1. What is the Dragon’s Nest Incubator Program?

Formerly called the 2nd Stages Series, it’s a program in which Dragon Productions Theatre Company provides guidance and support to emerging and rising theatre-makers by offering a platform for individuals to produce projects about which they are passionate. Throughout the process, Dragon provides mentoring, support, and funding to these individuals who otherwise might not be given professional producing opportunities for their dream projects.


2. What if I am an actor, designer, director, etc. who has never produced before?

This series is especially created to mentor you through the process of producing. You’ll be able to take full ownership of your project while being supported in a safe environment. There will be mandatory regular check-ins with status updates via email, phone, Slack, etc. and constant communication with instructions laid out to usher you through each step and answer any questions that arise throughout the process from inception to completion. Please be aware Dragon is here to help you take ownership of the project, but you need to make sure that your artistic and production teams understand that you are the first line of defense and communication with anything regarding your production. You also need to be sure that you are available for this time-consuming process and responsive to communications by the Dragon.


3. Do I need to consider the types of plays usually produced in the Dragon Main Stage season?

No, you do not.* 2nd Stages Series is meant to be an opportunity for you to produce your dream project while providing you with a solid and experienced support group. Each individual will be asked to complete an application in which they provide a narrative of their production, explain why they have chosen to produce it, and indicate what they hope the audience and those involved in the project will come away with. That said, you should consider the limitations of the facility as well as your budget when considering your proposed project. If you haven’t been to the theater, we highly recommend you attend one of the various events held at the Dragon as an opportunity to see the space. The hope is that 2nd Stages Series producers and their production staff can think in a creatively minimalist way when considering the aesthetics of the final product. All applicants will also undergo a face-to-face interview to discuss their proposal.


*The caveat to this is that all Producers must consider the logistics and budgetary needs of their proposed production (i.e. large musicals, one-person shows) as will Dragon when choosing.


4. How many slots are there going to be in 2020 and what is the duration?

There will be up to three slots chosen for the 2nd Stages Productions in the 2020 Season. All producers must realize the long-term commitment and must be prepared for the marathon that is producing a play through the 2nd Stages Series. You will be engaged in the process of producing starting the day your project is chosen and you agree to become part of the program. You will need to be involved with the season announcement process between your selection and September 2019 and begin work on your production at least 6 months prior to opening in order to meet all your producer deadlines. Each production will be given a five-week rehearsal period split between the Dragon Theatre stage and other Dragon rehearsal location (on and off-site), and a four-weekend run (Thursday to Saturday at 8:00pm, Sunday at 2:00pm). Additional rehearsals are available at alternate spaces and times within the Dragon Theatre facility pending availability. The show schedule, first rehearsal through final performance, is as follows and those dates are not flexible:


● Show 2 of the Season: January 20, 2020 – March 29, 2020 (Previews March 5, opens March 6)
● Show 4 of the Season: May 1, 2020 – August 2, 2020 (Previews July 9, opens July 10)
● Show 6 of the Season: September 21, 2020 – November 22, 2020 (Previews Oct. 30, Opens Oct 31)


Below are deadlines that we have structured for you to reference. You will be asked which slot you are available for/interested in. The more flexibility you have, the better your odds are in being chosen amongst others that might have more restrictions. The deadlines are so you understand the scope of each of these slots and that you make sure you are available for/capable of seeing this process through if you are chosen to participate.



2nd Stages Schedule
SHOW #2 SHOW # 4 SHOW #6

October 14, 2019 –Finalized Production Budget Due

February 24, 2020-Finalized Production Budget Due

June 15, 2020-Finalized Production Budget Due

October 5 & 6, 2019– General Auditions @ Dragon October 5 & 6 2019-General Auditions @ Dragon October 5 & 6 2019-General Auditions @ Dragon

November 11, 2019-Production Team/cast locked in

March 23, 2020-Production Team/Cast locked in July 13, 2020-Production Team/Cast Locked in

November 20, 2019– Scenic Concept Conversations Deadline

April 6, 2020– Scenic Concept Conversations Deadline July 27, 2020– Scenic Concept Conversations Deadline
December 9, 2019– First Production Meeting

  • Initial PR Due
  • All Initial Design Concepts Due
  • Preliminary Scenic Design and Costume Renderings Due

