Event Details
  • Speed Date (you must be accepted prior to purchase)
    March 5, 2017
    5:30 pm - 10:00 pm
Available Tickets Price Qty*
Non-members $80.00 (USD)  / ticket  
Members $75.00 (USD)  / ticket  
Additional person $25.00 (USD)  / ticket  

*Please note that a maximum number of 3 tickets can be purchased for this event per order.

Writer-Producer Speed Date

NOLA Rehearsal Studio
244 W. 54th St., 11th fl.

You meet a producer at a party, and have two minutes to interest him in your work. Do you have the skill to sell yourself?

Click here for application. Please fill out and email to TRUStaff1@gmail.com

Submission deadline extended to Saturday 2/25. We will let you know if you are accepted by Sunday 2/26. And do not purchase a spot through our ticketing app above left unless you have actually been accepted into the event. You must be accepted first.

Here's a chance to practice your pitching with real producers who are open to and looking for new work. Okay, they probably won't option you on the spot, but you'll meet them and have the opportunity to start developing a relationship. And that's what this business is all about. Relationships.

We'll have eleven producers lined up, from both the commercial and not-for-profit worlds, all with an interest in new projects; we also may have eleven aspiring producers from our Producer Development program. So you'll be pitching to as many as 22 producers in total!

Come with a willingness to learn, because the real value is the chance to practice your pitching. And you'll be getting invaluable coaching from experts, as well. And did we mention the wine and snacks afterwards?

Confirmed Producers include: 

  • Luis Reyes Cardenas - co-artistic director Open Hydrant Theatre
  • Cody Lassen - commercial producer (Deaf West Theatre revival of Spring Awakening, Macbeth starring Alan Cumming; upcoming: Paula Vogel's Indecent, Joshua Harmon's Significant Other);
  • John Lant - indie producer, artistic director, Write Act Repertory;
  • Michael Leland, indie producer/director; 
  • Wendy Leopold - producer (Ernest Shackleton Loves Me at Second Stage, The Whitmores, Wakefield with Bryan Cranston);
  • John Melo - theater and film producer (On the Town);
  • Lawrence Poster/Asparagus Entertainment - producer (Forbidden Broadway Comes Out Swinging,  Fingers and Toes);
  • Daryl Sledge - film and off-Broadway producer (Fried Chicken and Latkes; upcoming: Pound for Pound; plus films in development);
  • Ken Waissman - commercial producer (original Grease, Torch Song Trilogy, Agnes of God, Josephine the musical);
  • Shela Xoregos - artistic director of Xoregos Performing Company; 
  • Frank Zuback - commercial producer (Taking Leave, American Soldier, Roof of the World)
  • 1 more tba

Trailing Producers to include Karen BishkoMaryAnne Dumont, Dan Irwin, LeCee Johnson, Ed Levy, Melissa NallyYoni Vendriger, others tba

Coaches (not confirmed):

  • Grace Kiley (confirmed)
  • Mary Kate Burke (confirmed)

* member of TRU's Producer Mentorship & Development Program


    is Co-Founder and Co-Artistic Director of Open Hydrant Theater Company, the first ensemble professional theater company in the South Bronx. Film: Shakespeare High Executive Produced by Kevin Spacey and From Bronx to Yale Executive Produced by The Guardian. Actor: Fools in Love at MET, BAM, Lincoln Center Boro-Linc and Open Hydrant, Balm in Gilead with Barefoot Theatre Company and Durang, Durang at Open Hydrant. Playwright: Play The Papers For Lupe, Visa Decline, Place of Assembly and Last Exit In New York. He is currently a member of the New Play Development at Laguardia Performing Arts Center and a member of The Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre Company's Playwright Unit. He is the Director of Individual Events at The Stanford National Forensic Institute at Stanford University. 


    is a 35-year veteran in the entertainment industry and has been involved in over 600 television, film, music tours, and theatrical productions as a creative director, consultant, and/or above the line entity. An award-winning producer, director, writer, lighting and set designer, John has mounted productions at Cal Arts, Ricardo Montalban, Powerhouse, Glendale Center, Hollywood Playhouse, Long Beach Playhouse, the Jewel Box Theatres and Write Act Repertory. His work and productions garnered DramaLogue, Diamond, ADA Awards, and Garland, ADA and NAACP nominations, as well as LA Weekly and Backstage Picks of the Week. John worked with Jonathan Sanger at Chanticleer Films, on two shorts that won an Emmy and an Oscar, and mentored under Howard Storm. Scripts he has developed include Children’s TV Pilots Symphology, Carrot Talk, and cable-themed Anonymous Confessions, and several adapted musicals. John received the California Service Award from the State Legislature for his Community Outreach and Service to the Arts in 2000, 2001, 2008 and 2009. In NYC, he is current Production Manager at Carnegie Hall, and on down time redesigns, redevelops and refurbishes theatres including the upstairs Davenport Theatre, Elektra Theatre, Times Square Arts Center Theatres, the Ricmond Shepard, and a new exciting project Summer 2017, refurbishing an old off-Broadway in the Theatre District to it's old glory. John's 30-week off-Broadway production of FABULOUS! The Queen of Musicals! was recently licensed through Steele Rights. This past year he produced 2 off-Broadway Shows at St. Luke's Theatre: Equity production of 2 By Tennessee Williams and the new musical Pillars of New York.  Current Producing Artistic Director of  Write Act Repertory and Founding Member of newly formed N.M.C.L.O. (New Musical Civic Light Opera), concentrating on the development of second stage musical workshop/productions for off-Broadway productions, and is the Director of Development for Twisted Media NYC, his current musical production Lili Marlene in LA will be moving here off-Broadway in the Summer of 2017.

