The difference between a Producer and a General Manager.

The Broadway administrative hierarchy can be a confusing one.

To help answer a few readers’ questions, I used my favorite analogy to describe the duties of a General Manager on a Broadway show in this post just a few months ago.

But, since so many Producers have General Managed and so many General Managers have become Producers (including the guy typing this blog right now), some readers have asked me if being a General Manager is a prerequisite for being a Broadway Producer.

The answer is a big fat no, of course.  While I think that General Management is one the best training grounds for future Producers, it’s certainly not the only path to being a Broadway Producer (and lately, I’m think that becoming a Marketing Exec first would be a great way to go).

The fact is, to be a great Producer, you don’t need to know every inch of the industry in order to be effective.  You just need to surround yourself with people who know every inch of the industry.

And you need to know you can trust those people . . . they need to be people who will put you on their shoulders when it gets mucky and walk you through the marsh, so you don’t have to do it alone.

General Managers support Producers.  Like a Chief of Staff supports a President.

But the truth is a General Manager and a Producer have opposite mission statements.

A Producer’s job is to take risk.  A General Manager’s job is to safeguard a show from risk.


Interested in learning more about our General Management department? Click here.


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Ken created one of the first Broadway podcasts, recording over 250 episodes over 7 years. It features interviews with A-listers in the theater about how they “made it”, including 2 Pulitzer Prize Winners, 7 Academy Award Winners and 76 Tony Award winners. Notable guests include Pasek & Paul, Kenny Leon, Lynn Ahrens and more.