So given the context of all the deserved gushing over a North Bergen, NJ’s stage version of the movie Aliens with a $5,000 budget and recycled materials, Ken Davenport’s suggestion that high school productions have general managers and press agents doesn’t seem terribly unreasonable.
Davenport’s motivation is to get as many kids involved in a production as possible. Everyone knows the larger cast you have on stage, the larger an audience you are likely to have as friends and family show up to support students. But he also notes that being involved in administrative roles opens people’s eyes to a much wider range of career opportunities than just actors and technicians. (his emphasis)
Because whether a student decides to pursue a career in the theater or decides to be a lawyer, I firmly believe that there is no endeavor in the world that teaches collaboration better than putting up a musical.
They’re probably the type that thinks putting on a musical is just a hobby. Because no one has told them any different. But you and I know it’s a business . . . just like any other. And that businesses need all sorts of talents to make a show a success.
He outlines the following as tasks students could pursue in the different roles. Davenport encourages everyone to pass the post link on to any high school teachers who might be interested in pursuing this. He says he will even write up the job description and list of duties so the teacher doesn’t have to.
The Producer would be in charge of overseeing the production, of course, as well as fundraising. Yep, give him or her a goal of raising $X and let them find a way to do it (car washes, bake sales, Kickstarter and more).
The General Manager would learn how to put a budget together for the show and keep everyone on a budget.
The Press Agent would try to get articles written in the newspapers, online, and even invite people like me to come to see it.
The Advertising and Marketing Director would get the word out to sell tickets, get a logo designed, manage the social media, and more.
The Casting Directors would schedule the auditions, run them, put out the offers and maybe even convince the high school quarterback that he’d make a great Teyve.