The Producer of any student show serves as the key point-person for the production and is responsible for initiating and maintaining contact with the Undergraduate Production staff. The producer should begin by thoroughly reviewing the Undergraduate Production Regulations. The producer should be in touch with UP as early as possible in the planning process. This conversation should begin no later than four weeks before load in.
Important Steps for the Producer
Step 1: Apply for funding and a venue and contact Undergraduate Production
- Begin the process of applying for funding. Funds are available from a variety of campus sources, including the Undergraduate Organizations Funding Committee (UOFC) and the Creative and Performing Arts Fund (CPA). In order to apply for a UOFC grant, please use the UOFC Application Form which can be found on the Yale College Council (YCC) Orgsync platform. If possible, the CPA application should be submitted by the producer. You will need to carefully track your spending. The Producer Budget Worksheet is set up to help you track spending against multiple funding sources.
- Apply for a performance space. Application for most theater venues is integrated into the CPA application. It is not necessary to submit separate applications to individual theaters if you are applying for a CPA award. The application, along with additional information about the CPA Awards, may be found here.
- If you are not using the CPA application, contact UP as early as possible to start a conversation about your event.
Step 2: Obtain and complete the Production Application
As soon as you receive confirmation of funding from your Head of College and approval to use a space on campus, set up an appointment with one of the UP Technical Directors to discuss your project. The goal is to discuss the scope and scale of your project and establish a plan for realizing your vision. This appointment should take place no less than four weeks prior to the date you intend to load into a theater space, much earlier if you require approval for stage combat and/or weapons. As many of your production staff members as possible should attend.
Step 3: Secure the performance rights for any copyrighted material
It is never too early to begin the process of securing production rights. Proof of these rights must be submitted to UP in order to secure production approval. Please note: all requests for rights from MTI, Tams Witmark, and Rodgers and Hammerstein must be made through Undergraduate Production. If you would like a quote for rights held by these companies, please contact your UP advisor.
Step 4: Assemble a qualified staff
Your staff should include designers, technicians, assistants, and other roles specific to the needs of your production. A good way to recruit production staff members is to place announcements on the Yale Drama Coalition website and in the Yale Dramatic Association newsletter. During this time feel free to contact the UP staff for any guidance or assistance that you may need.
Looking for people who have already worked as TDs or Lighting Designers? Search by “Production Team Members & Roles” on the Yale College Arts website, then sort by year. Here are the lists for TDs and Lighting Designers.
Step 5: Pre-production
- A Content Advisory form should be created for your production, and shared with your production team. This should be a living document, and is designed to be updated as the production and the show evolve.
- A Vendor List of local service and equipment providers is available to support your production needs.
- UP will notify you of the date and time of your required safety and fire inspection. Your Producer should be present for this inspection.
- Complete your lighting plot at least one week prior to load in and submit this plan to UP. Once your plan has been approved, make arrangements to borrow equipment from UP and YSD inventories or to rent if necessary.
- Work with your UP Technical Director to develop a plan for any construction and painting. Options for constructing, painting, and assembling scenery vary depending on performance venue. When approved, scenery may be constructed, painted, or assembled only in certain authorized work areas on campus. Owing to the logistics required to use these spaces and to transport scenery between them, students are encouraged to employ minimal, stylized scenic designs.
Step 6: Load In / Production
A final check-in meeting with a UP staff member should take place two or three days prior to your load-in date to confirm that you are ready to load your show into the performance space. You are responsible for coordinating the efforts of all your staff members within the parameters of your approved plans. Depending upon the location, scope, and scale of your production, some of this work may require supervision by a UP Technical Director.
Given the varied and intense schedules of Yale College students, fatigue is a very real safety concern. Load in and tech are especially busy times. The entire production team share responsibility for prioritizing health and safety (and academic commitments). Producers and Stage Managers play a crucial role. Undergraduate Production recommends that no student work for more than 4 hours before taking a break of at least 30 minutes, that no work call total more than 9 hours, including breaks, and that work calls be separated by a rest period of at least 10 hours. In addition, please be aware that there is a firm curfew of midnight for all production activity, with the exception of strike, which may continue until 1am, or later with UP staff supervision. Production activity includes meetings. Production teams should be exiting the theater or rehearsal room no later than midnight.
Step 7: Fire Inspection
Your Fire Code Compliance inspection will usually take place one or two days before your production opens, between 4:00 and 6:00 pm. Some productions with no scenery (e.g. improv) will be inspected on the day that the production opens. The show Producer is required to be present for the inspection. Prior to your inspection you must hold a fire drill/evacuation with the entire cast and crew. Once accomplished, fill out the Fire Drill Log and have it available during your inspection. Any concerns identified during the fire inspection must be rectified prior to opening night.
Step 8: Strike and Post-Production
Immediately following the final performance your staff will begin striking your show from the theater by cleaning and returning the space to its original condition. Again, depending upon the location of your event and the scope of the project, portions of this work may require supervision by a UP Technical Director.
Step 9: After-Strike
The day after your strike, return equipment, props, and any other borrowed or rented items. The producer may delegate these tasks, but they will be held accountable for their completion.