Theatre Bay Area Chatterbox

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Self-Producing: A Case Study

When’s the last time you saw the phrase “all remaining performances are completely sold out”? It’s everyone’s dream but how often is it a reality? A few weeks ago, I was among those that got to see a performance in the sold-out run of Becoming Julia Morgan at the Berkeley City Club (it closed January 9th). I was struck by the steady stream of audience members filing in (and those turned away) and was even more inspired by the fact that Becoming Julia Morgan is a self-produced project. I checked in with Belinda Taylor, the playwright, and producer Sabrina Klein to see how the experience of self-producing played out.

Former Theatre Bay Area (then Callboard) editor-in-chief Belinda Taylor finished her first play a few years ago after being commissioned by Klein (who at the time was the executive director of the Julia Morgan Center for the Arts and former executive director of Theatre Bay Area. Becoming Julia Morgan, a play investigating the life and legacy of the architectural legend, had an award-winning, sold-out run in Sacramento in 2006. The next step seemed obvious: mount a Bay Area production. But Taylor found it a bit harder for the idea to gain traction than she had anticipated, especially since Klein had since left JMCA. So what to do? Klein came on as producer and Barbara Oliver (legendary director and a founder of Aurora Theatre) joined up as director, and the nucleus of a huge self-producing project began. Klein says, “It’s not like we said ‘Hey, let’s produce the play on our own!’ It was more, ‘Ok, no one else believes in this play as much as we do, so let’s make it happen on our own.”

Once the core group was established, the planning began in earnest. Luckily, this trio of esteemed professionals had varied experiences and a network of resources to tap into. A wide array of new contacts became interested in the show and supported the road to production. Playwrights Foundation became the fiscal sponsor. After a nudge from a colleague, Taylor found a couple who owned a Julia Morgan home and was willing to offer it up as a venue for a fundraiser. Various vendors contributed wine, food and other items for a silent auction at the fundraiser. Add to that list the performers who donated their time to the fundraiser in order to give attendees a preview of the show, and this first fundraiser raised about half of what was needed to get the show going. A second fundraiser at a private residence raised the remainder. After securing pro bono PR work from Taylor’s colleague Gary Carr of Rising Moon Marketing; PR, things really started moving. Peets Coffee in Berkeley came on board and store manager Scott Soo-Hoo (of the Vine Street location in Berkeley) even created a “Julia Morgan Roast” for the run of the play. Taylor says, “My friends in Bay Area theatre and in Bay Area media were definitely an added bonus.”

Klein refers to a number of benefits of self-producing: “We were not tied to any mission outside this one show. We could brand ourselves strictly as experts on Julia Morgan and as three women who love architecture, history and Julia Morgan’s work, giving us a common bond with a lot of non-theatre people. We had no reputation to prove or to overcome (the flip side of having no reputation to build on!), which can be a positive. We were incredibly agile, responding to opportunities as they came up. Many small companies are like that, but we really felt it was a strength in our case too.”

Her biggest recommendations for the self-producer: Ask for advice and build on existing resources. In this case, what the team lacked in both infrastructure and access to a deep rolodex was offset by the expertise of those in the team members' inner circle. The members relied on their fiscal agent, Playwrights Foundation (to help with insurance, Actors' Equity and liability issues), CentralWorks (to help them understand what it would take to produce and perform in the space), neighboring theatre Shotgun Players (who provided a number of referrals and recommendations for the creative and support team) and, of course, Barbara Oliver (whose reputation helped bring quality designers into the mix). And you never know where someone in your circle will lead you. For example, Anne Smith got an invitation for the first fundraiser in March (the show opened in December) and instantly invited the team to appear at the Commonwealth Club in August. About 50 people who love Julia Morgan (or architecture, or historical female role models, or some combination of the three) showed up, including four who ended up as donors and one who ended up as a volunteer and who then made even more connections for the production in the world of architecture.