Designer Contracts and Bios Due

April 20, 2020– First Production Meeting

  • Initial PR Due
  • All Initial Design Concepts Due
  • Preliminary Scenic Design and Costume Renderings Due

Designer Contracts and Bios Due

August 10, 2020-First Production Meeting

  • Initial PR Due
  • All Initial Design Concepts Due
  • Preliminary Scenic Design and Costume Renderings Due

Designer Contracts and Bios Due to Company Manager

January 6, 2020– Second Production Meeting 

  • Final Scenic Designs and Costume Renderings Due
May 18, 2020 – Second Production Meeting

  • Final Scenic Designs and Costume Renderings Due
September 7, 2020– Second Production Meeting

  • Final Scenic Designs and Costume Renderings Due
January 20, 2020– Third Production Meeting

  • All Actor Contracts, Bios and Headshots Due

First Rehearsal with Designer Presentation & Meet and Greet

May 1, 2020Third Production Meeting

  • All Actor Contracts, Bios and Headshots Due
  • First Rehearsal with Designer Presentation & Meet and Greet
September 22, 2020– Third Production Meeting

  • All Actor Contracts, Bios and Headshots Due
    • First Rehearsal with Designer Presentation & Meet and Greet



5. Does Dragon schedule auditions?

Yes. Dragon has general auditions in the fall for the following season. All Directors/Producers will be invited to attend. Then all Directors/Producers will be given a window of time that they can schedule follow-up callbacks/open auditions specifically for their productions with the assistance of Dragon staff.


6. What if I want more rehearsal time than what Dragon is able to give me?

We do our best to accommodate all productions equally. However, we need to program many additional programs and rentals to keep Dragon Theatre open. Rehearsal, build and hang schedules are already listed on the Dragon Facility Calendars. If these are not viable for your designers, that information should be provided as early as possible to substitute dates/times on the facility calendar. If you would like to schedule additional rehearsals in alternate spaces either on premise on off-site, you need to provide this information to Dragon’s Production Manager for approval. If you feel that the spaces and their availabilities at Dragon are insufficient to accommodate your production needs, you are welcome to find off-site rehearsal and build spaces. Understand, however, that any fees incurred in the process must be paid from your production budget.


7. What’s the budget given to each producer?

Dragon provides each producer with $2500 and the $750 that Dragon covers for the resident Technical Director to build the production’s set. All projects require that a budget be submitted and discussed no later than twelve weeks prior to your first rehearsal. If more funding is required, individual fundraising and grant writing using Dragon’s 501(c)3 non-profit status is allowed. In addition to providing a budget, each producer must also submit a final payment schedule for disbursement of funds no later than Monday before the opening of their production team (nine weeks from first rehearsal). Dragon will then issue checks which will be distributed by production management. All production and artistic staff and actors affiliated with a 2nd Stages production must be paid in accordance with Dragon policies. Please note: Dragon will not issue a sum check of $2500 to the producer, as it will penalize the producer with taxes. For this reason a payment plan and copies of all expenses must be submitted, and receipts must be submitted one week in advance of any subsequent payment. Please remember that you are the person responsible for providing the budget and payment schedule.


8. Will I have to pay for rental of the Dragon Theatre with my budget?

No. Use of Dragon Theatre as a meeting, audition, rehearsal, and performance space is complimentary. All meetings, auditions, rehearsals and designer work on site must be approved by the Dragon staff in advance. Additionally, your budget must cover any additional expenses should you choose to rent an outside rehearsal space. Your budget will go towards your production staff, actors, additional marketing, and any other set, props or costumes you might want that can’t be found in the current Dragon stock. The producer is also expected to provide food, drink, and personnel support for the Opening Night Gala. This takes place in the Dragon Theatre lobby immediately following the performance, and all cast, crew, designers and patrons are welcome to attend. Download a sample budget template.


