Panel Alert: How to Produce an Off-Broadway Show

About a decade ago, when I was contemplating how I would get into the game of commercial theater producing, I had to come to terms with the fact that I couldn’t write a ten-million dollar check.  Nor did I know enough people that would allow me to amass that type of money.

So, producing a Broadway show right out of the gate was out.

Maybe my assessment of my ability to write checks or raise money at that stage was a bit of what a self-helper would call a ‘limiting belief,’ but hey, it was true.

I’ve always been a ‘one small step-at-a-time’ guy, anyway . . . so I set my sites on Off-Broadway productions that I knew I could finance (if I found product that was good enough), and that would also get me greater control so I could do some of the crazier ideas I had up my short sleeves.

I’m pretty happy with how it turned out, and I encourage new Producers to follow a similar path.

If you’d like to hear just what it takes to produce Off-Broadway and want to hear how others got in the game, The Off-Broadway Alliance is sponsoring a panel discussion called “Producing Off-Broadway – Think Outside The Box” on Sunday, June 6th at Noon at the Snapple Theater Center on 50th and Broadway (doors open at 11:30 for comp coffee and networking opps).

The panel will feature my Off-Broadway producing peers Amy Danis, Scott Morfee, Eva Price and Orin Wolf.  It’ll be moderated by Jeremy Gerard of Bloomberg News.

Unfortunately, I can’t make the event because I’ll still be in Florida with Miss A, but if you’re got a hankering to produce Off-Broadway, you should skip your Sunday brunch and get to the Snapple center.

The event is free, but you have to make a reservation to get admission.

Click here to reserve a spot before June 4th.

Oh, and if you’re wondering what that image is . . . you’ve got me.  It was just the first one that popped up when I Googled Off-Broadway.

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The story of one fellow’s fellowship.

Hal Prince has been on a crusade to put the Creative Producer back in power for many years.

One of his many efforts was the creation of the T Fellowship, a program he founded in conjunction with Columbia and TDF, “committed to sustaining the finest traditions of creative producing.”

 
One of the first fellows in that program was Orin Wolf, and we’re currently seeing the fruits of his and the fellowship’s labor with Groundswell, now playing at The New Group.
 
Read this great article about how Orin found the piece, how long it took him to get it going, and how he found the people he needed to get it up.  It’s a great lesson in creative producing.
 
For more on the fellowship, click here.  And yet another thank you to Hal Prince for establishing it in the first place, because God knows, we need it.
 
Creative producers are an endangered species.  Sometimes I think that they should put several of us in a room and force us to mate in order to guarantee our survival.
 
But that would make for some frighteningly obsessive-compulsive showtune-singing offspring . . . 
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