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Re: [TheCostumersManifesto] music man-new question

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  • K Murphy
    Hi Allison: I recently did a production of The Music Man performed by disabled kids which I would say had typical community theatre production values. Even
    Message 1 of 2 , May 31, 2004
      Hi Allison:

      I recently did a production of The Music Man performed by disabled kids which I would say had typical "community theatre" production values. Even with a HUGE stock to pull from and several volunteers, I spent over 80 hours on the show (we had a cast of 60 or so and I was not required to be at the rehearsals or perfomances). Based purely on my own experiences, I'd only bid on this show if it's something you really want to do, and not as an income-producing project. My experience has been that whenever I have dealt with community theater, the attitude is, "Let's put on a show!" and NOT, "Let's pay some real professionals to put on a quality show!"

      Before you commit to anything, make sure you know how much they really want to (can) spend and when you'll be paid. I've encountered groups who expect a costume designer to bankroll the entire costume budget until the money comes in to the box office.

      I'd definitely bid with 2 seperate amounts:

      #1 For designing, pulling, and coordinating volunteers I'd ask at least $1,000 - $2,000, depending on the time commitment.

      #2 A flat amount for materials/construction/rental/drycleaning -- you'd take the hourly construction fees for yourself from this amount -- (no less than $1,000 - $ 2,000.)

      Consider how many sources you can pull/borrow/rent from. At the most basic community theater level you can costume this show with built cotton skirts and thrift store blouses for the women and thrift store trousers/shirts/vests for the men. You may have to buy, rent, or borrow the accessories that will give the show a nice period look.

      You will have to build some things for the lead characters and the band uniforms & hats will have you tearing your hair out, but otherwise remember that expectations won't be huge for a community theater show.

      Good luck,

      Kate Murphy

      Allison <allicatdesign@...> wrote:
      I have been asked to "submit a bid" for costuming Music Man this
      winter. Here is my dilemma. This is to be community based show
      (groan) to "generate more community interest in the city's beautiful
      new theatre space". A close friend of mine is directing-not a factor
      in the bid, just how I got recommended for the job.

      The problem is that the city would like to involve the community folk
      as much as possible in the process, i.e. sewing, pulling, and fitting-
      etc. My concern is what if there is no commitment, no talent, no
      seamstress, etc. in the group--this is big show.

      So I am asking for some opinions on how to set up the bid--unusual in
      itself as normally I am approached with an offer--but it's a new
      thing for this city....

      Here are the thoughts I have:
      A separate design fee
      A separate build fee if I do the build
      A separate build fee if I have X amount of help (how do I quantify X
      amount of help? hourly?)

      The other frustration I have is that I find if difficult to submit a
      bid for work time not knowing what amount of money I have to work
      with for materials. Perhaps I should readdress from square one?
      Naturally I want the process to work smoothly in hopes of future
      employment-let's say the tax base in this particular city is high ;-)

      Thanks so much for any brainstorming ideas you may have!

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