[Editor's Note: Once a month we have a producer take you behind the curtain, into the rehearsal process, backstage, or on the road to illuminate more the of Broadway's Next Hit Musical process. This month it's co-producer Ralph Buckley]
Broadway's Next Hit Musical is in the unique position of having a group of 4 producers who are also improvisers. Because of this. our ethos is to always collaborate to find agreement when making decisions about the ultimate good of our product.
There are many areas of expertise when it comes to being a producer. We raise the finances, work with our agents to book theaters, create budgets and contracts. We hire performers, stage managers, designers, musicians, publicists and marketers. Our main job, though, is to consider what are the best results for our creative team and, most importantly, our audience.
Where Overlap Helps
Rob, in addition to producing, performing and co-directing, also serves as our company manager. This entails booking flights, rental cars, hotels for at least 7 people on every tour, many of whom are either on different schedules or coming from different parts of the country. And those considerations are just the logistics.
Fortunately, having producers Deb and Rob as co- artistic directors of the show helps our producing team connected to the pulse of the artistic aspects of the show.
Another tremendous asset is having producer Greg as our primary host. He has the singular ability to be "inside" and "outside" the show at the same time. Because of the format and our emcee's interactions with the audience, he and our other hosts are able to shape our perspective on the spot.
As the only producer who does not perform with the show, I am able to see the show as our fans do. In New York, I serve as house manager which enables me to feel the pulse of our audiences and reflect back to the creative team what is most successful about our show.
The great gift of seeing so many performances of Broadway's Next Hit Musical is that no two shows are ever the same. And like our most loyal returning fans, I get to see a brand new show every time we perform.
Making Each Other Look Good
We try to inspire each other to keep the initial passion which brought us to Broadway's Next Hit Musical alive.
It is this passion that infuses our producing team to always look for the "yes" in our collaboration. And - as all good improvisers do - make each other look good.