Event Details
  • February 4, 2017
    10:00 am - 6:00 pm
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® 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’t 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®-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® 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. BatmanIdentifying 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® winning producer Cheryl Wiesenfeld

5:15 to 6:00pm - RECEPTION



    Since forming their partnership, Bruce and Jack have produced over four dozen plays and musicals together including: Broadway - Pippin (Tony Award, Drama Desk Award, Outer Critics Circle Award, Drama League Award), Clybourne Park (Tony Award, Pulitzer Prize), On The Town (Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics and Drama League Award nominations), You Can’t Take It With You (Tony, Outer Critics and Drama League Award nominations), The Scottsboro Boys (Tony Award nomination), Nice Work If You Can Get It (Tony Award and Grammy Award nominations), Bonnie and Clyde (Drama Desk Award nomination); Lincoln Center - I Am Harvey Milk; Los Angeles – Carrie the Musical (Ovation Award nomination, LA Drama Critics’ Circle nomination); London - The Scottsboro Boys (London Critics’ Circle Award and London Evening Standard Award, Olivier Award nomination), My Trip Down The Pink Carpet, By Jeeves; Off Broadway – Straight (current), The 39 Steps.  Sunnyspotproductions.com.


    is a show business tour de force --- an award-winning producer; cabaret, stage, film and TV performer; recording artist/producer and humanitarian. In addition to three Tony Awards®, Jamie has won eight MAC Awards, four Back Stage Bistro Awards, 11 Telly Awards and CaB Magazine’s Lifetime Achievement Award. She has been honored by Theatre Works/USA and Primary Stages. A frequent presence on the New York night club scene, Jamie has produced nine CDs in the Jamie deRoy & friends series on Harbinger and PS Classics labels. Her long-running shows benefit her favorite charitable causes, such as “The Actors Fund: Jamie deRoy & friends Cabaret Initiative,” a program to assist people in the cabaret industry with help for medical needs and concerns. Jamie’s many Broadway and Off-Broadway producing credits include The Front Page; The Play That Goes Wrong; Significant Other; Bright Star; American Psycho; China Doll with Al Pacino; The Gin Game; Sylvia; Fiddler on the Roof; A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder (Tony); Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike (Tony); The Norman Conquests (Tony); Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella; Addams Family; Lend Me a Tenor; Finian’s Rainbow; Ragtime; Blithe Spirit; Seagull; Thurgood; The Lion; Exit Strategy and Black Tie, Off- Broadway: Cagney; Othello: The Remix, Not That Jewish, Roads To Home, Butler, The Lion, Turn Me Loose, Exit Strategy, Black Tie, Opus, etc. Jamie’s London credits include Marguerite; Make Me a Song and The King’s Speech.


    is Executive Director and Associate General Counsel at Daiwa Capital Markets America Inc. and 2-time Tony award winning producer. Broadway: Pippin, Vanya &Sonia & Masha & Spike, Rocky and Come From Away.  He will be producing a revival of Howard Crabtree's When Pigs Fly. Josh is a graduate of Swarthmore College and the University of Pennsylvania Law School.



    is the founder of BroadwayHD (broadwayhd.com), a stage to screen production and distribution company expanding the reach of Broadway shows by making them available in cinemas, PPV and streaming on-line. BroadwayHD is in the Guinness book of World Records for the first ever live stream of the Broadway show She Loves Me. Mr. Lane is a six-time Tony award winning producer 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, as well as an additional eight-time nominee. He received four Drama Desks, a Drama Critics Circle, Outer Critics Circle, Actors Fund Award, Paul Newman Award, and Drama-League awards. In 2013 he won his first Olivier Award for Irving Berlin’s Top Hat in the West End. Currently, he is producing the Gloria and Emilio Estefan musical biography On Your Feet and Sunset Boulevard starring Glenn Close. He is co-owner and operator of the legendary Palace Theatre on Broadway. In addition, he has written the critically acclaimed “Black Broadway: African Americans on the Great White Way” (Square One Publishers), "Jews on Broadway" (McFarland Publishers), "Let's Put on a Show,"(Working Arts Library) which is also on DVD, and the plays In The Wings (published in the spring 2008 by Hal Leonard), If It Was Easy (published by Performing Books and nominated for Best New Play by the American Theatre Critics Association), and Back Home Again formally A Moment In Time (with music and lyrics by John Denver) which he was awarded The 2011 John Denver Spirit Award for his work


    has produced, written and assistant directed theater. She is one of the producers of the Tony Award winning revival of Pippin and The Trip to Bountiful on Broadway. Previously she was a producer of the Broadway shows The Scottsboro Boys and Stick Fly. As the Managing Director of Shotgun Productions, a theatrical non-profit, she has developed & produced theater, dance and operas. Productions include: Clear... A new musical experience (co-production with Dixon Place, Hendel Productions, Wayne Brady, Michele Crowley & Earl Dax), Santa Claus is Coming Out (co-production with Penguin Rep & Diverse City Theater), Marc Deaton in Vienna (classical concert, Schoenberg Center, Austria), The Lost Boy (co-production with QTIP & The Helen Hayes Theater in Nyack), Tristan und Isolde in Sofia (staged concert, Bulgaria), 24-Hour Drama-Thons, Big Kids, The Chaos Theories, Seduction (musical theater dance opera), Undivulged Crimes, Don't Hug Me (co-production with NJ Rep), Mia Michael's R.A.W. (dance concert), and Joined at the Head. Ms. Klausner has a Ph.D. in sociology and has taught women's studies, race relations, and criminology at the University of Delaware and Montclair State College.


