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Event Details
  • Town Hall Open Discussion
    November 29, 2022
    6:30 pm - 9:00 pm
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Town Hall (live): What Producing Companies Need Now

Tuesday, November 29th - networking at 6:30 pm, open forum starts at 7:00pm ET
Polaris North Theatre, 245 W. 29th Street, 4th floor, NYC

Our return to our live monthly panels/discussions,
with a simultaneous streaming for our friends outside of New York City.
(Everyone should receive the zoom link when you register. If you don't receive it, email TRUnltd@aol.com to request link.)

Co-hosted by Rose-Marie Brandwein, president of Polaris North, a membership cooperative of Actors, Playwrights and Directors; Ariel Estrada, founder, producing artistic director of Leviathan Lab; Lorca Peress, founding artistic director of MultiStages; Aimee Todoroff, managing director for the League of Independent Theater. Moderated by Cate Cammarata of CreateTheater.com and Bob Ost of TRU.

As part of a multi-tiered initiative to help restore the theater community in New York and beyond, TRU is inviting small-to-medium sized producing companies to join us in an honest conversation about the struggle to reopen. Last year's virtual meeting generated some specific concerns from the community. Chief among these was the need to find out what audiences require to return to theater. Now that protocols are relaxed and policies are changing from venue to venue, have audiences returned? What are some successful strategies companies are using to rebuild their audiences? Are safety precautions increasing costs? How many performance spaces survived the shutdown, and are new spaces being created? Are the pre-pandemic contracts and agreements in effect going forward, and if not, what are the new agreements we are working with now? And are we taking the lessons of virtual into our future?

Companies are encouraged to talk about the impact of shutdown and their plans for or experience with already reopening, with a particular focus on finding solutions to any obstacles holding them back. TRU offers this as an opportunity for companies to learn from and find ways to help each other while exploring programs that might better serve producing companies. Though the focus will be on not-for-profit and fiscally sponsored companies, all companies struggling to return to live performance are welcome to participate in this conversation.

Doors open at 6:30pm 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. The Open Forum will start at 7:00pm. Free for TRU members and not-for-profit theater companies; $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

Panelists
  • ROSE-MARIE BRANDWEIN

    studied with playwrights Larry Carr, Jack Gelber, Walter Hadler, Dick Longchamps and David Scott Milton; with directors Andrew Leynse and Tyler Marchant at Primary Stages. She was a member of the long-defunct Roundabout Conservatory Theatre’s Playwriting Unit and HB Studio. Her one- act, Expiration Date, was featured in the Women at Work Festival (Stage Left Studio), The East to Edinburgh Festival (59E59 Theaters) and at the Edinburgh Fringe (Merchants’ Hall). Her short play, The Broken Teacup was featured at the AEA Diversity show, 21st Century Women. She earned an MFA in Professional Writing from the University of Southern California, and her MS in Strategic Communications from Columbia University. Member, HONOR ROLL!

  • ARIEL ESTRADA

    is Webby Award-winning producer, actor, writer, and advocate for Asian American Pacific Islander performing artists. As an actor, he has performed on television, film, commercials, digital media, and Off-, and Off-Off-Broadway. As a producer, Ariel is the Founder and Producing Artistic Director for Leviathan Lab, a nonprofit creative studio for Asian American performing artists. As an arts administrator, he is the Associate Director of the Theatre Program at Fordham University, and the Marketing & Membership Director for the Consortium of Asian American Theaters and Artists. His leadership has been recognized by artEquity, New York Foundation for the Arts, and Theatre Communications Group. arielestrada.com | leviathanlab.com | LI: /arielestrada

