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What does a Producer do?

A theatre Producer oversees all aspects of a theatre production from start to finish. They could decide to produce a particular play they are interested in, or be approached by a Playwright and/or Director. They are involved in the hands-on, daily management of a specific production and have a multifaceted role in bringing them to life. They could also be based in a theatre or with a company to produce their work. 

What are the main responsibilities of a Producer?

  • Look after the finances and manage how the budget is spent
  • Negotiate and issue contracts
  • Organise and manage technical, stage management and workshop functions
  • Hire the creative team 
  • Agree and secure financial backers
  • Agree and set production timelines
  • Setting ticket prices and influencing the marketing strategy
  • Creative collaboration in regular meetings with Directors, creative teams and Artists
  • Tour booking and management 
  • Ensuring legal compliance such as copyright law, insurance liability, payroll and tax
  • Casting support
  • Evaluations post-productions

What qualifications do I need to be a Producer?

There are no specific qualifications required to become a Producer, however a degree in a media or drama related subject could increase your understanding of creating shows. It’s essential to have a creative portfolio of any previous experience you have and build your network of contacts. 

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What skills do I need to be a Producer?

You will need a detailed understanding of the management and technical process involved in theatre production. Other related skills you should have are:

  • Business management
  • Communication and collaboration
  • Financial planning
  • Negotiating skills
  • Leadership
  • Organisation
  • Problem solving
  • Teamwork
  • Time management
  • Event management/organisation
  • Creativity 
  • Attention to detail 
  • Stress management 

Find opportunities to help you get into producing here

What does a career as a Producer look like?

Some Producers begin with an apprenticeship as a starting point to learn new skills and gain experience. You can gain a position within a company and gain skills in different departments such as part of the production team before working your way to a Producer position. People often start initially as an Assistant Producer within a company before then perhaps building their skillset and starting up their own production company. There are funding and training opportunities in Producing, especially as your portfolio grows. You can search for these here. 

How much does a Producer earn?

A Producer based in a venue or company can earn a full time salary. They are usually part of the mid to senior team, so salary is reflective of this. As a freelancer, you can set your own rate based on your experience and the scale of the show and/or tour. Equity rates for a freelance producer for 2024 suggest a day rate of £173. 

The above is a guide. Pay, salary or fee can vary depending on the theatre or company, as well as your personal experience. National institutions or commercial productions can pay in excess of the above, with profit-share or community theatre paying less.

You can find theatre jobs via The Stage Jobs here 

References:

https://www.thestage.co.uk/features/2015/want-next-cameron-mackintosh/ 

https://www.barbican.org.uk/read-watch-listen/ask-a-theatre-producer  

https://www.rsc.org.uk/blogs/whispers-from-the-wings/what-does-a-theatre-producer-do

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/what-does-producer-actually-do-hannah-elsy/

https://www.oldvictheatre.com/discover/the-hub/insights/what-does-a-theatre-producer-do/

https://www.itc-arts.org/rates-of-pay/

Photo: Alex Brenner

Updated: 4th June 2024


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