TRU Producer Development & Mentorship Program (PDMP)
Description

ONGOING TRAINING FOR SERIOUS PRODUCERS AND SELF-PRODUCING ARTISTS 

Theater Resources Unlimited (TRU) Producer Development & Mentorship Program, created in collaboration with 4-time Tony winning producer Cheryl Wiesenfeld (The Heidi Chronicles, Rocky, All the Way, The Gershwin's Porgy & Bess, Vanya & Sonya & Masha & Spike, Elaine Stritch: At Liberty, The Exonerated) offers ongoing support and education for producers at all levels of experience. The program consists of three separate but interactive divisions. Career Producers Group (CPG) and Not-for-Profit producers will be led, respectively, by Broadway/off-Broadway producers David Elliott and Martin Platt of Perry Street Theatricals (Vanya & Sonia & Masha & Spike, Dames at Sea, Bedlam Theater Company's Hamlet and St Joan, In the Continuum, Lend Me a Tenor the musical); and Self-Producing Artists (SPA) will be led by Broadway/off-Broadway producer Jana Robbins (Roof of the World, Ragtime revival, I Love You Because, Little Women). 

An advanced Master Class for Basic PDMP graduates and other eligible candidates will be led by Tony Award winning producers Van Dean (Tony winning The Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, Tony nominated Rodgers and Hammerstein’s CinderellaMatildaEvita, Gore Vidal’s The Best ManCatch Me If You Can); and Jane Dubin (Tony winning: The Norman Conquests, Peter and the Starcatcher and An American in Paris; plus Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey, The 39 Steps, Annupcoming: The Bandstand and Fingersmith).

Submissions accepted now through September 12, extended (Basic Class only). Cost is $250 for new members, and meets one Monday evening of each month from September through July (Tuesday evening in January and June) - that's 11 sessions. You must also be a paid member of TRU, currently $85/year.

Candidates will be interviewed shortly after Labor Day with a start date for the program of Monday evening, September 26th.

 IF YOU HAVE BEEN ACCEPTED INTO THE PROGRAM, YOU MAY PAY FOR IT HERE.

Basic PDMP Upgrade, first time mentorship member, $250 
(you must also be a current TRU member and accepted into this program) click this button:

$250

Basic PDMP Upgrade, returning mentorship member, $200
(you must also be a current TRU member and accepted into this program) click this button:

$200

PDMP Master Class Upgrade, $350
(you must also be a current TRU member and accepted into this program) click this button:

$350


PDMP Master Class Upgrade - auditor level, $275 
(you must also be a current TRU member and accepted into this program) click this button:

$275

Heard about this program late? Email TRUMentor@gmail.com to see if there are still spaces available! 

PDMP BASIC CURRICULUM
(subject to change)

9/26 - Introduction and Overview of the Program: Clarifying Goals, Collaboration and Partnering. Particular attention paid to “actionable goals”, the prevalence of producer partners and how to make it work, and determining what projects are in sync with your goals.
Team Projects will be pitched to members by active producers.

10/31 Assignment of Team Projects. Developing a Strategy: What Goes Into an Effective Business Plan? A detailed look at the usual components of a business plan, with examples. 
An Overview of Developmental Steps: Table Read, Stage Reading, Showcase, Festivals, Partnering with a Not-for-Profit. 

11/28 - Who Loves Your Baby? Identifying Your Audience, and Finding the Market for Your Project. A critical and dramaturgical look at projects to help members determine reasonable goals and appropriate markets to inform their plan. Plus a dramaturge discussing the elements of a good play: structure, an engaging protagonist, dramatic arc.

December Holiday Party with guest speaker

1/24 – Why You Need an Attorney, and When. Options and underlying rights … collaborator agreements and the merging of rights. Focusing on the SPA/artist needs.
Setting up your business structure, legal entities and how they protect you. Not-for-profit versus commercial models of producing. Paperwork you need to raise money. Defining front money. At what point do you need offering papers?

2/21 (Tuesday) – When to Hire a General Manager, and Why. What does a GM do? The producer-general manager relationship. Plus an introduction to the team general managers.
Budgets, and Understanding What Things Cost. An analysis of actual budgets: table read, stage readings, showcase, festival/NYMF.

3/27 – Putting Together Your Creative and Production Teams. Who does what? What to consider when choosing a director and a design team. The role of the Production Stage Manager and Technical Director. Understanding the hierarchy of power. The additional needs of a musical.

4/24  An Overview of Marketing, Advertising and Public Relations. Branding your project, your company or yourself. How to identify your target audience, and reach them.
Marketing to Special Interest Groups. Black audiences, Latino audiences, Asian audiences, gay audiences, other.

