Producing a Dramatic Production: Strategies & Elements

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  • 0:01 Producing a Play
  • 0:42 Administrative Matters
  • 1:37 Dramatic Elements
  • 2:24 The Play Itself
  • 3:18 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Kevin Newton

Kevin has edited encyclopedias, taught history, and has an MA in Islamic law/finance. He has since founded his own financial advice firm, Newton Analytical.

If you have ever thought that a producer simply sits back and watches the money flow in, think again! In this lesson, we will go over all the responsibilities of a producer when it comes to producing a dramatic production, such as a play.

Producing a Play

Finally, your chance to produce a full play has come to pass. You've spent years waiting for this moment, working your way up from backstage help, to taking drama lessons, and even directing a couple of plays. However, it is finally your chance to shine and produce an entire production. No pressure, right? Not exactly.

Being a producer is a complicated affair; after all, as a producer you are the one ultimately responsible for everything about the play. In this lesson, we're going to take a look at all the extra work that a producer has to do to make sure that opening night goes off without a hitch and that the only legs broken are metaphorical ones.

Administrative Matters

Well, before anything else happens on a play, the producer has to go to work on various administrative matters. After all, plays don't just happen by themselves. Foremost, a producer must make sure that a play has a place to be performed. With the exception of a few experimental plays that perform anywhere, most plays like to have a venue. Whether it is an opera hall or an intimate playhouse, performances need to have a place to occur.

Still, that's not all that a producer has to attend to. They must also secure the rights for the play in question. Granted, many plays are in the public domain, meaning that nobody owns the rights to them. No one is really going to stop you from doing Romeo and Juliet because it's free to use. However, if you want to put on a newer play, say one off of Broadway, then you're going to have to secure those rights for the right to perform that play. That requires a payment to the people who own the play, often the playwright.

Dramatic Elements

Once a venue and rights are secured, a producer can turn his attention to more dramatic elements of the play. Granted, we are not to the point of actually rehearsing yet, but we're getting closer.

First things first, you should figure out who is directing the play. In many cases, that may be the producer; however, that is a great deal of pressure on one person, and for that reason, many producers opt to instead hire a director. Alongside the director, auditions for all the roles have to be held in order to make sure that the play has actors.

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