Photo on website landing page: The photo shows five people, three of whom are sitting at a table and two of whom are standing behind them. They are all looking down at a piece of paper on the table in front of them, and they are all either smiling or laughing. The photo captures an amusing moment that took place during a group exercise in the 1st module of Academy #3 at PACT Zollverein in Essen. © Dirk Rose

Academy for Performing Arts Producers

The Alliance of International Production Houses offered this training programme for producers for the first time in 2018. In so doing, it sought to display its commitment to a professional field that is becoming increasingly important in the independent scene. The Academy for Performing Arts Producers is devoted to training individuals in the realm of production expertise in the German and international context of the performing arts. It also seeks to highlight the role of independent producers in the triangle of partners made up by producers, artists and production houses.

In workshop formats held under the guidance of referees from Germany and abroad, individuals are taught the legal and administrative basics as well as specific methods and tools for producing in Germany and in the international context. Instructors present networks and platforms and also work to develop strategies and models of producing arts on the independent scene. Peer-to-peer formats provide key opportunities to gather together, exchange knowledge and reflect on the complex web of demands and challenges associated with being a producer. After launching the academy in 2018, Katja Sonnemann – a producer active on international stages for many years – has continuously enhanced and improved the event and carried it out on behalf of the Alliance.

The Academy for Performing Arts Producers marks the first time producers have been given the opportunity to network, exchange knowledge and work together to develop a tangible production practice.

Academies #1 to #6

Academies #1 to #3 were aimed at producers with at least three years of professional experience in the performing arts. A total of between 15 and 20 participants from Germany and abroad attended the academies, which lasted 4 days and consisted of 3 modules each. At the end of each academy, participants engaged in mentoring sessions given by colleagues drawn from the Alliance of International Production Houses.

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Academy #4 was offered as an Alumni Special Edition under the title ALLES ANDERS (everything different). Participants met online in five working groups to share knowledge and generate ideas for future production models relating to funding structures, international projects, ecological and sustainable producing, work structures and diversities. These explorations were accompanied by various other contributions and keynotes. In an intermediate step, the participants gathered in groups to share their insights and discuss them online with colleagues from the Alliance of International Production Houses. The method applied here was clearly based on the concept of peer learning in networks.

Academy #5 was aimed at producers in the early stages of their career. In two modules and five online seminars, these young professionals gained legal and administrative knowledge and reflected on the role of producers in peer formats. Participants also engaged in mentoring sessions offered by alumni of previous academies. (Click here to access the call for applications for the Academy #5. Application deadline was November 15 2021.)

Academy #6 for Performing Arts Producers was aimed at a mixed group of producers from novices to seasoned professionals. Intergenerational learning in three modules and five online seminars focused in equal measure on developing young producers in the early stages of their careers and their more experienced colleagues. The mentoring sessions provided by representatives of the Alliance of International Production Houses also formed a key part of this edition of the academy. (Click here to access the call for applications for the Academy #6. Application deadline was October 31 2022.)

The 7th Academy for Performing Arts Producers is set to take place in 2024. This edition will focus on issues relating to the theme of Care and Fürsorge (care and support) and is open to performing arts producers and production managers who are either novices or seasoned professionals. The call for applications for Academy #7 can be found here. Application deadline was October 27 2023.

Video: The video is a 4-minute trailer about the Academy for Performing Arts Producers. The footage was taken during the 3rd module of Academy #1 at Kampnagel in Hamburg. The video consists of images of participants and academy leaders in different workshop situations. It also contains excerpts from interviews conducted with the participants.

In her contributionEin Berufsbild in Arbeit” to the 2023 publication “Producing Performing Arts. Aus dem Maschinenraum der freien darstellenden Künste“, Academy Director Katja Sonnemann portrays the complex demands placed on performing arts producers.