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Beginners on Stage … Ask Miss B

Managing a theatre can be a daunting prospect. Budgets, contracts, staff, technical equipment, marketing, maintenance, ticketing… the list goes on. And that’s not even mentioning the creative egos!

Fortunately, help is at hand. Debra Batzofin, a seasoned theatre manager and administrator with 40 years’ experience in the South African and international entertainment industry, has written an indispensable guide to operating a venue.

Titled Beginners on Stage …. Ask Miss B, this industry handbook concisely sets out all you need to know about managing a theatre. From legalities and labour issues to the nuts and bolts of dealing with outside producers, Batzofin covers it all.

Far from being a staid handbook, it includes useful practical examples supplemented by friendly advice drawn from her many years of working in all aspects of the performing arts. Beginners on Stage …. Ask Miss B is an essential tool to help newcomers (and even professionals) navigate the minefield of theatre management with success and confidence.

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About the author

Since starting her theatre career in 1973 with Ipi Tombi, Debra Batzofin has worked with top managements in all aspects of theatre, film, and television. In 1983 she joined forces with Richard Loring to form one of the most successful independent theatre companies in South Africa. Career highlights with Richard Loring include Carnival International ’86 and ’88, the United Kingdom tour of Ticket to Ride, a Persian Gulf tour of A Touch of Webber, A Taste of Rice and the Royal Command Performance of Girl Talk in Malaysia. At the Sound Stage, Debra co-directed Girl Talk – Nite Out and Yellow Brick Road, for which she received a Vita nomination.

African Footprint performance highlights, as associate producer and company/touring manager, are millennium night on Robben Island; Royal Command Performance 2000 in London; The Duke of Edinburgh ‘s Award, St James’ Palace, London; and Monte Carlo Sporting Club’s 30th Anniversary, Monaco. Debra returned to South Africa to join Gold Reef City’s team that built both The Globe Theatre (300 seats) and The Lyric Theatre (1 100 seats) and she stayed on to head up The Lyric Theatre team for three years.

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