Desotelle Nu-Box Theatre, 300 W. 43rd Street, 3rd floor
Sunday, August 27th, 10am to 6 pm
What often holds playwrights back is that they rarely consider the person who will buy and produce their product: the producer. With all the work, hope and sweat they invest in considering character, theme and plot, playwrights rarely take into account producibility.
This one-day intensive will be taught by Diana Amsterdam (The Dodgers, Fast Girls, Sex and Death, Carnival Round the Central Figure), TRU's Program Director for Playwrights. With segments of the workshop taught by commercial producer Jim Kierstead (Indecent, Natasha Pierre..., Sunset Boulevard, Kinky Boots, Waitress, Yank!), TRU's Bob Ost and Gary Hughes offering marketing insights and a coach who will teach you how to present yourself successfully.
The day ends with a panel of commercial producers who will offer feedback on writers' pitches as well as suggest appropriate markets for the works. Panelists will include Margot Astrachan (A Gentleman's Guide..., The Realistic Joneses, Ghost the musical, Around the World in 80 Days, Nice Work If You Can Get It, On a Clear Day...), Julie Boardman (Indecent, Hughie revival, Dames at Sea on Broadway, An American in Paris) and Ken Waissman (original Grease, Torch Song Trilogy, Agnes of God).
• WHAT IS PRODUCIBILITY? The fact that producers always ask this question, and playwrights hardly ever do, causes a serious disconnect between the commercial producer and most playwrights.
• WRITING TO A MARKET - We will ask each playwright questions he or she has probably never considered before: Who is your market? Who is going to buy tickets? Who is this play written for?
• WRITING VIABLY - Creating writing that holds the attention of the audience with a strong storyline and defined events. This module will cover such primary writing elements as: arc, desire, motivation, conflict, and the clear delineation of theme.
• WRITING ECONOMICALLY - Number of characters, number of sets, extravagance of sets: all these are serious considerations for most commercial producers. Does the play require a casting director, or can it be done successfully by seasoned unknowns? Is there a chorus of thirty that can be pared down to two? Are you kidding yourself when you think one actor can play eight parts?
Schedule (subject to change):
10:15am-11:15 How to Write a Play that a Producer Wants to Produce - Playwriting craft and structure taught by Diana Amsterdam
11:15-11:45 How to Tackle the Business of Playwriting - taught by Diana Amsterdam
Getting an agent, submitting work, the difference between nonprofit and commercial venues, unusual ways to get your work noticed.
11:45-12:45pm Practical Considerations: What Things Cost, What Producers Look For - taught by Jim Kierstead - practical guidelines
12:45-1:15pm The Writer-Producer Dynamic - Jim actually holds an option on a play of Diana's, and they will discuss reasonable expectations on each side of this crucial relationship, and how each contributes to what is ideally a collaboration
1:15-2:10 Lunch Break
2:10-3:15 Getting to the Essence: A Good Synopsis and How to Pitch It - taught by Bob Ost and Gary Hughes, working with each writer individually to discover the compelling "saleable" essence of your work
3:15-4:00 Practicing Your Pitch
Reducing Stress, Increasing Confidence
Physical Ed: Body Language, Focus, Eye Contact
Pitching with Passion
4:15-5:45 Identifying Your Market - an inter-active "pitch" session with feedback from producers, including Cody Lassen (Indecent, Significant Other).