Event Details
  • January 30, 2016
    12:00 pm - 4:30 pm
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Mediation Techniques

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Theater Resources Unlimited
in association with
JAMS (Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services)

Mediation Techniques for Producers (and Everyone):
Dealing with the Off-Stage Dramas

JAMS Conference Room, New York Times Building
620 Eighth Avenue (btwn 40th & 41st), 34th Fl.

Facilitated by attorney/mediator Eric S. Goldman, with a panel of commercial Broadway and indie producers offering their commentary and observations. Participants include Patricia Klausner (Pippin, Scottsboro Boys, Trip to Bountiful, Stick Fly) and  Ken Waissman (Grease, Torch Song Trilogy, Agnes of God). 

[Past participants have included Jeremy Handelman (White's Lies, F#@king Up Everything), Alexa Kelly of Pulse Ensemble Theatre, Bradley Reynolds (Mothers and Sons, revivals of West Side Story and Ragtime), Stephanie Rosenberg (The Best Man, Last Smoker in America).]

Make a New Year's Resolution to have less conflict in your theater life!

As we head into the new year, many producers will find themselves putting together creative teams. In some cases the matches will be perfect, but sometimes it becomes the producer's job to mediate disputes between members of the team. Similarly, some artists will find themselves self-producing and forming sensitive relationships with producers, directors and others. This invaluable workshop will offer insights into communicating effectively and productively as you embark on these sensitive relationships, techniques for working through the rough spots when disputes come up, and clues about recognizing colleagues who will work collaboratively.

 • The director has notes on the script, and the writer is resisting the notes because (s)he is concerned about protecting the integrity of the piece. How does a producer resolve these differences and get on with the show?

• Two writers who are collaborating on a project are having trouble working together because they cannot agree on a common approach to the material. Should the producer step in, or walk away?

Limited to 25 participants.


Check-in and join us for a light lunch at noon. The legal presentation will begin at 12:30pm, followed by role-playing demonstrations of collaborative conflicts, and how to resolve them. Includes a panel of commercial producers offering their feedback.

The program will:

1. Outline the collaborative nature of theatrical productions;

2. Discuss the nature of collaboration and the most common problems that arise in creative collaborative relationships;

3. Discuss the producer’s role as mediator when those disputes arise within the production team;

4. Present some mediation skills any producer can use when faced with a dispute among collaborators, including:

a. The difference between a position and a real concern;
b. Reflecting: a tool to make sure everyone feels their point of view is being heard;
c. Reframing: a tool to help everyone see that what they perceive as a problem may actually be an advantage;
d. Asking powerful questions: When someone uses a “loaded” word, you ask them about that loaded word and what it means.

5. Allows producers to ask specific questions about disputes they are having or may have had in the past.

Here’s what you will see:

1. Eric will talk briefly about the collaborative nature of theatrical productions and the role of the producer.

2. Each producer member of our panel will tell a war story about a problem within a collaborative team, and how that problem was (or wasn’t resolved).

3. We will have the two role plays outlined above. Each should run 30-45 minutes, and there will be time for comments and questions after each.

4. There will be a final question and answer session.