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Event Details
  • Communications Lab (writers must be accepted before purchasing a spot)
    April 13, 2019
    10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Details Price Qty
Non Member fee (director) $85.00 (USD)  
TRU member fee (director) $75.00 (USD)  
Non member fee (writer) $85.00 (USD)   Goes On Sale
April 3, 2019
TRU member fee (writer) $75.00 (USD)   Goes On Sale
April 3, 2019
Collaborator (writer team) $30.00 (USD)   Goes On Sale
April 3, 2019

Writer-Director Communications Lab 2019

Saturday, April 13th, 2019
10am to 6pm
Shetler Studios, 244 W. 54th Street, PH1

This is an amazing opportunity for directors and writers to meet, and hone their ability to talk productively with each other! We are honored that feedback will be given by commercial producers Jennifer Manocherian (Meteor Shower, Dead Accounts, Nice Work If You Can Get It, The Mountaintop, War Horse, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, August: Osage County) and Ric Wanetik producer (Tony nominated Twilight Los Angeles: 1992, Broadway’s Marlene, Off-Broadway’s Jolson and Company) and senior advisor for America to the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC); and entertainment attorney/mediator Eric Goldman. TRU executive director Bob Ost will facilitate the day.

Writers, use this form to submit: DIRECTOR-WRITERLab-writer-app - deadline for writer submissions is Wednesday April 3rd. Email to TRUStaff1@gmail.com with "Writer Lab Submission" in your subject line.

Directors may send an email to TRUnltd@aol.com to inquire about availability, and include your resume. Right now 5 director slots are filled. And we welcome observers to come a watch the workshop interactions. 


One of the most important - and most sensitive - relationships in theater is that between playwright and director. In some ways, the entire success of a show can hinge on the shared understanding,  trust and mutual respect between these two artists. The director and the writer need to see the show with the same eyes, otherwise their collaboration won't work.  This is important to establish in the initial meetings.

TRU has created a new, experimental program that will train theater artists in the crucial skills of communication. It is led by commercial producers, since the producer is generally the real-world mediator in writer-director disagreements, and has the better overview of a production.

In this Lab we will team up to ten directors with up to ten writers prior to the Lab itself. OBSERVERS ARE ALSO WELCOME TO COME WATCH AND LEARN, LIMITED SPACE AVAILABLE. Playwrights will email us a synopsis, pitch and production history, plus 5-10 sample pages of a script; directors will select a project that interests them from those submitted, request and read the script and prepare for a preliminary director-writer discussion about the play. We will watch and guide that discussion in the Lab. You will:

• Discover your personal communication style
• Learn to identify the style of the person you are with, and adjust to it for maximum mutual understanding
• Explore non-threatening ways of discussing text, communicating and listening
• Identify your domain of authority, and determine protocols

Confirmed directors: Cate Cammarata, Dennis Corsi (2-time Fresh Fruit Festival winner Best Production for Phillie Trilogy and The Fierce Urgency of Now, Off-Bway Alliance Award for Ragtag Cinderella, Winterfest Best Director for Nell Dash), Miriam Eusebio, Stephen Lloyd Helper (assistant to Jerome Robbins for Fiddler revival, creator of Smokey Joe's Café), Anthony Inneo, Katherine Ray, James A. Rocco (former AD of Ordway Theatre), Laurie Rae Waugh. 

COST (writers and directors):
$85 non-members 
$75 TRU members 


TESTIMONIALS:

I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for orchestrating the Director/Writer Communication workshop (which is clearly quite a feat!) and your wonderfully wise thoughts on every interaction.  I was very impressed with the caliber and generosity of the panel and I thought they brought excellent points to each discussion.  I appreciated how clear eyed you were on each interaction.  I am tempted to ask if you have a methodology for how you listen to these discussions, but I suspect that years of experience is the primary method. It was an excellent workshop - it is just great to be around people who love theater as much as I do and are working super hard.  Bliss! ~Noel MacDuffie, director-choreographer, '18

I want to thank you for the director/writer workshop last week. I am now directing a 25 minute excerpt of Look For Me in the upcoming New York New Work Theater Festival! Thanks!  ~Miriam Eusebio, director, '18

Great workshop! Wonderful people participating, both deeply knowledgeable panelists, and generous directors. I will continue to talk up your programs as well as attend as many as I can. My best to you and your true passion, the arts and theater. ~Ina Chadwick, '18

I found it helpful and illuminating in a number of ways. Coming shortly after my first experience of selecting a director, it made me aware of the necessity of a lengthy and focussed discussion before any commitments are made. It was useful both to talk through the issues raised by my own play with a director like Cate [Cammarata] 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 [Waissman] and Margot [Astrachan] commenting freely on the proceedings was a huge bonus. ~ Dennis Porter, playwright

One of the things that I find invaluable about the TRU Director/Writer Communications Lab is the opportunity to see my fellow directors in action. We don't very often talk about "our method," so being able to observe another director meet a particular challenge or negotiate with a writer is special indeed. I walked away with many new ideas I'll use – and even a few things I plan to avoid. ~Brent Buell, director