    is a Tony-nominated theatre producer and live entertainment consultant, most recently represented on Broadway by the Deaf West Theatre revival of Spring Awakening, and Macbeth, starring Alan Cumming. Upcoming Broadway productions include Paula Vogel’s Indecent and Joshua Harmon's Significant Other; Untitled #4 off-Broadway and in LA Holding the Man, with The Australian Theatre Company and a revival of Merrily We Roll Along directed by Michael Arden. In addition to producing his own projects, Cody consults for producers, theatres and agencies to help them discover how they should market their shows for the best chance of financial and critical success. Previously, he oversaw marketing efforts for Los Angeles' Center Theatre Group and its three theatres: the Ahmanson Theatre, Mark Taper Forum and Kirk Douglas Theatre. He is an active member of the Broadway League, the National Association of Musical Theatre, and serves on the Board of NY’s Vineyard Theatre. More info at codylassen.com.

    is a two time NY Times critically Acclaimed Director, two time Village Voice critics choice. Currently reviving Ntozake Shange's For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow Is Enuf. Michael's work has garnered critical acclaim from everyone from The New York Times and Village Voice to Stage Magazine and the Philadelphia Inquirer. In April 1998, Lincoln Center Theatre named Mr. LeLand to the Directors Lab. He was also one of only twelve directors selected by the Lincoln Center Directors’ Lab to be showcased at Here Center for Contemporary Arts in the American Living Room Series. Mr. LeLand had the honor of directing Pulitzer Prize, Tony Award Winner, and Academy Award nominee Jason Miller in his one man play Barrymore’s Ghost. As an actor he has recently created and originated the role of Mark Taylor in The New York Times critically acclaimed Philadelphia Fringe production of Pig Iron Theatre's 99 Breakups. Other favorite roles include critically acclaimed turns as Hoke in Driving Miss Daisy and Jim in Big River. He originated several roles in Theatre Double productions including Harold Prine Artaud in ...And the Sky Can Still Fall on our Heads, Mr. Jack in J. Rufus Caleb's Ballad of Mistauh Jack and Malcolm Magic in Magic Bookshop series. He filmed a lead role in the web based mini Musical Pay to Play. This fall he will be recording his first cd, live The Sacred and The Secular.


    is a theater producer as well as a film and television professional. He was the producer of the Off-Broadway solo project Fried Chicken and Latkes written by and starring Rain Pryor at the Actors Temple Theatre. His main objective is producing commercially whether it be Broadway, Off Broadway, Regionally/Touring and the West End. Daryl is lead producer for the play Pound for Pound by Steven Alexander, which he found through TRU's Speed Date, and is in negotiations to present a professional staged reading of the work. He produced the documentary, That Daughter's Crazy featuring Rain Pryor (winner of Saatchi and Saatchi Achievement in Film Award), and the HBO Best Short Film, 2nd LiFE by Jake Alexander, which is now in the first round for being nominated for Best Live-Action Short Film for the Academy Awards. He is developing a feature length screenplay/film based on the murder of Emmett Till and producing two smaller independent films: Satellite Flight and The Dark. He has been a member of Theater Resources Unlimited and has and is taking courses and attending seminars at CTI. He would love to see more people of color and women get involved with these two great organizations.


    is one of only two producers in the history of Broadway to have a musical run over 3000 performances and a play run over 1000. (The other producer he shares this distinction with is the legendary David Merrick.) Waissman developed and produced the original Broadway production of Grease as well as two of Broadway’s longest running plays, Agnes of God by John Pielmeier and Torch Song Trilogy by Harvey Fierstein.Waissman's first Broadway credit was the 1971 Paul Zindel play And Miss Reardon Drinks a Little with Estelle Parsons and Julie Harris, and his prolific Broadway efforts have resulted in four motion picture features, a PBS TV special, 25 Tony Award® nominations, and 5 Tony Awards® including a Tony Award® as ‘Best Play Producer.’ His new musical, Josephine, inspired by Josephine Baker, had its World Premiere in April at the Asolo Theatre in Sarasota, Florida. Deborah Cox played the title role and Joey McKneely directed and choreographed.


