until 1/2 hour before showtime. I already have my tickets and arrive when the doors open. Huge lines to get in. Waited 15 minutes in line in the freezing cold to get my ticket scanned.

    Why not open the doors an hour before the show (or even two hours)? Why not let folks in early (especially on a freezing cold night)? Shubert has a great downstairs area with a bar. Fill it, offer drink specials, make it a hangout before the show. Its a great opportunity that I don’t see anyone taking advantage of.

    It just seems to me that the industry is giving excuses for people to not come back. And in this day and age of an emphasis on customer service, finicky customers and other events drawing customers away, it just seems the industry should be bending over backwards (to some extent) to make sure theatre-goers have a pleasant experience.

  • George Rady says:

    I think more Meet-ups – like the Christmas Party – w/o “Christmas” to distract us – would be a great way to get like minded people to bang Ideas together…

    I would limit (or separate) it from Actors and Writers – but I would include Directors as those are the people we “Producers” need work hand-in-hand and see eye-to-eye wit’!

    Each Producer (depending on the size of the trun out) give a Five Minute High Concept of what they are doing and what they are still looking for… then Name Tags a plenty mingle, talk… PRODUCE!!!

    We could all bring foodstuffs and drinks to mitigate costs… and I’m sure we would willing to ante-up a door fee for the time and space being made available.

    I know what my 5 minute Pitch would be…

    “Got a 1890s French Farce – updated – got a cast and a script that is 90% done… need a Director who knows Feydeau (and a little Johnanna Strauss) and a good place for a Staged Reading (some place where I would feel I could invite some $$$ friends and serve up drinks (of the alky variety) a little more upscale than say The Barrow Group Theatre…”

    I bet there are Producers out there who know more people than I got in my small (but growing) circle… and have done Staged Readings at more than the usual spots…


  • George Rady says:

    btw – no dis for writers (I ONLY produce my own work!) but I think this forum would be for Producers that – have – a work, in the works, and are just looking for a few pieces… and Actors (I usual “create” a role for myself in own works so I understand the desire to be in the game) but I also assume that these projects would be far enough along that most of the KEY Acting roles are cast and we are just concentrating on getting the Cast on stage with the people we have…


  • Alex Bishop says:

    I’m very new to the industry and I’m trying to learn as much as I can. I’m interested in General Management and producing. I’m planning to take a CTI course and I read some producing books, but nothing is better than actually doing it. I would love some sort of mentorship or shadowing program that matches people currently in the industry with people that are new or looking to move into a different field.

  • Ryan Blanchard says:

    Perhaps you could persuade Equity to relax their guidelines for using Equity actors in staged readings. The current constrictions make abiding by Equity’s rules during the rehearsal process a hindrance, often resulting the opinion that casting A.E.A actors for a staged reading isn’t worth the trouble. I believe that Producers should be free to cast a Union actor Under a Favored Nations sort of contract. Essentially upon acceptance of a casting offer for a staged reading the Union actor agrees to surrender his Union Protection and the benefits therein. As a former A.E.A member I believe that if a Union actor wishes to participate in the production of a Staged Reading, they should be free to do so, with the understanding that they do so at their own ‘risk’

  • Ken,
    Thanks for your fantastic blog.
    Let me tell you my problem. I am a theater writer and producer currently producing one of the biggest off-Broadway touring hits of the last decade. “Dixie’s Tupperware Party” has been on the road since 2008 and we have played major arts centers and theaters in 5 different countries around the world. The audience and critical response to the show has been tremendous and my producing partner and I are incredibly pleased with the results.
    The problem is, even with this kind of success, I am unable to get theater presenters in several major cities to even return my calls of emails about bringing the show to their venue. After 6 years, we have only scratched the surface with regards to playing the US. I can’t get any traction in cities like Atlanta, Boston, DC, San Diego, LA, Nashville and San Francisco. It doesn’t make sense to me. All of them have theaters that they need to fill with content. All of them have people that book their space, but I can’t get any of these markets and several like them to budge.
    We have an amazing track record. We play multi-week engagements in cities and get brought back time and time again because of the audience response and ticket sales.
    My problem is that people whose job it is to book their spaces don’t give 2 shits about you if you aren’t one of the big Broadway shows. Off-Broadway is painfully dying in NY – mostly because of expense and because the Broadway shows are now finding homes off-Broadway and we have created a culture of patrons who buy what they know and takes little chance on things they don’t- but if the real money is made in the touring market (and it is), then theater presenters need to do their part to help this process out and cultivate the off-Broadway touring model.
    I get asked constantly on the road “where is the off-Broadway content?” Presenters that I have worked with are dying for more shows like “Dixie” and “Catechism” and “Love, Perfect, Change” but since it is impossible to make a splash in New York with these any longer due to costs, how can we take them on the road. And if there isn’t a welcoming environment on the road for off-Broadway shows, where is the incentive?
    I know you ran into this with “Miss Abagail.”
    How can we get the road presenters to take us seriously? Why don’t these presenters whose job it is to actually book content in their spaces ever seem interested in doing so?
    I may not make them $100,000 in a booking, but at least I don’t lose them any money when they promote up correctly.

    I have worked for years on this and thank God, I didn’t know how unwelcoming the majority of theater presenters would be or I never would have embarked on this. I will say that the ones I have worked with have been remarkable. You can truly see why they got into theater and how giddy they are when a small little offering like “Dixie” reaps them some surprising rewards, but I wish that was the case at large. It simply isn’t.

    What is the solution? How can we work together to solve this problem?

  • Jim says:

    I hope I’m not too late.

    What is the first big step in producing. Let’s say you had an original property you wanted to produce off-Broadway. You don’t have it funded. You have a dream cast. What are the first steps (literally, not just “Raise money”) that you would take?

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