Monday, March 1, 2010

The Producer Speaks

Getting The Merry Devil to the Fringe Festival is going to take a lot more than bibliographic research and artistic skill, it means a lot of good old fashioned business footwork. Producing a play in a market that you don't know can be fraught with peril, but fortunately I have a friend or two on the ground in Philly to help guide my decisions. For example: an 80 seat theater asking for $5000 a day that doesn't include lighting, sound, and fully union tech staff, house staff, box office staff, and catering seems a lot steep, and than I find out that Germantown is pretty far removed from the public transit lines in Philly anyway, making it triply not worth it. Moving right along.

Maybe the most important thing for the Producer to do is the cost/benefit analysis. Director Tony would love to do the show for 2 weekends of the festival, Producer Tony thinks that, with the cost of hotels, that might be a little bit prohibitive. Can we make a deal with some hotels? Maybe, but that's another thing that needs negotiating, and this is where, again, having a friend on the ground in Philly will come in handy. On the bright side, I feel that we're much closer to approaching average-case scenario projections for expenses, which means that we can start putting together something resembling a budget, which in turn means we can start looking for funding.

The other concern that I've been dealing with while wearing the producer hat is trying to figure out how to include actors from other points in the project. Merry Devil has a pretty small cast by Renaissance London standards: 11 people. That's a pretty big cast by post-modern standards, and my grad program isn't huge. Fortunately my inner-nerd came up with an idea that might make this a little bit easier.

Philly is still a long way off, but over the course of the last 48 hours, it's started looking a lot closer.

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