Event Details
  • April 29, 2017
    9:30 am - 6:00 pm
  • April 29, 2017 - April 30, 2017
    9:30 am - 6:00 pm
2017 Weekend Intensive for Showcase Producing

Saturday and Sunday April 29th and 30th, 9:30am to 6pm
Nola Studios, 244 W. 54th Street, 11th floor Studio C

If you’re planning to produce or self-produce, do it right, do it smart, do it cost-effectively. Learn the ins and outs from experts with this once-a-year weekend workshop that offers basic and not-so-basic training for producers, geared to those producing at the in-the-trenches reading and Equity Showcase level. And with particular application for those planning to produce in the upcoming summer festivals.  We call it a "Boot Camp" but we will help you transform what can be an uphill battle into a smooth-running operation that leads to victory!

You will meet a phenomenal lineup of experts including Broadway producers Cheryl Wiesenfeld (4-time Tony winner for Vanya & Sonia & Masha & Spike, Porgy & Bess, All the Way, Elaine Stritch: At Liberty), Jim Kierstead (Indecent, Natasha Pierre..., Sunset Boulevard, Waitress, Yank!, Tony Award winner for Kinky Boots and Pippin revival) and Cody Lassen (Indecent, Significant Other, The Band's Visit). The intensive will cover everything from Legal Requirements to Production Timeline and Budgeting to Raising Money and Marketing. Every aspect of showcase producing is broken down into easy-to-understand step-by-step modules, including a discussion of the differences between producing in a festival and producing on your own. Which is the best route for your project? Which will make you the most profit?

Limited to 30 participants.
Cost: $270
for non-member; $225 for TRU members.
Membership/Workshop Package: $290
Second attendee: $100

FESTIVAL SPECIAL: registrants accepted into Planet Connections, MITF, Dream Up, NYMF or other festivals take $20 off (email TRUStaff1@gmail.com for code)

PLEASE DOWNLOAD AND FILL OUT THE APPLICATION: BOOT-CAMP_weekend_app. The information we ask for is useful in customizing the material presented to your needs. Download it, then pay through our store or by mailing a check to the address on the application.

Saturday April 29

 9:30-10am - coffee and cake/bagels

10:00 - keynote speaker: 2-time Tony Award winning producer Jim Kierstead

10:15-10:45 - “Clarifying Your Goals: Why Are You Producing This?” with Jim Kierstead and  Bob Ost.  Should your show be commercial or not-for-profit? In a festival or produced independently? How much should you be spending? How big a theater do you need? So much depends on what you hope to achieve. 

10:45-11:30pm –"What You Need to Know Before Asking for Money" with attorney Eric Goldman.  Investments, donations and gifts - do you know the difference? We'll look at commercial, not-for-profit and fiscal sponsorship models, and what you need to know about each when asking for money for your production.

11:30-11:45 - BREAK

11:45-12:30 – "Legal Schmegal: Contracts, Options, Underlying Rights and More" with attorney Eric Goldman.  Additional legalities to consider: Do you have the right to produce this show? How do you go about getting the option? How do you do this without encumbering your property unnecessarily? Do you need to set up a legal entity to produce a showcase?

12:30-1:00 - "Producing Published Works: Licensing Made Painless" - with Fred Stuart, Chief Creative Officer for Theatrical Rights Worldwide (TRW). So you think that play you read or saw a while ago would make a great showcase for your actor friends. You still need permission to produce it, even in a low-profile showcase in a borough. Learn the right way to go about seeking those rights, and what the costs may be.

1:00-2:00 - LUNCH

2:00-2:30 - "Project Management: Setting Timelines, Managing Teams, Defining Outcomes" with financial advisor and producer Bailie Slevin. It pays to get the order right. How far in advance do you book a space? Hire your creative staff? Start the marketing? Raise the money?

2:30 - 3:15 “Creative Fundraising (Please Don’t Put It on Your Credit Card!)” with Bailie Slevin. Crowdsourcing, different kinds of fundraisers and how to just get over it and ask for the money you need. We'll include belief systems and how they affect us, and understanding how money works.  

