A stage of possibilities
Manch is a platform for all theatre makers and production companies who have an interest in producing a show but don't have the capacity to run shows for a longer period of time.
After an artistic and financial assessment of your production, Manch will enable an initial investment amount to the theatre makers/production companies to build their shows.
So if you have a new or existing production that needs support: planning, ticketing, financial and/or marketing, read on
Attend one of our open houses on
20th or 29th April
to understand Manch in detail.
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What is the need for such a platform?
Independent theatre groups in India are often - and rightly - preoccupied with the ‘why’ of a play or production. Why am I telling this story, why is it important for people to watch it, why should the set or music be this way and not that, and so on.
But the moment we get into the ‘how’ of it, it becomes about ‘how much is it’? The cost of making a play today is not low, and not easy to come by. The risk of financial loss causes many productions and ideas to be halted before they can even be explored.
A co-producing initiative mitigates the financial risk of your theatre group, while building within the group, the capacity for financial planning and strategic marketing.
How does Manch aid our production?
Most productions struggle with managing cash flow. How do you raise the money required to build the production and keep something aside for show-related expenses?
Bhasha Centre offers an initial investment to help in setting up the play (build cost) that needs to be paid back over a mutually defined period of time. This pay-back is at a percentage of income generated and not a fixed sum, so it isn’t like an EMI on a loan, which you have to pay back regardless of how much you make.
Can you please be clear? What does all this mean? What do I need to do?
You need to submit:
A budget for the build cost of your play.
A plan for forthcoming months/season/runs (which city, which venue, how many shows at each, which months of the year, and so on)
A per performance cost (including venue rental, tech rental, travel, F&B, team payments as per your standard practice, and so on)
Total earnings possible per show. This is your ticket price x the number of seats at that venue.
Okay great. Now, what will you do?
So we will work with you to understand your budget and see what could make sense to change that. Maybe the answer is in spending a little less at the beginning, or in pricing your tickets differently, or in staying in your home city to avoid travel expenses.
Our aim in doing this, is to make sure that everyone - you and us - reach financial break even as quickly and painlessly as possible.
Please note that the overall assessment of the production will be done on both artistic and financial aspects.
So if you’re going to be deciding all this, whose show will this be?
The show will be entirely YOURS. We won’t be deciding anything. We will only suggest and advise. Since we are working with different groups in different venues and cities, with different strategies and perspectives, we can provide learnings from one project to another, as a sort of conduit of our community experience.
Once we’ve agreed on your game plan, we will help you achieve it.
How will you help us achieve it? Will you help us sell tickets? Book venues? Get private shows or bulk bookings?
In short, yes. We will try and set up introductions, meetings, contacts to promote your show in various organisations and spaces. You can take the conversations forward, because you know your show best. Besides, we don’t want to be your managers, we would prefer that you were in charge of your show and its journey.
In terms of selling tickets, we will help you amplify your reach through social media, send out emailers to our database and so on.
What’s the catch? Any hidden costs?
No hidden costs. Everything is communicated in advance. There are a couple of additional costs like convenience fees in ticketing for our funder and for us, and entertainment taxes, but all of this will be laid out in black and white for you to question and be sure of.
Any terms that could be considered pain points?
The only thing that could be painful is that all performances - private / invited or ticketed - that we get for you or that you get on your own - will fall under the terms of the agreement. But again, this is only so that everybody achieves break-even quicker.
What if we just can’t repay the build cost? Will I have to sell my house? Or pay lawyers to fight a court case?
No, it won’t come to that. While we are not keen on making money, we don’t want anyone to lose money. And the thing about theatre is that over a period of time, maybe a long period, maybe a shorter one, productions do break even. It’s a question of cash flow, or staying power, of sustainable productions and strategic programming. We believe it is possible, we hope you will too.
But we have always lost money on our shows. Always. Are we going wrong somewhere?
We’ll try and figure this out. Maybe your budgeting is optimistic, maybe there are other things to improve on like networking or scrounging, or setting realistic expectations. We plan on conducting some masterclasses and workshops on producing, budgeting and so on. Sign up for our newsletter for news on those.
What about festivals and venues? Or training institutes? Can we also partner up?
Absolutely. We’d love to. Obviously, we haven’t thought of every scenario and eventuality, but we’re always open to ideas and collaborations. Get in touch!
Okay enough questions. Whom can we talk to about this?
If you want to discuss anything further, contact firstname.lastname@example.org and set up a meeting. We’ll take you through the details as many times as you like, go over the specifics of your production and budget if you have one, and you can take it from there.
If you are ready with the details we’re asking for, fill in the form. And we’ll be in touch very soon.