PRODUCE YOUR BROADWAY SHOW!

THE LEGAL ASPECTS OF PRODUCING COMMERCIAL THEATRE

Join theatrical attorney Bruce Lazarus for a VIDEO COURSE that will teach you the legal issues and documents you will need to effectively finance and produce your play, musical or performance art for Broadway and Off-Broadway productions and development in Festivals, Showcases, 99 Seat Theatre Plan or Regional “Enhancement” productions

 

Theatrical Attorney Bruce Lazarus has represented the Broadway and off-Broadway community for over 20 years including the original productions of BLUEMAN GROUP and THE LION KING, AIDA and BEAUTY AND THE BEAST in his capacity as Director of Business and Legal Affairs for Walt Disney Theatrical Productions.

In 2010 Bruce Lazarus has been a guest speaker on the topic of Commercial Theatre Financing and Production at the Off-Broadway Alliance, Theatre Resources Unlimited (TRU) and the Beverly Hills Bar Association. He has taught Producing Commercial Theatre at the Commercial Theatre Institute in New York, Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh and the UCLA School of Continuing Education.

Bruce Lazarus produced the Broadway productions of SAY GOODNIGHT GRACIE (Tony Award nominee for Best Play, National Broadway Theatre Award winner for Best Play on tour) and THE GATHERING and several notable off-Broadway productions including SHAKESPEARE’S R&J (Lucile Lortel Award winner for Outstanding Production) and ONLY KIDDING!


Bruce Lazarus is the moderator of the popular BROADWAY PRODUCERS AND INVESTORS GROUP on Linkedin and its quarterly networking meetings in New York and Los Angeles. For more information visit: http://www.linkedin.com/groups?mostPopular=&gid=1592767

Here’s what entertainment industry insiders are saying about Bruce Lazarus:


Bob McTyre , Senior Vice President , Walt Disney Theatrical Productions

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“Bruce is extremely knowledgeable about all aspects of the business and craft of theatre, as well as the ins and outs of negotiation, contracts and unions. His knowledge and skill was extremely valuable to me as the “founder” and head of Walt Disney Theatrical Productions. Furthermore his insight, efficiency and flexibility paid off many times for my work as the Broadway and International Producer of “Beauty and the Beast” and head of production for “The Lion King” and other projects. Bruce is a constructive and upbeat leader as well as team player whose talents helped me greatly at Disney. Bruce and I have continued to work together periodically post Disney and I recommend him highly!”
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Roger Gindi, Tony Award Winning Producer and Broadway General Manager

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“I've worked with Bruce on many projects, sometimes as my producing partner and sometimes as the attorney on a production I was managing. He is smart and efficient and I am always glad to work with him.”


Jim Geoghan, Producer at Disney and Playwright

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“Bruce has a great love for both art and business and that's rare. While producing the world premiere of Only Kidding in New York his passion and enthusiasm for the play was unending while he worked tirelessly to prolong and improve the run of the play. The New York run of Only Kidding spoiled me for life and Bruce was a huge part of that.”

 

Launching the Sliding Scale Theatre Package

To enable development of commercial theatre in Festivals, Showcases, Readings, 99-Seat Theater Plan or Regional “Enhancement” productions we are offering a sliding scale for our theatre package.
Included in the package is:

  1. Fully negotiated and drafted producer joint venture agreement;
  2. Fully negotiated and drafted option/ production contract with authors;
  3. Associate producer contract;
  4. Complete offering documents with investors for developmental productions (LLC Operating Agreement, Subscription Agreement and Investor Questionnaire) to accredited investors;
  5. Filing of all offering materials with the Securities and Exchange Commission; and
  6. One-on-one consultation and coaching with Bruce Lazarus.

To arrange a confidential consultation about your show or to learn more about the sliding scale for legal services please call 212-400-8100 or email: BruceLazarus@BroadwayAttorney.com .

Break a leg,
Your Broadway Attorney,
Bruce Lazarus
Email: BruceLazarus@BroadwayAttorney.com

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VIDEO LIBRARY:


(Please check back often for additional videos. Some of the audio interviews are a bit dated but still very informative. If you have a suggestion for a video tutorial or a specific question you would like addressed please email BruceLazarus@BroadwayAttorney.com).

