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Event Details
  • Boot Camp: Raising Money for Theater
    February 4, 2018
    10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Raising Money for Theater: Who, How and When to Ask

Sunday, February 4th, 10am to 6pm
Playroom Theater
151 W. 46th St., 8th Floor, NYC

Click here for curriculum and speakers

It's more important now than ever for the voice of theater to be heard, so get ready to move ahead with passion and a plan. For producers, one important step is finding the money and resources to bring your projects into production. We invite you to acquire some basic tools and crucial information that will help you to overcome your money shyness and effectively reach out to supporters. From pitching techniques and presentation skills to legal requirements and business planning, plus a wealth of first-hand experience from more than a half dozen producers who are currently active in the Broadway and off-Broadway worlds, we promise you an informative, empowering and inspiring day.

Workshop faculty will include a stellar lineup of award-winning producers: Margot Astrachan, producer  (A Gentleman's Guide..., Ghost the musical, Around the World); Jane Dubin (Tony Award winner for The Norman ConquestsFarinelli and the King, BandstandPeter and the Starcatcher, An American in Paris, Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey, The 39 Steps, Ann), RK Greene (Peter & the Starcatcher, Cougar, Room Service)Jim Kierstead (Tony Award winner for Pippin revival, M, Butterfly, Indecent, Natasha Pierre..., Sunset Boulevard, Kinky Boots, Waitress, Yank!); Cody Lassen (The Band's Visit, Indecent, Significant Other, Spring Awakening revival), James Simon (Pippin revival, Roof of the WorldThe Velocity of Autumn, Bells Are Ringing  revival; investor in Rent, Vanya & Sonya & Masha & Spike, Little Women), Ken Waissman (original Grease, Torch Song Trilogy, Agnes of God, Over Here); plus entertainment attorneys  Eric Goldman and Lee Feldshon, and financial advisor Bailie Slevin of Entertaining Finance. (See full bios below.)

Theater Resources Unlimited/Boot Camp, 309 W. 104th Street 1D, NYC NY 10025

$175 for non-members, $150 for TRU members
$25 off if you register by 1/26

Festival Discount, $135 (use Special Discount button)
(for anyone who has applied to any of the upcoming festivals)
Student Discount, $115 (use Special Discount button)
Email TRUStaff1@gmail.com with proof of your festival application, or a student ID, and we will provide you with a code to use with the Special Discount button in the bright red ticketing box on this page.

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SCHEDULE AND SPEAKERS (subject to change)

9:45am-10:00am - registration and check-in, coffee and cake/bagels
10:00am-10:15am - keynote speech: Ken Waissman

10:15 to 11:00 - "Commercial and Not-for-Profit Asks: Defining the Differences"  with attorney Lee Feldshon. We will define terms, then focus on the not-for-profit side: the legal paperwork and structure that is necessary in order to ask for donations, and the responsibilities to your donors, plus the ways in which not-for-profits and commercial companies can work together.

11:00 to 11:45 - "Commercial Financing: Formalizing Your Ask" with attorney Eric Goldman. The required paperwork and structures at every level of development, from front money agreements to private placement to Federal filings. And the limitations placed on asking.

11:45 to 12:00 - BREAK

12:00 to 12:30pm"Creating an Effective Business Plan: Why Is This Show Likely to Succeed?" - with RK Greene. Your business plan is your blueprint for success, and a compelling sales tool when approaching investors. It helps you understand your project and how best to pitch it. RK will offer a flexible template covering all the basic areas of information you need to include, as well as offering guidance in creating a plan that is professional looking and appealing. 

12:30 to 1:15pm"How to Present Yourself to Investors" with financial advisor Bailie Slevin of Entertaining Finance. We will take a look at a basic money raising pitch both from your side and the investor’s side, learning how to speak the same financial language, exploring how to best communicate your proposal to your target audience. GETTING the money is what it is all about but HOW you go about the process makes all the difference. It takes simplicity, focus, structure, organization, and follow through to make it happen. This section will concentrate on "winning language" and "successful steps" to get the support for your creative projects.

