Open Forum

  • 1.  Budget Help

    Posted 28 days ago
    Hello! I am a brand new theater teacher in Washington State and I am starting a brand new theatre program at my school. I've always been on the creative side of producing a show and now I'm needing to create a budget and could use some help! Below are some details about our space and requirements:

    Our Show is Gathering Blue (by Eric Coble, based on the book by Lois Lowry)
    Our stage is approximately 46' x 28' (I don't know how tall...but the ceiling is about 3 stories up from the stage floor, proscenium is about 1.5-2 stories)
    We currently have a number of wagons from a show previously produced in our school's space and we plan to repaint these for our set.
    We need to build a false back to our stage (there is no pass-through so currently no way to get from stage right to stage left) I am planning to do this with flats.
    We have some wood from construction happening at the school, mostly plywood, so I told the administration I claim anything leftover.
    We don't have any curtains so I at least need masking curtains - renting or buying not sure.
    We have a good sound system but probably need wireless body mics, again rent or buy not sure.
    We need paint.
    We need fabric for costumes (simple muslin for this production but we're costuming ~20-25 students, most will only have one costume but a few will need 2).
    Lights are our big tech headache. We need to rent/borrow lights that will need to be pole mounted on our balcony (I have a nearby school who offered to loan us some but I don't have details). We HAVE lights on a catwalk...but they are attached to light switches and not a dimmer board and only 2 of the 6 have working bulbs. Our space is also a "gymatorium" and thus has a giant wall of windows. We need to either just accept that or find a way to cover 40' x 60' (ish) of windows, plus a few glass doors. The production does not need any blackouts, so there is that.
    We have access to a 3D printer and are planning to print some of our set/prop items and most of the items are easily found or created - we need a budget for props but it can be pretty small.
    Students will be responsible for getting their own makeup kit.
    Rights and scripts have already been acquired.
    T-shirt Cost?
    Program and Poster Cost? (Students are designing the art so we just need to print these)
    Concessions/Candy-grams/Tickets/Other Front of House items?
    The only person we probably will need to hire in is Lights. There is no choreography and music is being handled by our music teacher, construction and painting by our art teacher.

    Thank you for any insight and help!

    Becky Gil
    Performing Arts Teacher, Troupe Director
    Willows Preparatory School
    Redmond, WA

  • 2.  RE: Budget Help

    Posted 24 days ago
    Tackling a production budget for the first time can definitely be overwhelming! I don't have exact cost estimates for you, but there are some good resources available to help you learn more about how to build one. I would recommend starting on TE Pro:

    Specifically, this article on Budgeting:

    Does anyone else have any guidance for Becky? Or have you produced Gathering Blue previously?

    Ginny Butsch
    Community Engagement Manager
    Educational Theatre Association