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





    has more than 20 years of experience as an entertainment attorney. While Eric specializes in theatre law matters, including project financing, Eric also practices in the film, television, music, music publishing and new media fields. As an artist’s representative, Eric has worked on behalf of numerous award winners, including Tony-award winners Howell Binkley, Jason Robert Brown, Jerry Mitchell, Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman and Academy Award winner Howard Shore. Eric also works as a producer’s representative, including serving as production counsel to the Tony Award winning producers of DEF POETRY JAM and several Tony Award winning producers. In addition to Broadway, Off-Broadway and Independent projects, Eric has worked for producers and artists in connection with productions seen around the world, including London, Sydney, Tokyo and China. Eric also regularly counsels not-for-profit theatres such as Northlight Theatre in Chicago and Blank Theatre in Los Angeles. In other media, Eric has represented American Idol vocal coach Debra Byrd in the negotiation of merchandising and master class seminar agreements, and has negotiated web site development, maintenance and rights acquisition agreements for Broadwayworld.com, the LEGO Bionicle’s website and for Dick Morris’ VOTE.COM web site


    has produced, written and assistant directed theater. She is one of the producers of the Tony Award winning revival of Pippin and The Trip to Bountiful on Broadway. Previously she was a producer of the Broadway shows The Scottsboro Boys and Stick Fly. As the Managing Director of Shotgun Productions, a theatrical non-profit, she has developed & produced theater, dance and operas. Productions include: Clear... A new musical experience (co-production with Dixon Place, Hendel Productions, Wayne Brady, Michele Crowley & Earl Dax), Santa Claus is Coming Out (co-production with Penguin Rep & Diverse City Theater), Marc Deaton in Vienna (classical concert, Schoenberg Center, Austria), The Lost Boy (co-production with QTIP & The Helen Hayes Theater in Nyack), Tristan und Isolde in Sofia (staged concert, Bulgaria), 24-Hour Drama-Thons, Big Kids, The Chaos Theories, Seduction (musical theater dance opera), Undivulged Crimes, Don't Hug Me (co-production with NJ Rep), Mia Michael's R.A.W. (dance concert), and Joined at the Head. Ms. Klausner has a Ph.D. in sociology and has taught women's studies, race relations, and criminology at the University of Delaware and Montclair State College.


    is one of only two producers in the history of Broadway to have a musical run over 3000 performances and a play run over 1000. (The other producer he shares this distinction with is the legendary David Merrick.) Waissman developed and produced the original Broadway production of Grease as well as two of Broadway’s longest running plays, Agnes of God by John Pielmeier and Torch Song Trilogy by Harvey Fierstein.Waissman's first Broadway credit was the 1971 Paul Zindel play And Miss Reardon Drinks a Little with Estelle Parsons and Julie Harris, and his prolific Broadway efforts have resulted in four motion picture features, a PBS TV special, 25 Tony Award® nominations, and 5 Tony Awards® including a Tony Award® as ‘Best Play Producer.’ His new musical, Josephine, inspired by Josephine Baker, had its World Premiere in April at the Asolo Theatre in Sarasota, Florida. Deborah Cox played the title role and Joey McKneely directed and choreographed.