9. Will I need to hire my own designers, production staff and talent?

Yes. You are responsible for all production team hiring (except for Dragon’s provided team members – Technical Director, Production Manager, and Administrative Staff) and casting. If necessary, Dragon can provide a list of recommend designers and production staff who have worked at Dragon in the past, but all correspondence and final negotiations must come directly from the 2nd Stages producer. Upon hiring design and production staff, the producer must provide the legal name, billing name, phone number, email address, allocated stipend and budget for each position to Dragon’s Production and Company Managers who will draw up an official contract and supplemental facility information for distribution. Final casting (legal name, billing name, email, phone number, role and allocated stipend) should be submitted to Dragon’s Company Manager for official contracts and distribution. You will not be responsible for front of house, box office staffing, or press/archival photographer (all photos taken will be made available).*

* If you wish to provide your own photographer, Dragon will cover expenses up to $50 and all photographs should be made available for Dragon’s marketing use.


10. What kind of marketing does Dragon provide, and how much marketing is expected of me?

The Dragon Marketing staff will promote your production, but you are expected to help spread the word and sell tickets. Our ticket sales goal is 70% capacity for all productions. At minimum, Dragon commits to the purchase of 4000 show postcards, 400 of which will be distributed via Theatre Bay Area’s South Bay postcard distribution. Postcards will be sent to Dragon’s regular mailing list of patrons. Regular email blasts and social media promotion are also covered by Dragon. 2nd Stages producers are responsible for the following:


● Distribute any postcards remaining from the initial order of 4000. If additional postcards or any posters are desired, the expense must be deducted from the overall budget.

● Within two weeks of being chosen for 2nd Stages, you will need to work with Dragon’s Managing Director to talk about the visual elements of your publicity materials. Dragon will use your input to create the graphics for the show.

● Provide a show blurb for printing on postcards, website, brochure, etc. Dragon will use this information along with the graphic design to create show programs and other marketing materials.

● Create at least three blog posts about the production. This could be dramaturgical information, a back story on the production, staff, etc., or information about why you chose to produce this show.

● Dragon asks the Producer to participate in other aspects of show promotion, including but not limited to a video recorded interview, photographs taken during rehearsals, etc. A comprehensive marketing plan is highly recommended and will be taken into account when selecting 2nd Stages candidates.


11. May I use Dragon’s wood, tools, paint, furniture, props, costumes, etc.?


Yes. Anything in Dragon’s stock is available for use as long as Dragon’s Production Manager and Technical Director are made aware and Dragon’s stock is kept organized. Following use, items should be returned to stock in their original condition and neatly organized, unless agreed otherwise. A list of items you wish to use should be provided with the production budget for discussion.


12. Am I allowed to pay myself out of the budget?

Yes, you are allowed to pay yourself a stipend. Distribution of the budget is at your discretion. It is expected, however, that all production and artistic staff and actors will be paid a stipend, and that the budget will cover all material expenses for the build, run, strike and disposal of the production items. Should the production go over budget, any overages will be deducted from that particular designer or the producer’s stipend. Any remaining funds from the $2500 seed money not originally distributed in the proposed budget shall be returned to Dragon. Any additional funds raised by the Producer will be returned to the producer, if not spent on the show.


13. Do I need to apply and pay for the rights for my production?

No, all rights/royalties will be filed for and paid by Dragon. Each 2nd Stages Producer must supply Dragon with the production title and contact information for the entity that holds the rights.  Before you apply and submit a show for consideration you MUST make sure that the show proposed is available for producing, so please check with the publishing company about availability prior to submitting the proposal. Dragon will cover these costs up to $100 per performance for a maximum total of $1500. This expense is not a part of the seed money provided by Dragon, nor is it a part of the Producer’s show budget.  Dragon will notify the Producer if and when the rights are granted and the total costs to be accounted for in the Producer’s show budget. Please allow up to six weeks to receive approval before proceeding with production. Rights-free new works or titles which exist in the public domain are also acceptable. Please be advised that Dragon’s seasonal budget is created with all Main Stage and 2nd Stage productions in mind. If a public domain production requiring no royalties is approved, the Producer cannot later choose to use an adaptation requiring payment of royalties at the cost of Dragon Theatre. Likewise, if producing a new work, all royalty fees must be requested at the time of proposal submission. Any changes to the above are required to be paid from the Producer’s production budget.


14. What else I should expect if I’m chosen as a Producer of this season’s 2nd Stages Series?

You will receive mentoring both individually as well as together with the other 2nd Stages Producers throughout the year. Dragon also expects each Producer to volunteer at concessions for one performance of each of the other productions in the season in support of one another and to learn more about each other’s experiences. As a Producer, you are making a commitment to communication and availability throughout this process. Dragon reserves the right to replace any given production with another if clearly listed deadlines are continuously not being met.


