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Building the Successful Theater Company

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ISBN-10: 1581157614

ISBN-13: 9781581157611

Edition: 2nd 2011

Authors: Lisa Mulcahy

List price: $24.95
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Through the stories of esteemed stage veterans, this guide reveals the pitfalls, passions and practicalities of launching and running a theatre company. Chapters discuss: finding performance space; developing a business plan; rehearsing; attracting attention; adapting to growth and lots more.
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Book details

List price: $24.95
Edition: 2nd
Copyright year: 2011
Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing Company, Incorporated
Publication date: 1/11/2011
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 256
Size: 6.00" wide x 8.75" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.902
Language: English

(From Chapter Seven: The Biggest Problem We Ever Faced)
Usually, once a theater company achieves some measure of progress, a gigantic, disturbing, hulking crisis will rear its ugly head at the worst possible moment.
Sometimes, in retrospect, such a crisis doesn't turn out to be so terrible after all. I directed a musical in Boston many years ago. One Friday night performance, the house was packed, the cast was hot, the show was playing the best it ever had-and then the power went out. No lights. No juice to power equipment. Nothing.
I must admit that I freaked out in those first, dark moments (dark meant in both its literal and figurative definitions), but cooler heads quickly prevailed. The audience was digging the show so much, they volunteered to go out to their cars and get flashlights. Our stage manager ran to a nearby deli and bought batteries. A friend of mine in the audience happened to have a battery-operated keyboard in the trunk of his car that the show's music could be played on. Mind-bendingly, the audience trained their flashlights on the cast in unison, and the show indeed went on.
Needless to say, that was one of the greatest nights of theater I've ever been privileged to be a part of-and it started out looking like a complete and total disaster. Lots of theaters have weathered similar crises that appear large-looming at first, but thankfully can be taken care of effectively.
Other times, problems are more complicated. If you don't handle them the right way, they can spell the end for your company, worst-case scenario. To a less severe degree, they can cost you time, money, and energy, three important things you can't have enough of when you're maintaining a theater company.
In this chapter, our experts will discuss the biggest problems their companies have faced and how they coped. Their big issues span a very wide gamut, but the common lesson we can learn from the experiences they relate is this: every problem ultimately has a solution. Sometimes the solution is one you're delighted with; sometimes it's not the end result you want at all; and sometimes you end up with mixed results. But everything does indeed pass. If you throw your smarts and strengths-both as a businessperson and as a human being-at a hairy problem full tilt, it can pass a lot faster.
Some of the problems our experts have faced were quite concrete while others presented themselves in a more abstract form, but all were tough. I'd also like to give our subjects extra thanks for their honesty in sharing these problems in the first place. It's easy to talk about good times, but not a lot of laughs to go back over the bad stuff.