5/30 (Tuesday) – Downstream Revenue: Subsidiary Rights, Licensing, Merchandising, Touring. 

6/26 – The Pitch: teams pitch their projects to an invited feedback panel.

July end-of-year wrap

To request an application, or to inquire about the program, email TRUMentor@gmail.com or download PDMP.Intake.Form2016, fill out and email to TRUMentor@gmail.com (be sure to add your name to the document name when you send it).

PDMP BASIC CLASS

Overview: The PDMP Directors will present new plays and musicals that are actively in development.  PDMP Members will choose a first and second choice of the show they would like to develop.  Those choosing the same material will be put into groups and formulate a development plan that will be informed by the monthly panels. At the final session in June, Groups will present their development plan to a panel of commercial producers.

Mentorships: Members shall have the right to request a one-on-one mentorship with one of the Program Directors and will have access to mentorships as a group with industry professionals who participate on the panels. 

• Special monthly interactive seminars with various topics of discussion. Guest speakers are all respected theater professionals.

• Curriculum designed to cover all major aspects of producing, step by step, from project selection to legal issues to budgets to marketing. Seminars will be geared to offer members the information needed to put together a solid business plan for their own project.

• At the end of 10 months, all members will present their business plan for evaluation by the program directors and invited guest professionals. One team will be awarded automatic acceptance into PDMP Master Class; one individual project will be selected and given an endowment of $500 (The "Randall Wreghitt TRU Producer Award") for a developmental table read with industry talkback, or other developmental needs.

• The opportunity for goal-oriented one-on-one mentorships and consultations between industry pros and aspiring producers. Not everyone who is accepted into the program will receive a 3-month mentorship, though every effort will be made to place everyone in meaningful consultations to help guide them in development.

• All CPG members are eligible for one-on-one mentorships after program review and member’s goals are clarified. If you are placed in a mentorship - if you have a specific project and need - you meet with your mentor once a month for three months; the rest is follow up phone calls or emails. If you have specific areas that you want to explore and want a one-time consultation with a producer, general manager, lawyer or other theater professional, we set that up for you. But you have to email and request it.

• All SPA members are eligible for one-time consultations (there can be multiple consultations). A one-on-one mentorship is available only when the PDMP Directors feel the SPA member has clarified a qualified need for a mentorship, and after program review.

• Occasional hands-on internships with theater professionals, as available.


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PDMP MASTER CLASS:  ONLY TRU Members that have completed the PDMP Basic Class may apply for the PDMP Master Class.  The Class will be comprised of no more than 10 participants.  The Program Directors will alternate in working with participants on individual projects they are developing.

Master Class participants will present their development plan at the last session to a panel of commercial producers.  One project will receive the Big Kahuna Award – a $500 financial stipend that can be used to further develop the Member’s project.

Master Class participants shall have the right but not the obligation to attend the PDMP Basic Panels at no additional cost. 


WHAT GRADUATES HAVE SAID:

"I wanted to reach out and thank you so much for being my mentors for the TRU 2015/2016 Master Class. I don't think I realized how much you taught me until I presented my business plan at the last session. It was the Master Class application that motivated me to commit to my very first project! Ten months later I've navigated from option agreements to hiring a director to staging a successful reading with four Tony-nominated actors! Having access to the caliber of theater professionals you brought us was invaluable. Having mentors to talk to and listen to in class, and forming relationships with my other theater mates has been invaluable....  I would recommend this program to anyone who wants to learn producing, because you learn by doing."~ Wendy Leopold

"Since joining TRU and participating in PDMP for four years, I have learned a great deal and seen movement in our organization. We have expanded our season to include three productions a year and theater camp in addition to our fundraiser.  We have built a website and are now in the process of producing a marketing 3 minute film about Polaris.  Finally, we have expanded our enrollment enough to keep us in business.  We are on our way. While it is true we haven't completely reached our goals and there is much work to be done still, it is also true that we have a path to achieve our goals.  We are in a very different place from where we were when you and I first met." ~LeCee Johnson, Polaris Productions

"Through TRU's commercial producer training program I was able to work on my first Broadway show as a producer, be mentored by a multi Tony awarded producer and work with a well known and highly respected dramaturge/creative consultant from MTC on my current musical project." ~Jayne Ackley Lynch

"As an actor/playwright I finally found a supportive program that not only helped me achieve my goals but taught me the business of the business.  Thanks to TRU, I now have a concrete knowledge of how the business of theater works and a supportive community to turn to when I need advice!" ~T. Cat Ford 

