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Propared Blog

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

Ryan Kirk

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Recent Posts

October 8, 2018

Theatre Safety And What We Can Learn From The Construction Industry

 

The theatre industry as a whole doesn't take safety as seriously as other industries. Construction sites, for example, have very strict rules covering every facet of their work - and with good reason given the nature of the work. As theatre practitioners, there's a lot we can learn and a lot we can collectively do better.

September 10, 2018

5 Keys to Creating Rewarding Jobs in Theatre

In the theatre, we often hear that we work in this field because we "love it." But why is that exactly? What is it about our jobs make it so rewarding? There's an answer!

In a study, Richard Hackman, Greg Oldham, and their colleagues proposed that there are 5 identifiable features of intrinsically motivating jobs. In other words, there are some specific, elements to a job that make it something someone will actually enjoy doing.

So how do our jobs in theatre stack up to these 5 factors? How might we be able to adjust things to make our jobs even more rewarding for us and our team? 

August 28, 2018

How to Manage a Theatre World Premiere

 

Back in January we published a blog about Production Managing New Works. We heard some great feedback from you so we decided to delve a little deeper with some more specifics.

While the journey of managing a world premiere has many gratifying moments, we must prepare for the unique challenges of these shows. Here are some of the biggest considerations when producing new works.

August 20, 2018

How Your Theater Can Earn Revenue in the Off Season

 

Theatre company managers who operate their own venues have an incredibly valuable resource in the form of the spaces themselves. We recently spoke with Anetha and Olivia from VenueBook  about ways theatre companies can further leverage their venues.

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.

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 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.

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