I got a lot out of it and it was great to meet such wonderfully supportive people. I especially enjoyed meeting and talking to Claude [Brickell, my Lab director], and I thought he made a tremendous effort to support me. ~ Damon Chua, writer

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

You created a wonderful space for us writers. And, personally, it could have not gone better for me and the relationship I hope to have started with [my Lab director]. He gets my words written on paper and that's fantastic. ~ Jonathan Citron, writer

What a fabulous Lab that was! No drama - everyone seemed to match up so perfectly! I know I did. I'm eager to continue my conversations with [my writer] - we really hit it off and she's fantastic. ~Cate Cammarata, director

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

Directors
  • CATE CAMMARATA

    is a producer, director, freelance dramaturg and writer in NYC and is the Associate Artistic Director for Rhymes Over Beats Hip Hop Theater Collective. Cate has produced The Assignment off-Broadway and My Father's Daughter with Ursula Rucker at LaMaMa for Rhymes Over Beats. Regionally she produced My Life Is a Musical at Bay Street Theater and has directed many readings of new work in NYC. She is the Literary Manager for Theater Resources Unlimited (TRU) and holds a BFA in Acting/Directing from Syracuse University and an MFA in Dramaturgy at SUNY Stony Brook, where she teaches Theatre Arts. Her latest book, "Contemporary Monologues for a New Theater," has just been published by Applause Books. catecammarata.com

  • MIRIAM EUSEBIO

    is a director and sometime actor in NY.  Miriam’s directing work includes the acclaimed Truth Values: One Girl’s Romp Through MIT’s Male Math Maze written and performed by Gioia De Cari, touring since 2009, and Happy Days by Samuel Beckett at WOW Café Theatre.  Work in classic theater includes Pericles, Taming of The Shrew, and Midsummer Night’s Dream as well as Oedipus at Colonus by Sophocles.  With young people; The Twelve Huntsmen by Briandaniel Ogelsby, Escape From Happiness by George Walker, several works by Thornton Wilder and Handsel and Gretel the opera by Engelbert Humperdink.  As staged readings she had directed include Illegal Helpers by Maxi Obexer with Voyage Theater, and The Mysteries of Monet Berzoff by Sharon Jane Smith at Wow Cafe Theater. Her directing work has been seen at Dixon Place, New Jersey Repertory Company, Wow Cafe Theater and she is collaborating with Jennifer Joy on her one woman play The Chaos Theory of Now. Acting credits include Suzanna in Murder of Crows by Mac Wellman, Banana in Asshole Differential by Moira Cutler and Dromio of Syracuse in Shakespeare’s Comedy of Errors, and she sang in the band for The Kandake Dance Theatre for Social Change’s 1001 Nights: Love Stories from Death Row.  Miriam also sings with The Glass Menagerie chorus which will be part of the Mile Long Opera by David Lang this coming October 2018. She in a member of the Lincoln Center Director’s Lab, Wow Cafe Theater and an associate member of SD
  • STEPHEN LLOYD HELPER

    A graduate of Yale in Directing and Playwriting, Steve began his career apprenticing with the best: Jerome Robbins, Arthur Laurents, Ruth Mitchell and Richard Maltby, Jr. For Jerry, Steve directed a Broadway revival of Fiddler on the Roof that was nominated for the Best Revival Tony Award. Steve was also a conceiver of the hit musical revue, Smokey Joe's Café. Spending a great deal of his working life in Sydney, he directed numerous productions at the Sydney Opera House and in the best arts centers throughout Australia. Adept at both plays and musicals, his production of the play Syncopation by Allan Knee toured 40 theaters around Australia and remains the most successful original touring play in that country. Other credits include: Follies in Concert (Sydney Opera House with Sydney Symphony Orchestra), Love Letters, Simply Weill – A Kurt Weill Cabaret, Agnes of God, Marry Me a Little. Original musicals: What the World Needs Now the songs of Bacharach and David, Café Rebetika!, Lola Montez, The New Black and his own play A Sign of the Times. Currently, Stephen is working with New York playwright David Simpatico on a production of his play Waiting for the Ball to Drop starring Mario Cantone.

  • KATHERINE RAY

    is a visual artist equally at home in broadcast, film genres as well as theatre. 15 years experience as a director of photography and camera operator, as well as technical line producer and production manager.  She brings her knowledge of video and tech to her directing, creating visual compelling stories.  She is trained in Frantic Assembly methods and improv, challenged by working in drama, comedy, musicals and political theatre. In the end it’s all about telling the story, and collaborating with actors to bring text to life. Recent regional credits include An Act Of God (CT premier), Spring Awakening, Fences (CT critics best of the year award winner), Peter and the Starcatcher, Bingo the Final Bloodsport, Avenue Q, Assassins, The 39 Steps, Glengarry Glen Ross, American Idiot, The Green Car (workshop), It Takes a New Aged Village (Manhattan Rep Theater). Co- producing artistic director for Planet Connections Theatre Festival 2011-2014. She is a member of The League Of Professional Theatre Women and the SDC. 
  • JAMES A. ROCCO

