Kinds of intermediaries

There are several kinds of intermediaries in the Netherlands. Many will have features of different 'kinds'.  

Management agency

A management agency, impresario or theatre agency do more or less the same thing. There can be differences in the financial risk each agency is taking, the amount of services it offers and the artistic involvement, but not necessarily. The agency arranges performances and tours for several artists and/or groups. Artistic commitment does not usually play a role here. It involves the entire financial and organizational transaction or certain services: sales, business management, production, publicity etc. A management agency can be paid for each service rendered or through a percentage of the profits from performances. 

Theatrical agency

A theatrical agency differs from a management agency in that it usually agrees per client on which services it will perform and has a stronger artistic bond with its clients. Theatrical agencies usually have their own character; the artists and groups they deal with often exhibit a particular artistically intrinsic similarity.

Impresario agency

An impresario agency (impresariaat) used to be a theatrical enterprise which assumed financial risks: it employed artists for a particular production. Nowadays in practice the name impresariaat is also used for booking offices and theatrical agencies. They hardly take on financial risks. An impresario agency who contracts foreign artists/groups for a tour is an exception to this: in that case (part of) the financial risks are usually for the impresario.

Directly to:

Impresarios in jazz music

Theatre agencies and impresarios

Booking agency

A booking agency sells performances to stages, mostly this is music or cabaret. In addition it can, depending on the agreement, take care of taxes, bookkeeping, publicity and PR. You can ask a price for a performance, in which case it is not your business how much the booking agency charges to the venue. You can also agree on a percentage that you will pay to the booking agency if they sell a performance. In that case you can agree on a minimum amount and avoid that a disproportionate part of the profit goes to the booking agency.

Directly to:

Booking agencies pop

Casting agency

A casting agency is hired by a producer to find suitable people for particular roles. This service is paid for by the producer. The artist may not be charged. A casting agency is usually specialized in theatre, film, commercial, or so on. This means that it can only mediate for a limited number of artists. There are also casting agencies for musicians, internet, radio. A 'voice' bureau is also a sort of casting agency. You can be registered with more than one casting agency. You can invite these agencies when to you are to be seen somewhere. 


An agent looks after your professional interests and can counsel you in your career. He draws up contracts and takes care of your PR In exchange, a pre-arranged sum is charged – from you, because he is not paid by the employers (theatres, etc.). An agent can demand that you only get contracts through him. A good agent will only promote the interests of a limited number of artists. An Impresario or business manager from a theatre bureau can also take on these tasks.

Workshop and production house

Workshops and production houses offer artists (theatre maker, director or choreographer) the space to make a production, both materially and organizationally. Often a performance maker is invited; sometimes he is expected to invest his own money (co-production). 

The performances which are made in a workshop are particularly aimed at the development of the performance maker; the performances from a production house must be able to tour the country’s flat-floor (black box) theatres as a full-fledged product. The difference between workshops and production houses is getting smaller.