Event Details
  • February 4, 2017
    10:00 am - 6:00 pm
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Raising Money for Theater: Who, How and When to Ask

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

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.

Basic pricing is $175 for non-members, $150 for TRU members with $25 off for early birds, thru 1/15. Discount codes available for anyone who has applied to any of the upcoming festivals, as well as students. Email TRUStaff1@gmail.com with proof of your festival application, or a student ID, and we will provide you with a code for $40 0ff.

Workshop faculty will include 7¬†Tony¬ģ Award-winning Broadway producers (with a total of 19 Tonys among them!):¬†Bruce Robert Harris and¬†Jack W. Batman¬†of Sunnyspot Productions¬†(Tony Awards for¬†Pippin, Nice Work If You Can Get It and¬†Clybourne Park;¬†Tony nominations for¬†On The Town, You Can‚Äôt Take It With You, The Scottsboro Boys), Patricia Klausner (Tony Award for Pippin revival, plus Scottsboro Boys, Stick Fly, The Trip to Bountiful), Stewart Lane (Tony Award¬ģ-winner for A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder, War Horse, Jay Johnson: The Two & Only, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Will Rogers Follies and La Cage Aux Folles),¬†Cheryl Wiesenfeld (Tony Award¬†winner¬†for All the Way, Vanya &¬†Sonia &¬†Masha &¬†Spike, Porgy and Bess, Elaine Stritch: At Liberty, plus Legally Bonde, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Caroline or Change, The Exonerated), Theresa Wozunk (The Gershwin's Porgy & Bess, Liberty the Musical), early career producer Molly Morris (Come from Away, My Life Is a Musical) and ¬†Jesse B. Langston¬†(Question 1 and an upcoming commercial transfer of a new musical tba), investor/producers Jamie DeRoy (Tony Award winner for A Gentleman's Guide..., ¬†Vanya & Sonia & Masha & Spike, The Norman Conquests)¬†and¬†Josh Goodman¬†(Natasha Pierre and the Great Comet...,¬†Tonys for¬†Vanya & Sonia & Masha & Spike, Pippin); entertainment attorneys¬†LisaRoxanne Walters¬†and¬†Erach Screwvala, financial advisor Bailie Slevin of Entertaining Finance, and others to be confirmed.¬†(See full bios below.)


9:45am-10:00am - registration and check-in, coffee and cake/bagels
10:00am-10:15am -¬†keynote speech: Tony Award¬ģ winning producer¬†Stewart Lane¬†

10:15 to 10:55 - "Commercial and Not-for-Profit Asks: Defining the Differences"  with attorney LisaRoxanne Walters. 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.

10:55 to 11:35 - "Commercial Financing: Formalizing Your Ask" with attorney Erach Screwvala. 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.

11:35 to 11:45 - BREAK

11:45 to 12:15pm - "The Implications of the New Tax Laws on Theater Investing" with attorney Erach Screwvala. New tax breaks for theater investors have finally caught our industry up with the film industry. How do these changes effect you and your investors? The JOBS Act is finally going into effect. How do the new Federal Securities & Exchange Commission rulings affect who and how you can ask for money?

12:15 to 1:00pm -"How to Present Yourself to Investors"  with Bailie Slevin, financial advisor with 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 1:00pm to 2:00pm

2:00 to 2:30pm - "The Investor's Perspective: Why Your Show?" with Jamie deRoy and Josh Goodman. So what do you need to do or say to get an investor to write that check? Different investors have different reasons. Major players in commercial Broadway will discuss why they pick the shows they pick, and what you might learn from their choices.

2:30 to 3:15 -"The Unconventional Ask" with Bruce Robert Harris and Jack W. Batman

3:15 to 4:00 - "Cultivating and Maintaining a Pool of Investors" with Bruce Robert Harris and Jack W. Batman. Identifying prospective investors is just the first step. How do you communicate your passion for a project, incentivize a prospect and close the deal? We'll consider the ways to cultivate your relationships and maintain them through clear and careful communication.

4:00 to 4:15 - BREAK

4:15 to 5:00 - "How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Just Started Asking" moderated by Cheryl Wiesenfeld. 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. With Molly Morris (Come from Away, My Life Is a Musical), Patricia Kausner (Pippin revival, Scottsboro Boys, Stick Fly), Jesse Langston (Question 1, and an upcoming commercial transfer of a new musical tba), Theresa Wozunk (Porgy & Bess, Liberty the Musical).

5:00 to 5:15¬†- Keynote Speech: Tony Award¬ģ winning producer¬†Cheryl Wiesenfeld

5:15 to 6:00pm - RECEPTION