Many of our clients find businesses/individuals to underwrite specific aspects of their production. Our clients have found that when approached with a specific amount for a specific purpose (Costume Underwriter, Prop Underwriter) and when recognized appropriately, it can be fairly easy to find Underwriters. It would be up to you to put the “price tag” on the item for the underwriters. A nice touch would be to include one of the fundraiser items with your request!
Make sure you go overboard in recognizing and acknowledging your underwriters so that they will be willing to continue to support your next production!
Underwriting possibilities exist for almost any production. Our clients have used underwriters for “Beauty and the Beast” and “The Little Mermaid”. Even though you might not be producing either of those shows, it might be helpful for you to read these proven ideas, as they might get your creative juices flowing on how you might use underwriters for your upcoming production.
- The local lumber yard that you buy the set materials from could underwrite the set (or a portion of) in exchange for a large ad in the program (or VIP seats for the grandchildren, etc.)
- Your seniors’ parents want their child’s last high school musical to be fabulous so each could pitch in a certain amount to help underwrite the costume rental.
- Local restaurant(s) could underwrite some of the costumes for “Be Our Guest”. One restaurant could specifically underwrite the Flatware costumes, another – the Napkins, another – the Plates, etc. They could also incorporate their sponsorship with a pre-show dinner special. Maybe they could have a couple of evenings of “Be Our Guest” dinners just to announce the upcoming production. Your Napkins, Plates, Flatware, etc. could go to “their” restaurant and talk to the patrons and pass out flyers about the upcoming production
- One of your local restaurants or tea rooms could sponsor a “Mrs. Potts Tea Party” for your younger patrons.
- Have some party games, some treats, and have Mrs. Potts, Belle and some other cast members in costume to sing and sign autographs.
- This could be an independent event and held as early as the Saturday before your show opens (since you’d receive the costumes on Friday before your show opens).
- Or if you have a matinee performance, you could have your Tea Party just a couple of hours before your matinee.
- Sell your fundraiser items at the Tea Party!!!!
- For a more gender-neutral event or something for entire families, a restaurant could sponsor “Feast with the Beast”. The concept is the same– actors attend, sing, and interact with the patrons. Sell your fundraiser items at the feast!
- Your local library or bookstore could underwrite Belle’s famous pink dress that she wears only in the library scene or help underwrite the library portion of the set.
- A local coffee/tea store could underwrite Mrs. Potts’ teapot costume.
- A local lighting store could underwrite Lumiere’s candelabra costume.
- A local clock or jewelry store store could underwrite Cogsworth’s clock costume.
- Local housecleaning services (Molly Maids, etc.) could underwrite Babette’s feather duster costume
- A local florist could underwrite your “Enchanted Rose”
- For “Little Mermaid”, a local pet store that sells aquariums and fish could help underwrite some costumes for “Under the Sea”
- For “Little Mermaid”, a Bass Pro Shop or other store that sells boats might be willing to underwrite your ship or your boat for the rowing scene.
- For “Little Mermaid”, a local seafood shop or restaurant might be willing to underwrite the costumes or set for Chef Louis and his “Les Poissons” song
These are just a few suggestions for approaching underwriters. I’m sure you’ll think of more!