What People Say About TRU

PANEL: The Impact of the Election on the Arts

Thanks for another really interesting panel last night! I think there were more questions than answers, because who knows how to deal with this? I come from the place of Resistance, because I don't have much hope in directly changing anyone's mind at this point. But it seems that large cultural shifts tend to happen by aggregate, so hopefully whatever anyone does to add their drop to the bucket will help. I have an idea for what I'm going to do, as an artist... ~Blue Bliss

Great talk last night. Thank you for organizing that. ~Kacie Devaney

BOOT CAMP: RAISING MONEY FOR THEATER

Thank you for the TRU Boot Camp today on raising money for theatre.  I learned something from every single presenter, and have 12 pages of outlined notes to prove it.  Although I've been in theatre too long to count - as playwright, as a Regional Rep for the Dramatists Guild, as Producing Director for the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival, as educator to my amazing playwriting grad students, as Festival Director for the Warner International Playwrights Festival, as general supporter and cheerleader for fellow dramatists and theatre artists - this was my first connection with TRU.  When I got home tonight, I spent time on your web-site and I'm applauding in my living room ... and although my dog is used to this, she still looks at me funny when I burst into applause.  I've joined, happily so, and very much look forward to being a member of TRU. ~Charlene Donaghy
 
The TRU $ Bootcamp was an amazing non-stop exposure to fascinating, accomplished theater creators! Kudos for finding, recruiting, scheduling, organizing so many amazing panelists and speakers and designing an 8 hour continuous show with one intermission!! ~Tita Anntares

TRU VOICES MUSICALS

Five years ago, I pitched in as an associate producer on a TRU Voices Musical Series staged reading, and, after several entries, I finally was selected as a winning writer, not producer. TRU was such a benefit to our production. We had to really up our game from our prior reading of Act 1. Glad we were able to rise to the challenge. The panel was terrific. They suggested avenues such as Branson and Vegas that had never crossed my mind. ~R.C. Staab, writer (Dumb Luck)

I am a friend of Chris Reza [writer of Question 1] and I really just came to support his reading but I was very happy I stayed for the talk after.  It was very informative, and I think you do a great job of getting your panel to stay on target with the point of the talk, as well as reiterating what others are saying to make sure the point is heard. ~Ryan Michael Hartman

Thank you so much for all of your hard work that went into making Question 1's presentation last night a huge success!  From the bottom of my heart, thank you for making this dream become a reality.  This is just the beginning of Question 1 and I really can't wait to see where it goes! ~Jesse B. Langston

I attended the reading a couple nights ago of Question 1. Thank you for your dedication to nurturing new producers and writers! I love your mission behind TRU. ~Dennis Corsi 

PANEL: A Year in the Life of a Producer

Thank you so much!! I had a wonderful time at A Year in the life of a Producer!! I learned so much and
I really enjoyed meeting everyone! ~Meredith Hornick

TRU LOVE BENEFIT: Embracing the Unlimited

The TRU organization did an incredible job making the event such a special celebration and I was honored to be awarded - I am truly in awe of all that Jeff Whiting, Bailie Slevin, Bob Ost and everyone on their team do to make this organization a pillar within the producing community. Go check them out and be a part of what they do! ~honoree Jennifer Ashley Tepper, recipient of the TRU Entrepreneur Award

I just wanted to say thanks so much again for a wonderful evening and congratulations on an incredibly successful night! The TRU community and program are incredibly special and I'm so happy to be a part of it! ~Danielle Trzcinski

Congrats on a spectacular and well choreographed event. ~Courtney Sweeting

THANK YOU for creating the space & the events & the work around the America that I understand and support. It's complete whiplash between Sunday night [gala] and this morning [after election], but that evening of diversity is going to be the mental totem that I will carry with me into the future. So many stories to witness & to still keep telling!! ~Tammy Rose


