Inspired by our adoption of Stage One as the charity for the 2012 Whatsonstage.com Awards, we’re declaring this the “Year of the Producer” on Whatsonstage.com, and are running a 12-month editorial series of interviews, blogs and other features to give theatregoers a greater understanding of the crucial role of the producer and an insight into the people who put on the shows they love.

In this blog post, Stage One apprentice producer Helen Johnson, who's currently on placement with Kenny Wax Productions, tells us about her current projects.


I’ve been a Stage One Apprentice since June, but Friday of last week was a particularly exciting day for me. I attended a marketing meeting for Top Hat, at which we met some lovely guys from one of the ticket agencies to talk about selling the show on their site and some other exciting ideas that I had better not mention! It was really interesting to hear about a logistical element of producing I hadn’t really thought about previously - although selling the tickets is, of course, a fairly important part.

The greatest advantage of being placed in Kenny Wax’s office is the huge contrast between the work taking place on Top Hat and the eight or so children’s shows we also have out on the road; The Gruffalo is taking up a lot of our time at the moment and I’m looking forward to meeting him in the West End in a few weeks. For today I’m gathering sales figures and working on sending out the contracts for when he goes on tour next year; it’s not necessarily the most glamorous part of being a Stage One Apprentice but the best way of understanding the touring circuit is going through the nitty-gritty on paper, so I’ve come to really enjoy it.

Tomorrow will be more marketing focused; we will have a meeting to discuss giving The Very Hungry Caterpillar & Other Eric Carle Favourites its best possible send-off as it reaches the end of its tour and talking over how to make The Gruffalo’s twitter account a little more exciting. I’m sure the week ahead will prove to be as diverse as those that have come before.

For more information about Year of the Producer, and the producers taking part, click here.