1. JOINT VENTURE AGREEMENT PT 1

 

2. JOINT VENTURE AGREEMENT PT 2

 

3. OPTION/PRODUCTION CONRACT PART 1

 
4. OPTION/PRODUCTION CONRACT PART 2
 
5. DEVELOPMENTAL LLC OP PART 1
 
6. DEVELOPMENTAL LLC OP PART 2
 

AUDIO INTERVIEWS WITH INDUSTRY PROFESSIONALS:


In order to listen to the audio interviews, you will need the RealPlayer by Real Audio. If not already installed, you may download it here. (http://www.real.com/realplayer)

 • "The Author's Agent/Producer Relationship" (http://www.broadwayuniversity.com/realaudio/herold.ram) Guest Speaker: Patrick Herold, Helen Merrill Agency (now head of ICM), Leader: Bruce Lazarus, Entertainment Attorney, February 10, 1998.

As Patrick discussed his role in the life of a play, it became clear that the relationship between the producer of a play and the agent of that play's author is a complex one. Of utmost importance to both is the success of the play, but how that success comes about, and who partakes of the fruits of that success, are issues that can sometimes find the producer and the agent on opposite sides of the proverbial fence.

"Producing with Passion" http://www.broadwayuniversity.com/realaudio/freydberg.ram Guest Speaker: Jim Freydberg, (http://www.ibdb.com/person.php?id=22458 )Producer, Leader: Bruce Lazarus., February 17, 1998.

Jim opened the class by sharing some basic "rules of producing" he always follows. He mentioned the old saying that "you can make a killing in show business but you can't make a living." He disagreed with this because, he stressed, a producer should not be just a money-raiser but a professional who knows the business end of commercial theatre well enough to general manage his or her own show.

"The Art of Raising Money" (http://www.broadwayuniversity.com/realaudio/TeleC2-24-8.ram) Guest Speaker: Rodger Hess,(http://ibdb.com/person.php?id=23693 )Producer, Leader: Bruce Lazarus., February 24, 1998.

There are two ways of raising money - through promotion and through attraction. If you are offering an investor the chance to invest in a hot property with very popular names attached, you can simply promote your product, and how attractive you are as a producer is less of a factor. If you are working with a product that may not have such cachet, your attractiveness as a producer becomes the most important factor. The investor is investing in you. The investor needs to be convinced that although he or she may not be familiar with your property or the people attached to it, he or she can trust you to make the final product something the investor will be proud to have been a part of, and that they will have had fun in the process.

• "Everybody Into the Royalty Pool" (http://www.broadwayuniversity.com/realaudio/TeleC3-03-8.ram) Guest Speaker: Roger Gindi, (http://ibdb.com/person.php?id=23699 ) Producer and General Manager, Leader: Bruce Lazarus., March 3, 1998.

As an example, under the off-Broadway collective bargaining agreement with the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers, 60% of the Weekly Operating Profits of an off-Broadway show are returned to the producers and investors, and the remaining 40% is split amongst the participants in the pool pro-rata. Under a standard royalty agreement, the playwright might get 5% of the GWBOR , the director 2%, and the producer 3%, for a total of 10% of the GWBOR . Under this royalty pool arrangement, the playwright would get 5/10ths, the director 2/10ths, and the producer 3/10ths of 40% of the Weekly Operating Profits . To minimize the risk for the royalty pool participants, all the participants are guaranteed a minimum royalty payment each week even if there are no Weekly Operating Profits to share.

• "Hold the Phone- Have I Got A Show For You: The Art of TeleMarketing" (http://www.broadwayuniversity.com/realaudio/TeleC3-10-8.ram)  Guest Speaker: Fred Schnitzer, Entertainment Strategists, Leader: Bruce Lazarus., March 10, 1998.

Whether they are selling tickets to the hot new Broadway musical or a play in a 99-seat theatre in Grand Rapids, the right telemarketers can be"personal shoppers" for their clients, letting them know when something they' ll love is about to come in.

• "Introduction to the New World of Theatre Marketing" (http://www.broadwayuniversity.com/realaudio/TeleC3-17-8.ram) Guest Speaker: Randall Wreghitt,( http://ibdb.com/person.php?id=23520) Producer and President of ProMarketing, Leader: Bruce Lazarus., March 17, 1998.

A marketing firm, Randall explains, plays a different role than an advertising agency or a press agent. Once affiliated with a show, Pro Marketing develops and implements promotions, special events and contests that raise the visibility of the show, while at the same time keeping costs down by arranging trades for tickets rather than paying for the promotion. Aside from a retainer paid to the marketing firm and the tickets given away, the cost to the producer is minimal.

