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.


    is a producer/director, marketing and public relations executive, entrepreneur & educator. He has been part of the indie theater and film scene since 1985. In 1997, he took the knowledge he acquired as a casting director for New York Daily News commercials and production associate for KSL Media and PBS and founded the boutique PR firm that now bears his name. Jay Michaels Arts & Entertainment creates visibility for self-producing stage artists and production companies on the East & West coasts and in multiple film arenas. Stage clients include Planet Connections Theatre Festivity; Downtown Urban Arts Festival; Fresh Fruit Festival; New York New Works Theatre Festival; Richard Skipper Celebrates; the Improvisational Repertory Theatre Ensemble; Step1 Theatre Project; Medicine Show Theatre; Opera at Hunter College; Spotlight-On Festivals; Playwrights/Authors Doug DeVita, Gary Morgenstein, Patrick Hickey, Jr., Anthony J. Piccione, Antonia Kasper, and Dorian Palumbo; Cabaret Artists Lane Bradbury, Andrea Bell Wolff, and Rev. Mary and Granny's Blue-Mers. Film clients include award-winning filmmakers, Eliana Ujueta (“Beneath The Rock,” “The Airport Run”) and Ben Goldstein ("Jack London") and Steve Silver (“The Watchtower,”). JMA&E also produces live promotional events. Michaels presented live promo events for the HBO Summer Stage, Spotlight-On Film Festival, and the promo showings of UVX,” a live theater and film hybrid, which was a sponsor of the 2017 New York ComicCon. In 1999, he and Mary Elizabeth Micari formed Genesis Repertory Ensemble, a non-profit arts organization dedicated to giving opportunities to emerging artists in the stage and film (and live event) industries. A professor of communications at Kingsborough College, Michaels continues to appear as a guest speaker and artist throughout the tri-state area at universities and arts organizations.


    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.