    began life and her dance training in Mississippi.  She studied ballet, tap and modern dance techniques. She moved to San Francisco’s North Waterfront area, opening the Attic Studio and Theater and incorporated her newly founded Xoregos Performing Company which became known for combining dance, plays, music, poetry and song in various permutations, for commissioning new works of music, choreography and theater as well as for dancing early American pieces. Writers from whom she commissioned scripts for the Xoregos Performing Company included Leonard Cahn (The Picture of Dorian Gray, L'Histoire du Soldat), Rick Foster (Birthday of the Infanta, Shadowfill, Love Isadora) and Curtis Zahn (Zahn Street). She also choreographed/directed nine poems of e e cummings spoken and danced by the company. Choreographers who created distinguished dance works included Carolyn Carlson, Welland Lathrop, Rael Lamb, Nancy Spanier and stage director David Ostwald. She was invited to become Producing Director of Dance for the Atheneum Arts Foundation and produced concerts for them with ballet and modern companies, flamenco dancers and dance soloists including Ruth St. Denis and Noel Parenti. She moved to New York City in the 1980’s, where she continues to work as a free-lance director and choreographer for New York and regional companies.  She directs classical theater (Euripides, Shakespeare, Wilde) as well as new plays and musicals. She continues to find and commission original works for the Xoregos Performing Company and maintains its important historical dance repertory.


    is currently the Lead Producer for Moolah, a new comedy by Arje Shaw (The Gathering). Frank has also had the great privilege of working on a number of shows and projects with the late director Tom O’Horgan (Jesus Christ Superstar, Hair). In addition, he has worked on over twenty musicals and was involved for thirty years on the Tony Awards. Also involved in the music and entertainment industry, Frank has worked with luminaries as Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, conducted the Count Basie Orchestra, and the Honolulu Symphony Orchestra and consulted on nine Super Bowl half-time shows. Mr. Zuback founded Frank Zuback Productions, which provides a wide range of services in the music and entertainment industry. Website - http://fzpi.com


    has served as the Director of Programming at NYMF where an unprecedented number of shows went on to have subsequent productions including Clinton the Musical (off-Broadway), Bayonets of Angst (Adirondack Theatre Festival), Rescue Rue (NY Children’s Theatre Festival), Sing Me Home (Goodspeed’s Festival of New Musicals) and Academia Nuts (optioned).  She has served as the Artistic Director of Millbrook Playhouse and the Associate Producer of Vital Theatre. She has directed at 59E59th, The New York Musical Theatre Festival(NYMF), The Flea, HERE, ARS NOVA and EST.   Her production of Austentatious at NYMF was described as the next off-Broadway hit by the NY Times.  Her production of Little Shop at ReVision Theatre was hailed as “Extraordinary” by The NJ Star Ledger.   Her production of Fiction at Amphibian Stage was acknowledged as one of the 10 best productions in Dallas by Arts and Culture Magazine. Drama League Alumni.  Member SDC. She is also developing Chick Flick the Musical and Music City.  For more information visit: www.marykateburke.com


    is an accomplished actor, writer, producer and acting teacher. Her many credits include award winning solo show (playwright, performer, producer), Grace Kelly Longing for Grace (Best One Woman Show, United Solo Festival, 2012 & 13), along with New York performances at 59E59 Theaters and Byrdcliffe Theater; Edinburgh Festival Fringe; Warsaw, Poland; and Parnu, Estonia. She won IMTF’s Superior Supporting Actress award forNever Cracked; performed her original solo, I Bred the Best (Estrogenius Festival, Theater West); and is preparing a reading for her new (2 character) play, New York Afghanistan; leading roles played in Death of a Salesman, Shirley Valentine, Six Degrees of Separation, The Novelist, A Life in the Theater, Old Times, Hot Flashes, and Perfect Analysis Given by a Parrot, along with numerous TV and film credits, most recently The Comedy (Tim Heidecker, dir. Rick Alverson). Ms. Kiley teaches directing at NYU’s Tisch Kanbar Center for Film & TV, as well as acting at Stella Adler Studio, Trinity La Mama Urban Arts Program and at her own studio – Grace Kiley Acting – in New York City. She directs for film & stage, is a member of League of Professional Theater Women, The Rehearsal Club, and Coalition for Women in the Arts & Media. (SAG/AFTRA, AEA, NYS licensed Psychotherapist). gracekiley@gmail.com, www.gracekiley.com