“Producing is very new to me,” McFarland said. “I’ve been a theatrical booking agent for over 20 years, representing touring Broadway and other theatrical productions, including tours of Legally Blonde, An American in Paris, The Hip Hop Nutcracker with Kurtis Blow, and Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical.”
“Now, as a producer, our team raises capital, hires the creatives and managers, approves the budgets, steers creative decisions, signs off on ads, keeps investors updated, makes financial decisions, are the head cheerleaders and troubleshooters, and generally ensures that everyone has what they need to do their job and make the production happen,” McFarland said.
That’s no pie in the sky for the Hamilton theatre major. “There is something special about a live performance. I’ve still got lines from the College shows running through my head to this day,” she said.
After Hamilton, McFarland went to UCLA to study acting. “It was a highly intensive program. I was very young and had never lived that far away from home, so I only lasted a year before I came back to New York with my tail between my legs,” she noted.
After another year auditioning for regional productions (and, yes, waiting tables), she joined The Berkshire Public Theatre, working as its marketing director and performing in shows at night. “Eventually, I finally got up the nerve to move to NYC to try my luck in the big city,” she said.
During that time, she worked as a receptionist for a producer who was managing the transfer of the musical Rent from the New York Theatre Workshop to Broadway.
McFarland was smitten.
“I got to go to the invited dress rehearsal and opening night on Broadway, and that was when I realized that a life behind the curtain could be just as exciting as one in front of it,” she said.
Currently, McFarland and her two partners continue to grow their company, Broadway & Beyond Theatricals, overseeing touring shows and developing new properties for production. She hinted they’ve just found a theatre for a Broadway show in 2023.
“It hasn’t been announced yet; it’s super exciting. We’ve just started fundraising, so stay tuned!” she said.