Wednesday, March 20, 2013

In a Word... Playwright (and producer!) Steve Galluccio

Learning What a Producer Does...and pays
We might be able to recoup our original investment in the end, but I doubt it.

Steve Galluccio is a playwright (Mambo Italiano), screenwriter (Funkytown) and television writer (Ciao Bella). He has also started to produce commercial theatre. The upcoming season at Centaur Theatre will open with his new work, The St. Leonard Chronicles.

CHARPO:  First, tell us how your relationship with 39 Steps began.

GALLUCIO:  I was in New York  (in 2009) with friends and we went to see this play 39 Steps that I knew nothing about. Denise Robert was sitting next to me and during intermission she said: "This could work in Québec I want it." And I said : "It could definitely work  and I want it too." It was a done deal, by the time the second act started, we decided we were going to bring this back home.

CHARPO:  Now, the process of getting rights and were they expensive?

GALLUCIO:   We came back to Montreal, went back to New York and met with the people at Samuel French who distributes the play worldwide I believe. We talked about our plans, they listened and said they would get back to us. They did, the rights were extremely expensive so Denise got in touch with the good people at Musicor to see if they were interested in becoming our partners, which they did. By October of 2009 the exclusive rights to 39 Steps in Canada were ours. 

Producing a show is extremely expensive.

CHARPO:  Correct me if I'm wrong - the show is heading toward being on tour for a year?
GALLUCIO:  The show has been on tour all over Québec since February and is doing extremely well. We will be back in the Montreal area in the summer, St. Sauveur in July and Laval in August. (It could be the other way around, I've lost track.) We go back on tour in September-October.

CHARPO:  So you and your partners must be rolling in money!

GALLUCIO:  No. We are rolling in debt. We have no grants. Producing a show is extremely expensive. We might be able to recoup our original investment in the end, but I doubt it.

CHARPO:  What does a producer of commercial theatre actually do?

GALLUCIO:  What don't we do? Everything! We get the team together both behind the scenes and on stage. We negotiate the venues.  We negotiate every single person from the director to the stage manager to the actors to the stage hands, to the set designer, costume designer…  you get the picture. We oversee the PR, the bookings, everything involved promoting the show. We oversee the pre-production. We make sure that everything is done on budget on time. 

CHARPO:  Are you happy with the result?

GALLUCIO:  Very. One of my proudest accomplishments in the theatre.

CHARPO: Upcoming projects?

GALLUCIO:  Always.  They come at lightning speed, and when they don't, I knock on doors until my knuckles are raw.  I have to keep myself occupied every minute of the day, seven days a week. I seem to gain energy as I age, and I need less sleep which is cool because sleep can be such a waste of time.

Tickets for the ongoing tour of Les 39 marches are available at


  1. I'm curious about the statement that, "By October of 2009 the exclusive rights to 39 Steps in Canada were ours." I'm aware of numerous other productions of 39 Steps in the last couple of years, including one in Victoria that Charpo reviewed recently and a different production by Arts Club Vancouver last month that Charpo also reviewed: If they had the exclusive rights, how were all these other productions possible?

  2. You are indeed correct and it is my fault for the lack of precision: the interview refered to the French-language rights for Canada.


  3. Oh that makes sense. Thank you.


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