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How to Write a Theatrical Proposal


Your Your proposal should be a brief account of how you are going to to get your play from your head to the stage.

Stylistically, a theater proposal is no different from any other type of proposal, like a business, novel or film proposal. Always write in active voice and never deviate from business writing style or format. Save the creativity for the actual script. The individual components of the proposal, the set design or certain elements of the budget, are what make theater proposals unique.

Personal Information

Write a cover letter detailing who you are, how you can be contacted and what it is you are proposing. Include a brief synopsis of the play, a description of why it is important and in which season you would like to stage the play. Include a paragraph explaining why you feel qualified to direct, produce or design the play, depending on your role in the production.

Create a section explaining how you intend to market your play. Describe your target audience and how this play would appeal to them.

Create a resume detailing your theatrical experience. If you are representing an entire troupe or company, include resumes from your staff in the final proposal. It is important to include the resumes of your director, assistant director, set designer or musical director where applicable. Again, other than containing components unique to theater, the resume is stylistically identical to any other resume.

The Play

Calculate the budget for your production, taking into account what copyrights you will need, costumes, set pieces, technological expenses, funding you have received, the size of the crew and all other expenses. Make sure to include a total.

Draw a set design to scale according to the dimensions of the theater to which you are proposing.

Draw costume designs with the appropriate dimensions.

Include the complete script in the final proposal package. Make sure the script makes clear how many characters are in the play.

Tip
  • Usually you will need to send your proposal to multiple people. Check the theater's website or send an e-mail asking how many people you need to send it to.
Warnings
  • Specialized proposals, i.e. production proposals, may have different guidelines than general theater proposals.
  • Always check the guidelines of the specific theater to which you are proposing as guidelines may vary from theater to theater.
About the Author

Ian Burns has been interviewing cartoonists and writing articles about comics since 2009. He has been published at the Comics Journal Online as well as fantagraphicsbooks.com. Burns graduated from Central Washington University with a Bachelor of Arts in English with a writing specialization.

Photo Credits
  • trees over a stage image by Fuzzphoto from Fotolia.com