LUNCH to 1:15pm to 2:15pm

2:15 to 2:45pm - "The Investor's Perspective: Why Your Show?" with James Simon. So what do you need to do or say to get an investor to write that check? Different investors have different reasons. Our guest speaker, active in commercial Broadway, will discuss why he picks the shows he picks, and what you might learn from his choices.

2:45 to 3:30 -"Practical Tips and Money-Raising Secrets" with Cody Lassen. Practical tips, tricks, and tools you can use to raise money and manage investor relations. From initial investor research through closing night and beyond, you'll learn how to create a plan for managing the fundraising process that you can put to use right away. 

3:30 to 4:15 - "Cultivating and Maintaining a Pool of Investors" with Jim KiersteadWho to go to, what to talk about, how to present material, disclosures and much more. Identifying prospective investors is just the first step. How do you communicate your passion for a project, incentivize a prospect and close the deal? PLUS the business and hierarchy of theatrical producing: definitions of lead producer, co-producer, investors, and appropriate lingo, budgets, capitalization, and recoupment charts.

4:15 to 4:30 - BREAK

4:30 to 5:15 - "How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Just Started Asking" with Margot Astrachan, Jane Dubin, Jim Kierstead, Cody Lassen. The best kept secret about raising money: you have to ask for it. And yes, it doesn't come naturally to everyone. Our panel will talk about overcoming fears, making mistakes and getting back in the saddle. And how they took the leap of faith that brought them the results they wanted. 

5:15 to 5:30 - Keynote Speech: Margot Astrachan: The Journey to Become a Producer

5:30 to 6:00pm - RECEPTION

Use form below, or click here to register.

Panelists
  • MARGOT ASTRACHAN

    is a Tony Award winning commercial theatrical producer based in New York. Broadway: Tony Award winning A Gentleman's Guide to Love and MurderThe Realistic JonesesNice Work If You Can Get It, the revival of On a Clear Day You Can See ForeverBonnie & ClydeBusker AlleyGhost the Musical National Tour, and the only staging of Stephen Sondheim’s Evening Primrose. She also recently produced The Sting starring Harry Connick Jr. at The Papermill Playhouse. Upcoming: Diana, A New Musical (La Jolla, February 2019)Margot wrote, produced and performed five one-woman cabaret shows.  New York: Danny’s Skylight Room, Judy’s, The Plaza Hotel, The Oak Room of The Algonquin Hotel, the Triad, The National Arts Club, and Don’t Tell Mama’s, among others. With dancer/choreographer Carmen de Lavallade, she wrote the book of a new Jazz musical, which has been read at Lincoln Center and at The York Theater.Margot was the American Artistic Director of the Jermyn Street Theatre in London and The Kings Head Theatre in London, and has had over 30 years’ experience producing special events for Arts Organizations such as The York Theatre Company, The Theatre Museum, and Brit-Arts of The St. George’s Society, which with Jim Dale, featured British and American theatre professionals in readings and panels in New York. She is the Vice Chair of The New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF), a board member of The Alumni & Friends of The LaGuardia High School for the Arts, The League of Professional Theater Women, and The Theater Board of The Kaufman Cultural Center. She is a graduate of CTI (The Commercial Theatre Institute) and is a member of The Association of Performing Arts Presenters, The National Alliance For Musical Theatre, The Broadway League, The Dramatists Guild, the Advisory Board of TRU, British American Business, Inc. and BAFTA East Coast. She is the past chair and current board member of The American Friends of the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Her latest project is Radio Galaxy by Michele Aldin Kushner (found in the TRU Voices series) and directed by Mark Waldrop, currently in development.

