Event Details
  • NY State Labor Laws (POSTPONED)
    March 31, 2020
    7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
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Challenging Development: The Implications of NY State Labor Laws
Tuesday March 31st, 7pm networking, 7:30 panel
Polaris North Theatre, 245 W. 29th Street, 4th floor

Speakers to include director/writer Cheryl L. Davis, General Counsel for the Author's Guild, Larsen and Kleban Award winning writer; Emileena Pedigo of The Show Goes On Productions, indie producer and artist coach; David Prager, retired labor and employment attorney; Dominique Sharpton, producer and activist.

Although we encourage artists to run their careers with good business sense, the truth is that work in early development doesn't always have a lot of money behind it. Of the thousand or more showcases produced each year, a large percent of them are self-produced by writers who use their limited resources to give their work a chance to be seen. Stage readings have always been an affordable early step, followed by the more expensive but doable showcases and festival productions. However NY State Labor laws may be pushing us to spend a lot more money that many of us don't have.
Disabling this entry level aspect of the business is like kicking away the very foundation of theater. It is an incubator for art, a safe environment for nurturing new works, new writers and new theater artists in all aspects of production. Many artists have traditionally viewed themselves as independent contractors, a designation now viewed very narrowly by the labor department. And it is worth noting that politicians rarely mention support for the arts as an issue that that they think of addressing. Is advocacy our only hope, and how can we effectively persuade others, outside the arts, of the value of what we do? 

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 30-second summary of who you are, and what you need. Free for TRU members; $13 for non-members in advance ($16 at door). Please use the bright red reservation box on our web page, or email or phone at least a day in advance (or much sooner): e-mail TRUStaff1@gmail.com / phone 833-506-5550


    received the Kleban Award as a librettist for her musical¬†Barnstormer, (written with Douglas J. Cohen) about Bessie Coleman, the first Black woman flyer. The show received a Jonathan Larson Award through the Lark Play Development Center. Her play¬†Maid‚Äôs Door¬†received great reviews,¬†won seven Audelco Awards, and was a finalist for the Francesca Primus Prize. Her play¬†The Color of¬†Justice (commissioned by Theatreworks/USA), received excellent reviews in the New York Times and Daily News, and tours regularly.¬†Her musical¬†Bridges, which was commissioned by the Berkeley Playhouse, received its world premiere in February 2016 to great reviews and three award nominations from the San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle.¬†She received a Writers‚Äô Guild Award for her work on ‚ÄúAs the World Turns‚ÄĚ, and was¬†also¬†nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award. Her work has been read and performed internationally, including at the Cleveland Play House, the Actors Theatre of Louisville, and the Kennedy Center.¬†¬†She is the General Counsel of the Authors Guild.


    Emileena's work focuses on building sustainable careers #AnotherWay, using entrepreneurial strategies that prioritize the artist over their art.  Her company, The Show Goes On Productions provides coaching and artist management, as well as produces workshops, showcases, and events.  Before that Emileena was managing producer of the Midtown International Theater Festival.  She helped expand the annual festival into seven venues, presenting up to 60 shows in one month during her seven-year tenure.  Emileena also general-managed for several nonprofits, assisted Stewart F. Lane on four Broadway shows, including the Off-Broadway transfer of The 39 Steps, and worked on various film and music festivals.  She toured theaters, music arenas, and schools across the country, working with artists from all artistic disciplines.  Emileena has served on the board of Conscious Capitalism NYC, and helped to build Arts programming within the Chelsea Greenwich Village Chelsea Chamber of Commerce.  She is a graduate of the Commercial Theatre Institute, SUNY/Kaufmann's Fasttrac program for entrepreneurs, and a Purdue University alum. 


    is a recently early-retired partner of the law firm Bond Schoeneck & King PLLC.  He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, and practiced Labor and Employment Law in New York City for 35 years, during which time i was repeatedly elected by my peers as among the Best Lawyers in New York in my field, as well as Super Lawyers, and Best Lawyers in America.  Also an amateur theater actor, and writer, i have handled numerous matters involving the intersection of employment laws and performing arts.