3:15-3:30 - BREAK

3:30-4:00 -"Box Office and Ticketing Options" with Dan Irwin. This is a business. You need to be careful about money and accurately track your sales. There's no mystery to it: there are tried-and-true systems for handling this. And though you are ultimately responsible for your performance tallies, different ticketing options can be helpful in different ways. Which ticketing service will best serve your show?

4:00-5:00 - "Producing Smart: Fringes and Festivals, or On Your Own?" moderated by Bob Ost, with producer Jeremy Handelman (On the Town, White's Lies, F#%king Up Everything), Dan Irwin (The Nose),  Gerald vanHeerden (artistic director of plays for Midtown International Theatre Festival). There are advantages to producing in the Fringe or a festival, but there are also trade-offs. We'll discuss what you need to consider before deciding the best (and potentially most profitable) path for your production.

5:00 - Keynote speaker: Broadway producer Cody Lassen

5:30pm-6:00pm – networking reception

Sunday April 30

9:30-10am – coffee and cake/bagels

10:00-10:45 – "Putting Together Your Production Team" with John Lant, technical director of Carnegie Hall, artistic director Write Act Rep. Things to consider when hiring your design team, and what your designers need from you. 

10:45-11:15 – "How to Find (and Book) the Right Space" with John Lant. Black box or proscenium? Wing space, fly space, lighting and tech requirements, location and more. 

11:15-11:30 – BREAK

11:30 -12:15 – “Watching Your Figures: Putting Together a Smart Budget”  with Martin Platt of Perry Street Theatricals. An overview of basic line items in a showcase budget, and a realistic look at what things actually cost.

12:15-1:15 - LUNCH

1:15-2:00 - "Union Codes & Contracts: Equity, SDC, DG, 802" with Diane Krausz. The gospel according to Actors Equity, and how it sets the rules for readings, showcases and beyond. Plus realistic expectations when dealing with the directors' union, the Dramatists Guild and the musicians' union. 

2:00-2:30 - "How to Run an Efficient Audition, and When, Why and How to Use a Casting Director” with casting director Jamibeth Margolis.

2:30-2:45 – BREAK

2:45-3:30 - "Finding Your Audience: An Overview of Marketing" with Jay Michaels of Jay Michaels Arts & Entertainment. Defining the basics: marketing, advertising, PR. And how does social media fit into all this? What are your most important expenses on a limited budget? How do you identify and reach your audience? Should a showcase producer ever do his own marketing?

3:30-4:15 - "The Essentials of Successful PR"  with Joe Trentacosta. What goes into an effective press release? When should releases be sent out? How do you stand out from the crowd?

4:15-4:30 – BREAK

4:30-5:15 - "Next Steps: What Happens After That Showcase (and How to Prepare)?" moderated by Cheryl Wiesenfeld, with producers R.K. Greene (Peter and the Starcatcher, A Time to Kill, Room Service),  Victoria Lang (Matt and Ben, Shout! The Mod Musical, Silence the Musical); Jana Robbins (Ragtime, Little Women, Roof of the World, I Love You Because...) and Sharon Weiss of Tweiss Productins (Hell's Bells, Appendage, Forbidden Broadway...). The best way for your show to have a future is to plan ahead the moment you decide to produce that first showcase, festival presentation or reading. A panel of producers will talk about the steps they took to grow their brand.

5:15 - Keynote speaker: 4-time Tony Award winning Broadway producer Cheryl Wiesenfeld