  • JANE DUBIN

    is a TONY Award-winning producer and the President of Double Play Connections, a theatrical production and management company committed to supporting emerging artists and playwrights in the creation and development of new works. Jane is a graduate of the Commercial Theatre Institute's 14-week (NYC) and O’Neill Center Intensive (CT) Producing Workshops and past Director of Theater Resources Unlimited’s Producer Development Program, and current Director of the program's Master Class. Current Broadway: The Prom beginning this fall.  Previously:  Farinelli and the King (5 Tony nominations)starring Mark Rylance, Bandstand, An American in Paris on Broadway (4 TONY Awards), National Tour and in London, Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey (Off Broadway and on Tour)Upcoming: Fingersmith. Previously: Peter and the Starcatcher (Broadway, Off-Broadway, National Tour), winner of 5 TONY Awards; Ann, starring Holland Taylor (Lincoln Center); The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (London); The 39 Steps (OB, Tour); The Norman Conquests (TONY Award, Best Play Revival), Groundswell (the New Group), Beebo Brinker Chronicles (2008 GLAAD Media Award for Theatre). Other: OPA! at TBG Theatre (Best Commercial Production, MITF 2008), Take Me America (Best Musical, MITF 2007), Count Down, (Bank Street Theatre) and the one-woman show that started it all, MentalPause by Margaret Liston. Ms. Dubin is a full voting member of the Broadway League. She is Vice-President of the Board of Directors of Houses on the Moon Theater Company and a prior Board member of the League of Professional Theatre Women. For two years she was co-curator of the Hudson Valley Writers’ Center New Play Reading Series. She co-produced Hudson River Rising, presenting events for One Billion Rising (V-Day) 2013 and 2014. She has been a member of the Grand Jury for NYMF from 2015 through the current 2018 season.

  • LEE A. G. FELDSHON

    has over 23 years of experience in entertainment and corporate law. He recently formed Feldshon Law PLLC to launch his private practice, after having partnered with David Schwartz in Feldshon & Schwartz, LLP for the last 10 years. He represents producers, co-producers, composers, bookwriters, lyricists, directors, and other creatives in the live theatrical industry. He has represented the New York Musical Theatre Festival since its 2004 founding.  He was production counsel for the Broadway revival of Pump Boys & Dinettes and represented stars (including a Tony-award winning actor) in connection with the Tony-award winning Broadway musical The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. He did legal work for Desperate Measures (2018 Drama Desk Award for original music and lyrics), Who’s Your Baghdaddy, Money Talks, Bloody, Bloody, Jessica FletcherLibertyEmojilandRooms, and other Off Broadway shows.  He represents co-producers on the Broadway productions of Moulin RougeKing Kong, and Chasing Rainbows.  He negotiates screenplay option/purchase agreements and financing documents for film producers, and has worked as film production counsel for Good Girls GoneFly Away (SXSW Official Selection), and the documentary Darkon: An American Fantasy (2006 SXSW Audience Award). While Director of Legal Affairs and Business Development of the Radio City Entertainment division of Madison Square Garden, L.P., he worked on The Radio City Christmas SpectacularA Christmas Carol, and Rockettes performances. As a Levine Plotkin & Menin associate, he worked on Rent (Broadway, touring), The Wild Party (Broadway), De La Guarda (Off Broadway), and other shows. He started his career as a corporate associate at White & Case. He received a B.A. from Columbia College in 1991 (magna cum laude, Rhodes Scholar State Finalist) and a J.D. from Columbia Law School in 1994 (Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar). Bar Admissions: New York.

  • ERIC GOLDMAN

    has more than 20 years of experience as an entertainment attorney. While Eric specializes in theater 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 theaters 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

  • RK GREENE

    is a producer of the Broadway and off-Broadway hit Peter & the Starcatcher as well as Terms of Endearment and Cougar The Musical. As an entrepreneur, R.K. has started several businesses over the years. A theatre professional since 1978, he was a founding member of the Seattle Group Theatre, a multi-cultural ensemble that produced its own work. As an actor, he appeared in numerous productions Off-off Broadway, on tour and in regional theater, producing several projects including a multi-state tour of Mass Appeal. In 2000, he founded The StoryLine Project, LLC, a commercial theater production company, to develop new plays and musicals.  SLP made its debut as an above line producer for the Off Broadway hit, Room Service, and went on to produce Love Child and A Time to Kill.  In the non-profit world, R.K. is the Marketing Director at The Directors Company and helped to transfer Irena’s Vow to Broadway and produce several shows at 59E59 Theaters. His most recent production was Farinelli and the King at the Belasco.

