“The role of a producer is quite an interesting one, in that it covers such a broad spectrum of responsibilities that you can fundamentally define your own personal version of being a producer through your own skill set. I certainly know of producers out there who are very business‑led. And then there are other producers I know of who are all about the creative putting together of the project and finding a wonderful actor or a playwright, and blending all of those artistic elements together.”
The Producer of a theatre or production company works closely with the Artistic Director to realise the creative vision for the theatre/company and its artistic programme of work. Together they will propose and discuss various ideas, following which the Producer will create a budget, secure funding, liaise with agents and managers to engage actors and other members of a Creative Team and then manage all legal and contractual details. Once a production is in rehearsal, the Producer - collaborating with a Production Manager - ensures that all departments are working within budget and to schedule to meet the deadline of opening night. A building-based Producer works with a General Manager in the running and staffing of the venue.
Many producers acquire experience in other areas of theatre first - Front of House, Stage Management, etc. - working their way up within venues, from General Manager to Producer. This helps them gain a thorough working knowledge of the various roles and departments within the theatre. There are now more producing courses available, which – as with directing courses – tend to be at post‑graduate level where students have already studied a first degree. Working as an intern within a larger production company and learning from established producers is an ideal way to gain experience and begin to develop a network of contacts.
Other courses are available. Those above represent a sample from various drama schools and universities.