5:30-6:00pm - networking reception

Faculty
  • ERIC GOLDMAN

    has more than 20 years of experience as an entertainment attorney. While Eric specializes in theatre law matters, including project financing, Eric also practices in the film, television, music, music publishing and new media fields. As an artist’s representative, Eric has worked on behalf of numerous award winners, including Tony-award winners Howell Binkley, Jason Robert Brown, Jerry Mitchell, Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman and Academy Award winner Howard Shore. Eric also works as a producer’s representative, including serving as production counsel to the Tony Award winning producers of DEF POETRY JAM and several Tony Award winning producers. In addition to Broadway, Off-Broadway and Independent projects, Eric has worked for producers and artists in connection with productions seen around the world, including London, Sydney, Tokyo and China. Eric also regularly counsels not-for-profit theatres such as Northlight Theatre in Chicago and Blank Theatre in Los Angeles. In other media, Eric has represented American Idol vocal coach Debra Byrd in the negotiation of merchandising and master class seminar agreements, and has negotiated web site development, maintenance and rights acquisition agreements for Broadwayworld.com, the LEGO Bionicle’s website and for Dick Morris’ VOTE.COM web site

  • RK GREENE

    is a producer of the Broadway and off-Broadway hit Peter & the Starcatcher as well as Cougar The Musical. He is an entrepreneur having started several businesses over the years. A theatre professional since 1978, he was a founding member of the Seattle Group Theatre, a multi-cultural ensemble that produced its own work. As an actor, he appeared in numerous productions Off-off Broadway, on tour and in regional theater, producing several projects including a multi-state tour of Mass Appeal. In 2000, he founded The StoryLine Project, LLC, a commercial theater production company, to develop new plays and musicals.  The StoryLine Project made its debut as an above line producer for the Off Broadway hit, Room Service, and went on to produce Love Child and A Time to Kill.  Previous credits also include Rocket to the Moon at St. Clement's.  In the non-profit world, R.K. is the Marketing Director at The Directors Company and helped to transfer Irena’s Vow to Broadway. TDC's The Road to Damascus also played at 59E59 Theaters.

  • JEREMY HANDELMAN

    is a Tony Award nominated producer whose many credits include the Broadway revival of On the Town, the hit rock musical comedy Brooklyn Crush (formerly F#%king Up Everything: Off-Broadway, Washington, DC and NYMF) and White's Lies (New World Stages). Most recently, he helped raise front money for a very exciting new Broadway-bound musical that he's not at liberty to publicly reveal. Jeremy is the author of The Bronx Balmers, Tic-Tac-Toe and several short plays. He is the founder of Off The Leash Productions, where he produces promotional videos and commercials and provides videography coverage for live performances and events. In a previous life as a television executive he was Vice President, Programming for CBS Sports. Jeremy is a proud board member of TRU.
  • DAN IRWIN

    is the founder of H Danforth & Co. Over the last four years Dan has worked with almost every major Off-Broadway theatre as well as on Broadway and at Radio City. Recent credits include Why You Beasting?, The Joint, Ruthless!, Fuerza Bruta, and more. Current projects include The Nose and a soon to be announced Broadway musical planned for the 17-18 season.

  • JIM KIERSTEAD

    is a two-time 2013 Tony® Award-winning producer of the Broadway, touring, Toronto, and London productions of Kinky Boots and the revival of Pippin.  He also is involved with the international hit musical Matilda on Broadway and on tour and is a co-producer of the 2016 Broadway musicals Waitress and Natasha & Pierre and The Great Comet of 1812 starring Josh Groban.  He has been a co-producer of the Broadway productions of The Visit (Tony nominated), You Can’t Take It With You (Tony nominated), Side Show, It Shoulda Been You and Rocky.  Jim has worked in New York theatre since 2000 investing and raising money for shows including Something Rotten, The Glass Menagerie, the revival of Hair (Best Revival), American Idiot, The Addams Family, Catch Me If You Can, among others. Jim began his career by developing and producing the critically acclaimed Off-Broadway premiere of Thrill Me – The Leopold & Loeb Story (nominated for Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for Best Musical in 2005) and produced its original New York production in 2003.  He founded his production company Kierstead Productions, Inc. in 2004.  In 2010, he produced the Off-Broadway premiere of Yank! – A World War II Love Story.  Jim has been an Executive Producer on the films Between Love and Goodbye, Kiss Me, Kill Me, and the upcoming Wakefield starring Bryan Cranston and Jennifer Garner. Currently, Jim is developing a new musical entitled Unexpected Joy with book & lyrics by Bill Russell (two-time Tony® nominated for Side Show), a play entitled Cover by Bill McMahon, and a play entitled The Dodgers by Diana Amsterdam about the draft dodgers during the Vietnam War which had its World Premiere production at The Hudson Theatre in Los Angeles.  Jim is on the Board of Directors of The York Theatre Company and The New York Theatre Barn.

