I’m often asked when I decided to become a producer. The truth is, I didn’t find my true calling until after college. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been in love with musicals for as long as I can remember. In fact, I credit my unwavering passion and pursuit of musical theater since age 4 as the reason I find myself already on Broadway at this point in my life.
However, as a little girl growing up in Portland, Oregon, I didn’t dream of being a Broadway producer. In fact, I didn’t even know such a job existed! As a kid I spent my evenings on stage and my summers working in the community theater box office. At that point, I knew that I could channel my love of theater into acting, or directing, or building sets, or sewing costumes. But nowhere in my high school theater drama department or community theater did it occur to me that there was such a thing as a producer – or at least a producer who wasn’t also the star of the show, the director, or someone’s mom.
In college, I found that I wasn’t enjoying performing and was determined to find another way to keep musicals in my life. It wasn’t until I took it upon myself to ask “where do musicals come from?” that I happily discovered that there is a key person called a “producer.”
Learning that there was a job out there where I could bring new musicals into the world was my dream come true and I dove into the deep end. I learned anything and everything I could, including going back to business school to get an MBA and following around my industry idols soaking up their advice like a sponge. I quickly realized that I thrived in the business of theater much more than I ever had on stage. I had found my calling!
I was fortunate to start my professional career after grad school with a great musical theater company in Portland. There I worked my up through the development department and eventually became executive director. My on the job training in growing a theater company, fundraising, building audiences, completing a capital campaign for a new theater, and managing a season of musicals was priceless and I loved my job.
Over the course of that job I was spending more and more time attending conferences and meeting new colleagues in NYC. It was through those supportive contacts and a major leap of faith — giving up a great job to jump into the deep end of Broadway — that I became a Broadway producer in 2010.
I started with BONNIE & CLYDE – a wonderful show that allowed me to roll up my sleeves and learn the ropes of producing, as well as to meet some wonderful artists and now friends, like Frank Wildhorn, Don Black, and the incredible cast. Unfortunately, that beautiful show was short lived. But it led to my involvement with another wonderful show, The Gershwin’s Porgy & Bess, which — happily — earned me a Tony Award!
Often fun and never easy, ten years into a career as a musical theater producer from coast to coast, I couldn’t be more thrilled to be doing what I love all day every day. I’ve learned a lot over the years, from regional producing to Broadway, and I continually learn and benefit from countless brilliant, inspiring and generous mentors along the way. I look forward to getting to know you, comparing notes, and working together to keep musical theater thriving.
Got questions or comments? Please be in touch! You can reach me via MTIShowspace or on twitter: @brisatrinchero. I also blog about the art and business of new musicals at www.makemusicals.com. I look forward to hearing from you!