November 14, 2013 in Mach's Musings

How to Eat an Elephant

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Question: How do you eat an elephant?
Answer: One bite at a time!


Village Players is a special place filled with many special people.  The Boards of Directors and Trustees frequently hear of great ideas for the group– fundraisers, shows, organizational efforts, marketing programs and more.

I have often said that we have no shortage of great ideas. We do however, have a shortage of people willing to take charge of a project and bring it home.  Why is that?  How can we overcome that barrier?  The answer lies within the Art of Project Management.

Any project, such as building a skyscraper or even cutting the lawn, begins with a plan. scale plans, like skyscrapers, are actually a series of smaller plans broken into smaller and smaller pieces until each task is a manageable objective to be accomplished in a day or a single effort.

Skilled project managers take the list of tasks they have broken out of the larger project and plot them against a timeline, starting at the finish line and working backward to the start date.  Some tasks can be launched simultaneously and overlap one another; others need to be done sequentially, so that the completion of one phase allows for the beginning of the next.

Meanwhile, back at ye ole Playhouse, there are a couple tasks just waiting for a “Project Manager” to step up and take the reins:

imagesThe 2014-15 Season.  The Board of Directors has selected the five shows that will make up the 2014-15 Season. Each of these shows requires a producer to ensure that the show runs smoothly and meets the final goal of a successful opening night and run.  There are so many tasks that lead up to the opening of a show — auditions, set and lighting designs, costuming–and a creative staff needs to be assembled to accomplish each task. Along the way, it would be swell if each show incorporated a marketing and communications plan designed to sell tickets, sponsorships, program ads, and a benefit performance or two.

indexFund Raising: In our 90th year we launched the Centennial Endowment Fund. To meet our goal of raising $1 million dollars in ten years, we really need a ten-year plan.  Again, if you break this down by years, it all starts with the first meeting of the Endowment Fund Raising Committee. To eat the fundraising elephant, a plan is developed for the first year, and then for the first event, and then for the first step in planning the first event. The job of Fundraising Chair is open at this time. Is it you?  Can you help to get our endowment rolling tackling the first year, the first event, the first dollar?

–Gary Mach