On any given project, the producer’s role can be very different.
During the development of Constellations last year, my main responsibilities were to coordinate a marketing strategy, liaise with TFTV staff, organise the box office and issue press invites for performance nights. However, once a production goes on tour, this work then multiplies.
You realise that being able to pour all your energy (and budget) into a single run is a luxury that you can no longer afford. Instead of flyering one city, you are now flyering five. As the workload increases, so too does the network of people you need to keep in contact with: venue managers, technicians, publicity specialists, the local pub owner who’s happy for you to put a poster up in his window … the list is different for every venue. This is when having a team that you can rely on is important, even if it’s just having an extra pair of hands to help you fire off emails, or another opinion when you’re scouting out potential theatres. You will spend a lot of your day either emailing or on the phone, funnelling messages back and forth as accurately as possible. Nonetheless, it’s not all paperwork! Visiting venues is an integral part of the process when preparing to tour. It’s a chance to finally meet the people you’ve been emailing for weeks, to walk around the space and ask more specific questions about the venue.
Obviously, you want a space that will support the show technically, but there are other things that you need to consider: what sort of audience visits the space? How will you market the show for each venue? What problems (or opportunities!) does the venue throw up for each member of your team? Of course it’s overwhelming, but as long as you have a spreadsheet, four calendars and a list of questions constantly on the go, you can just about do anything.
After almost two months of work, we now have our final line up in place and I am so excited for the dates to be announced later in the week. See you on tour!