Every year we will hold an annual Pitch Night for producers interested in being part of our upcoming season. One night each spring, groups are given two minutes to pitch their project for the upcoming season of Hatbox Theatre (season runs September through August). Hatbox is all about live performance, so we ask that pitches be focused on that aspect, but any discipline is welcome to pitch: music, theatre, cabaret, dance, magic, variety, burlesque, comedy, improv, poetry/spoken word, game shows, whatever!
Producers are asked to fill out a detailed form and supply three bound submission packets (this might consist of: copies of a play with notes on the production team; sample audio/video recordings of a musical group; promotional material for the organization, etc.). The planning committee will take about a month to comb through the submissions and select the ones that best fit the needs of the season. All groups selected for the season must: sign an agreement related to their production; commit to participating in the Launch Night where they will provide a five-minute taste (performance excerpt, readings, an expanded “pitch”, etc. ) of their production for members of Hatbox Theatre and the public; take part in a producer orientation meeting; and participate in Hatbox auditions.
How does Hatbox Theatre work? Hatbox is a cooperative theatre space. If a program is selected for performance, then the producer receives 60% of the gate receipts. Not included in this are: processing fees charged to patrons, donations, concessions, etc.
What is the season like? Generally, Main Stage productions run for three weeks with performances on Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30pm and Sundays at 2pm. There are also weekly and monthly performances slots available. Times, days, and lengths of run may be negotiable. Hatbox generally reserves the three week Main Stage slot in the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas for an annual holiday show.
How much are tickets? For the purpose of revenue, tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for students/seniors/members. There is, however, a $1.50 per ticket charge to cover the costs of ticketing software and credit card charges that does not factor into the gate split.
Do we have to sell tickets? Provide box office personnel and ushers? Nope. Hatbox takes care of all that for you.
Who does publicity? Production companies are responsible for drafting a press release (in our recommended format) that Hatbox will then distribute to all forms of media: newspapers, radio, television, and online. Production companies must also supply Hatbox with five copies of their poster with our logo/contact information on it as directed in the agreement. Hatbox will also create a Facebook event for your event. Production companies are responsible for papering (hanging posters—we generally recommend around 150-200 posters to cover Concord), but Hatbox will make available a list of recommended venues/areas that are open to displaying posters. Producers are also encouraged to promote separately on social media and through other outlets.
What else are the producers responsible for? Licensing/royalty fees, production costs, anything else spelled out in the agreement. Also, printed program inserts to go into our season program.
Can we pitch more than one production? Yes, but the focus is on cooperative theatre and providing a diverse set of offerings.
What time is the pitch? It will begin promptly at 7pm with an organizer laying out the process, but the doors will be open beginning at 5:45pm for people to sign up for their slot.
How much time do we have to pitch? Two minutes per pitched project. Pitches are first-come, first-served based on sign up at the door the night of the pitch. The night ends when all the pitches are finished.
Do we have to stay the entire night? No, but we would encourage you to do so. It is not only an entertaining night out, but it is also an opportunity to see what other creative artists are working in the area and provides an opportunity for networking with potential collaborators.
What if we can’t make Pitch Night? You can still submit your materials ahead of time and one of the organizers can read your pitch aloud to the assembly for consideration. We do also take submissions year round to fill in any dark nights in the season.
Can we request certain times of the year? Sure, but the more restricted your pitch becomes the harder it may be to slot your production into the season.
Are there any restrictions to what we submit? Not really, although the selection of productions is solely at the discretion of the planning committee.
What about rehearsals and load-in? Hatbox does offer rehearsal time in the space on dark nights by request. Each Main Stage Series event will have Sunday evening through Thursday on the week of load-in dedicated to their load-in and rehearsals. No other productions/performances will have use of the space during that time. During second and third weeks, Main Stage productions will be asked to pack away as much of their props and equipment as possible so as to allow the weekly and monthly events to occur on the stage. Sets may remain in place and lighting will not be refocused during a run (with the possible exception of equipment added/reserved for the monthly productions). “Pick up” rehearsals during the second and third weeks may be scheduled ahead of time.
Do you ever rent out the house? On rare dark nights and occasional mid-week days, the space may be rented for other use (workshops, meetings, seminars, etc.). Cost to rent is on a case by case basis. In general, any public performances become a part of the Hatbox season.
CLICK HERE FOR THE PITCH TICKETS (producers only please).