Having worked on numerous student theatre productions, the team knows that effective documentation can be difficult to come by and tricky to navigate. We were lucky to work with several student lawyers on most of our projects, and that the first time we were introduced to a formal loan document – on Endgame in 2013 – it had been drafted for us by a former investment banker who was now looking to back the show. From that point to now, moving from a small 50-seat theatre where all other administration was managed into the 160-seat space at the O’Reilly, which demanded risk assessments and project plans as well as more accurate finance documents, we have been in a constant process of amending and redesigning our agreements.
While none of our documentation is perfect, it presents a potentially useful place for student theatre-makers to start when considering a production. Much of the material is tailored towards Oxford student venues, but there is no reason why it cannot be adapted for any production. Aspiring producers should take their own legal advice where they think it is appropriate.
The Producers’ Toolkit is available here.