  • DIANE KRAUSZ

    For over 25 years, Principal Diane Krausz, Attorney at Law, has represented individuals and entities in the entertainment industry, with an emphasis in theater, film, television, talent representation/negotiation, and intellectual property. Ms. Krausz has extensive experience protecting art through copyright; licensing, merchandising, and spokesperson deals; drafting and negotiating contracts and resolving disputes; purchase and sales of entertainment companies; and helping artists reach financial success. Among her high-profile clients, Ms. Krausz has represented Parseghian Planco, LLC, a well-known talent management firm. Whether it’s an individual just starting in the entertainment industry or a well-established artist seeking greater exposure, she is there to protect the financial interests and the integrity of their work. A graduate of the Wharton School and Fordham Law School, and a previously trained and qualified Certified Public Accountant, Ms. Krausz has written articles in leading industry publications and been a sought-after guest lecturer at film festivals, bar associations, and universities. No stranger to the industry, Ms. Krausz has produced and invested in several film and theatre productions over the years.

  • VICTORIA LANG

    is the President of Lang Entertainment Group. She has enjoyed a wide-ranging producing career in theatre, film and television. Theatre credits include Matthew Broderick & Annaleigh Ashford in Sylvia (Broadway), Found (Atlantic Theatre Co.), Funny Girl (London), the Off Broadway, LA & London hit Silence! The Musical! (Best Musical: Off Broadway Alliance Award, Top 5 Musicals: Time Magazine, Best Musical NYCFringe), Matt & Ben in NY & LA (Top 5 Plays: Time Magazine, Best Production NYCFringe), Johnny Guitar (Best Off-Broadway Musical: Outer Critics Circle Award), Listen to My Heart: The Songs of David Friedman (Drama Desk nomination), Bat Boy (London), SHOUT! The Mod Musical (Off-Broadway, West End, Chicago, 1st National Tour, UK Tours), Girls Night! The Musical (LA) and Divorce Party The Musical (Las Vegas, LA, Toronto, National Tour). She has been associated with the Broadway productions of  Elizabeth Taylor & Richard Burton in Private Lives, Peggy Lee in Peg, A View From The Bridge, (Tony nomination), David Cassidy in Joseph & The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Elizabeth Taylor in The Little Foxes, Sandy Duncan in Peter Pan,  Cicely Tyson in The Corn Is Green, Carol Channing, Dorothy Loudon and Leslie Uggams in Jerry’s Girls,  John Lithgow and George Segal in Requiem for a Heavyweight, and the revivals of Oklahoma!, West Side Story and Brigadoon. Television credits include Live With Regis & Kathie Lee (3 Emmy nominations), Joy Philbin’s Haven and Specials for A&E and PBS.  Film credits include Macbeth in Manhattan (Best Feature, South Beach & L.I. Film Festivals), Dark Tides (Showtime), The Last Lie and Chaos Theory. Ms. Lang is a member of The League of Off-Broadway Theaters and Producers, The Off Broadway Alliance, The League of Professional Theatre Women, New York Women in Film and Television, the British Academy of Film & Television, Who's Who in Entertainment, Who's Who in American Professionals and Who's Who in American Women. Victoria is a member of the Board of Directors of TheaterMania.com. Upcoming: Found (Broadway) and Around the World in 80 Days (National Tour).

  • JOHN LANT

    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.
     
