TRU Beginnings | Writer-Producer Speed Date

Click here to download application.

ABOUT SPEED DATING. How does it work? 11 writers will arrive at 5:30, and we have three coaches coming who will coach the writers on their presentations. Then at 6:30, they go into the Pitch Room to meet the producers - one at each of the stations. We ring a bell, writers have two minutes to pitch. We ring a second bell, producers have two minutes to respond and ask questions, or give feedback. Writers bring a packet with a synopsis, bio, cast breakdown and production requirements to leave with each of the producers. If the project interests the producer, he may request that you send a full script.

Meanwhile, group two is in the Coaching Room getting coached for an hour starting at 6:30. Second group goes into the Pitch Room at 7:30. We estimate that pitches and turnaround should take about 50 minutes total for all eleven. We will have wine and cheese afterwards, so although the pitch sessions will end at around 8:20, we hope writers and producers will stay and chat informally until 9pm or so.

Yikes! Eleven writers pitching to eleven producers at one time? Think of it as the "cocktail party" pitch where you have to hold someone's interest with dozens of conversations going on around you. A little chaotic perhaps, but true to life.

WHAT YOU SHOULD BRING: A one-page (maximum) synopsis, a one-page writer/theater resume or bio, production history (including reviews), set and cast breakdown. You will need 22 sets, one for each of the producers. Make them nice - it's part of that all-important first impression.

ABOUT THE COACHES: we are bringing in two or three professional coaches to work with each writer on vocal technique, presentation skills and content. Scroll down for coaches, including Michael Ian Cedar, Gillien Goll, Grace Kiley, Debra Russell, Bailie Slevin and Joanne Zippel.

NOT EVERYONE WILL BE ACCEPTED. We will judge your application based on the viability of the project, your experience as a writer, prior development of the project and the specific interests of the participating producers. If accepted into the program, the cost is $65 for TRU members and $75 for non-members (and yes, you can always join as a member to qualify for the discount - we'd like that).

Evening limited to 22 writers. Click here for the application in Word format. 

Email application to


Last night's Writer-Producer Speed Date was a terrific experience. Thank you, coach Michael Ian Cedar and all of the producers who gave their time and expertise. -Doug DeVita (March '16)

Thanks so much for all your advice and thoughts on my pitch. It was incredibly helpful!... Thanks so much again for all your help and for putting together an awesome speed date. It was a huge success and I felt so lucky to be a part of it! -Danielle Trzcinski (March '16)

I wanted to reach out and thank you for including me on the Producer Speed Date. Since I was a participant, I've been contacted by two producers who have expressed interest in my pitch. Both have read my script and one is definitely looking for further development! One is Broadway and the other TV/Film so that's exciting that it reached such wide appeal with industry leaders. I've had so many peers ask me about the event so I'll be passing along the next Producer Speed Date information when the next one comes up so they can apply. I really am so thankful for such a grand opportunity to meet and have my work reviewed by top notch professionals. ~Jen Lyon (October '16)
I brought my play Adam Then to a TRU writer/director speed date with uncertain expectations. The play was hard to pitch, with a large cast and demanding production values. Before the speed date even happened, the TRU team helped me craft a logline and pitch document that crystallized the play's plot and theme and, at the speed date, caught the attention of a producer. With his advocacy and support, my director and I organized a developmental staged reaching at The Drama League, for which TRU served as fiscal sponsor. I doubt we ever would have gotten this far without TRU!
~Terry Milner (March '16)

Great event last night. It was so very helpful.... I am finally able to do an elevator pitch that I'm proud of. And for that, it was worth twice as much....  As a new member of TRU, I for one appreciate what it is you're doing for the greater theatre community here in the city.
-Lenore Skomal

Amazing experience. Bailie great at pulling the essence out of the story and guiding us to speak it as humans not read like  robots. The producers asked very incisive questions or gave helpful suggestions.... Thanks for giving us all a chance to meet people whose assistants might not even forward our queries and a challenging workout to help scribblers, mutterers and meanderers become professionals who talk. -Tita Anntares (March '16)



    Producing teams of: Arthur Live - The Tour, She Loves You Beatles Tribute, NYMF: The Cure (2009) and Pandora's Box (2010) featuring Kerry Butler and Deidre Goodwin. He was on the company management team for the national bus and truck tours ofFiddler on the Roof, Thoroughly Modern Millie, and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolored Dreamcoat. Michael is the Associate producer of StarQuest International, a 65 city dance competition tour that hosts over 30,000 young dancers per-season. He is the leader of the StarQuest concierge sales teams resulting in revenues exceeding 6 million dollar annually. Michael is founder of Ask Yourself Productions and hosts "Culture Soup" seminars in which he shares with people how to increase closing rates and brand awareness through remarkable relationships. Michael is also a coach at Michael's blog passionately covers the topics of productivity, corporate culture, and legacy in the entertainment field.


