TOP BLOGS FOR PRODUCERS

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WHAT DOES A BROADWAY PRODUCER DO? OVER 100 PRODUCERS RESPOND

I got an email a few weeks ago from a high school student with the simplest question ever.

“Ken,” she typed, “Can you tell me . . . what does a Broadway Producer do?”

I try to answer all of my reader’s questions, but I have to say, I was a bit overwhelmed at the thought of trying to answer this one. First I thought about directing her to my Producer Mission Statement. Then I thought about trying to come up with a list of my day-to-day duties on a show.

But then I remembered how different every single Broadway Producer I know is . . . and how each one…

HOW DOES A BROADWAY PRODUCER GET PAID?

I wrote a blog in November which stumped for the concept that Producers should receive a portion of Author’s subsidiary rights on shows that have not recouped on Broadway, since it was the Producer’s production that branded the show for subsidiary production in the first place.

I got tremendous positive response from the industry from that blog, including several Producers who said they would be willing to take more risks on Broadway if they knew they would have a guaranteed revenue stream to help keep funding their projects in the future.

I also got a lot of questions from readers wanting to know exactly how Producers were compensated for producing shows on and Off-Broadway, so here’s a blog that breaks downs the bucks (or lack thereof).

WHAT SHOULD A PRODUCER STUDY? A PRODUCER’S CURRICULUM IN DETAIL

I got an email from a college student this week who knows she wants to be a Producer. There’s no question about it. She’d declare it as a major . . . if she could.

Her school has a theater major and a business major but it doesn’t have a “producer’s track” . . . and not many do. Even my alma mater only has a minor (and until we can turn Producing theater into a more stable and viable career choice, I’m not sure many will).

Since her school hasn’t spec’d out a plan for producers-to-be, she asked me what I thought she should study on her way through school.

As I’m sure you can imagine, I’m a big pusher for producers to take standard business courses as they’re coming up, from accounting to marketing to contract law (and there are still times I wish I had taken a few more myself).

But mostly I advised this focused young woman to take theater classes. I told her to take a directing class, with people that want to be directors. Take an acting class with actors. Take a writing class with writers. Take a design class with you-know-who and so on.

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A LEAD PRODUCER AND A PRODUCER?

Here’s a question from a reader that wouldn’t have even been a question a few decades ago. In the days of David Merrick, there weren’t 142 names above the title, all calling themselves producers. There was one, maybe two or three, and everyone knew who was wearing the top hat in that relationship.

Times have changed, as shows have gotten more expensive. Producers have given up big pieces of profit, as well as diluted the strength of the title of Producer, in exchange for making sure shows still happen (laugh all you want about the umpteen producers above-the-title on Spring Awakening, but without them, that show never would have happened, and we all would have missed out on something spectacular).

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