MuseMinder introduces production casting

At MuseMinder we are proud to introduce a new module of particular interest for dance studios and theater producers: Casting.

You have for years been able to create programs that list class or choir names along with pieces presented – this is appropriate for music conservatories that produce recitals, or choirs that produce choral concerts. The casting feature accommodates productions that have named roles, and, if applicable, multiple casts.

When you create a new event, you will now be asked to input a date range for the span of the event during the given operating year. So if you will be rehearsing for a performance starting in October, and the performance will be in late September, you would input that date span to encompass all the scheduled events (auditions, fittings, rehearsals, promotional gigs, and the performance itself). Also, when you create an event you will be asked whether you will charge participation fees (a feature we have always had) AND/OR casting fees, which are new.

If you plan to present a performance with named roles, you will set up your event and hit the Casting tab. There you will see buttons that allow you to do the following things:

  • Identify the pieces that will comprise the performance (The Nutcracker will have one piece, a mixed-rep performance may have five)
  • Identify the roles in each piece (Clara, Fritz, Sailor #1)
  • Set up casting fees, if appropriate (remember these are different from what we are now calling Participation Fees. See below.)
  • Levy charges to those students to whom you will charge casting fees – this is role-assignment and fee assignment all in one operation.
  • Name the one or more performers who will be cast in roles but not charged casting fees.

Here is an explanation of event-related fees:

Participation fees (a.k.a. call fees) are levied when a student is called to a scheduled event. There are two types of Participation Fees. First is the Required Fee, which is charged once to EVERYONE who is called to ANY scheduled item. Examples of this are at $25 costume cleaning fee that every student pays, or a $100 minimum ticket sales fee. There is only one Required Fee per production. It is assigned when a student is enrolled in the first scheduled event and does not reoccur. It is not required that an event have a Required Fee.

The other type of Participation Fee is the optional, event-item fee. You assign these to an event, and they show up in a select list when you enroll someone in a scheduled event. You can have more than one event item fee, but you select only one per scheduled event enrollment. An example here is a tour where you schedule “Payment #1 due” on October 1st, “Payment #2 due” on November 1st, and “Payment #3 due” on December 1st. Each payment amount is set up as an event item fee, and as you sign up students for the tour you ‘enroll’ them in each of these payment-due event items, and assign the appropriate fee. There are videos that explain this. The trick is to look for the particular way that you will charge for your event, because these fees accommodate many different ways to do things. Of course we will help you figure it out, just write to us.

Beside Participation fees, there are Casting Fees. You use casting fees if you charge your students depending upon the number of roles they are assigned in your production. These frequently are based on a sliding scale, where one role is a certain amount, two roles is that amount times 2, but slightly discounted. Three roles is further discounted, and so on.

During the casting process, you will ‘enroll’ a student in a multi-role casting fee set-up, and the system will charge them the appropriate amount. Casting fees are set up like course fees, so they can be one-time charges, or they can be set up according to a billing schedule (monthly, quarterly, etc.). People use this if a student is cast in roles that require additional rehearsal time, so they are charged a monthly fee for the period prior to the performance (this keys in to the begin/end dates I mentioned earlier).

We have created a video that walks you through casting, and the use of casting fees. We will continue to bulk up our video library for performances and events, so that all of our studios event situations might be covered.

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