    is the Producing Associate at Ask Yourself Productions, a boutique producing office specializing in creating inspirational events and content and loyalty-based sales. Their primary client is StarQuest International, a 65-city dance competition tour that hosts more than 30,000 young dancers each season. As StarQuest's head concierge, she leads a sales team of nine concierges who create remarkable relationships with arts institutions across the country, resulting in revenues exceeding $6 million per year. She serves as vice president of the board of directors of the Gay Geeks of NY, LLC, where she manages logistics for more than 30 events annually. She also has ten years’ experience as a stage manager both regionally and in New York, including two years as Production Stage Manager at TADA! Youth Theater in NYC.


    is both an acting teacher & acting coach.  As a teacher, she can help you connect emotionally & truthfully to your role. As a coach, she can guide you to an audition that is truly exceptional and unique to showcasing your strengths and talents. With an additional background in coaching presentation techniques, she can help you overcome stage fright and nerves. As a produced playwright and TV & Film Story Editor (for Emmy winning producer Linda Yellen), she is adept at cutting & pasting dialogue together to create original monologues. She has taught courses in monologues, acting technique, scene study, voiceover, & on-camera acting, and has taught and/or lectured  at Fordham University, AMDA (where she has been teaching since 2001), The Centaur Stage (at which she is Artistic Director), Barnard College, Wellesley College, and for ACTRA (the Canadian Actors Union), among others. She has also been an on set coach and cast a PBS movie. Having worked as a Casting Assistant for TV pilots and as a director (M.A. in Directing), she has been on the other side of the audition process and has a clear idea of what does and doesn’t work.  (She has watched literally thousands of hours of acting presentations at AMDA over the years!) Her clients appear in every medium: Broadway, films, TV shows, soap operas, commercials, first national tours, etc. An actor herself, she has appeared in film, television, and on stage; check out her website at 


    SAG-AFTRA, AEA, MHC, coaches and directs for film and stage. She teaches privately at Grace Kiley Acting in NYC, NYU Kanbar Film & TV, Trinity La Mama, and other programs including Stella Adler Studio and Stonestreet Studios. She is Artistic Director for Kiley Ensemble and directed the recent sold out show, Time Stands Still. Her award winning solo play Grace Kelly Longing for Grace (playwright and performer) directed by Austin Pendleton, has performed internationally. She specializes in developing original material with actors and writers. Grace trained with Uta Hagen at HB Studio.


    Coach for the Professionally Creative and the Creative Professional - with a decade of personal experience in theater, film and television, Debra Russell is the founder of Artist’s EDGE,, a Certified Business Coach since 2001 and a Master NLP and Hypnosis Practitioner. She uses her broad business knowledge plus her ability to facilitate change and growth with professionals in the Performing Arts (including the music business, theater, film & TV, dance, and writers), helping professionals shape their success in their chosen field. In addition to working with private clients, Debra has designed and delivered several innovative programs in the US, Europe and Australia for entertainment industry organizations and trade conferences such as SXSW Interactive and Western Arts Alliance, as well as Universities and private organizations.


    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 to learn more and start “adulting”!


    is a collaborator and communicator who has an extensive network of relationships in both the creative and corporate worlds. She has over 25 years of experience as an entrepreneur, working in theatre and live event production, promotion, sponsorship, B2B and B2C sales and marketing, creative development, literary management and creative coaching in the entertainment business. Joanne ‘s creative coaching business evolved out of her work as a manager of playwrights and screenwriters --guiding their careers and helping them to pursue their passions in what is well known as an often difficult, changeable and sometimes arbitrary business. Through her company Zip Creative, she works with clients helping them to open themselves up to their creative capacity, build a solid foundation from which to make authentic work and life decisions and take practical action on them. For more information go to Joanne graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and did graduate work at NYU's Gallatin School of Individualized Study. She is a graduate of the Hoffman Institute.

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The Art of the Pitch

Pitch your work to a roomful of serious producers … 
TRU Writer-Producer Speed Date 
(The Art of the Pitch)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? Here’s a chance to practice your pitching with real producers who are […]