FROM PAGE TO STAGE: Creating and Launching an NTC Program

Nothing worthwhile is ever easy, right? Like everything in our world, good things take time to build. That holds true for all of the educational programs that The National Theatre for Children produces and presents to thousands of schools each year.

Before schools open their doors to us, a lot of ground work needs to be laid in terms of not only creating an original show, but securing a sponsor in order to present that show free of charge. This begins when our Client Services Department presents a potential sponsor with what is called a Request for Proposal (RFP). This RFP becomes the framework in which NTC outlines and then creates the program. For example, if NTC is approaching an energy or utility company, the program could be tailored to convey lessons in energy conservation and efficiency or electrical safety.

Once the sponsor is on board, we’ve got a show! Or rather, we know there will be a show. This is where our Production Department starts their work at crafting a new script and casting actors. Meanwhile, the School Communications Department begins the process of reaching out to educators to schedule the program and performance into schools for the upcoming tour.

Of course, the intricacies of each of those processes are more involved than any one blog can cover, but the basic idea is that the whole shebang is a multi-step undertaking. Before Step C can happen, Step B must be completed, and that subsequently is dependent on the success of Step A. This concept of a flowchart can be extremely helpful in making sense of any process involving multiple layers and moving pieces.

CLASSROOM ACTIVITY

Ask your students what kind of business they would like to run. Next, challenge them to create a flowchart of how they would create, develop and deliver their final product or service.

EXAMPLE

I run a sporting goods company and I have a new type of football I’d like to sell.

  1. Client Services Department reaches out to potential clients such as the NFL.
  2. Are they interested?
    • a. Yes. Great!
      • i. Production begins making the footballs
    • b. No. Back to formula. Production works on a football that the NFL might be interested in.
      • i. Go back to NFL. Are they interested?
        • 1. Yes. Great!
  3. Production then starts manufacturing those special, solar-powered footballs you’ve invented!