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Event Details
  • Boot Camp: Raising Money for Theater
    February 4, 2018
    10:00 am - 6:00 pm
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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 Conquests, Farinelli and the King, Bandstand, Peter 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 World, The 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 Kierstead. Who 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: Diana, A New Musical, The Prom, Tony Award winning A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder, The Realistic Joneses, Nice Work If You Can Get It, the revival of On a Clear Day You Can See Forever; Bonnie & Clyde; Busker Alley, Ghost the Musical National Tour, and the only staging of Stephen Sondheim’s Evening Primrose. She also produced The Sting starring Harry Connick Jr. at The Papermill Playhouse. 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 was the Vice Chair of The New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF), and is a board member of The Alumni & Friends of The LaGuardia High School for the Arts, Chair of the Theater Advisory Committee of the Library For the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center, a Board Member of The Transport Group and Co-Chair of the Rachel Crothers Award of the League of Professional Theatre Women. 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 of The American Friends of the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Upcoming: Radio Galaxy by Michele Aldin Kushner (found in the TRU Voices series). 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 Theater Resources Unlimited and The American Friends of the London Philharmonic Orchestra. 

  • 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‚ÄôNeill Center Intensive (CT) Producing Workshops and Director of Theater Resources Unlimited‚Äôs Producer Development Program Master Class. Ms. Dubin is Chair of the Board of Directors of Houses on the Moon Theater Company. ¬†She is a member and recent Board member of the League of Professional Theatre Women.¬† She is a member of the Broadway Women‚Äôs Alliance and the Off-Broadway League.¬† For two years she was co-curator of the Hudson Valley Writers‚Äô Center New Play Reading Series. She co-produced Hudson River Rising, presenting events in Westchester for One Billion Rising (V-Day).¬† She was a strategic consultant to SPACE on Ryder Farm, an artists‚Äô residency in Brewster, NY and a member of the Grand Jury for New York Musical Festival‚Äôs 2015 ‚Äď 2019 seasons.¬† She served as an evaluator for a NAMT innovation grant panel and is a juror for Bethany Arts Community residency program.¬† She is a frequent panelist and guest lecturer on theater-related matters. Before embarking on her career in theater, Ms. Dubin spent over 20 years in the financial services industry. Productions: Upcoming: The¬†Village¬†of Vale. ¬†Recent:¬†Is This A Room, Dana H., The Prom (Drama Desk Award Best Musical),¬†Farinelli and the King¬†(starring Mark Rylance, nominated for 5 Tony Awards),¬†An American in Paris¬†(4 TONY Awards, plus London and National Tour),¬†Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey¬†(Westside Theater and on Tour),¬†Ann, starring Holland Taylor (Lincoln Center);¬†Bandstand¬†(Broadway), Beebo Brinker Chronicles¬†(2008 GLAAD Media Award for Theatre);¬†Groundswell¬†(the New Group),¬†Peter and the Starcatcher (Broadway, Off-Broadway, National Tour), winner of 5 TONY Awards;¬†The Norman Conquests¬†(TONY Award, Best Play Revival),¬†The 39 Steps¬†(OB, Tour);¬†The Umbrellas of Cherbourg¬†(London).¬†¬†Film: Radium Girls.

  • LEE A. G. FELDSHON

    has over 25 years of experience in entertainment and corporate law. He launched his private practice, Feldshon Law PLLC, in 2018.  He represents producers, co-producers, composers, bookwriters, lyricists, directors, and other creatives in the live theatrical industry. He represented the New York Musical Theatre Festival from its 2004 founding to its dissolution.  He was production counsel for the Broadway revival of Pump Boys & Dinettes, and represented a Tony-award winning actor) in connection with the Tony-award winning Broadway musical The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.  He represents the producers and/or authors of other live theatrical works including Stranger Sings! The Musical Parody, EPIC, Lizard Boy, Islander-A New Musical, Mozart-The New Musical, Dangerous-A New Musical, Who's Your Baghdaddy? Or How I Started the Iraq War, Desperate Measures (2018 Drama Desk Awards for Original Music and Original Lyrics), Rooms, and others. He is also co-producing Austen's Pride: A New Musical of Pride and Prejudice.  He negotiates screenplay option/purchase agreements and financing documents for film producers, and has worked as film production counsel for  Fly 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 Spectacular, A 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.  In addition, he handles trademark and copyright registrations for clients, and represents talent management companies.  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

