This weekend I attended the three-day theatre producing intensive organized by the Commercial Theatre Institute, whose motto is “Producing producers for more than 30 years”.
As the seminar’s title promised, it truly was intensive. For three days we listened to more than 30 speakers share their open and honest experiences creating shows on Broadway. The specifics of exactly what each of the speakers at the conference said is confidential and I need to honor that agreement.
But I can share with you one or two things that I heard over and over, from individual after individual, and that is producing theatre is about passion. You must have unending passion about the project you are giving birth to.
Secondly, you must believe that an audience will ALSO share that same passion for your project.
And this is key, as film producer Sam Goldwyn famously said, “If the audience doesn’t want to come, you can’t stop them.”
I understood these two concepts this way; that theatre producing (and for that matter directing and acting) is like hosting a party where you are the host and you are also the help. In this model, the audience is the guest. Everything you do is to help make their experience truly special.
This is essential for your show to be a success and altruistically, so the audience continues to want to see theatre in the future.
This CTI seminar was an exceptional experience and I urge anyone serious about producing theatre to take it when they offer it again next year.