Money Saving Tips


Many of us have the new year's resolution to save money. I may not be an expert in all things finance but there is one thing I'm good at - putting on a show for cheap.

There are many things one can do to save money but not sacrifice quality. Most of these take hard work, good networking skills and lots of walking around town asking for favors. There is a project triangle model I was taught in Grad school. I've put a picture up of it in case you haven't seen it. You can't get all three sides of the triangle at once. It's better to sacrifice efficiency in my mind in exchange for a cheap cost and quality show.

My first recommendation to anyone who is thinking of doing a play is send out some sponsorship letters to local businesses that could tie in with the theme of your production. The sponsorship can be in cash or kind. This means they can either give you services you need like printing for free or cash. In exchange you put an ad in your program or name them your title sponsor: Sleeping Beauty presented by The Knitting Company for example. Searching for sponsors is hard work but well worth it.

Begging and borrowing is how I get most of my props in town. I rarely buy things unless they're perishables or absolutely essential. You need all the toasters for True West? Borrow toasters from all your friends in town and give them discounts on their tickets in exchange. Most costumes can be pulled from actor's wardrobes; if you need something special get it from the markets to save some cash.

Go Grotowski on your sets and use pretty lighting instead. It'll save you lots of time and money hauling stuff back and forth to the theatre and with proper stage lighting a bare stage is beautiful. There is a reason they call it the poor theatre.

Don't pay for anything you can get for free is my last advice. You need papers? Save them from the scrap pile at work. You need bottles of wine or liquor? Ask to take them from people or bars at the end of the night. Sterilize them and it costs you nothing to make a bar scene. Make free art with scrap cardboard and leftover paint from a previous art project. Get free furniture off Asia Expat from people who are moving.

It is possible to make good quality art without breaking your bank. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.


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