How I Started A Successful Theatre Production Company?

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Karin Richey

Karin Richey

a non-profit theatre company
Plethos Productions

Team Size

2 – 5

Revenue

<$10,000 / month

Location

CA, US

STart Date

2 – 5 years ago

Today I have the opportunity to share an interview with another impressive female founder Karin Richey from a non-profit theatre company Plethos Productions.

It was fascinating to hear her journey of how she started with $2,000 in her pocket, gathered a group of like-minded creative people and raised funds on Indiegogo for their first show. Her theatre company has been recognized by Theatre Bay Area and is growing at a fantastic pace.

Karin is ambitious and certainly a fantastic role model to follow. It’s an interview you don’t want to miss!

INTRODUCTION

PLEASE TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF AND THE BUSINESS YOU STARTED?

Hi, my name is Karin and I have founded a community theatre company that is breaking traditional casting barriers and producing fresh, innovative and diverse live performances.

From age 10-21 I performed as an actor in 3 shows per year. I was a theatre major who also attended a film school.

In high school, I began writing, directing and producing shows and knew that eventually, I would want to open my own theatre company.

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Plethos Productions

THE JOURNEY SO FAR

HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH YOUR BUSINESS IDEA?

I learned that 10 years is the maximum time you can tell your husband you want to do something before he makes you just go out and do it! In March of 2017, my birthday gift from him was $2,000 specifically and solely for starting my theatre company.

But I knew if I was going to do it I didn’t want to start just any old theatre company. It had to be something unlike what already existed. I wanted to craft the theatre I wished existed.

In the SF Bay Area, there are radically diverse theatres, mainly in Oakland and San Francisco. But outside of those cities, it’s all very traditional. Being an actress of color myself, I know the feeling of being the only 1 out of 40 auditioning for a show, and recognizing that the color of my skin was going to thwart any chance I had of meaningfully participating.

For that reason we chose the name Plethos – which is Ancient Greek, like theatre – and it means a plurality of people, the multitude. Our commitment is to performances that accurately reflect the beautifully diverse community that we live in. Our mission is to use theatre as a tool to unite communities and allow everyone to meaningfully participate.

PLEASE DESCRIBE THE PROCESS OF LAUNCHING YOUR BUSINESS.

First I connected with a local communal art space to determine a rehearsal and performance venue.

Next, I gathered a group of creatives to help fundraise and be a creative board.

Then we launched an Indiegogo fundraising campaign to raise money for our first show. We raised $5,000+ in 30 days and used it to fund our 2018 season.

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST ACHIEVEMENT ?

We have now sold over 2,000 tickets to our shows, were recognized by Theatre Bay Area as a recommended performance and had revenues of $23k for our 2019 season.

HOW DO YOU PROMOTE YOUR BUSINESS?

We have grown our following via Facebook, Instagram, an email list and print campaigns such as postcards, banners and lots of word of mouth.

WHAT IS YOUR VISION FOR THE FUTURE OF THE BUSINESS?

Our hope is to eventually get a dedicated physical location where we have classes, shows, special events and a dynamic space people want to hang out.

RECOMMENDATIONS & FINAL THOUGHTS

PLEASE RECOMMEND ANY RESOURCES AND TOOLS THAT YOU USE TO RUN YOUR BUSINESS.


WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE BUSINESS BOOKS, PODCASTS OR BLOGS?

  1. Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
  2. The Innovator’s Dilemma
  3. The E-Myth

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO OTHER WOMEN WHO WANT TO START THEIR OWN BUSINESS?

Starting a business requires you to be an even balance between a dreamer, a manager and a do-er.

 

If you only want to do one of those, get 2 other people before you even begin.

Violeta Semenova

Violeta Semenova
Founder
theBizLadies

Welcome to the Biz Ladies interview series!

If you’re new to these series, I interview women entrepreneurs on how they started their business, what was the idea behind it, how they got where they are, the struggles, the reality and more.

By sharing their stories, we want to inspire other women to get started.

If you are interested to share your own story on the Biz Ladies LET ME KNOW!