Faculty
  • DAVID ELLIOTT

    a partner in Perry Street Theatricals, won a Tony Award for his first Broadway show, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, which also won Drama Desk, Drama League, Critics Circle, Outer Critics Circle awards. He recently produced the Broadway production of Dames at Sea. Previously: My Life Is a Musical (which he found in the TRU Voices series) at the Bay Street Theatre, and Bedlam Theater Company's Hamlet and St Joan at 45 Bleecker. In 2011 he produced the Lend Me A Tenor The Musical in London's West End, which was nominated for the coveted Olivier Award. In New York he has also produced Here Lies Jenny starring Bebe Neuwirth, as well as Obie winning productions of In The Continuum and An Oak Tree.

  • 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. His most recent West End production was the Olivier nominated Lend Me A Tenor The Musical. On Broadway he is currently 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.

  • VAN DEAN

    is a Tony® Award winning and Grammy® nominated producer. His credits include The Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess (Tony® Award), Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella (Tony® nomination), Matilda (Tony® nomination), Evita (Tony® nomination), Gore Vidal’s The Best Man (Tony® nomination), Catch Me If You Can (Tony® nomination), The Velocity of AutumnBig FishBonnie & Clyde  and Chinglish. and the forthcoming new musical Anastasia and the recent off-Broadway production of You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown. He was also a producer of Master Class with Tyne Daly in London’s West End. Van is co-founder of The Broadway Consortium and Broadway Records. He co-produced Broadway For Orlando’s What The World Needs Now Is Love to raise funds for the GLBT Community Center of Central Florida, as well as From Broadway With Love: A Benefit Concert For Sandy Hook and From Broadway With Love: A Benefit Concert For Orlando.  Broadway Records has released more than 75 albums including the soundtracks for NBC's TV events The Wiz LIVE! and Peter Pan LIVE! and cast albums for shows such as Matilda (Grammy® nominated), The Color Purple revival with Jennifer Hudson, Fiddler on the Roof with Danny Burstein, Disaster!, Allegiance,  Side ShowThe VisitDoctor Zhivago and more; and he has executive produced solos albums from many notable Broadway artists. He was a lead producer of Off-Broadway’s ROOMS a rock romance (Outer Critics Circle and Helen Hayes Award nominations) as well as Saint Heaven and Alive In The World and was co-producer/production consultant of the Newtown, CT productions of Seussical The Musical, A ROCKIN’ Midsummer Night’s Dream, The 101 Dalmatians Musical, Liberty SmithThe Lion King Jr, The School of Rock: Youth Production and The Wizard of Oz. A member of The Broadway League, the Dramatist Guild, TRU; Chairman of the Theater Arts Committee of New Arts which is dedicated to healing through the arts and building a new performing arts center in Newtown, CT. www.BroadwayRecords.com

  • JANE DUBIN

    is a TONY Award-winning producer and the President of Double Play Connections, a theatrical production and management company committed to supporting emerging artists and playwrights in the creation and development of new works. Jane is a graduate of the Commercial Theatre Institute's 14-week (NYC) and O’Neill Center Intensive (CT) Producing Workshops and past Director of Theater Resources Unlimited’s Producer Development Program. Current: An American in Paris (4 TONY Awards), Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey (Westside Theater and on Tour). Upcoming: The Bandstand (Broadway) and Fingersmith (ART/Boston and Broadway). Previously: Peter and the Starcatcher (Broadway, Off-Broadway, National Tour), winner of 5 TONY Awards; Ann, starring Holland Taylor (Lincoln Center); The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (London); The 39 Steps (OB, Tour); The Norman Conquests (TONY Award, Best Play Revival), Groundswell (the New Group), Beebo Brinker Chronicles (2008 GLAAD Media Award for Theatre). Other: OPA! at TBG Theatre (Best Commercial Production, MITF 2008), Take Me America (Best Musical, MITF 2007), Count Down, (Bank Street Theatre) and the one-woman show that started it all, MentalPause by Margaret Liston. Ms. Dubin is a full member of the Broadway League. She is Vice-President of the Board of Directors of Houses on the Moon Theater Company and a Board member of the League of Professional Theatre Women. For two years she was co-curator of the Hudson Valley Writers’ Center New Play Reading Series. She co-produced Hudson River Rising, presenting events for One Billion Rising (V-Day) 2013 and 2014. She was a strategic consultant to SPACE on Ryder Farm, an artists’ residency in Brewster, NY and a member of the Grand Jury for NYMF’s 2015, 2016 and upcoming 2017 seasons.

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