Remember last year when I started a theatre company, produced a show, prepped another show, and then quit my own company before the second production? Yeah, me too. It was the right decision but it was hard and I figured that would be it for a while. But now I find myself again considering producing.
There’s a script I’ve had in my back pocket for a couple of years. Something I bought randomly based on the synopsis and ended up loving. The problem was that the timing never felt right to actually do something with it. It has been sitting in proper alphabetical order on a shelf in my living room.
A couple of months ago I loaned a pile of my scripts to a friend to search for monologues. I included my treasure with a caveat: “You can’t fall too in love with this one. It’s mine. I’m going to produce it, I just don’t know when.”
She called a few days later. She’d read the play. When was I going to do something with it and if it wasn’t going to be soon, could she arrange a meeting? I was a little surprised. I knew the script was good, but WAS I going to do something with it soon, or was I going to let her do something with it. And I felt this protective side of me kick into gear and told her I was working on.
Last week I loaned the script to a friend of mine who has a company with the caveat – if you like this, we should talk about co producing. Within four days she had read the script and started asking all the necessary questions to make a co-production happen. The current plan is to do a reading in August with a handful of our friends to figure out if it will work for us.
So here I am, looking producing in the face, and wondering why exactly I want to do this. Why do I want to produce? I’ve read all the arguments about why you shouldn’t start a theatre company – there have been a large number of posts on the subject over the past couple of years. But despite all that, I want to do it anyways. Why?
I want to have a voice.
I want to use the myriad of skills I have to further theatre: the budget making communications major with strong design opinions wants a turn. I’ve been conversing with producers for a while now, reading all sorts of things on the subject and asking questions of people who have succeeded as well as those that have failed. I want to use that learning.
I want to be intimately involved in the creation of the piece – the casting, the hiring, the design, the ultimate messaging used to sell the piece. I want to be a part of all of it.
Ever since the idea of producing for occurred to me three years ago I’ve wondered whether I really needed to do that. Do I need to risk my personal finances? Is it really worth it? I don’t know. Will I be happy without doing this? Probably. I’ve been ignoring it for three years. But that corner of my brain keeps nagging at me, asking when I will do something about it