Relax; you're on the right track.
Insurance: Any commercial agency should be able to help you. Just shop around. You might ask the directors of other companies who they use. Wait -- that's what you just did, isn't it?
is a Stage Manager the same as a Production Manager (which I've read about in some of the posts here), and/or should I try to put aside part of our very limited budget to hire a Production Manager -- I am guessing that might be someone who would be involved in more aspects of pre-planning (?) than a Stage Manager would be. Or should I feel ok about covering such pre-planning myself at this stage of the game?
A production manager's job is primarily administrative -- it usually includes a lot
of budget coordination. The stage manager is responsible for the actual flow of the rehearsals and performances. It's fairly common for the lighting designer of a small dance concert to also stage manage it (although I try not to these days). It doesn't sound like you're big enough (yet) to warrant a separate production manager.
If you have any other questions, feel free to post them here or, if you prefer, you may email me*. I'm glad you asked these questions; this is exactly what this forum should be discussing, in my opinion.**
Re: the publicist. It's been my observation, in NY, especially, that unless you can afford a really good one, you're better off doing it yourself. Be a ruthless self-editor; all of your materials should be concise and focussed. Tell the reader why s/he should come to your event. NY arts writers get hundreds of press releases; the ones that don't require decoding are much more likely to see newsprint.***
Just out of curiosity, what theatre are you going into?
* However, I'm leaving town tomorrow for 6 days of cracking nuts.
** Well, I also liked the "intern" discussion.
*** This could be an entire thread by itself.
<small>[ 12-01-2002, 21:46: Message edited by: salzberg ]</small>