Event Details
  • July 19, 2016
    7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Marketing Mavericks: New Thinking, New Methods, New Audiences

The Playroom Theatre
151 W. 46th Street, 8th floor
Tuesday, October 25th, 7:30pm (networking 7pm) 

With speakers Merrie Davis of Next Act 2 Follow; Toni Isreal, managing director of Walker Communications; Jay Michaels of Jay Michaels Arts & Entertainment; Lorenzo Thione, chief executive of The Social Edge. 
The business has evolved, as has the world, and tried-and-true marketing efforts may not always be enough to break through in a crowded market dominated by mega-hits. In this panel, we will direct attention to and emphasize specialized marketing strategies and some of the specific ways each panelist approaches the task of putting butts in seats. We'll touch upon the basic needs of a marketing campaign, but the focus will be on new ways to build audience awareness: from Jay Michael's dedicated efforts to generate buzz in the smaller showcase and indie markets to Next Act 2 Follow's Objections Overruled strategies involving the hospitality and tourism industries to Walker Communications breakthrough efforts to engage diverse audiences to The Social Edge generating nearly 10 million Facebook followers for George Takei and leveraging that for the musical Allegiance. Come armed with your own success stories, as well as frustrations.
Doors open at 7:00pm for networking and refreshments, roundtable introductions of everyone in the room will start at 7:30pm - come prepared with your best one-minute summary of who you are, and what you need. Free for TRU members; $12 for non-members. (Or $10 in advance - see ticketing upper left.) Please call at least a day in advance (or much sooner) for reservations: 212/714-7628; or e-mail  TRUStaff1@gmail.com

    has been an Out-of-the Box Marketer for over 20+ years in the Magazine Business dealing in the Hospitality and Tourism Industries, (which included working with the theater agencies) while owning her own magazines, IN New York and Where Magazines. She is now doing Marketing along with Producing, for Broadway and Off/Broadway shows helping the various shows compete and succeed utilizing techniques from her Objections Overruled seminars she has given over the years.  Her producing career began with Gigi and she is currently a Producer on Eclipsed with Lupita Nyong'o and Himself and Nora with Matt Bogart (Jersey Boys) and Whitney Bashor (The Bridges of Madison County). Aside from heading up her company, Next Act 2 Follow, Merrie has worked on other shows including Allegiance and 39 Steps, utilizing her Objections Overruled"out-of-the-box" marketing skills and introducing inventive ideas to the Broadway scene. 


    was introduced to theatre at a young age by her mother. Prior to joining Walker Communications (WICG) in 2010, Toni worked in the financial arena as an Accounting Specialist. She developed her marketing skills while working with some awesome mentors at Passage Theatre in Trenton, NJ and McCarter Theatre in Princeton NJ. She is a proud member of CTI – Commercial Theatre Institute where she met Donna Walker-Kuhne. While working at WICG past projects include: Off-Broadway: Through The Night ; Broadway’s Time Stand Still, Baby It’s You, Stick Fly and A Streetcar Named Desire.


    a stage and film producer/director, educator, and entrepreneur in the marketing, promotion, and public relations fields, has maintained a career in the arts & entertainment industry since the late 70s when he worked as an actor. By the mid-1980s he was working as a director and a producer with a specialty in promotion. Credits include: OFF-BROADWAY: a series of acclaimed productions of Shakespeare’s canon and new works at the Midtown International Theater Festival,  New York International Fringe Festival, as well as two Samuel French New Plays Festival winners. He founded JAY MICHAELS ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT supplying public relations services and production consultation to independent theater and film. Under this specialty, his credits include BROADWAY: Guys & Dolls (1992), Damn Yankees (1994) and The Vagina Monologues at Broadway's Town Hall; NATIONAL TOUR: Cats, Les Miserables, Oliver, Edwin Drood; RESIDENT THEATRE: the Midtown International Theatre Festival (2014 – present) and the 13th Street Repertory Theater (2015-present); The Bronx Opera (2006-2015); In 1998, he and Mary E. MiCari formed Genesis Repertory, a stage and film production company dedicated to educating through the arts. Mr. Michaels is a professor of communications at Kingsborough College and has lectured throughout the five boroughs. He has been recognized in National SDC, TheatreWorld, American Theater, and Cambridge’s Who’s Who with productions winning ASCAP, SPOTLIGHT, MITF, and OOBR Awards, published by Samuel French Play Service, and NYIT, GLAAD, and Drama Desk nominations. 


    has been part of the production team of numerous productions on and off Broadway since 2008. His Broadway and Touring credits include the 2008 Broadway production of Slava’s Snowshow and the 2009 Broadway debut Green Day’s American Idiot, both of which were nominated for Tony Awards as best productions in their respective categories, as well as the national tour of Xanadu (all as Associate Producer). As the lead producer of Allegiance, Lorenzo assembled an experienced and veteran Broadway team, and brought a fresh and creative perspective to the challenges of commercial theater production. Mr. Thione is an experienced entrepreneur, a product and marketing expert, and is the co-founder and Chief Executive of The Social Edge, an innovative media & digital marketing company that spearheaded the marketing and social media reach for both George Takei’s brand and Allegiance.