  • JIM KIERSTEAD

    is a two-time 2013 Tony® Award-winning producer of the Broadway, touring, Toronto, and London productions of Kinky Boots and the revival of Pippin.  He also was involved with the international hit musical Matilda on Broadway and on tour and is a co-producer of the 2016 Broadway musicals Waitress and Natasha & Pierre and The Great Comet of 1812 starring Josh Groban.  He has been a co-producer of the Broadway productions of The Visit (Tony nominated), You Can’t Take It With You (Tony nominated), Side Show, It Shoulda Been You and Rocky.  Jim has worked in New York theatre since 2000 investing and raising money for shows including Something Rotten, The Glass Menagerie, the revival of Hair (Best Revival), American Idiot, The Addams Family, Catch Me If You Can, among others. Jim began his career by developing and producing the critically acclaimed Off-Broadway premiere of Thrill Me – The Leopold & Loeb Story (nominated for Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for Best Musical in 2005) and produced its original New York production in 2003.  He founded his production company Kierstead Productions, Inc. in 2004.  In 2010, he produced the Off-Broadway premiere of Yank! – A World War II Love Story.  Jim has been an Executive Producer on the films Between Love and Goodbye, Kiss Me, Kill Me, and the upcoming Wakefield starring Bryan Cranston and Jennifer Garner. Currently, Jim is developing a new musical entitled Unexpected Joy with book & lyrics by Bill Russell (two-time Tony® nominated for Side Show), a play entitled Cover by Bill McMahon, and produced The Dodgers by Diana Amsterdam which had its World Premiere production at The Hudson Theatre in Los Angeles.  Jim is on the Board of Directors of The York Theatre Company and The New York Theatre Barn.

  • CODY LASSEN

    is a Tony-nominated theatre producer and live entertainment consultant. Broadway productions include The Band's Visit, the Deaf West Theatre revival of Spring AwakeningMacbeth starring Alan Cumming, Paula Vogel’s Indecent and Joshua Harmon's Significant Other. Upcoming: Untitled #4 off-Broadway and in LA Holding the Man, with The Australian Theatre Company and a revival of Merrily We Roll Along directed by Michael Arden. In addition to producing his own projects, Cody consults for producers, theaters and agencies to help them discover how they should market their shows for the best chance of financial and critical success. Previously, he oversaw marketing efforts for Los Angeles' Center Theatre Group and its three theaters: the Ahmanson Theatre, Mark Taper Forum and Kirk Douglas Theatre. He is an active member of the Broadway League, the National Association of Musical Theatre, and serves on the Board of NY’s Vineyard Theatre. More info at codylassen.com.
  • JAMES SIMON

    was a co-producer on the 2000 Tony and Drama Desk Award nominated revival of Bells Are Ringing, the 2014 play The Velocity Of Autumn and an associate producer of the Tony winning Broadway revival of Pippin, Play On!, and the West End production of Damn Yankees with Jerry Lewis.  Other Broadway shows in which he participated as a limited partner include Rent, Vanya & Sonia & Masha & Spike, Little Women - The Musical, Victor Victoria, Metamorphoses,  and many other Broadway, Off-Broadway, and international tours. He is currently being represented on Broadway with the hit comedy, The Play That Goes Wrong.

  • BAILIE SLEVIN

    is the founder of Entertaining Finance, a financial consulting and consulting firm geared specifically towards freelancers, specifically those in arts and entertainment. With 13 years of experience as a financial adviser and a hefty resume in theater, she is redefining planning for artists and entrepreneurs. She’s worked with Certified Financial Services and Forest Hills Financial Group in finance and teaches Financial Literacy and Well-being workshops and speaks throughout the region on the specifics of Financial Management for Artists. As a stage manager, general manager, and producer on Broadway, Off Broadway and Off-Off Broadway, Tony Awards, Drama Desk, OBIE Awards, and IT Awards pepper Bailie’s resume. Some of her favorite projects include The Norman ConquestsAltar BoyzNaked Boys Singing!Pursuit of PersephoneA Very Merry Unauthorized Children’s Scientology Pageant, and Popesical in Concert at Joe’s Pub. She currently serves as a board member for The PATH Fund and “Rockers on Broadway, a non-profit Arts organization committed to bringing arts education to all. Visit  www.EntertainingFinance.com to learn more

  • KEN WAISSMAN

    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.

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