    was the VP of Programming and Producing Artistic Director at Ordway Center for the Performing Arts from 2005-2017.  At the Ordway, Mr. Rocco presented and booked the Best of touring Broadway with productions like August, Osage County, An American In Paris, Kinky Boots, Les Misérables and more.  He produced and/or co-produced award-winning shows like In the Heights, Love, Janis, Cabaret, West Side Story, White Christmas, Joseph..., Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, Jesus Christ Superstar and Grey Gardens. As the Ordway representative for the Independent Producer’s Network, he was a producing partner and investor in Fun Home, Something’s Rotten, Legally Blonde, The Color Purple, Monty Python’s Spamalot and others, as well as serving on the IPN’s Governance Committee. James is currently a member of The Broadway League and the National Alliance for Musical Theatre.  Along with partner, Jeffrey P. Scott, he is a co-founder of Thirty Saints Productions which created and produced The Ordway’s award-winning Series: The Broadway Songbook ®.  Together with Broadway Asia, Thirty Saints toured Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat ®  to Japan.  Last season, Thirty Saints led the artistic team for the US Air Force’s 9/11 tribute video, There Are No Words, seen by over 2 million viewers.  Thirty Saints is an investor in the current Broadway, National Tour and Toronto productions of Come from Away and The Voice, Live at The Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas. James served on the National Alliance for Musical Theatre's New Works committee and commissioned the holiday musical A Country Christmas Carol as well as participating in the creation of the off-Broadway cult hits Nite Club Confidential and Streakin'!His re-versioned stage productions of Singin’ in the Rain have been seen around the world. His freelance work as a director/choreographer includes award-winning productions of 33 Variations, Grey Gardens, Singin’ In the Rain, Yankee Doodle, Love Janis, Sweeney Todd, White Christmas, As Bees in Honey Drown, A Little Night Music, Guys & Dolls, On the Town and many world premieres.  From 1995-97, he was the Producing Artistic Director of the Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma where he initiated and assisted in a three-year re-organization plan for Lyric's financial recovery and planned the company’s move to larger and more prominent facility.

  • LAURIE RAE WAUGH

    began her theatre career in NYC as a Stage Manager. She stage-managed over 21 shows in 7 years. Her most notable one was STAMP OUT AIDS- a one-night only show at The Ballroom on 7/4/87 dedicated to Michael Bennett. Laurie began directing with Dreams Forgotten… at the Gowanus Arts Center, and several one-act plays for the TSI/Playtime Series. She turned her attention to working with Endtime Productions, were she worked for the first two seasons on their Vignette for the Apocalypse and Naked Holidays NYC Series at the Gene Frankel Theatre. Directed The Acting Lesson and The Gray List for Legacy Stage Ensemble. Laurie received 2016 ATA Award for Best Dramatic Director, Mirrors by Steve Silver, 2015 ATA Award for Best Director, Drama, A Spanish Harlem Story by Steve Silver and the 2010 Jean Dalrymple Award for Best Director, Code Name Daniel by Jerry J. Pollock. Laurie has directed over 19 plays for the American Theatre of Actors. She has worked on two collections of plays at The Producer’s Club called RELATIONSHIPS and PRESSURE- NOT ME! She was the Assistant Director for Ripple Effect Artists production of Twelfth Night. 

Producers
  • ERIC GOLDMAN

    has more than 20 years of experience as an entertainment attorney. While Eric specializes in theater 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 theaters 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

  • JENNIFER MANOCHERIAN

    Credits include Meteor Shower, Nice Work If You Can Get It; Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson; Dead Accounts; The Mountaintop; A Little Night Music; La Cage aux Folles; The Norman Conquests; The 39 Steps; August: Osage County; Spring Awakening;The Little Dog Laughed; Caroline, or Change; Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom; Thoroughly Modern Millie; The Crucible; Jane Eyre; Stomp.

  • RIC WANETIK

    President of Ricochet Group LLC, a strategic planning and communications advisory.  Known for his onboarding of leadership at major theaters here and in England, Ric is a frequent advisor to several regional theaters and is an active producer, investor and production supervisor.   He is the Senior Advisor for America to the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC), currently represented on Broadway with Matilda the Musical.  He is also the President of RSC America, a US entity supporting the work of the Royal Shakespeare Company here and around the world.  An investor in over 35 Broadway and Off- Broadway productions, Ric was the lead producer and Tony nominated for Anna Deveare Smith’s Twilight Los Angeles: 1992. In 1999, he was the lead producer for Broadway’s Marlene, and was the sole producer of Off-Broadway’s Jolson and Company.  For eight years Ric was the supervising producer for the Victoria Secret’s Fashion Show on CBS-TV and has produced several TV Specials for cable, PBS and universities.  He is a frequent speaker and lecturer on theatre management and marketing. 

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