Dust off Your Dreams: The Long-Awaited Return of Our Favorite Festivals
Wednesday, June 23rd - doors open at 5pm for networking, panel starts at 5:30
Still virtual, still on zoom while we get ready for a post-pandemic world.
With confirmed panelists Cate Cammarata, literary manager TRU Voices Reading Series; Gene Fisch, Jr., festival director New York New Works Theatre Festival; Dennis Corsi, artistic director of Fresh Fruit Festival; Glory Kadigan, founding artistic director of Planet Connections Festivity/Zoomfest; a rep from the Dream Up Festival at Theatre for the New City; Van Dirk Fisher, artistic director Strawberry One-Act Festival and Strawberry Theatre Festival.
The shutdown sure changed the way we do things, and put a damper on one of our basic stepping stones for the development of new work: the festival. How did our favorite festivals weather the pandemic? Did they use this imposed time off for planning or for reinventing themselves virtually? Do they have plans for coming back? And what did they learn in the last year that they might incorporate going forward? We'll also check in on who's open for submissions, and whether their mission and guidelines have been affected by the ongoing shocks of political and social upheaval in our country.
Doors open at 5:00pm for networking and roundtable introductions of everyone in the room – come prepared with your best 20-second summary of who you are, and what you need. Panel will start at 5:30pm. Free for TRU members; $15 for non-members.
Please use the bright red reservation box here on our web page, or email or phone at least a day in advance (or much sooner): e-mail TRUStaff1@gmail.com
/ phone 833-506-5550
is a queer director specializing in new work development and queer work. As a certified health & wellness coach, he fosters rehearsal rooms that prioritize well-being. His directing style is fast-paced and bold. Transitions are rehearsed as much as the rest of the play. His casting always prioritizes diversity and inclusion. Dennis is currently studying ASL. His dream is to one day stage a killer exorcism. Dennis is the Artistic Director of the Fresh Fruit Festival, which develops and presents theatre by queer artists. He is the Director of New Works at Live & In Color, a creative incubator developing new plays and musicals celebrating diversity. Dennis is the co-director of the Chesley Chambers reading series at TOSOS, NYC’s oldest and longest-producing LGBTQ+ theater company. Dennis is an alumnus of the Lincoln Center Directors Lab, Directors Lab West, and the Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation Observership program. Associate Member SDC. www.denniscorsi.com
CATE CAMMARATA (TRU literary manager)
is an Off-Broadway producer, director and dramaturg in NYC, dedicated to the development of new plays and musicals. She is the Founder and Executive Producer of CreateTheater's 2022 New Works Fest, the Associate Artistic Director for Rhymes Over Beats Hip Hop Theater Collective and has been the Literary Manager for Theater Resources Unlimited (TRU) for ten years. Off-Broadway: The Assignment, My Father's Daughter. Regional: My Life Is a Musical (Bay Street Theater). Cate's company CreateTheater, has been helping writers develop and produce new work since 2016. During the shutdown of 2020-2022 CreateTheater developed and/or produced more than 70 shows with online readings, workshops and dramaturgical guidance. For this work Theater Resources Unlimited (TRU) has honored her with the TRU Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2022. Cate holds an MFA in Dramaturgy from SUNY Stony Brook and is an Associate Professor of Theatre Arts at CUNY Baruch College. www.CateCammarata.com www.CreateTheater.com
VAN DIRK FISHER
is the Founder & Artistic Director of the Riant Theatre/Black Experimental Theatre, a non-profit 501(3)(c) organization, of which he is the CEO. He is the producer of the Jocunda Music, Film & Theatre Festival and the acclaimed Strawberry One-Act Festival, which the NY Daily News said, “It’s like the American Idol for Playwrights.” Since 1995, Mr. Fisher has produced over 1,500 one-act plays in The Strawberry One-Act Festival. This biannual theatre competition celebrated its 33rd season in February 2020. Under Fisher’s direction, he has published eight anthologies of The Best Plays from the Strawberry One-Act Festival. As an actor, Fisher has appeared in several plays, commercials and voiceovers. He has directed and written several musicals including: Rock-A My Soul, No Name In The Street – The Biblical Story of Job, Somebody’s Calling My Name, Sweet Blessings, Tracks, Loving That Man Of Mine, Revelations and Dream Babies, The Musical about Teens Living in Foster Care. His dramas, which are inspired by real life news stories, include: A Sin Between Friends, The Banjo Lesson, Mixed Blessings, Hotel Paradise and The Atlanta Affair. His play Code of Silence been compared to works by John Grisham and was pitched as a television series. His novel, Loving You, is sold on Amazon.com. For his accomplishments with the Riant Theatre, he earned the prestigious 2009 AUDELCO Special Achievement Award.
GENE FISCH JR.
has been a passionate fan of the arts his entire life. Though only as a hobby these past ten years, he has either produced, directed, or invested in 100+ shows during that span, most all at the Off Broadway and Broadway levels. Philanthropy being his primary focus, he was the lead producer for Carnegie Hall performance / Album that donated the proceeds to establish music programs in NYC schools. He has two television pilots in his repertoire, one of which was his directorial debut that was funded for four episodes by a group who worked for ABC. Fisch is particularly fond of his work directing the Off Broadway parody of the television show, “Dexter”. Subsequent to being part of the Broadway producing team for High starring Kathleen Turner, Gene founded The New York New Works Theatre Festival, helping over 1,000 artists by giving them a shot on a top tier stage (historically the Duke and Acorn Theaters). Three shows from NYNW’s stages are on their way to Broadway and one (“12 Angry Voices” produced by his mentor and panelist, Lauren Class Schneider) is generating traction for its national tour. Submissions are free and NYNW outlays most all of the upfront costs with the hopes that the NYNW stage is only the first step of the project's journey (Numerous shows have moved forward). Every submission is reviewed by at least one Broadway producer. Gene has led a wonderfully diverse career outside of the arts and currently teaches Engineering Technogenesis at the Stevens Institute of Technology. "The bottom line is that theatre is awesome and if there is a way that we can help someone take their art to the next level while having a ton of fun, we’re all in!" nynwtheatrefestival.com