Funding a Musical

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Musicals and Budget

The most daunting part of mounting a production in the school environment is being able to fund it. The 1st thing to remember is that most, if not all of your budgeted expenses should come back in ticket sales. That however doesn't make the initial outlay any easier to find amongst a schools budget.


Please find below some thoughts on ways to cover those early expenses and make it more viable to bring in outside help, such as Proscenium Music, to make your production far superior to any of the schools in your surrounding area. 



  • Charge the students a "Show Fee"


Many school band programs charge a "Band Fee", so why not do the same. This can alleviate some of the budget concerns and gives the students a bit more of a serious ownership of the project. This won't work in all schools and really comes down to the culture of the school.


  •  Try fundraising


Selling chocolates or putting on a trivia night are some ways to get some extra funds in the budget, though this doesn't traditionally raise much money compared to the amount of work that goes into making it happen. 


  • Partner with other schools in your area 


While it is often a matter of just wanting to go it alone and help lift the profile of your school, in the end what we are all here for is education of students. If there are 2 schools near each other that can't afford the budget on their own to mount a production, their combined budgets may allow it. If you do want to take this angle it will just come down to negotiation so that both schools are bearing an equal share of the work and budget, then equally split the income on the other end. This approach allows for a higher level of talent across the board as there is a larger pool to draw from. 


  •  Sponsorship


It may be possible to get sponsorship or support from local businesses or companies owned by parents. The parent community, if supportive of your endeavours will usually be happy to help out. Be it trading services and materials, such as set building or printing, for advertising in the program or a more main stream corporate sponsor wanting to gain community support and exposure through banners in the foyer.


Ways to Get More Income


Traditionally school musicals have relied and survived on the school community supporting the production. This doesn't have to be the only audience you have.


  • Cast
If you include cast from other schools, that gives you a larger audience base to draw from. This approach works better if you are not a co-ed school. Invite students from as many opposite sex schools as you can. Sometimes students will even be prepared to travel a fair distance in order to mix with your students.



  • Support other schools


If there is another school in your area who have their own production around the same time as yours, make sure you encourage or even organise your cast to go and support their production. This will then have a reciprocal effect of their cast coming to your production. It will also allow your cast to see what does and doesn't work on stage and hopefully improve their own performance.


  • Publicise outside of the school community


While a majority of your audience are there to support your cast, it is possible to get others to come by letting them know that the show is on. Contact your local community theatre group with some material, even in pdf form, to pass on to their members. Also don't forget to send posters to other schools in your area as students are often interested in seeing theatre but can't afford to see professional shows and therefore will be receptive to supporting other student productions.


  • Sell Drinks & Snacks at Interval


This is something traditionally run by a parent committee. Though there is no reason the funds from this area can't go back in to paying for the production.