Klein closes her advice with a note that a great ticketing service matters. In this case, the Julia Morgan team used a combination of Brown Paper Tickets and, yes, Theatre Bay Area’s own TIX (www.tixbayarea.org).

Aside from logistics, were Klein and Taylor pleased with the final results? "It was an experience like no other," says Taylor of watching her play performed at the final preview. "Everything came together: costumes, lights, sound, scenery, props, actors. My play was on its feet. I was somewhere on cloud 9. Dazzled. Astonished. Grateful.”

Have you ever self-produced? If so, what was the experience like for you? Have you ever wanted to self-produce? What’s holding you back?

Labels: , , , ,

19 Comments:

At August 18, 2015 at 2:24 AM , Blogger Panda Microwave said...

Yes. I do,power divider

 
At January 14, 2016 at 5:57 PM , Blogger ladwasur said...

I don't know if it's just me or if perhaps everyone else experiencing issues with your site. It looks like some of the text on your posts are running off the screen. Can somebody else please provide feedback and let me know if this is happening to them too? This might be a issue with my browser because I've had this happen previously. Many thanks
clash of clans trucchi | clash of clans astuce gemmes

 
At May 30, 2016 at 7:44 AM , Blogger Kelly Anni said...

This is also a very good post which I really enjoyed reading. Please visit our website and play exciting games:
slither.io | slitherio | wings.io | wingsio | Science Kombat | Science Kombat Game
Play the fabolous earn to die game and complete all the levels.You can play all the seven parts of the game on our website :
Tank trouble | Tank trouble 2 | Tank trouble 3 | Tank trouble 4

 
At July 18, 2016 at 6:41 PM , Blogger ladwasur said...

get free pokecoins and pokeballs with our latest pokemon go hack tool without any survey, this pokemon go hack tool works with all devices and no need to download anything while using our pokemon go cheats

 
At July 31, 2016 at 11:47 AM , Blogger John Wilson said...

Here is the free pokecoins cheats online.

 
At August 1, 2016 at 4:19 AM , Blogger أبو تركى لشراء الاثاث المستعمل said...

شراء الاثاث المستعمل بجدة من العملاء باسعار لا تقبل المنافسه وهذا من اجل اننا الشركة الاولى فى ارقام محلات شراء الاثاث المستعمل بمختلف انواعه بجدة حيث اننا ناتى الك فور تلقى اتصالك وبعد ذلك نقوم بمعاينة الاثاث وتحديد السعر المناسب له بكل امان وضمير وذلك لاننا شركة شراء اثاث مستعمل بجدة نتعامل دائما بالمصداقيه والامانه من اجل ان نحصل على ثقة العميل بنا ومن اجل ان نكتسب العميل كعميل متفاعل فى شركتنا افضل شركة شراء اثاث مستعمل فى جده

 
At August 8, 2016 at 3:02 AM , Blogger Fangyaya said...

louis vuitton handbags
tory burch shoes
adidas trainers
christian louboutin sneakers
nike roshe flyknit
louis vuitton handbags
toms wedges
concord 11
asics shoes for women
oakley outlet
coach outlet
adidas shoes
basketball shoes
michael kors outlet
michael kors outlet
christian louboutin outlet
michael kors outlet
jordan shoes
kate spade outlet
coach outlet online
coach outlet store
beats by dre
oakley vault
celine outlet
michael kors outlet online
ray ban sunglasses outlet
jordan concords
michael kors outlet online
gucci outlet online
christian louboutin sale
toms wedges
abercrombie clothing
michael kors outlet online
toms outlet
rolex watches
red bottom shoes
celine handbags
michael kors outlet online
abercrombie & fitch outlet
louis vuitton purses
20168.8chenjinyan

 
At August 9, 2016 at 7:17 PM , Blogger Utorrent Game said...