     
  • CODY LASSEN

    is a Tony-nominated theatre producer and live entertainment consultant. Broadway productions include the Deaf West Theatre revival of Spring Awakening, and Macbeth, starring Alan Cumming, Paula Vogel’s Indecent and Joshua Harmon's Significant Other. Upcoming: 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, theaters 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 theaters: 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.
  • JAMIBETH MARGOLIS

    is now entering her 18th year as a professional casting director in New York.  She was with Johnson-Liff Casting, Cameron Mackintosh, and Margolis-Seay Casting and is now out on her own as a freelance casting director. Previous credits include the Broadway and National Touring Companies of such hits as Les MiserablesThe Phantom of the OperaMiss SaigonCats, and Jane Eyre as well as two dozen other shows on Broadway. She also currently casts for Off Broadway, National Touring Companies and shows for prominent regional theaters and all of the major theater festivals in NYC. Her casting office is dedicated to the development of new plays and musicals. Additional casting credits include multiple television pilots and on camera industrials for major US companies. Jamibeth is also an accomplished stage director. Recent theatrical directing credits include Family Dinner at the Beckett Theatre on Theatre Row and Do I Hear a Waltz? and Jekyll and Hyde at the Arvada Center Theater in Denver. Jamibeth served as assistant director to Tony Award winner Jerry Zaks on the Broadway revival of The Caine Mutiny Court Martial and also on Jules Feiffer’s A Bad Friend at Lincoln Center Theatre. She has also helmed developmental productions and readings of the following new works: Naked In EncinoOwl CreekFar From the Madding CrowdPlane CrazyGreat Googley Moo1812, and Warsaw (which is currently on track for a Broadway production in the next two years).Currently Jamibeth serves as Artistic Director For Musicals at the Midtown International Theatre Festival (MITF) where she fosters new writing talent and looks to bring a dozen new musicals to life each summer. Jamibeth also teaches musical theater, acting, and audition technique in studios all around NYC. She is also the Executive Director of the New Paradigm Theatre in Stamford, CT slated to open during the 2012 season. Jamibeth is a member of Actors’ Equity Association, the Casting Society of America, and the Stage Directors And Choreographers Society. She served as a Tony Awards Voter for three Broadway seasons. She holds a BA from Ithaca College in Drama/Directing.

  • JAY MICHAELS

    a stage and film producer/director, educator, and entrepreneur in the marketing, promotion, and public relations fields, has maintained a career in the arts & entertainment industry since the late 70s when he worked as an actor. By the mid-1980s he was working as a director and a producer with a specialty in promotion. Credits include: OFF-BROADWAY: a series of acclaimed productions of Shakespeare’s canon and new works at the Midtown International Theater Festival,  New York International Fringe Festival, as well as two Samuel French New Plays Festival winners. He founded JAY MICHAELS ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT supplying public relations services and production consultation to independent theater and film. Under this specialty, his credits include BROADWAY: Guys & Dolls (1992), Damn Yankees (1994) and The Vagina Monologues at Broadway's Town Hall; NATIONAL TOUR: Cats, Les Miserables, Oliver, Edwin Drood; RESIDENT THEATRE: the Midtown International Theatre Festival (2014 – present) and the 13th Street Repertory Theater (2015-present); The Bronx Opera (2006-2015); In 1998, he and Mary E. MiCari formed Genesis Repertory, a stage and film production company dedicated to educating through the arts. Mr. Michaels is a professor of communications at Kingsborough College and has lectured throughout the five boroughs. He has been recognized in National SDC, TheatreWorld, American Theater, and Cambridge’s Who’s Who with productions winning ASCAP, SPOTLIGHT, MITF, and OOBR Awards, published by Samuel French Play Service, and NYIT, GLAAD, and Drama Desk nominations. 

  • MARTIN PLATT

    partner in Perry Street Theatricals, has been a Director, Producer, and General Manager in the U.S., U.K. and Europe for over forty years. He was the founding Artistic Director of the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, General Director of Birmingham Opera Theatre, and founding Artistic Director of Santa Fe Stages, an international Arts Festival. As a Director his work has been seen throughout the U.S. and Europe. Mr. Platt’s career as a Producer and General Manager began in 1991, as co-director of Fifth Amendment Ltd, a UK based producing company. During 10 years with 5A, he produced over 50 theatre and dance productions, in London’s West End and on tour in the UK, Europe, and U.S. He recently produced Georgie with Ed Dixon off-Broadway. His most recent West End production was the Olivier nominated Lend Me A Tenor The Musical. On Broadway he was represented with Dames At Sea and in the 2013-2014 season with the Tony Award winning play, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike. New York his productions have included Bebe Neuwirth in Here Lies Jenny, Treason, and the multi off Broadway award winning productions of In The Continuum and an oak tree.

