The Hideout Theatre management staff offers professional consulting on a variety of theatre-related topics including Improv For Youth, The Business of Running a Theater, Artistic Direction for Improv, Visual Design and Marketing for Improv, and Improv Classes and Community. Read more below about each consultant and their field of expertise. A pricing list is at the very bottom of the page and contact info for each consultant is listed in their bio.
- Youth Improv
- Theatre Business
- Artistic Direction
- Visual Design & Marketing
- Classes & Community
- Special Needs
Improv for Youth
Jessica Arjet offers consulting for Youth Programs, including classes, summer camps, on-going shows, and touring shows. She can help you start a new program as well as help with existing programs.
Design and Create Curriculum. Developing a curriculum for specific age groups and interests. Make sure you are teaching your students what you want them to know in a way that they want to learn. Or you can buy the Hideout’s Youth curriculum along with consulting for how to implement it.
How to Run a Youth Program. Running a youth program comes with its own exciting challenges and rewards. Learn all the tricks and techniques so that you don’t have to make the most common mistakes. This includes: hiring staff, structuring the day, advertising, dealing with parents, handling problems that commonly occur, and overall philosophies.
Creating a Summer Camp. Summer camps are fun and lucrative.(They are a great way to start up something for youth without committing to a year round program.) Similar to the youth program this includes: hiring staff, structuring the day, advertising, dealing with parents, handling problems that commonly occur, and overall philosophies.
Shows for Youth. Shows are the most effective (and self-sustaining) advertising for your classes and other programs. Create a show that kids will love: casting, advertising, making up formats, handling heavy interaction with tiny people, keeping it fresh each week. We can also touch on touring to schools and libraries.
Jessica Arjet is the Youth Program Director and co-owner of the Hideout Theatre. In 2006 she created improv classes for kids at the Hideout. Since then the program has expanded to include 10 classes a week for ages 5-18, the award winning show – The Flying Theater Machine, summer camps, touring shows and workshops, and our newest expansion – classes for special needs youth, including kids on the Autism Spectrum and At-Risk youth. For more information contact Jessica at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Business of Your Theater
Kareem Badr offers consulting to help you navigate the Formation & Structure of Your Business, Accounting & Bookkeeping, Tech Setup for Improv, and Day-to-Day Details of Business Ownership.
Structuring Your Business. When forming a business, you have a few options available to you. Should you be a non-profit with a board of directors? Will an LLC help protect you legally and financially? Maybe you will incorporate. Each option has different rules that will affect decision-making, liability, and profit-distribution (you want profits, right?)
Accounting & Bookkeeping. How much money are you spending on marketing? Are your specialty workshops profitable? What shows should you pour your marketing effort into? Learning a few simple procedures and data-tracking techniques will enable you to get insight to how your business is doing, and remove emotion and voodoo from decision-making.
Technical Setup for Improv. The tech is one of the elements of an improv show that we can control and prepare ahead of time. Learn about your different lighting and sound options, and the benefits and drawbacks of each. LEDs or incandescents? Light-board or software-controlled lights? What kind of PA and audio gear will you need? Can you take advantage of local or state energy subsidies? Figuring out your technical requirements will make finding and renovating your future improv home a lot easier.
The Nitty Gritty. A small business, particularly an improv theatre, is a mass of details, processes, and forms. The 10% of the business the public sees hides 90% of the details and decisions lurking below the surface. Liability insurance, credit card processing, sales tax, repair and maintenance expenses, and more. Become aware of everything Kareem has encountered so you don’t drown in an ocean of unexpected paperwork.
Kareem Badr is the General Manager and Co-Owner of The Hideout Theatre & Coffee House. He manages the day-to-day business operations of both the theater and coffee house sides of The Hideout, while also maintaining the physical space and acting as Technical Director. For more information contact Kareem at email@example.com.
Artistic Direction for Improv
Roy Janik offers consulting for improv theaters that need guidance on how best to create, maintain, and manage shows/special events.
