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Propared Blog

Tips and Advice for Managers, Planners, and Event Production Professionals

March 2, 2018

An Interviewer's Guide to the Theatre Conference Job Fair

Conferences are just around the corner! If you work for a regional theatre company, university, or summer stock festival, odds are you’ll be doing some recruiting. And that means hours upon hours of interviews at the conference job fairs.

We already know how stressful it can be to interview a single candidate and sweat over whether we’re making the right hiring decision. But multiply it by 25 or 50? In a single day? Are we crazy?!?!?

It makes for an exhausting day. It’s hard to find managers and technicians who will be a good fit for your company. When hiring, here are some considerations that will give you a better chance of finding the right folks, and still surviving the whole weekend.

February 18, 2018

Navigating Scope Creep in Theatre Management

You sign on for one thing, and by the end, it's turned into a whole different beast. Whether you're starting a new role or managing a production, you might be on the verge of what we refer to as Scope Creep. 

January 30, 2018

The Key to Production Managing New Theatre Works

Many theaters, particularly LORT theatres, produce a lot of new works (some even exclusively).  

For a Production Manager, there are some major differences in the planning and managing of new works vs. pre-existing shows that we don’t always fully appreciate. Failing to take these differences into account can have some pretty dire ramifications once you’re in the middle of rehearsal and tech. Let’s look at a few key things to keep in mind.

November 16, 2017

The Right Way to Make Lists: A Guide for Theatrical Managers

We’ve been making lists the wrong way.

You may think I’m crazy. After all, what’s the big deal? You think of things, you put them on a list, you do the things. The problem lies in the reason we make them to begin with.

November 10, 2017

Performing Arts Centers: Managing Part-Time Staff


It takes a village to run a Performing Arts Center. Anyone who’s spent time working within the walls of one knows that technicians, ushers, box office, students, maintenance crew, and other part-time staff are a major part of the success of our venue. They’re responsible for executing the day-to-day tasks that keep our world running smoothly.  

Unlike full-time employees, your part-time employees have variable schedules which change constantly and availability isn’t always a given. It falls to us to track and manage the schedules, conflicts, and availability of a large roster of folks. This is time-consuming and adds a huge amount of complexity to our jobs.

Whenever I see something that takes up large chunks of our brainspace or our day, I flag it as a potential opportunity for big improvement. It’s in these areas of our workflow where even a small tweak can mean huge gains in efficiency.

So… how can we make the process of scheduling and communicating with your staff easier? I’m so glad you asked!

October 31, 2017

Performing Arts Centers: Working with Outside Organizations

Managing the daily life of a Performing Arts Center is hard for many reasons. One major complicator is the fact that we constantly work with people and organizations from outside the walls of our building. Artists, rental clients, external vendors, part-time staff, and designers all have their own systems of working. We have little to no time together before we hit the ground running. It’s easy to overlook the added complexity this brings to everyone involved. Let’s take a moment to reflect on these ramifications and figure out what we can do to ease the frustration.

October 27, 2017

Performing Arts Centers: Managing Your Venues

Performing Arts Centers hold a place of strong cultural connection and value in the communities that surround them - be it cities, universities or private institutions. They are also notoriously difficult to manage with multiple events, shows, and gatherings being planned and executed simultaneously. One of the biggest challenges we face as managers is scheduling the seemingly endless (yet somehow always limited) number of venues and spaces in our facility. Here are several variables at play that must be considered when scheduling.

September 5, 2017

Propared in the Classroom: Theatre Management Education

Lately, we've talked with a lot of students eager to get their hands on Propared. We love this enthusiasm (and secretly blush a bit!).

However, simply exposing students to new technology can miss the bigger opportunity. Technology, used correctly, also has the ability to reinforce underlying core techniques and skills being taught. This means that it's important not to simply teach technology in a vacuum but rather to incorporate it into the larger curriculum.

This can be a challenging thing to do.

Inspired by these discussions, Melissa and I are working with educators to incorporate Propared's management platform into theatre, arts, and event management curriculums.

June 16, 2017

How to Not Screw Up Hiring Theatre & Event Managers

If you’ve ever had to hire a manager before you know how hard it is to find someone who is a good fit for your organization. Everyone dreams of landing that magic combo of skills, personality, drive, and teamsmanship. However, even when you think you’ve asked all the right questions and found the perfect person, the honeymoon doesn’t always last.

When hiring for management positions here are some considerations that will give you a better chance of hitting a home run.

May 10, 2017

How to Keep Your Head While Onboarding Seasonal Staff

It’s that time of year again! Summer theaters and festivals all over the country are gearing up for their seasons by adding loads of seasonal employees.

Onboarding new staff is not unique. Every company hires new people. What IS unique is the time we have available and the number of people we have to simultaneously onboard. Year-round management teams balloon from just a few people to a full troupe of technicians, managers, designers, and cast almost overnight.

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