     

  • JANA ROBBINS

    was recently producer of Roof of the World (formerly The Great Game) by D. Tucker Smith at Kansas City Rep, with plans for a New York production. Jana made her Broadway producing debut with the Broadway musical of Little Women starring Sutton Foster and Maureen McGovern. She was one of the producers of the acclaimed Ragtime revival, as well as off-Broadway's White's Lies. She was also one of the producers of the Off-Broadway musical I Love You Because. Unlock'd won the "Best of the Fest" Award at the New York Musical Theater Festival, and Talkin' Broadway called it "One of the most ravishing new musicals of 2007!" She produced The Jazz Age by Allan Knee (Little Women, Finding Neverland) in a limited run at 59E59 St., which she produced in association with the Blank Theater Co. in LA. As an actress Jana has appeared in 6 Broadway shows including Gypsy (standby for Tyne Daly) and The Tale of the Allergist's Wife (standby for Linda Lavin & Michele Lee), starring opposite Valerie Harper when Allergist's Wife went on National Tour. Her television credits include Law and Order, SVU, Criminal Intent and others, and she was seen in the film of The Women starring Meg Ryan, Eva Mendez and Annette Bening. For more information: www.janarobbins.com.

  • BAILIE SLEVIN

    is the founder of Entertaining Finance, a business management and financial consulting firm geared specifically towards creatives. Bailie is the perfect combination of finance ninja and theater nerd. With 10 years of experience as a financial adviser and a hefty resume in theater, she is redefining planning for artists and entrepreneurs. She’s worked with Certified Financial Services and Forest Hills Financial Group in finance and teaches Financial Literacy and Well-being workshops and speaks throughout the region on the specifics of Financial Management for Artists. As a stage manager, general manager, and producer on Broadway, Off Broadway and Off-Off Broadway, Tony Awards, Drama Desk, OBIE Awards, and IT Awards pepper Bailie’s resume. Some of her favorite projects include The Norman Conquests, Altar Boyz, Naked Boys Singing!, Pursuit of Persephone, A Very Merry Unauthorized Children’s Scientology Pageant, and Popesical in Concert at Joe’s Pub. She currently serves as a board member for The Tank NYC, a non-profit Arts presenter for emerging artists engaged in the pursuit of new forms of expression, and Theater Resources Unlimited (TRU), a training ground for tomorrows theatrical producers. Visit www.EntertainingFinance.com to learn more and start “adulting”!

  • FRED STUART

    was the Executive & Artistic Director of The Haymarket Theatre in Lincoln, NE, which he founded in 2002. Fred has directed scores of shows with adults and young people alike, for theaters across the U.S. From 1997 to 2001, he worked as Project Manager for the Broadway Junior Program, for Music Theatre International (MTI). His responsibilities included overseeing workshop productions, writing and editing production manuals and director’s guides. Fred spent ten years as a performing artist in San Francisco and Los Angeles, having appeared for two years in San Francisco’s longest running show, Beach Blanket Babylon. His administrative career in the theatre business began with the Nederlander Organization’s West Coast operation, where he worked in a variety of FOH jobs, rising to House Manager of the legendary Pantages Theatre at Hollywood & Vine.