GENERAL

"I have met and worked with many 'kids' that have gone through at least one, if not more of your workshops. They ALL speak so highly of them and what they learned about the business and themselves. I believe what you are doing is valuable and needed for the next generation moving to the city and entering this business we call 'Show.' Keep up the good work and know that what you are doing is paying off with quality people, that are excited and embracing whatever life has to bring them." ~ Sam Viverito

"Now that I have completed my first year at TRU, I wanted to thank you for all that you have done to make this a great year for me! The panels and the networking equal new relationships and new knowledge and all and all a powerful year. I thank you for each and every time I had a question or a request that was answered graciously and thoroughly – I know you must get a number of inquiries each day, but you made it seem like mine was the only one and no trouble at all. 

And most recently, thank you for [talking] a somewhat "wobbly" producer through her first moments of making the producing dream a reality through the Dream Up Festival.  That afternoon was invaluable; all the information generously shared!  You didn't know it, but I walked out of your apartment zinging.  Thank you again for a bountiful experience." ~Denise Gray
 
My daughter Ava and I just wanted to reach out and thank you for your page truonline.org/links/  Ava's going into the 5th grade, and her new teacher gave her an assignment to write an in-depth reflection paper on something she learned over the summer.... Ava decided to write her paper on the theatre. We started researching over the weekend and found your page - your theater resources have been so helpful to her I wanted to reach out and personally thank you. I haven't seen her this invested in her school work in a long time! ~Sara (and Ava) Barnes
 
WRITER-PRODUCER SPEED DATE
 
I hope you are doing well.  Thank you again for inviting Into the Sun to participate in the TRU SpeedDate several years ago.  It launched a development process that led to the 2015 NYMF presentations and beyond.  I am writing to let you know that Into the Sun will be performed again in the NYC area – four staged readings at Montclair State University on April 6, 7, 8, and 9. ~Michael Gubser
 
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)

It was an incredible experience to be a trailing producer. I met so many talented people in the industry and learned so much about the field I want to go into and how to pitch as well. ~Natalie Lifson (October '16)

Just wanted to say  "thanks"  for the speed date event. The evening was rewarding and a great learning experience. I felt well-prepared and appreciated the materials you sent prior to the evening. Also, Gillien was a great coach and that hour proved to be quite beneficial to my eventual pitch. The producers were receptive, friendly and most were helpful. ~Sam Affoumado (March '16)

Thanks for a terrific experience last night at the writer-producer speed date. I learned so much from the experience and think I made some good contacts. ~Terry Milner (March '16)

What a thrilling night yesterday! Thanks so much from such a tremendous opportunity. Everyone was so nice, and it felt very nurturing and supportive. Plus I got great feedback! ~Amy Oestreicher (March '16)

Last night's Writer/Producer Speed Date, sponsored by Theater Resources Unlimited (TRU), was a terrific experience. Thank you, Bob Ost, Gary Hughes, Michael Ian Cedar and all of the producers who gave their time and expertise. ~Doug DeVita (March '16)

Thanks again for such a great opportunity. ~Nathan Yungerberg (March '16)

Great event last night. It was so very helpful. And regardless of what, if anything comes of it, I am finally able to do an elevator pitch that I'm proud of. And for that, it was worth twice as much. I can only imagine how much planning and coordinating went into pulling the event off. It was clearly the yeoman's task. Please know, 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.   You have my gratitude, and my husband's (Rick, the observer). ~Lenore Skomal

Thank you again for the opportunity to pitch my play on Sunday. The program really did help me to feel more at ease with talking about the play, and I've since started an enthusiastic round of submissions. It was also great to meet the other writers. ~Rachel Mann

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 pitching felt  visceral , physical. In real life I'd never start talking without asking some questions about the producer's current interests then tailoring or even saying this ain't for you and not pitching. But suddenly I have to just be there with my attempt to capture something about life that would gather audiences. Yikes. Just go for it. The producers were very gracious listeners - even ones with bios that make my  concept only right for their circular file. And some listen so well with their eyes that they make our flailing attempts seem important .. So I almost wanted to stop talking and find their couch for the art of life. Forget the life in art !

