What does “produce” mean?

No, I’m not talk about fruits and veggies here.  I’m talking about the word that we all throw about like it’s confetti on New Year’s.

“I’m producing a new play” or “I want to produce a musical revival,” etc.

But what does the word mean?

I looked up the definitions of the roots tonight, to see if the dictionary could help me figure out what our job really is.

Let’s start with the second half first.

Duce = a leader . . . or dictator.

And now the first half . . . second.

Pro = the proponent of an issue; the person who upholds the affirmative in a debate

Put them together and you have a leader that is a proponent: a positive vote.

And that’s it, exactly.  In fact, I can distill it even more to just two words.

Leader.  Positive.

A Producer must lead and must always remain positive . . . otherwise he will turn around and find no one following his lead.  There’s no room for the negative in what we do.

This isn’t my deepest of blogs.  It’s obtusely simplistic, actually.

But I know that sometimes it’s the simplest reminders that keep me on track.  I hope it does the same for you.



(Got a comment?  I love ’em, so comment below!  Email subscribers, click here, then scroll down, to say what’s on your mind!)



– 72 Days to Godspell!  Read the day-by-day account of producing Godspell on Broadway here.

– Enter to win 2 tickets to All New People by Zach Braff Off-Broadway!  Click here.


Related Posts


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.