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How To Leverage Your Talent Pool To Produce Broadway Quality Shows!

Broadway is the gold standard of the musical theatre industry. While not all directors are producing Broadway titles, we think it’s safe to say that all directors aspire to produce Broadway quality shows. Obviously, theatre educators are leading students – not theatre professionals – so Broadway quality work is not expected. That said, there are many steps that can be taken to move the needle in the direction of our gold standard: Broadway.

1. Understand Your Assets: Training, Experience, and Commitment.

Training: Have any of your students had lessons in voice, dance, acting, or tumbling?

Experience: Find out which students do extracurricular theatre or have a theatre background – at church, in the community, at their dance studio, etc. You will quickly discover your ‘Theatre Geeks’.  (We know you’re a Theatre Geek, or you wouldn’t be reading this…unless you’re in it for the money.) 

Commitment: Who seems like they want to be there? There’s a wide range between “The show must go on!” and “Do I have to be here? I’m missing soccer.”

People who’ve experienced a “production high” are usually eager to jump back in. Commitment plays a larger role, and talent a smaller role, than we care to admit.

As Michelangelo famously said, If people knew how hard I worked to get my mastery, it wouldn't seem so wonderful at all."

An ensemble of boys and girls, dressed in black clothing, punch the air all at once onstage.

2. Enhance your Talent Pool!

  • Learn about reputable teachers in your community, so you can refer gifted students for deeper study.

  • Is there a local pre-professional program through a ballet or theatre company where gifted students might develop their talents?

  • Know your dance studios. Most communities have at least one. Keep in mind that these studios require no certification, so professional standards will vary widely. Check out your local scene, and suggest the best options to your students!

  • Are you close to a university with a respectable theatre program from which your community might benefit? We understand that not all titles produced by a university will resonate with our worldview. But maybe you can connect with a student who would be willing to choreograph, or a faculty member who could give a master class? Don’t be afraid to prayerfully broaden your circle.

  • Might there be guests with professional or advanced theatre backgrounds, from your community, who would resonate with your sensibilities and values?  Maybe they could offer a workshop!

An ensemble of students, dressed in black, march in line at the instruction of their drill sergeant in the context of a musical.

3. Produce “Inside the Lines”

When producing for a large, general cast and crew, we recommend titles that fall well inside the artistic, technical, and commitment range of your people. Avoid big, hairy, audacious productions that intimidate the majority of your actors and tech crew. Your students may not be ready to put on a full One Act, so (at least in the case of FBSM content) we would recommend putting on a Fast Feature instead! Overextending past what your talent pool is capable of can build resentment as the extra effort will likely monopolize the time and energy of the majority who are not ‘Theatre Geeks’.

Go for, “I can’t wait for the next show!Not, “I can’t wait till this is over."

Producing “inside the lines” helps us to delight and surprise, rather than disappoint. Understanding, appreciating, and empowering your talent pool is a win for you, your cast and crew, and the community you serve. Growing together, we can continually progress toward Broadway quality shows. Wherever you are in your process, we pray that God will glorify his name in all of the work of your hands. He does not despise our small beginnings...

"Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel's hand."

Zechariah 4:10


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