    For over 25 years, Eric has provided legal services to Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony award winning talent, and to technology and internet entrepreneurs. Recent projects include representing the writers of the Broadway smash hit Come from Away and the producers of the highly successful Off-Broadway musical parody of the television show Friends. Before launching his own firm in 2011, Eric worked for 15 years as a Senior Associate for entertainment attorney Mark Sendroff of Sendroff & Baruch LLP. Eric also served as in-house counsel for St. Martin’s Press and Hertz Computer. His first job out of law school was working as an associate for copyright guru Stanley Rothenberg.  Eric is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and New York University School of Law.

  • RK GREENE

    is a producer of the Tony Award winning Broadway and off-Broadway hit Peter & the Starcatcher as well as Farinelli and the King, A Time to Kill and Harmony, by Barry Manilow and Bruce Sussman.  In addition to his business career, he was a founding member of the Seattle Group Theatre, a multi-cultural ensemble that produced its own work. 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, by Daniel Jenkins and Robert Stanton, Cougar: The Musical, and Terms of Endearment with Molly Ringwald.  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 produced several shows at 59E59 Theaters. Currently in development is the new musical Beau by Douglas Lyons and Ethan D. Pakchar. The world premiere album is available on the Sony Masterworks label, www.StoryLineProject.com. 

  • JIM KIERSTEAD

    is a Grammy-nominated, Emmy, Olivier, and six-time Tony Award-winning producer of the Broadway, touring, Toronto, and London productions of Kinky Boots, Pippin, Hadestown, The Inheritance, The Lehman Trilogy and Company.  In addition, he has been a co-producer of 25 Broadway productions including Ain’t Too Proud, The Minutes, Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune, Waitress, The Visit, You Can’t Take It With You, Indecent, The Great Comet (all Tony nominated), Mrs. Doubtfire, Be More Chill, Pretty Woman, Side Show, It Shoulda Been You, M. Butterfly, Rocky, among others.  Off-Broadway projects include Unexpected Joy, Yank! (Drama Desk and Lucille Lortel Nominees), Bright Colors and Bold Patterns, and Thrill Me - The Leopold & Loeb Story (Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Nominees).  He has produced London productions including Waitress, Dreamgirls, Pretty Woman, Be More Chill, Unexpected Joy, Yank!, Thrill Me, Night of the Living Dead and Aspects of Love.  Film/TV projects include the Emmy winning TV series The Bay, we well as Indoor Boys, Emmy-nominated After Forever and Wakefield starring Bryan Cranston and Jennifer Garner. Along with his Broadway Factor partners, Jim produced the hit immersive show Amparo in downtown Miami for Bacardi.  Jim is on the Board of Directors of The York Theatre Company, The Abingdon Theatre Company and is the founder of the digital theatre content creation company Broadway Virtual. 

  • CODY LASSEN

    is a Tony-nominated theatre producer and live entertainment consultant. Broadway productions include Indecent, the Deaf West Theatre revival of Spring Awakening, and the upcoming revival of Paula Vogel’s How I Learned to Drive. Currently running off-Broadway A Commercial Jingle for Regina Comet, the first new musical to open since the pandemic began. He has been part of the producing team for other Broadway productions including Tootsie, What the Constitution Means to Me, Torch Song, The Band's Visit, Macbeth and Significant Other. Upcoming: the first revival of Titanic, The Flamingo Kid, Steven Sater & Duncan' Sheik's Alice By Heart and Burt Bacharach's Some Lovers. 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 was the director of marketing 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 Financial Wellness Companion, Entertaining Finance, and is the current Sales Trainer at MediaRadar. She has made a study of language and how people communicate value, be it screenwriting, playwriting, sculpting, performing, painting, or commercial sales. Bailie helps to translate the creator’s passions to others in a business setting. With her15 years in the personal financial planning industry, Bailie developed a niche in the arts and freelance communities, specializing in working with people with an uneven income. She has also spent significant time in the theatre industry as a stage manager, general manager, and producer. She is a Life Purpose Life Coach and a New York Mental Health Peer Specialist. She lives in New York City with her rescue pup, Lorelai.

  • 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‚Äôs 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¬ģ nominations, and 5 Tony Awards¬ģ including a Tony Award¬ģ as ‚ÄėBest Play Producer.‚Äô 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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