TRU BEGINNINGS | Practical Playwriting: How to Write for Commercial Production
Description

What often holds playwrights back is that they rarely consider the person who will buy and produce their product: the producer.  With all the work, hope and sweat they invest in considering character, theme and plot, playwrights rarely take into account producibility.

Cost: $150, TRU Members save $25

This one-day intensive is led by Diana Amsterdam (The Dodgers, Fast Girls, Sex and Death, Carnival Round the Central Figure), TRU's Program Director for Playwrights. Past panelists have included commercial producer Patrick Blake(The 39 Steps, Bedlam Theater's Hamlet/St. Joan, The Exonerated, In the Continuum, Play Dead), marketing consultants Bob Ost and Gary Hughes who help writers capture the essence of their piece in an effective synopsis, and presentation coach Gillien Goll who will teach you how to present yourself successfully. The day ends with a panel of commercial producers who will offer feedback on writers' pitches as well as suggest appropriate markets for the works. Panelists have included producers Pat Addiss (Gigi, Vanya & Sonia & Masha & Spike, Love Letters revival, Promises, Promises, A Christmas Story, Buyer and Cellar, Dinner with the Boys), Margot Astrachan (Ghost the musical, A Gentleman's Guide..., Ghost the musical, The Realistic Joneses, Around the World in Eighty Days, On a Clear Day...), Patricia Klausner (Pippin, Stick Fly, The Scottsboro Boys, Trip to Bountiful) and Frank Zuback of Frank Zuback Productions.

• WHAT IS PRODUCIBILITY? The fact that producers always ask this question, and playwrights hardly ever do, causes a serious disconnect between the commercial producer and most playwrights.
• WRITING TO A MARKET - We will ask each playwright questions he or she has probably never considered before: Who is your market? Who is going to buy tickets? Who is this play written for?
• WRITING VIABLY - Creating writing that holds the attention of the audience with a strong storyline and defined events. This module will cover such primary writing elements as: arc, desire, motivation, conflict, and the clear delineation of theme.
• WRITING ECONOMICALLY - Number of characters, number of sets, extravagance of sets: all these are serious considerations for most commercial producers.  Does the play require a casting director, or can it be done successfully by seasoned unknowns?  Is there a  chorus of thirty that can be pared down to two?  Are you kidding yourself when you think one actor can play eight parts?

"I truly enjoyed the first part and gleaned a good deal of info I did not know - and a lot of practical suggestions that go not only with my play but with the other writing I do." - Mary Sheeran

"Yesterday reminded me why I should get to more TRU events. The feedback on my pitch was invaluable." - Joe Beck

Besides thanking you overall for the entire session yesterday, I wanted in particular to thank you for three things: 1) advising me to use a casting director...; 2) forcing me to think more deeply about what one of my main characters wanted; and 3) forcing me to move the desperation of my protagonist up closer to the beginning.... I am going to scrub through the entire script to better apply your precepts. ~Randy Hobler

Thanks for a fabulous, infomative and very practical day. Clearly, TRU is making a significant contribution to to theatre community in New York.~Richard MacDonald

I just wanted to thank you for all the tremendous information you gave on Saturday's seminar. I can't tell you how much I learned and how grateful I am to have had this opportunity. ~ Kathleen Kaan

Great workshop, full of significant realizations (like, I'm a lousy marketer), and delicious opportunities for growth. I have long resisted taking workshops, feeling they would consume my valuable writer's time, but I now see I badly need this input and exposure. ~Jean Hart

Events
  • May 14, 2016
    10:00 am - 5:30 pm
151 W. 46th St., 8th Floor, NYC, NY 10036
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Saturday May 14th, 10am to 5:30 pmThe Playroom Theater, 151 W. 46th St., 8th Floor What often holds playwrights back is that they rarely consider the person who will buy and produce their product: the producer.  With all the work, hope and sweat they invest in considering character, theme and plot, playwrights rarely take into […]

  • October 30, 2015
    7:00 am - 1:30 pm
Desotelle NuBox Theatre, 300 W. 43rd Street

Our curriculum and instructors are as follows: 11am-12:00 How to Write a Play that a Producer Wants to Produce – dramaturgical principles taught by Diana Amsterdam 12:00-12:30 How to Tackle the Business of Playwriting – taught by Diana AmsterdamGetting an agent, submitting work, the difference between nonprofit and commercial venues, unusual ways to get your work […]