• "War Stories"( http://www.broadwayuniversity.com/realaudio/TeleC3-24-8.ram)  Guest Speaker: Bill Repecci, Producer, Leader: Bruce Lazarus., March 24, 1998.

The first in a new series of TeleCourses entitled "War Stories", in which experienced producers share their stories of success and failure, joy and heartbreak with the participants. I believe that hearing these "War Stories" can give us insight into the process of producing a show, and can also allow us to learn from another producer's experience as we develop our own projects. Our first "War Stories" guest is producer Bill Repecci, who told us how one of the most successful small musical revues of recent years, "Swingtime Canteen", came to be. A hit off-Broadway in 1994, "Swingtime Canteen" is even more popular across the country.

• "The Beginning of a Beautiful Freindship: Finding the Right Corporate Sponsor" (http://www.broadwayuniversity.com/realaudio/TeleC3-31-8.ram ) Guest Speaker: Tom Viertel, (http://www.ibdb.com/person.php?id=23968 )Producer, Leader: Bruce Lazarus., March 31, 1998.

What exactly is a sponsorship? It is a situation wherein a company "ties in" with a show. Usually the show wants money, and in exchange for it, provides the company with some kind of exposure. Every sponsorship deal is different. There could be an upfront fee for the run of the show, or a weekly fee, or both. The producer could put the brand name over the show's title, as Tom did with Hallmark and "The Sound of Music"; or on the name of a new theater, as Livent's "Ragtime" at the new Ford Center for the Performing Arts; or on the title page of the program and tagged in all of the show's ads, for example Dannon with Madison Square Garden's "A Christmas Carol". The company might underwrite part of the show's advertising budget, if its name and logo are to be included in the ads, or provide merchandise and high-profile audition space (as Macy\rquote s did with the recent Broadway production of "Annie". The show might provide the company with complimentary tickets to be given as employee incentives or as contest prizes, or discount tickets, backstage tours, walk-on roles, perhaps even product placement in the show (as the Broadway musical "Big" did for the famous toy store F.A.O. Schwartz). In most cases, the sponsors will probably not wish to invest in the show (where they would anticipate - or perhaps gamble - a return on their money). Instead, they would provide sponsorship fees in exchange for their brand's exposure to the show's captive audience and for the goodwill their brand name would receive by being associated with a quality show.

• "It's 8:15-Do You Know Where Your Box Office Receipts Are?: The Role of the Company Manager" (http://www.broadwayuniversity.com/realaudio/TeleC4-07-8.ram) Guest Speaker: Marcia Goldberg, (http://www.ibdb.com/person.php?id=70678 ) Company Manager, Leader: Bruce Lazarus.,April 7, 1998.

We spoke with Marcia from inside the box-office of "The Diary of Anne Frank" at the Music Box Theatre.. The company manager has, as Marcia put it, her hand in every part of the pie. The company manager's critical relationships with the producers, general manager, accountant, box office treasurer, cast, and house staff keep the day-to-day operation of the show running smoothly as she works as the producer's representative and a true liaison between all of the above key players.

• "Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Theatrical Insurance But Were Afraid To Ask" (http://www.broadwayuniversity.com/realaudio/TeleC4-14-8.ram ) Guest Speaker: Robert Boyar, Senior VP, J&H Marsh and McLennan, Brokers, Leader: Bruce Lazarus., April 14, 1998.

We felt a TeleCourse on this subject was very important because in our experience, many producers do not adequately "think out" their insurance needs. Some spend too much money and overinsure their productions, buying every policy available because they have not taken the time to consider the specific needs of their productions and what policies may not be necessary . Others underinsure their productions, thinking only about the money they are spending and not giving enough thought to the possibility of the unexpected. Robert outlines the different kinds of insurance policies available to theatrical producers, and explained what they cover and when they may apply.

• "How To Negotiate A Theater License" (http://www.broadwayuniversity.com/realaudio/TeleC4-21-8.ram) Guest Speaker: Albert Poland,( http://www.ibdb.com/person.php?id=21087) Producer, General manager, Theater Manager, Leader: Bruce Lazarus., April 21, 1998.

• "Survey Says... Using Demographics For Advanced Theatre Marketing"   (http://www.broadwayuniversity.com/realaudio/TeleC5-05-8.ram) Guest Speaker: George Wachtel, President, Audience Research & Analysis, Leader: Bruce Lazarus., May 5, 1998.