Friday, 28 June 2013

5 Management principles for theater producers

Producers for musical theater are managers. They manage a business, and the basic principles of management applies in theater just as much as it applies to any other business. Here are a few management principles which a theater producer may wish to remember.


  1. Hire people who genuinely love theater. Hiring people who loves what they do can be more important than skills, training, education, experience, or expertise. Surround yourself with people who are enthusiastic about theater and about your show. Having people around who hates what they do or just hates your show, is not fun. People who love what they do will never talk your show down behind your back and will give their best to help you succeed.

  2. Set realistic expectations from the start. It is important that everybody who works with you know exactly what you expect from them. You do not want your marketing manager telling you that she will not design your posters for you or update your web site because that is not in her job description. If she does not do it, you may end up doing it yourself, and you have more than enough other things to keep yourself busy. To avoid an uncomfortable situation, have a list of what you regard as the responsibilities of a theater marketing manager (or director, musical director, financial manager, office manager, or whatever) ready at the initial interview and discuss each point with the prospective person.

  3. Teamwork comes through a process, not by hiring "team players". Most people will be a part of the team if given a chance. It is human nature to work in groups. Unfortunately it requires leadership to make it work. It is up to you to ensure an effective team by including everybody in all decisions.

  4. Do not make hasty decisions. Do not fall in the trap to make changes on the run. It is hard to change decisions already taken. Make sure you have all the facts available before you make a final decision. When a idea is raised at a production meeting, there is seldom a need to decide immediately. Take some time to think. However, do not use this as an excuse to procrastinate.

  5. Give more praise than criticism. People perform better when they feel they are being appreciated. If you criticize people too frequently, they begin to feel that you are watching them only to catch them making a mistake. They become too scared to be honest and start to lose confidence. People may become reluctant to take initiative for fear of being criticized.


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