How a Season Falls Apart

At Howlround, David Dower posted a compelling insight into a theater's season planning called How a Season Comes Together.  Of course, not every theater has the same priorities.  Accordingly, my colleagues at the Rust Belt Repertory Theater have similarly shared a glimpse into their season planning process.

Play that everyone's heard of but nobody's seen White OMG nobody's seen it this could be a disaster Google reviews from big cities for press release. If not stellar, abort mission. Or use ellipses. Timid Yes
Play that everyone's heard of and everyone's seen fifty times So white What if those other productions were better? Do we still have that kitchen sink? Check storage Craven O yes
Play from New York that every regional theater is producing this season Affluent/ Brooklyn Fear factor low Now that we've programmed it I should probably get around to reading it Desperate God yes
Play that can use pretty much the same set as the last play So very white Kevin's couch may start to disintegrate Marketing angle: The Living-Room Series! Come to the theater, feel like you're still at home…? Rethink. Penniless Yes
Jokey musical that trades on familiar ethnic, cultural or gender truisms without offending anybody I hope White-ish Afraid that I'm not equipped to assess whether jokes about Jewishness or menopause are funny or offensive Find a woman and/or ethnic person, ask them questions Pandering Yes b/c we're edgy
Shakespeare thing Ecru Fear factor medium if we can get it down to under two hours Check on supplies; swords and codpieces have a habit of walking away Elitist but, like, safe-elitist Verily
Neil Simon-y thing and/or something that plays like it could be on TV Like a sugar cube in a snowstorm Relaxed Already sold out Surrender YES YES PLEASE YES
New play that's only been produced once before Exotic Off the charts Check anxiety meds for refills Certain destruction You're kidding, right?

For a more intimate window into their programming process, take a look at this.