If you find yourself in the all-too-common situation of stretching your theatre budget to its maximum capacity, it might benefit you to put on a few more performances a year. After all, more shows means more name recognition, more ticket sales, and ultimately, more opportunities for funding. But where can you find inspiration for original theatrical content?

If you’re struggling to find original sources for your next production, On The Stage offers six suggestions.

1. Partner with Writing Programs

Writing programs are often a goldmine of original content – offering short stories, plays, and other goodies.

You can tap into high school or collegiate writing programs, or even partner up with local writing centers.

Perks abound. When you’re working with original content, the sky’s the limit in terms of direction and perception. Let your students, actors, and crew run wild with their creative visions. Additionally, this offers the opportunity for cross-promotion and lasting community partnerships. Win-win-win!

2. Tap into the Community

Requesting submissions from your community is another excellent way to mine for original content. By reaching out to those in your vicinity, you offer a sense of collaboration within your community – and who doesn’t like to showcase their own work? Additionally, tapping into this new network could potentially get you more name recognition, as well as more guests in seats come time for the opening number of your next production.

Even if you strike out with these submissions, the spark of inspiration is everywhere. Reading through people’s work may influence you more than you realize.

3. Oversee Independent Studies

Sourcing new content from studies is a compelling way to get creative. This is an especially rewarding avenue for aspiring actors and playwrights to create and subsequently control their creative visions on stage.

Engaging your students – whether that’s in script development or the overall production – is crucial and invaluable when it comes to a positive outcome for your show.

4. Adapt Other Works

Media in and of itself is incredibly vast, so don’t be afraid to check out other forms of it for your next production. From books to essays, short stories or even television and movies … the sky’s the limit!

With this form of adaptation, you’ve already got a running narrative, which takes a lot of pressure off you and your crew. A strong baseline will lead to a great, quasi-original piece of theatre that will likely draw interest from new audiences.

5. Take Another Look at the Public Domain 

There is a massive catalog of content in the public domain – so why not take a second look at it and get creative with your adaptation? Interpreting a public domain work a little differently can take your production to new heights and offer you the opportunity to expand your horizons.

(Of course, don’t forget to consider copyright law and fair use)

6. Partner with Independent Playwrights 

Independent or unpublished playwrights present a wealth of talent to local theatres. And who knows? Maybe you’ll discover the next great artist by taking a chance on an unpublished creative – don’t underestimate them!

With this avenue, you’re exploring new depths and worlds outside the public domain. Put simply – the world’s your oyster when you partner with independent writers.

If you want to achieve your artistic goals, On The Stage offers an all-one-one toolset that makes the business of theatre easier. Download this helpful eBook for an in-depth look into sourcing original theatre content. And don’t forget to book a demo with On The Stage’s professionals to empower your theatre to reach new heights.