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Propared Blog

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

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 28, 2018

Live Chat with Production Managers: Pre-Production Best Practices

Yesterday we held our first live chat with members of the Theatre, Event and Venue Management Slack Group. Our topic for the month was best practices in pre-production. We compiled the conversation into a blog here. It’s been lightly edited for continuity and readability.

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.

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.

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