Great post and straight to the point. I am not sure if this is truly the best place to ask but do you guys have any ideea where to hire some professional writers? Thank you :)
Just Cause 3 Torrent
Rise of the Tomb Raider Torrent
Homefront The Revolution Torrent
doom Torrent
No Man’s Sky Torrent
games torrent
battlefield 1 torrent
far cry primal torrent
greens apk
mafia 3 torrent
Gta San Andreas Torrent
gta 5 torrent
gta v torrent
pes 2016 torrent
fifa 16 torrent
Grand Theft Auto IV PC (4GB)
Sims 4 Torrent

 
At October 20, 2016 at 4:55 AM , Blogger dong dong23 said...

louis vuitton outlet
golden state warriors jerseys
canada goose outlet
michael kors outlet clearance
ray ban sunglasses
burberry outlet
toms shoes
coach outlet
michael kors handbags
michael kors outlet
2016.10.20chenlixiang

 
At November 18, 2016 at 12:10 AM , Blogger lewismichael said...

good Rainbow Buying 10 Button snaps employing 5 or additional pen hues. Photo Zoom Trophy for Snapchat all the trophies available in the Trophy Case and.nice.

 
At December 2, 2016 at 2:11 AM , Blogger dunncandace said...

awesome clicking on icon with ArtistoVideo Photo Editor tag. artisto download the app is that it straight opens up into the camera nice.

 
At December 6, 2016 at 11:17 AM , Blogger Link eg said...

شركة المدينة المنورة 0542742095 -0509178637شركة تتميز بكل جديد فى عالم النظافة شركة تنظيف بالمدينة المنورة
لديها الامكانيات المميزة التى لاتجدها عند الكثير من الشركات فلدينا
العمالة الماهرة
الالات الحديثة والمبتكرة
استخدام افخم المعطرات
استخدام افضل انواع المنظفات العالمية
شركة المدينة المنورة تقوم بتنظيف الشقق والمنازل والفلل وايضا لدينا العمالة الكافية لتنظيف الشركات والمؤسسات ونقوم بانجاز العمل فى اسرع وقت
شركة تنظيف بالمدينة المنورة
شركة تنظيف خزانات بالمدينة المنورة
شركة مكافحة حشرات بالمدينة المنورة
شركة نقل عفش بالمدينة المنورة
شركة نقل اثاث بينبع
شركة كشف تسريبات المياه بينبع
شركة مكافحة حشرات بينبع
شركة رش مبيدات بينبع

 
At December 13, 2016 at 1:10 AM , Blogger meyerangel said...

Great that's growing by bounds and also jumps, slack app for windows spoken to independently. It's likewise rolling Fine.

 
At December 24, 2016 at 4:47 AM , Blogger HannahAMueller said...

good the hard fact is that if you have Android phone, FaceTime for Android Download [Latest Update] This newcomer added video clip conversation performance , best.

 
At January 9, 2017 at 11:54 PM , Blogger bettycyoung said...

Great Previously known as XBMC (Xbox Media Centre), kodi download add-on to Kodi, enabling you to browse the substantial Fine.

 
At January 17, 2017 at 5:24 PM , Blogger dong dong23 said...

mlb jerseys
ugg australia
louis vuitton
canada goose
gucci outlet
louis vuitton handbags
hollister clothing
calvin klein
michael kors handbags
louis vuitton outlet
20171.18wengdongdong

 
At February 13, 2017 at 2:25 AM , Blogger Regina Hilary said...



Wonderful blog! I found it while searching on Yahoo News. Do you have any suggestions on how to get listed in Yahoo News? I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there! Many thanks.
2048 online | tanki online 3

 
At March 14, 2017 at 4:00 AM , Blogger hoa pikey said...


The share your really gives us excitement. Thanks for your sharing. If you feel tired at work or study try to participate in our games to bring the most exciting feeling. Thank you!
hotmail sign in | red ball | 192.168.1.1

 
At March 24, 2017 at 1:00 AM , Blogger kenyattamherzog said...

you can download and install Fildo apk for Android platform. http://fildoapp.com Download Fildo Apk on your system- Click below.

 

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home