Step-by-step plan producing a show

After a brainstorming and concept development phase, you will begin the production of your show. You should divide the production process into five phases, in which activities are addressed on an artistic, business and production level. The steps are addressed in more detail in the download 'The process of production'.

1. Initiation phase: what are you going to make?

The decision to turn a concept into a show is the starting point. A global schedule is determined during this phase. The artistic leader is responsible for translating the idea into artistic wishes: put down the substantive objectives on paper, determine the type of show, develop a basic concept and possibly acquire a script (pay attention to the copyright). The general manager will be occupied with the cost estimate and a financing plan. He/she will look at the size of the production (large or small hall) and the response of the possible buyers or expected public interest. The business requirements will now be revealed.

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Project management

2. Preparatory phase: pre-production

If the concept is financially feasible, this phase can begin. A production manager coordinates, sets the project organisation up, makes a detailed production planning and budget, and prepares the rehearsals. The artistic team sets to work on finishing the script and the staging concept and/or the choreography, designing the set and costumes, and the casting of actors and/or dancers. During this phase, a set designer and/or costume designer may be involved in the production. The marketing and publicity plan will also be made during this phase. The general manager is responsible for the financing. On the one hand, by selling the show to theatres, festivals and/or other venues. On the other hand, by arranging additional financing, such as grants, sponsors or crowdfunding, if the production has insufficient financial resources.

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3. Production phase: rehearsal and setting-up period

Once the financing has been obtained, the production can be made. That is an expensive and intensive period in which a lot happens simultaneously: good coordination is very important in this regard. The design and execution of sets, costumes, light and sound are monitored closely and, where necessary, corrected by the artistic team. The general manager or communications officer is occupied with the publicity, sales figures, promotional campaigns and preparations for the première.

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4. Execution phase: the run

The execution phase begins with the try-outs and première. This is followed by a run in one’s own studio/theatre, at a location or on tour at various venues. The project team may be expanded at this stage with a stage manager and/or tour manager.

5. Project closure phase: clearing up and evaluating

This phase begins immediately after the last show, although it needs to have already been prepared. Break down the set, evaluate the production process and the artistic result, draw up a financial report and a final account. If there’s a possibility that there is going to be another run of the production, arrange a storage space for the set, costumes and props.