Kidding aside, the producers asked very incisive questions or gave helpful suggestions, even a better title to add to the 4 I've tried. 

Thanks to you and Gary 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. ~T. Anntares

WRITER-DIRECTOR COMMUNICATIONS LAB

"This was a tremendously helpful workshop!  I was watching the conversations as a playwright, to learn about communication, but also as a teacher, to help my playwrights be better playwrights.  This work that you are doing is invaluable!  Your experience as a producer and a playwright and the fact that you brought other producers into the room really brought in a broader perspective that kept things very real and made the stakes feel enormously high.  I loved meeting everyone, especially Paul who I really felt got the play – thank you!  You said there was someone else who wanted the play, and you had to make an executive decision, and, it seems to me, you made the right one.  And that is one of the producers biggest tasks, right?  To bring the right people into the room?" ~Emma Goldman Sherman, writer (Whorticulture)
 
"Thanks again for the amazing lab last weekend. Being new to the world of theater, I didn't figure out until I got home the  genius of your lab.  We actually got to witness how a writer - a director - and a team of producers all interact and communicate (or fail to communicate) in real time. The stakeholders unique perspectives and biases are all on display - for us to learn from.  Genius!!" ~Steve Anderson, writer (Joan and Nancy
 
"A quick note of thanks for yesterday's lab. There really is no substitute for being "in the room" with collaborators and the fact that you are able to create this atmosphere with working professionals who are in the trenches and can speak to what's real says a lot about the good and relevant work you're doing with your organization. Kudos." ~Ben Gonshor, writer (When Blood Ran Red)

"Great experience. I learned so many things I didn’t know I didn’t know - on an artistic, professional AND personal level." ~Gwyn McAllister, writer (The Green Rose)

"I came away with such valuable skills and it was definitely a wonderful learning experience. You always pick the most amazing people for these events! Looking forward to hearing what the next wonderful event you have going on is.  By the way, I recommend TRU to anyone I can get my hands on because I've just learned so much since I started going." ~Amy Oestreicher, writer (Imprints)
 
"I found it helpful and illuminating in a number of ways. Coming shortly after my first experience of selecting a director for the production of my BETWEEN MEN at the MITF summer festival, it made me aware of the necessity of a lengthy and focussed discussion before any commitments are made. To be honest I didn't know exactly what to expect. It was, therefore, useful both to talk through the issues raised by my own play with a Director like Cate and to observe other couples going through the process of discovering whether they could work together or not. It was also moving to witness unexpected dramatic moments in the course of the day. And finally the presence of two such knowledgeable and successful Broadway producers as Ken and Margot commenting freely on the proceedings was a huge bonus." ~Dennis Porter, writer (As a Bird Dies)

"The lab is fascinating, and I found not just my time, but watching the other teams very valuable." ~Richard Riskin, director

INVESTOR LAB (Recognizing Commercial Potential)

"Thanks so much for opportunity to attend the TRU Investors Lab! I learned so much (and took many notes)! Your panel was generous with their information and insights. As you know, I’m mainly a writer (musicals and plays) , but art, especially a collaborative art like theater, does not exist in a vacuum. It’s important understand the perspective of successful producers, investors, and our attorney and panel chair Eric Goldman. So, many thanks to TRU and you!" ~Sue Horowitz

PANEL: Marketing Mavericks

"Marketing Mavericks was a five star workshop. It was so helpful and informative. I "TRUly" appreciate you putting it together." ~Jessica Feder-Birnbaum

HOW TO WRITE A MUSICAL THAT WORKS

"Yesterday's program at NOLA Studios was exactly what I needed and didn't know it.  Just listening to what was being said/the information garnered was priceless." ~Wraggs Wall

"Just wanted to thank you all once again for convening the [Reckoning and] Resolutions workshop on Saturday. It's a huge amount of work to coordinate something like that and it was much appreciated. I met a few folks I hope to stay in touch with, and most important, the experience was VERY useful to me on a creative level." ~Liz Schiller, writer

