I'll chime in as Gnap! has probably had the most experience with this, both booking outside shows for our programming and then also bequeathing some shows we cooked up out into the larger community. I would like to echo the general sentiment voiced here of don't be a dick, and also to say that I really like Val's call for people to be original.
Each case is unique of course and it's all about communication. For me it comes down to what is the reality of this thing you're doing when it's not on stage at my theater. It's complicated in improv because of the easy blurring between 'show' and 'troupe.' Show's we've programmed like PIP, The Professor, Ratgirls, and Your Terrific Neighbors were all independent entities that I approached to do a show at SVT. In my mind, if they wanted to pick up their act and program it elsewhere, even if it's the exact same show, I feel I have no say in the matter. They have their own internal infrastructure, casting process, etc. that I wasn't involved in, so go to it.
Then there are shows we put together. We have a company so it's maybe a little easier to make sure people's allegiances are to Gnap! when the show they pitched gets produced or when I ask a person to direct a show that was a good idea but which had no director attached to begin with (This American LIVE and Posies were that way). But, unlike a production of a scripted show by a theater company, where it would be really weird for the cast of the play to decide they wanted to collectively remount the play without the original producer being involved, improv is pretty portable and it's fairly easy to turn a 'show' into a 'troupe.' This has happened a couple times with us, one with False Matters where we all liked playing with each other so much that we decided to stay together after our run last spring. That one was easy though since I was both the producer and the director of the show, and False Matters the troupe is still really a Gnap! thing. It happened too, though, with This American LIVE. Mike and his crew enjoyed the show so much and felt it had enough potential that they came to me and asked "Hey can we keep doing this?" Now, since Gnap! is winding down its weekly productions, I'm not feeling terribly proprietary so I said sure, and they're going to be doing a run at the Institution later this year. From my point of view, TAL is now an independent troupe that we helped give birth too, but they're basically free to do what they want. (Mike assures me that the in-show radio station will continue to be GNAP or that I'm getting a public radio shout out in every show or whatever but I'm not to concerned about that).
I think it all boils down to communication and each instance will be different. But having the courtesy to communicate your desires is essential. Way back when I talked to Dan O'Connor about using the "Blank Unscripted" formulation they use when doing things like "Shakespeare Unscripted" or "Sondheim Unscripted" and he said please don't, that's really vital to our distinct branding. I suppose I could have been a dick and ignored it, but what would that have gotten me?
I also think it depends who is doing the heavy lifting for the life of a show that wants to continue after its first run as to how it gets branded. Should Manhattan Stories or Batman play the Long Center, the show creators are so intimately involved with the Hideout that I would imagine the Hideout producers would also be involved in pulling that off. But to take a counter example, if Jeremy or Asaf, whose identities as creators are less tied to the Hideout, really hustled to put together a show elsewhere, got the booking, arranged for all the rehearsals, handled the marketing, etc for Process or Spirited, I'd probably feel less adamant about the show needing a "Such and Such Theater presents" tag on it. That's just me, though. The Hideout guys might feel differently. I also should say that I don't imagine Jeremy or Asaf doing that without first communicating their intentions; just saying that each entity might present its own specific set of parameters.
For another example of how each show poses its own challenges, I'll bring up Showdown, as it was the only time I put my foot down as a producer about who 'owned' the show. The cast was rightly jazzed about the work they had done on it, and they wanted to submit to the first Improvised Play Festival at the Hideout. Avimaan was pretty adamant, and I agreed, that part of what made Showdown special was that it was a self-contained six-episode serial, and we felt that doing the show again would have violated the integrity of the original work, and we said no, we're not submitting to the fest. I'm sure that decision disappointed, maybe even pissed off, a lot of the cast, but it was the right call for that particular show.
Last edited by shando
on September 7th, 2012, 10:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
madeline wrote:i average 40, and like, a billion grains?
"She fascinated me 'cause I like to run my fingers through her money."--Abner Jay