“They say if you can’t beat them, join them. And there’s a similar saying in theatre – if you can’t find the work, make your own.” -- How to Set Up Your First Theatre Company – live chat, The Guardian
As I embark on starting a new theatre company, I need to focus on the basics and look at my past mistakes and lean on ideas from others. These 15 Tips on Setting Up A Theatre Company offer some excellent views toward success. The title of the article says so much.
There are so many things that need to be in place before you can embark on creating the art itself. The best advice I’ve been given is don’t do anything alone -- including tasks and decision making. That’s a tough one for me because, at first, it feels like it is more efficient to just take care of things on my own. Believe me when I tell you, taking care of things yourself is the fast path to burn out.
Right now, I am holding monthly meetings for those in my community who want to help me build this new theatre company brick by brick. I will not take a step without input and support.
Some of the excellent tips from this article:
Mistakes to avoid: Lack of leadership or definition of roles; lack of regularity; not considering who your audience might be; putting projects to bed after a single showing at a platform; being scared to apply for funding.
Don’t ignore the paperwork: Don’t hope that the admin will go away if you ignore – it won’t. Take care of the management and your art will have a firm foundation.
Don’t just focus on the theatre: What else do you offer? A place for people to socialize; a vehicle for change; a voice for young people? Communicate these objectives within your marketing, and take advantage of them when looking for funding.