Scheduling. When choosing what sort of improv shows to put on at your theater, there are an infinite number of possibilities. The choices can be overwhelming, and it’s hard to know what to schedule, especially when just starting out. Learn to consider and select from the many different show types available to you: community-building showcase, ongoing shows, limited run “theatrical” shows, and specific formats that have worked well at The Hideout.
Show and Special Event Management. Unlike in scripted theatre models, improv theaters often have shows every weekend, and some specific shows might run for years. Learn the art of keeping a show going, keeping it fresh, keeping the performers engaged in the process. Learn to organize special events and festivals to keep them running smoothly and not driving you crazy… including staffing, timetables, press releases, etc…
Bootstrapping and Community Building. Are you starting from scratch? Roy’s been all over the world and seen a lot of improv communities. Learn how to build your theatre and community from the ground up.
Inter-Theater Relationships. It’s tempting to feel jealous or at odds with other theaters or companies in your area. It can be a real challenge to stop seeing them as competitors, and start seeing them as allies. Learn how to get along, and where/when to set boundaries. Expand your support network to include the ever-growing community of improvisers and theaters, in your city and beyond.
Spreadsheets‽ It’s hard to believe, but half of the job of being an artistic director is using spreadsheets. It can even be fun if you embrace it. Use spreadsheets (Google Docs) to handle submissions, casting, and scheduling.
Roy Janik is the Artistic Director and co-owner of The Hideout Theatre. Since that time, both the attendance of and the number of shows have increased dramatically. A large community of performers, students, and technical improvisers has sprung up around The Hideout. The Improvised Play Festival, The 45+ Hour Marathon, and other specials events have all thrived. The Hideout’s reputation has spread both nationally and internationally as a leader in producing theatrically-focused improv productions. For more information contact Roy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visual Design and Marketing for Improv
Kaci Beeler offers consulting for the look and feel of your physical space and promotional materials.of your physical space and promotional materials.
Press Releases for Media and Event Copy for Audiences. Promotional copy should speak to its intended audience. Your copy and writing style should be different for your audience and your press contacts. Kaci can share valuable tips and tricks she learned while marketing improv locally, nationally, and internationally over the past ten years.
Scenic & Costume Design for Improvised Shows. Improvised shows can have the same flair, style, and intention as scripted theatre. Get the audience’s attention and fire up your performers’ inspiration with this unique and affordable approach to production values for improv.
Dynamic Graphic Design for Live Theatre. Your photos and graphics are the first thing an audience member sees before they decide to buy tickets to your show or event. Learn how The Hideout uses our promotional graphics to market to specific audiences, catch the eye of the casual observer, and create posters that have a compelling and competitive edge.
The Audience Experience. From the moment your audience learns about the show to the moment they exit the theater, there should be a consistent intent within all of the visual design elements. This can include the exterior design, posters, lobby, way-finding signs, box office, theater, and more.
Kaci Beeler has been the Director of Design at The Hideout Theatre since 2009. In addition to creating marketing strategies for shows and classes, directing photoshoots, and designing web and print graphics, Kaci is also the set designer and scenic painter for over ten wildly different productions every year. Kaci holds a BA in Art summa cum laude from St. Edward’s University with an emphasis in Painting. For more information contact Kaci at email@example.com. To see samples of Kaci’s work visit KaciBeeler.com.
Improv Classes and Community
Andy Crouch offers consulting for establishing and growing a profitable improv classes program that supports your theater by cultivating new improvisers and generating interest in all aspects of your business.
Curricula for a Variety of Class Offerings. A strong curriculum is a blueprint for your teachers to communicate your improv philosophy and priorities to students as efficiently and compassionately as possible. Whatever your preferred style of improvisation, we’ll help you build a set of curricula that make it easy to teach and are engaging to learn, including:
Up to seven Levels that introduce students to the core ideas and techniques of improvisation for the stage. You can also purchase the Hideout’s existing curriculum with consultation on how to implement it.
Special Electives like musical improv, narrative improv, personal diagnostic, unique show formats, etc.