15. When are my responsibilities complete?

Please see a brief index below of your responsibilities as the Producer to reference throughout the process. Following the strike of your production, once all receipts/invoices have been submitted to Dragon’s Production Manager for reimbursement/payment, all items used for your production are restored and returned to stock in an organized fashion, including costumes dry-cleaned and returned to where they were borrowed/rented (if applicable). Following the post-mortem that should take place within two weeks of strike, your 2nd Stages responsibilities are complete. Between closing and your post- mortem, we ask that you update your budget to reflect your final expenses next to your final proposed budget. Producers must keep track of the budget throughout the process as no payments will be processed which exceed the proposed budget. All final receipts for reimbursement must be submitted no later than one week following strike. During the post-mortem discussion production financials and payments will be reviewed, closed-out and completed.


Responsibility of Producer:


● Production budget – Including stipends and materials budgets (template provided).

● Payment schedule (template provided).

● Fundraising plan w/ deadlines.

● Hire production team.

● Procuring additional materials needed for production (including props, set, lighting and sound equipment) not in the Dragon stock.

● Opening night gala consumables (at producer’s discretion).

● Additional marketing plan to supplement Dragon’s efforts.

● Contingency plan(s) if items or staff cannot be acquired.

*Please keep in mind that things can be obtained as a donation as Dragon is your fiscal sponsor, but all must be accounted for.


Responsibility of Dragon: 


● Use of facility, utilities, equipment, and inventory stock (props, costumes, furniture, flats, curtains, lighting and sound, etc. per availability with in reason).

● Administrative staff support (including contract creation for all production team and cast, fundraising mentorship, marketing support).

● Front of house staff.

● Concessions supplies.

● Graphic design for the show

● Production Manager (including staff resources, production meeting guidance, tech support).

● Photographer for press and archival photos (photos will be made available for free).

● Technical Director (set construction, facility maintenance, etc…).


16. How can I submit my best proposal for the 2nd Stages Series?


Dragon will be conducting free workshops called How to Train Your Dragon, which will provide you with information about self-producing, the 2nd Stages Series, and the proposal process. These training sessions will be conducted by Max Koknar and Alika Spencer-Koknar, Co-Artistic Directors of Dragon. It is highly recommended that you attend one of these informational sessions. Producers who attend a session will be given priority consideration for a Dragon 2nd Stages slot.


17. Is there any advantage to getting my proposal in early?

Consideration of proposals and interviews will take place on a rolling basis. It is recommended that you submit your proposal early in the open window to allow time for feedback and the opportunity to update your proposal before the final deadline (May 3rd), after which no updates or additional submissions will be allowed.


18. Can I reapply if I was turned down or if I have already been chosen for a past season?


Yes. Anyone is welcome to reapply, however, the goal for this series is to provide theatre-makers with an opportunity to learn and see their dream project realized, so priorities will be given to new applicants with projects ready for full productions. All producers are informed why their original proposal was not chosen, so if there are other stories of interest in a reapplication process, all will be taken under consideration.


19. Who will be my mentors through the process?


● Karen Altree Piemme – Associate Director of Dragon 2nd Stages. 2ndStages (at) dragonproductions.net

● Alika Spencer-Koknar & Max Koknar – Co-Artistic Directors, have a combined experience of 25 years in producing theatre. artistic (at) dragonproductions.net

● Kim Wadycki – Managing Director, will be available to discuss marketing and fundraising. kim (at) dragonproductions.net

● Chloe Schweizer – Production Manager, can provide staffing resources, answer questions about production schedules and the facility, etc. She is also your point of contact for technical questions, including light, sound, costume and prop inventories and systems, issues with the facility, building access, etc. chloe (at) dragonproductions.net

● Elle Pershing – Box Office Administrator, is available to input your show information into Dragon’s ticketing system, as well as organize front-of-house and concessions volunteers needed for your run. tickets (at) dragonproductions.net.


Applications must be received by 5pm on Friday, May 3rd. Questions? Please contact Karen at the above email address. The next How to Train Your Dragon workshop will be held Saturday, April 20th at 12:30p.