Things to note before embarking on a commercial production

So, you have your heart set on becoming a producer? Embrace the adventurous spirit that unites those who yearn to conjure up spellbinding hits, making audiences go to great lengths just to get their hands on tickets.

Mastering the art of production isn’t astro physics, yet it calls for a delicate fusion of diverse talents. I hope this column inspires people to make their dream a reality. As a producer, you’ll embark on an exhilarating journey filled with peaks and valleys. When success is within your grasp, remain humble; when setbacks occur, don’t lose hope. A producer’s path is paved with perseverance and grit.

Commercial producers in today’s world confront a multitude of obstacles, ranging from escalating expenses to the fact that plays frequently have briefer runs in big cities and during tours. Top-tier actors might be reluctant to sign on for extended runs, and producers frequently find that the target audience for a specific production is rather limited. This situation poses challenges when it comes to recovering the initial investment and generating a substantial profit in the often-constrained time available.

On top of these challenges, producers also have to deal with an expanding web of bureaucracy and regulations. Employment laws, health and safety protocols, complex contracts, and more contribute to an increasingly complicated role for producers in the industry.

Even with these hurdles, I hope this column provides some guidance for the next generation of budding producers. As you prepare to embark on your first production, keep the following tips in mind to lay the groundwork for a successful venture.

Avoid producing a musical for your initial production. Musicals are complex and costly. As a new producer, tackling a musical right off the bat could be a risky move.

Meticulously crunch the numbers and weigh the risks you’re facing. There’s no rule that says you must produce a play! If the financial burden is overwhelming or the gamble is too daunting, feel free to step back—or get creative with a different approach. To thrive as a commercial producer, you’ll need to master the art of striking a harmonious balance between business savvy and artistic vision.

Keep pushing forward – the journey of producing plays is filled with challenges. Draw inspiration from the wisdom of others, but also forge your own path by uncovering unique and captivating ways to present plays that turn a profit. Stay tenacious and let your creative spirit soar.

Never hesitate to seek guidance from seasoned producers and truly listen to their insights. Their invaluable wisdom could be the key to unlocking your own success story.

Until next week!



Cameron Jones

A Canadian theatre producer based in Toronto. With over 15 years of experience in the industry, Cameron has played a vital role in bringing some of the most successful productions to the Canadian stage. Cameron began his career as a stage manager, working on various productions in Toronto. He quickly moved up the ranks, taking on roles as a production manager, and eventually becoming a producer. He has produced a wide variety of productions, ranging from new Canadian plays to classic musicals and everything in between.

Cameron Jones

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