  • JOE TRENTACOSTA

    is the President of JT Public Relations, a full-service entertainment public relations firm. He began his career in public relations over 17 years ago as an assistant at Springer/Chicoine PR, his first project was the PR assistant on the Tony Award-winning show Side Man and Tony Randall’s National Actors Theatre. In a short time, he rose in the ranks and eventually became Vice-President of Springer Associates PR, overseeing all live theatrical and special events including running the PR campaigns for campaigns for the Earth, Wind and Fire musical Hot Feet, multi-cultural Broadway productions of Tennessee William’s A Cat on a Hot Tin Roof with James Earl Jones and Terrence Howard and A Streetcar Named Desire with Blair Underwood. Off-Broadway companies have included The Actor’s Company, Theatre For a New Audience, Cherry Lane Theatre, The Women’s Project, Tada Youth Theatre, The Storm Theater, Broken Watch Theatre, Royal Family Productions, Amas Musical Theatre. Off-Broadway productions include The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical, The Golden Girl Show! A Puppet Parody, Clinton the Musical, The Other Josh Cohen,  and the Gazillion Bubble Show (which has been featured on many national television shows including: “Oprah Winfrey Show,” “Today Show,” “Good Morning America,” “Regis and Kelly” and many more). Throughout his career, he worked with a number of celebrities such as James Earl Jones, Tom Cruise, Will Smith, John Travolta, Al Pacino, Debbie Allen, Steve Buscemi, Anika Noni Rose, Phylicia Rashaad, Vincent Pastore, David Proval, Taye Diggs, Blair Underwood, Lou Diamond Philips and many more.  JT Public Relations also represents a variety of non-profit organizations including National Meningitis Association and Stuttering Association for the Young,  check http://jt-pr.net/clients for updated list of clients. 

  • GERALD vanHEERDEN

    is a graduate of The Boston Conservatory and an alumnus of Webster University Theater Arts Conservatory.  He is an emerging, East Coast director of New Works.  Gerald has a long and storied, career of experience in the NYC, Off Broadway and Off-Off Broadway theater community, working with new plays and creative, musical theater endeavors as Artistic Director of Plays (MITF), Producer/Director (vMHF Theatricals) and Conceptualist/Director (SDC).  As Artistic Director of Plays for the Midtown International Theatre Festival, Mr. vanHeerden, helmed Break A Leg’s award winning production of Farm Hall in July 2014, where he is Resident Director and in February 2015 Dangerous Walk by Mathew Ethan Davis as Producer/Director at the Venus Theatre Festival.  Stage Directors and Choreographers national and Broadway union (SDC) member. 2016: Caldwell’s Bomb (Producer/Director) by William Rogers at the Venus Theatre Festival, February 2016, Encore as Finalist and Nominated as Best Director. Your Name on My Lips, a new musical, (Director) Theater For The New City, March-2017: The Imperfect Hour A new musical (Fall 2017) and a solo play and reminiscence, based on the poetry of Tennessee William’s with Miller Lide, (Fall 2017). Website:  www.geraldvanheerden.com

  • SHARON WEISS

    With Eileen B. Weiss, partner in Tweiss Productions. Associate Producers of  Forbidden Broadway: Alive & Kicking, Forbidden Broadway Comes Out Swinging. Producers of Hell's BellesA Short Wake, Between the Lines, NY revival of Goodtime Charley. In development: How to Marry a Divorced Man; Appendage

  • CHERYL WIESENFELD

    Broadway: The Heidi Chronicles, Rocky, All the Way (Tony Award), Vanya & Sonia & Masha & Spike (Tony Award), The Gershwin's Porgy & Bess (Tony Award); A Steady Rain; Legally Blonde; Dirty Rotten Scoundrels; Caroline, or Change; ‘night, Mother; Elaine Stritch: At Liberty (Tony Award). Off-Broadway: Play Dead; In the Continuum; Shockheaded Peter; The Exonerated; Talking Heads; The Waverly Gallery. Ms. Wiesenfeld was the recipient of Theater Resources Unlimited's 2007 "Spirit of Theater" Award for her ongoing generosity to young producers in the New York community, as well as her selfless support of the work that TRU does. She is one of the founders of the TRU Producer Development & Mentorship Program, and to date has mentored dozens of aspirants, including guiding one production to win four Audelco Awards, and helping another production find success in regional theaters. Cheryl is a proud board member of TRU.

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