Saturday, August 11th, 2018
10am to 6pm
353 W. 48th Street, Studio 1, 2nd floor
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), Ken Waissman (original Grease, Agnes of God, Torch Song Trilogy, Josephine) 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). 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 August 1st. 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 all director slots are filled, but sometimes people drop out. And in any case, 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: Justin Baldridge, Elizabeth Bove, Andi Lee Carter, Miriam Eusebio, Neal Kowalsky, Noel MacDuffie, Katherine Ray, Kevin Ray, Jonathan Warman
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