"Thank you for hosting such a helpful event.  Between you, Cate and the panel there was a lot of wisdom , valuable input and considered judgment.  I believe suggestions I received can be incorporated in straightforward fashion to strengthen the finale so thanks once again." ~Don Nolan, writer

PANEL: Theater & Community

"I really enjoyed the panel last night.  I learned so much!  You are doing great work – I know it is hard to plan these events, but you do a great job.  I always leave with so much inspiration to keep going with my theatre company." ~Caroline Hann, Meta Theatre

"Thanks for a great evening; I learned a lot and was inspired to pursue my own path!" ~Eve Lederman

PRACTICAL PLAYWRITING

"Thanks for the Practical Playwriting workshop! This was my second year attending, this time with my second play. Maybe because I've learned a lot this year through TRU panels and an online writing course, I got even more value this year. Maybe I just needed the first workshop to get full value the second time around. 

This workshop was filled with Diana Amsterdam's deep  guidance for structuring a play good enough for producers to want to invest time and money, Patrick Blake's real-world strategies for connecting with producers who are already inundated with scripts, and Gillien Goll's ability to prepare us emotionally and spiritually as well as pragmatically to speak about our stories not as robots but as human beings producers want to listen to. 

Last thing I wanted to do on a sunny Saturday in May... but every minute resonated with value! I thought the play I was pitching had a very limited audience, but the insightful questions from the panel of producers - Pat Addiss, RK Greene, Robin Rothstein and Lorenzo Thione - helped me re-think the essence and ways to revise it more dynamically and for a wider audience." ~T. Anntares

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

"Great workshop, today as always. Wonderful panel and terrific presenters. I learned so much in such a short space of time."~Pat Lin

WEEKEND INTENSIVE FOR SHOWCASE PRODUCING

I just wanted to say again how wonderful TRU is. I just took the 2nd boot camp after joining 3 months ago. I was out of the business for nearly 10 years and felt so lost coming back to my roots of theatre. I missed the theatre arts and artists and tried different groups but nothing resonated for me. Groups were either unfriendly or not as educational as i would have liked. TRU is "tru"ly spectacular! Not only am I amazed how much I've learned but how organized you are and most importantly how genuinely NICE you, the board, the guests and the other "students" are. So professional and open to everyone. It makes me feel like I belong in theater again and you should be so proud of what you have shared and accomplished for so many in such a diplomatic, kind and encouraging and inspirational way. I wish I would have found you and TRU twenty years ago. You've made me believe in myself again in others again and in theater again! Thank you so much! You are awesome. ~Antonia Kasper

AUDITION EVENT: INDUSTRY AUDITORS

I wanted to thank you for the professional way in which the sessions were held this past weekend. Everyone did an outstanding job and all of your -- and their --efforts were genuinely appreciated. ~Bob Kale, casting director, '16

Thank you so much for the best TRU event yet! I always meet some wonderful colleagues and talent! Great networking and thank you for all the special touches this year including the wrap party!! Appreciate it all! Your welcoming staff are especially assets! ~Helene Galek, casting director, '16

I am always so happy when we get to put actors to work and think it is great that 3 of them are from the recent TRU audition: Loren Bidner, Leighton Samuels and Reginald James Albert. And pleased that they will get a stipend - that always feels good!  I hope getting called so quickly after the audition will validate their efforts at the TRU audition! ~Cheri Wicks, American Bard Theater Company, '16

I just wanted to let you know that we reached out to 13 actors whom we heard audition at the TRU auditions last month--asking them to tryout for BLUFF next month. And, one actor whom I was told about from a woman sat behind us at the last seminar and reached out to us after the 'introduce yourself' part of your program. So all in all, TRU has given us plenty of leads on possible actors for the show.  ~Lenore Skomal, '16

Our participation on the TRU Auditions has been well worth it.