A Suite of Administrative Tools and Procedures. The business of improv is still a business and the more automated you can make it the better. We’ll help you set up clean processes for registering students and managing your ongoing relationship with them (emails, newsletters, retention strategies, etc.), hiring staff, advertising/marketing, troubleshooting common problems, and much much more.
Blueprint for a Vibrant Student Community. A strong student community can boost every aspect of your business – class registration, show attendance and corporate training alike. Learn proven strategies for giving students the stage time that they need to develop, while still maintaining the quality control necessary for a professional theater. Map out a series of social events and special educational opportunities that will keep your students engaged and provide a growing revenue stream for the theater.
Andy Crouch fell in love with improv in 2001 because it was cool, scary and seemed like it might change his life forever. More than a decade later he makes his living as the education and corporate director at the Hideout Theatre in Austin, Texas. His best friends are the people that he plays with every weekend and he’s married to a beautiful girl that he met through improv. What seemed scary and cool at first has turned out over the years to be endlessly intriguing and life-affirming. Plus he gets to laugh a lot.
Improv for Special Needs
Lacy Shawn, LCSW offers consulting for theatres seeking to create or expand Special Needs Programming, and therapists/teachers/special needs professionals seeking to integrate improv into their therapeutic or teaching work. Lacy can work with individuals or groups seeking to start special needs programming, or special needs groups in need of programmatic changes, growth, and development.
Create and Implement Curriculum. A solid curriculum is an important foundation for your special needs teachers to successfully launch and maintain ongoing classes and/or workshops. Lacy can help with developing and customizing curriculum for your special needs population(s), or with adapting your already established curriculum for your special needs students. Alternatively, you can also purchase the Hideout’s existing special needs curriculum, along with consultation on how to implement it.
Accommodated teaching and running a special needs classroom. While the tenets of improv being taught are very similar, special needs youth and adults often need proactive classroom and teaching modifications in order to maximize their potential. Teachers will be taught to proactively create a classroom environment that fosters success, along with learning how to utilize behavioral management skills and supports to handle difficult situations that may arise in the classroom. Teachers will be shown how to therapeutically intervene when needed, how to utilize playful engagement to get students back on track, and how to join with their students to create a successful and supportive classroom setting.
How to run a special needs program. Running a special needs program comes with many exciting rewards and challenges. Lacy can teach you tips and tricks that will help you develop and grow your programming. This includes hiring, training and supervising staff, advertising, marketing, and community outreach, communicating with parents and disseminating class information, identifying a registration system and intake process, managing and communicating effectively with difficult parents, and measuring success and program evaluation.
Professional Growth for Therapists, Teachers, and Special Needs Professionals. Integrating improvisation and improv tenets into your therapeutic practice or teaching settings is an immensely powerful way to help clients and students move forward, connect with others, improve communication, and find their playful spirit. Improv is a powerful tool for therapists and teachers to have in their toolbelt, and can be utilized to re-invigorate work with individual adults and children, families, and groups. Lacy has extensive experience providing trainings to professional on a wide range of topics, and is able to customize training curriculum/topics to meet your needs.
Lacy Shawn is the Special Needs Program Director at the Hideout Theatre and lead teacher for our Special Needs classes. In addition to being an improv performer and instructor, she is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and has focused her career on working with at-risk youth and youth on the spectrum. She has expertise in the areas of trauma and attachment, and regularly integrates improv techniques and tenets into her therapeutic practice setting, which includes individual, family, and group therapy. Lacy is thrilled to be able to combine her passion for improv with her professional work.
In-Person Consulting is $600 per day, with a maximum of six hours per day.
If travel is necessary then the client will pay airfare (or $.60 a mile for car travel) and a hotel room or similar accommodation.
Consulting includes a full packet of materials including all discussed references, links, and resources, and a complimentary phone or skype follow-up after the session.
In-town hourly rate is $100/hour.
Consulting via Email or Skype is $75/hour.
Not sure where to get started? No problem! Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to start a discussion.