What is a Theatre Producer?

This year we launched a new MFA in Theatre Producing. The title of producer has many meanings in different industries and so we’re asking the question - what is a theatre producer?


A theatre producer is in charge of every part of a theatre production from conception to the day-to-day operations of it being staged.

Being an expert in tact and discretion are essential skills for producers to possess. As artists and their ideas flourish, it is their responsibility to support and foster the ideal environment for that to happen.

What is a producer's responsibility?

Producers need to be adaptable enough to operate in a variety of settings and genres, they possess a range of talents and skills to thrive in this.
They look after the managerial, strategic, and financial aspects of putting on the play. Some producers also have creative input into the process, providing input on script development, casting decisions, design elements, and overall artistic vision.

Their role can take on many and varied project-related duties such as: creating a budget; securing funding; hiring the team; negotiating with venues; scheduling travel and lodging; corresponding with team members; reserving ISL interpreters; transporting work between locations; marketing and promoting the work; helping to decide how to present work in various settings; and managing the risk and legal obligations of the production

Producers need to maintain the mental focus required to produce art while also navigating the challenges of corresponding with venues and financiers.

What type of person tends to be a producer?

Producers tend to be people who possess a variety of skills and the ability to adapt to situations to guide workflows and processes. They are can-do people who are solution-focused. Great producers enjoy working with people, they like making connections and embrace the problem-solving that comes with the role. Building relationships is a really important part of a producer's role, this is really varied can be with the creative team on a project, with the venues hosting the work or funders supporting it being realised.

Where do producers start their career pathway?

A lot of producers start in other roles in the theatre. They may be directors, administrators, technicians, performers or production managers. They may also come from other disciplines, this could be within the arts such as programmers or curators or outside it, such as marketers or managers.

Producers are often people who step in to make things happen, and who recognise the need to get things done and the workflows and processes required to do that. They also believe in the artistic and creative value of the work and the importance of sharing that with an audience.

Why this course?

Currently, there is a shortage of producers in the Irish theatre sector and this course was developed in response to an articulated need by the theatre industry for more professionalised producers. Producers most often operate independently as solo entrepreneurs, without the financial backing of a broader organisation. This course will equip talented emerging and new producers with the skills required to excel in their careers.

The MFA Theatre Producing course, the first of its kind in Ireland, is a practice-based professional degree which aims to equip students of exceptional talent with the skills necessary to pursue a career in professional theatre and related industries through the development of skills, professional practices and creative approaches to theatre production. It encourages a self-reflexive approach to learning with a view to developing independent-thinking practitioners of theatre.

Do I need to have experience already?

No, you do not need to have experience of producing already but it would be helpful if you do or if you have experience of mounting work for the stage and the complexities of that.

If you would like to read more about our course, please see more here.