  • LORCA PERESS

    is a theatre director specializing in new works Off and Off-Off Broadway (plays, musicals, operas, multimedia hybrids) and the founding Artistic Director of MultiStages (www.multistages.org), a multicultural multidisciplinary NYC Co. Her multicultural (Puerto Rican/Polish/Sephardic) and artistic (theatre/visual arts/dance/music/writing) backgrounds led her to create MultiStages in 1997 (45+ productions, readings, festivals, and New Works Contests). In 2021, she created and produced “SpeakOut Protests Plays & More,” a theatre, multimedia and modern dance festival online. She has directed productions at Joe’s Pub, NYMF at the Acorn Theatre on Theatre Row, Theatre for New City, HERE, La MaMa, NYU, Hudson Guild, Cherry Lane, TheaterLab, on tour; 24 hour plays at the Public, Lortel, Signature; operas at Queens College; readings with PRTT, Repertorio Español, Urban Stages, and more. Member: NTC, SDC, AEA, SAG-AFTRA, League of Professional Theatre Women (LPTW Co-President 2011-14), original member of the Creative Network for Federal Affairs Office for the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Awards include: Creative Engagement (2020, 2019), Institute of Puerto Rico Cultural Award, 2015 Taino Areito in Theatre, LaMaMa Inky Award, 2013/2014 National Opera Competition 2nd Prize, 2012 HOLA Gilberto Zaldivar Award for Outstanding Production, 2011 and 2013 Honorable Mention Collaboration Award from Women in Arts and Media Coalition, Four Manhattan Community Arts Grant (LMCC), La Mia Ink! playwriting awards. Faculty: NYU Strasberg Studio, Strasberg Institute. Graduate of Bennington College (BA Drama), National Theatre Institute, and studied the method at Strasberg. 

  • AIMEE TODOROFF

    is a director practicing theater in NYC. She has been a part of two Obie Award winning productions, as a performer and as a director. She loves directing in traditional and non-traditional, site specific spaces. Equally adept at classic and new work, Aimee has helmed classic plays by Ibsen and Chekhov, and premieres by Cusi Cram, Daisy Foote, and frequent collaborator Chris Harcum among others. Aimee received her MFA in Directing from Southampton Arts, studying with Marsha Norman, Nick Mangano, and Rinde Eckert, and was the Assistant Director for John Rando and the playwright David Ives for Classic Stage Company’s production of “The Heir Apparent.” She is the artistic director of the indie theater company Elephant Run District, and is passionate about collaborative dialog between artists, audience and communities. In addition to directing and teaching, Aimee created the LIT Anti-Harassment Toolkit and speaks on best practices to create safe creative spaces. aimeetodoroff.org elephantrundistrict.org

  • 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

  • BOB OST

    While still a senior at U. of Pa., his one-act Beast was produced by Bob Moss in the first season of Playwrights Horizons. He went on to write book, music and lyrics for the off-Broadway revue Everybody’s Gettin’ into the Act at the Actor’s Playhouse, and Finale!, Grand Prize winner in the 1990 American Musical Theater Festival Competition (presented at NAMT) and the 1992 New American Musical Writers Competition, and a finalist at the O’Neill Music Conference in 1989. More recently his musical Angel in My Heart won Best Musical in the 2014 Fresh Fruit Festival. He won the 2011 New Works of Merit Playwriting Competition for his play Breeders, previously a finalist at the O'Neill, as well as a selection of the TRU Voices New Plays Reading Series. The Necessary Disposal was a 2010 finalist in the Maxim Mazumdar New Play Competition at the Alleyway Theatre in Buffalo, has been a finalist in three other national competitions, and was part of the Shotgun Productions New Play Reading Series and the Oberon Theatre Reading Series, both in NYC; his one-act A Glass of Water was part of the Lovecreek Festival, HomoGenius Festival, Downtown Urban Arts Festival; other one-acts have been showcased all over New York. He won a 2004 OOBR Award for the review "Songs Are Like Friends", and is a 3-time MAC nominee. While he was producing his own musical revues at cabarets around Manhattan he discovered he could combine his artistic talent with the business skills he was picking up in the advertising world. The idea of Theater Resources Unlimited was born, with the help of co-founders (and  fellow writers) Gary Hughes and Cheryl Davis in 1992. He has gone on to produce musicals Civil War Voices and Rip in the Midtown International Theater Festival, and the classic Chinese musical, Romance of the Western Chamber.

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