Theatrical producer
A theatrical producer is the person ultimately responsible for overseeing all aspects of mounting a theatre
Theatre is a collaborative form of fine art that uses live performers to present the experience of a real or imagined event before a live audience in a specific place. The performers may communicate this experience to the audience through combinations of gesture, speech, song, music or dance...

Stagecraft is a generic term referring to the technical aspects of theatrical, film, and video production. It includes, but is not limited to, constructing and rigging scenery, hanging and focusing of lighting, design and procurement of costumes, makeup, procurement of props, stage management, and...

. 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
Option (films)
In the film industry, an option is a contractual agreement between a potential film producer, such as a movie studio, a production company or an individual, and a writer or third party who holds ownership of a screenplay...

 the play from the playwright
A playwright, also called a dramatist, is a person who writes plays.The term is not a variant spelling of "playwrite", but something quite distinct: the word wright is an archaic English term for a craftsman or builder...

 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
Production management
Theatrical production management is a sub-division of stagecraft. The production management team is responsible for realizing the visions of the producer and the director or choreographer within constraints of technical possibility...

, House Manager
House management
In theatre, house management concerns the selling of tickets, the ushering of patrons in front of house areas, and the maintenance and management of the theatre building itself. House management staff usually work for the theatre, under the supervision of the house manager, and not for the...

, Stage Manager
Stage management
Stage management is the practice of organizing and coordinating a theatrical production. It encompasses a variety of activities, including organizing the production and coordinating communications between various personnel...

 etc. at his or her own discretion. In many cases the producer is required to use front of house
Front of House
Front of house is primarily a theatrical term, referring to the portion of the building that is open to the public. In theatre and live music venues, it typically refers to the auditorium and foyer, as opposed to the stage and backstage areas...

 staff (such as the house manager, box office
Box office
A box office is a place where tickets are sold to the public for admission to an event. Patrons may perform the transaction at a countertop, through an unblocked hole through a wall or window, or at a wicket....

, ushers, etc.) and backstage personnel (stage hands
A stagehand is a person who works backstage or behind the scenes in theatres, film, television, or location performance. Their duties include setting up the scenery, lights, sound, props, rigging, and special effects for a production.-Types of stagehand:...

, electrician, carpenter, etc.) supplied by the theatre owner.

The producer is responsible for creating and overseeing the budget. He or she sets ticket prices and performance dates and times and develops a marketing and advertising strategy for the production. The hiring of a Publicist and Marketing team is one of the most important responsibilities of the producer. These teams are generally in place before the show is cast.

The producer hires accountants and perhaps already has legal representation. This is important, because of the liability mentioned above. All bills including payroll need to be paid on time and taxes need to be paid. He or she develops all the budgeting. The theatre owner, providing box office services, will turn over the net result of ticket sales. If the results are not good and fall under a set minimum level, the show may have to close. Hopefully this will not happen, and perhaps the producer will make a handy 50% of the net profit, the other 50% going to the investors, and possibility arrange for more income from a tour, or a film which might put them on the other side of an option. Statistically, highly successful shows and therefore big profits are the exception. Independent commercial production is a high risk business.

Another kind of producer is the non-independent who is better described as a line producer
Line producer
A line producer is the key manager during the daily operations of a motion picture production.The line producer supports the vision given by the director but does not have direct influence on the creative expression or narrative of the film....

, a facilitator
The term facilitation is broadly used to describe any activity which makes tasks for others easy. For example:* Facilitation is used in business and organizational settings to ensure the designing and running of successful meetings....

 of other people's wishes. A repertory
Repertory or rep, also called stock in the United States, is a term used in Western theatre and opera.A repertory theatre can be a theatre in which a resident company presents works from a specified repertoire, usually in alternation or rotation...

 or repertoire or festival
A festival or gala is an event, usually and ordinarily staged by a local community, which centers on and celebrates some unique aspect of that community and the Festival....

 or non-profit or amateur
An amateur is generally considered a person attached to a particular pursuit, study, or science, without pay and often without formal training....

 organization will in most cases be using a Managing Director and the creative decisions will be on the shoulders of the Artistic Director
Artistic director
An artistic director is the executive of an arts organization, particularly in a theatre company, that handles the organization's artistic direction. He or she is generally a producer and director, but not in the sense of a mogul, since the organization is generally a non-profit organization...

. And In theatres where there is no Managing Director, Artistic Directors often take on the title Producing Artistic Director or Managing Artistic Director, to indicate their higher level of responsibility.

In the commercial world of Broadway
Broadway theatre
Broadway theatre, commonly called simply Broadway, refers to theatrical performances presented in one of the 40 professional theatres with 500 or more seats located in the Theatre District centered along Broadway, and in Lincoln Center, in Manhattan in New York City...

 and West End
West End theatre
West End theatre is a popular term for mainstream professional theatre staged in the large theatres of London's 'Theatreland', the West End. Along with New York's Broadway theatre, West End theatre is usually considered to represent the highest level of commercial theatre in the English speaking...

 and touring, producers are expected to be active members of the team, and their names are put above the title of the show. But there are many "producers" who are in reality investors
Investment has different meanings in finance and economics. Finance investment is putting money into something with the expectation of gain, that upon thorough analysis, has a high degree of security for the principal amount, as well as security of return, within an expected period of time...

or perhaps the theatre owner, and claim no say in the running of the production. The "producer" credit is occasionally given to persons who perform special important services, such as finding a theatre or a star, but normally their credit would be as "associate producer".

External links

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