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Money, honey! Your art is sacred and priceless, but alas, producing it requires some dough. In this blog I’ve made a list of most of the potential costs associated with a theater production. The range of possible spending is wiiiiide and depends on your aims, the quality of the line item (i.e. fancy theater vs. black box), and the deals that you make. My own approach in self-producing has been to try to go as top-drawer as I can afford, in order to present myself in the most professional way. Another approach might be to go as low-budget as possible in order to get your feet wet.

Start by budgeting everything, then look at the bottom line and slash as needed, according to priority. Luckily, for a self-produced one-person show you won’t need everything on the list. You can look for ways to save money by doing things yourself or bartering with friends who can help out. Also, many of the jobs can be combined for a small production.

Now here’s the list of POSSIBLE EXPENSES:

  • Rehearsal Space
  • Theater Rental
  • Royalties
  • Set Pieces
  • Set Construction
  • Additional Light Rental
  • Costumes
  • Props
  • Load-in
  • Sound/Video FX
  • Flyer – Design and Printing
  • Program – Design and Printing
  • Supplies, glow tape, gels
  • Office Expenses
  • Postage
  • Website
  • Advertising
  • Press & Sign Photos
  • Signs Printing/Construction (marquee/lobby)
  • Insurance
  • Legal services
  • Ticket Service or dedicated reservation phone number
  • Opening Night Party
  • Producer Over Ring
  • Director
  • Production Manager
  • Stage Manager
  • House Manager
  • Line Producer/Associate Producer
  • Actors
  • Set Designer
  • Light Designer
  • Sound Designer
  • Prop Designer
  • Costumer
  • Publicist
  • Light Operator
  • Sound Operator
  • Running Crew
  • Flyer Designer
  • Program Designer
  • Sign Designer
  • Photographer/Videographer
  • Dry Cleaning of costume
  • Box Office/Ticket Seller/Usher
  • Concessions
  • Gifts

Alrightee, friends, start racking up expenses!

Next time: Sources of Income.

With great love,
Jonna Tamases