Musical theatre workshops and productions

Producing a show at NYMF….

Some of my readers have asked that I write more about producing a new musical at the New York Musical Festival (NYMF).  But first I think a little context is important.    NYMF is the largest and most prestigious festival for new musicals in the world.  .  NYMF gives a platform for writers and producers to bring their work to a New York stage.  It has been around for 13 years – and  400 new musicals later, the next festival is about to begin. As you know, I am producing a new musical NUMBERS NERDS, written by the wonderfully talented composing team of David Kornfeld (music), Laura Stratford (book), Alex Higgin-Houser (lyrics) and Dylan MarcAurele (additional music).  Here are some of the issues I have been working on lately.

Insurance  – general liability, unemployment and workman’s compensation.  Not fun….and not easy.  But the worst part is– we need these insurances in TWO states, since we are rehearsing in Chicago and the show will be presented in New York.  Six agencies, all different sets of rules, different application requirements, etc.

Payroll – Here are the numbers – two states, four agencies, one payroll company, four musicians, six actors, creative staff, etc.  And then we have direct deposit forms, where will the payroll be delivered if you are traveling? How will payroll taxes be paid? Then, there are the 4-5 payroll forms required for each person getting paid. And don’t forget about end of year W2/1099 preparation.  Where will those end of year forms be mailed?  (Theatre folk move around a lot….I mean A LOT.)

Rehearsal space and preparation – Finding a large, suitable, air-conditioned space in the summer in Chicago and New York is not easy – and it is not cheap.  But, thanks to some of our supporters, we have secured both.  But what about changes in schedule? Is the room available at different times? And union rules?  How long are we allowed to rehearse in a day?  What about tech rehearsals?  All these things must be considered as the dates/times of rehearsal are figured out.

Contracts and Negotiation – Everyone must have a contract….all union employees must have a union contract….how do you get these contracts to people and have them sign it and return it before we start rehearsal?  And contracts come after negotiations for what is IN the contract.

Well, that is just the tip of the iceberg.  Added to this are  ticketing details, brainstorming marketing ideas, public relations and publicity, media relations, hiring and paying the designers, flame-proofing the set, logistics for moving the set and costumes into the theatre, opening night party details,  and of course – fundraising.

Exciting, ha??  I love it.
Larry Little


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