Artistic Director? What are the considerations when selecting a Season of Shows?

This is a question that goes to the heart of our operation here at PlazaCo. Effective programming is essential for success at the community theatre level. We feel that the shows we program must meet four criteria. First, is the material consistent with our family friendly approach? Second, is it a show that will pique the interest of our audience and therefore is viable to sell? Third, does it inspire us as artists? And fourth, will the title entice the area talent pool into auditioning?

Since we produce 10 shows a year at Plaza Theatre Company, it is a very delicate and challenging process delivering a full season of productions. As Producers – myself, Tina, Aaron and Milette share co-equal responsibility for selecting the plays that we produce at PlazaCo. The season must consist of a mix of well-known (or pre-sold titles as we call them) as well as newer, more risky material. It also must have a certain number of comedies and musicals as well as be aware of holidays. The season must also include a “Camp Show” which is a summer musical that includes young performers from our Plaza Academy as well as a production appropriate for the holiday season.

Recently, we settled on our 2011 season and unveiled the show list at Plaza’s annual Thank You Party. It is the 5th season at Plaza and a year that will see Plaza reach 49 total Mainstage shows produced (our current show, All Shook Up, is Plaza’s 35th).

Even though the full 2011 season was unveiled, one change has been made and will be announced shortly when the rights to a show we are replacing are approved.

During our 4 year and 35 show run, we’ve made some mistakes in programming, but we’ve also enjoyed some fabulous successes. It is certainly not an exact science, but the pleasure of being a part of creating something that gives so many so much enjoyment can’t be underestimated.

See you at the theatre.

Jace

JaceSon P. Barrus
Plaza Theatre Company Artistic Director

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