Economy and Co-production

Af Charlotte Rindom, Nicolai Vemming, Dag Haddal

Everything is negotiable and there is no golden rule as to how you manage the economy or the redistributive policies in a co-production. Below you find some experienced theatre managers’ considerations about financial conditions when co-producing.


Right from the beginning, you must discuss and plan how you will obtain the financial foundation for your project, i.e. how much will the production cost and how will you set about getting the money for it.

  • Have you allocated money in your current budgets already?
  • Will you need to fundraise?
  • What’s the absolute minimum budget you can manage on?
  • Does your existing network include potential interested sponsors?


And then there’s the question of how this money is managed. It may cause discussions, as you cannot go into every detail beforehand, and so tensions may arise, but you’ll just have to deal with it as you go along. 

Sharing The Responsibilities

If you collaborate with partners who have much better or much worse financing than you, you must be very clear about how expenses and income including potential profit/deficit will be shared. And make sure you put everything down on paper before you start the project. Start with a meeting where you discuss how you divide the financial responsibilities between you, leaving no one in doubt about who’s responsible for what.

Financing By Grants

The project’s economy is not merely a question of pounds and pennies; how you share the financing and the facilities etc. that each of you bring to the project is also of great importance.

In principle, you both enter into the project with a million, however, part of that million is covered by services that may already be available to you, and this can include anything from supplying rehearsal facilities and workshops to covering marketing.

Force Majeure

When writing up contracts, force majeure is often discussed, and it’s one of those specific areas you’ll often spend much time talking about before reaching an agreement, not least because different countries define it differently. These days, illnesses amongst actors have been included as a standard entry, but it has been a long time in the planning. In reality, it’s as much a question of who should pay for insurance and who will loose money in case of cancellations. Make sure you are absolutely clear about who is responsible for insurance in case of force majeure.


We always end up talking about money. Of course you have to talk about money and funding - but I think it’s high time we start talking about why we are doing theatre.
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