1.  We have sent out a number of paid castings to the actors.  In fact, they will be receiving two today -- including a Morgan Stanley one and one tomorrow for Zagat.  The Shakespeare casting is next to work on.

2.  Some of the actors have benefited to be part of our free Friday Lunch Bunches and have met a good agent, manager or casting director, including some that also attended the TRU Auditions.  Representation and/or jobs have resulted from their attendance.  A good meal was served, courtesy of me.

BTW, those industry at the Lunch Bunch that also attended the TRU Auditions highly recommended to the actors attending who haven't gone yet, to definitely do so.  I seconded the motion. ~Scott Powers Casting

I had call-backs for three actors which I believe were all through TRU: Jaime Olaya, Randy Cordero and Chris Ogden. Chris got the fabulous role of a young street hustler and the play has been accepted into the Fringe Festival this August.  ~Shela Xoregos, Xoregos Performing Artists

AUDITION EVENT: ACTORS

I had the pleasure of attending a TRU Q&A and also auditioning at the TRU audition event this last Spring in NYC. I am so thankful for the whole experience as it was so positive and truly changed my life. ~Colleen Campbell, 2016

I'm sending you an endless amount of "thank you's" for including me for the TRU Audition Event. This experience has been very rewarding. I've learned more about the industry, and was given the privilege of getting to know you all throughout the process. Thank you for the opportunity to help make the event happen! Thank you to the entire TRU Staff for an amazing event. ~Emilie Byron, 2016 

I just am taking the time to say Thank You, to you and the TRU team. I felt really good being there today, for the audition, the great people I met, and the great atmosphere that you and the team set up. Again, thank you. ~ Florence Regina, 2016

I just wanted to tell you what a wonderful event this past Saturday's auditions were. You and your staff are so professional and kind and organized! ~Cara Feuer, 2016

Grace Vanderwaal auditioned and had received some interest but she was unable to follow through due to her school commitments at that time. Now she is in the semi finals for America's Got Talent with over a million hits on youtube. Her experience of auditioning for TRU producers helped her get ready for her numerous other auditions ... and national TV! ~Scarlett Antonia, 2016

We would like to extend a huge Thank You to all the event staff today. Everyone was super warm, friendly and welcoming. Every step was explained in great detail and was perfectly coordinated and executed. My daughter, Elizabeth Neftin, and the other participants in her group (all children), were unbelievably well prepped and supported every step of the way. Thank you so much for making this audition event fun and stress-free for all the participants!!!  It was Elizabeth's first professional audition (she is only 9 years old 🙂 and she had such a fun time, she can't wait to come back next year :)! We would like to also thank all the auditors who participated today!!! They were super receptive and patient with our Elizabeth and everyone who auditioned.  ~Ann Neftin, 2016 

Received another audition notice from the TRU auditions-from The Players Theatre Short Play and Music Festival.  Nice to still have the momentum from the auditions.  It really is a great opportunity and I'm so glad to have participated. ~Betsy Feldman, 2016

I wish all similar events were as well organized and executed as this was.  I was able to focus on doing my best ITR and not distracted by logistics. Great job. ~Joe Harkins, 2016

I would like to say that this was my first TRU theatre audition event and I was very happy with the whole process. From start to finish it was very well organized and informative. As soon as you get accepted you are given very specific guidelines to help give the best performance you can give. With all the information all your questions have already been answered. It was certainly a great opportunity to show and perform you're talent. The staff was very friendly and focused, gave clear instructions on where to go and when to do it. I never felt rushed to do something or overwhelmed. A lot of the staff engaged the participants in conversations while handling each and every headshot with care. I was very, very, very happy with all the direction and organization and friendliness that was within the room. Certainly a very peaceful and happy place to be, I certainly would attend again. Thank you very much for you're time and hard work! ~Reginald James Albert III, 2016

WEBSITE
I hadn't visited TRU's website in a while and just looked at it today in the process of recommending TRU to a playwright I know.  Love the update.  It looks great! ~Elaine Smith