Within professional theatre the role of producer is unclear and there are many variations (Seabright, 2010, p.5). My role, as Producer and Production Manager of Birds Eye View Theatre, is one of organisation, responsibility, problem solving, finance and co-ordination. Within the company I am the go to girl regarding the technical, financial, artistic and marketing aspects of our current project, Sincerely Yours. In the words of James Seabright, I am a ‘do-it-all’ producer. (2010, p.5) and my job is to ensure the smooth running of the company. I could only do this with the help of my handy folder of wisdom…
I have an artistic input on the show and I meet with the three Directors, Lauren Kirby, Charlotte and Ellie, once a week to discuss the structure of the week’s rehearsal and to solve any issues that may have arisen in the rehearsal room. At these meeting we discuss visions that we want to put in place and how this can be done. From here it is my responsibility to contact the necessary people to get the vision on its feet. More often than not this involves the technical team and consent with the budget sheet. I am in charge of the finance of the company and have composed the budget sheet which shows how we will spend our budget, where we received our budget from and any facilities we have in-kind. You can take a look at the budget sheet here.
I work closely with the technical team as, with the role of Production Manager, I will be ‘responsible for everything on stage that is not an actor’ (Dean, 2002, p.6). I often speak to Jamee, our Stage Manager, about what is required by the Directors. From there she speaks to the rest of her team in order to provide the company with the tools we require to produce this show effectively. As the technical requirements advance, I will be holding productions meetings with the resident Stage Manager of the venue to keep him informed of our requirements. As the show gets closer, Jamee, Louise and I will work together to produce a technical ryder which will tell the venue what is required.
Emily and Lauren Simpson are our Marketing team and I meet with them to discuss how we shall market our show. We currently are building a strong following on social media and have set targets to reach before the performance. One of my jobs as the Producer of the company is to assist the marketing team in finding innovotive ways to build an audience and social media has helped us make contact with them. It has also enabled us to get to know them and for them to get to know us. Each week we realese a Vlog from a member of the company which allows our aueince to get to know each member of the company and to learn about their role within Birds Eye View Theatre. Check them out on our Facebook Page.
Our project is a national topic this year and we are lucky to be able to contact many people through social media who have interest in attending our performance and helping with its creation. We are also developing a relationship with the press and, although Lauren Simpson is in charge of forming those relations, I aid her in anyway necessary.
My job started long before the research and development phases of rehearsal as I had to book spaces, create schedules and set targets. All rehearsal spaces from the beginning of the process until the performance have been book to ensure the beginning of rehearsals run smoothly. Each department have their own schedules and targets to ensure the development of the show progresses evenly.
I am a facilitator, a co-ordinator, a collaborator, an organiser, a member of the marketing team, an agony aunt, a problem solver, a friend, the finance department, a member of the technical team, part of the artistic vision, the producer and the production manager of Birds Eye View Theatre. I work in the ‘creative and business worlds simultaneously’ (Rachel Tackley in Hutchins et al., 2007, p. 7) and I enjoy this busy creative hub we create at Birds Eye View Theatre.
Dean, Peter (2002) Production Management: Making Shows Happen. Marlborough: The Crowood Press.
Golby, Jessica (2014) Folder of Wisdom.
Goby, Jessica (2014) Rehearsal Schedules.
Hutchins, Madeline, Kay, Sue and Perinupanayagam, Anouk (2007) Passion and Performance: Managers and Producers in Theatre and Dance. Brighton: All Ways Learning.
Seabright, James (2010) So You Want To Be A Theatre Producer?. London: Nick Hern Books.