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
MERRIE L. DAVIS
is a producer (New York, London), Out-of-the-Box Marketer and an Olivier Award Winner for Company, West End (Winner of 4 Olivier awards including Best Musical Revival 2019) and Tony nominated producer for Eclipsed with Lupita Nyong’o (6 Tony nominations). She is currently a producer on Company, Broadway Company on Broadway (9 TONY Nominations including Best Revival of a Musical, 2022). Her producing career began with Gigi the Musical, Himself and Nora, with Matt Bogart (Jersey Boys) and Whitney Bashor (The Bridges of Madison County). Since coming into the New York theatre world she has been investing and raising money for shows including: Dear Evan Hansen, To Kill a Mockingbird, Hello, Dolly!, The Band's Visit, Network among others. In addition to producing, she is an Out-of-the Box Marketer who founded Next Act 2 Follow, a producing/marketing company, utilizing her unique marketing skills and introducing inventive ideas to the Broadway scene on shows including, Allegiance and 39 Steps. Prior to making a career change into producing, Merrie had been a Publisher and Out-of-the-Box Marketer for over 25+ years in the magazine world dealing in the Hospitality and Tourism industries. While owning her own Visitor Magazines, IN New York and WHERE that were distributed in the hotels, she also had the pleasure of working with all the theater agencies. Merrie is on the Board of TRU and the Broadway Association and is still delighted that she took the giant leap into an industry that she had always loved!!!
is admired for her expertise in multi-cultural marketing, strategic implementation, and her signature ability inspire, develop, and lead innovative creative thinking. In addition to being a proud member of New York Women in Film & Television, Isreal is the CEO and Founder of REALEMN Productions LLC, Broadway’s leading multicultural marketing and PR support team. Just a few REALEMN clients include 2019 Tony Award Winning HADESTOWN, Broadway Bound - MJ The Musical, and New York Theatre Workshop and the upcoming HADESTOWN Tour 2021. REALEMN is excited to work with NC Black Repertory Company (NC Black Rep) for their Black History Month Production of “Freedom Summer”. Isreal is also a consultant with New York’s World-Famous Apollo Theater, where she has secured over a million dollars in sales. And she was formally the Diversity Consultant at McCarter Theater in Princeton and now re-joining the McCarter Theatre Family with The Real Team – REALEMN Productions, Community Outreach and Press. Previously, Isreal was the Managing Director of Walker International Communications Group (WICG). In that role, she led a team providing all aspects of marketing consultation to arts organizations including audience development, media support, and socially & technology driven initiatives. As a sincere advocate for BIPOC, Isreal further enjoys promoting the arts and entertainment to multicultural communities and delivering engaging experiences that encourage audiences to secure their seats and tune in. Added to her arsenal, COVID-19 Theatre Think-Tank (CTT Member) https://www.covidtheatrethinktank.org/ NEW client, George Street Playhouse - New Brunswick. And Proud to be a Founding Member of The Industry Standard Group (TISG) https://www.theindustrystandardgroup.com/
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.