    is a theatrical, concert, and event producer based in New York City.  Jesse’s current projects include Question 1 (book, music and lyrics by Chris Reza) and an unannounced upcoming commercial transfer of a new musical.  His primary mission is to produce and develop new works that value the power of change through positive messages.  Jesse's goal is to create commercial viability for these new works so as wide of an audience as possible may be reached. Jesse is an active member of Theater Resources Unlimited, where he is both a graduate of their Producers Development & Mentorship Program and a co-producer of the TRU Audition Event for 2016 and 2017.  Jesse is also a producer of symphony orchestra pops concerts that are performed by symphony orchestras all over the world.


    is a proud graduate of the TRU PDMP (Producer Development and Mentorship Program) and a co-founder of TRU YPAC (Young Patrons and Artists Circle).  She began her musical theatre career performing in regional and touring productions across the United States.  As her career evolved she decided that rather than exit the stage she would study the art of producing theatre in order to continue to develop the work that she had become so passionate about.  Her objective is to propel careers of emerging talent and to be a champion of writers.  In 2016, alongside parter Terry McNicholas, she founded International Incidents, a New York and Los Angeles based theatre production company dedicated to developing original plays and musicals with an ethos of positive message and social impact.  With Molly’s creative background and Terry’s experience as a world recognized executive, International Incidents combines art and commerce to develop long term business strategy for the sustainability and success of a property.  Current production: Come from Away at La Jolla Playhouse, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Ford’s theatre in Washington DC and Toronto’s Royal Alexandra Theatre. Featured on several ‘best of’ lists for 2015/16 including the LA Times, San Diego Union Tribune, the Washington Post, the Toronto Globe and Mail and winner of 6 prestigious San Diego Craig Noel Awards, Come from Away will land on Broadway at the Schoenfeld Theatre this Spring. Molly and Terry are working closely with Junkyard Dogs’ Sue Frost and Randy Adams and marketing partners AKA and On The Rialto to develop a groundbreaking partnership with American Airlines.  The partnership would focus on initiatives based on community engagement, educational campaigns, and honoring the legacy of the individuals who are part of the Come from Away story including Beverley Bass, the first female captain in commercial aviation and the first female captain of the 777.    


    is the founder of Screwvala LLC and has over ten years of experience in Entertainment Law, Intellectual Property, and Litigation.  In his Entertainment practice, he works with clients engaged in the legit theater, book publishing, motion picture, and music industries.  He regularly counsels clients on production financing, locating and clearing rights, and copyright issues.  He negotiates and drafts contracts on a wide range of issues, including financing documents, acquisition agreements, talent agreements, collaboration agreements, publishing and recording contracts.  His Litigation practice emphasizes complex litigation matters in Federal and State courts in a diverse range of areas, including Constitutional issues, copyright infringement, and securities fraud.

    Erach’s articles on copyright law have appeared in the Journal of the Association of Recorded Sound Collections and he has spoken on or moderated panels at the CMJ Music Marathon, PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature, and TRU.


    is the founder of Entertaining Finance, a business management and financial consulting firm geared specifically towards creatives. Bailie is the perfect combination of finance ninja and theater nerd. With 10 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 Conquests, Altar Boyz, Naked Boys Singing!, Pursuit of Persephone, A Very Merry Unauthorized Children’s Scientology Pageant, and Popesical in Concert at Joe’s Pub. She currently serves as a board member for The Tank NYC, a non-profit Arts presenter for emerging artists engaged in the pursuit of new forms of expression, and Theater Resources Unlimited (TRU), a training ground for tomorrows theatrical producers. Visit www.EntertainingFinance.com to learn more and start “adulting”!


    enjoys her "day jobs" of corporate attorney, tax preparer, as well as business and law professor. When this seasoned actor is not on stage or a set, she is often starting up and advising small for- and non-profit businesses, drafting contracts, or preparing taxes. Before starting her private practice in 2004, she worked for six years in the corporate departments of leading firms such as Skadden Arps, Phillips Nizer, and others. LisaRoxanne was a legal specialist for non-profits and enjoyed a ten-year appointment to New York City's Neighborhood Advisory Board. This bi-coastal actor is a member of Actors Equity Association and Screen Actors Guild.


    Broadway: The Heidi Chronicles, Rocky, All the Way (Tony Award), Vanya & Sonia & Masha & Spike (Tony Award), The Gershwin's Porgy & Bess (Tony Award); A Steady Rain; Legally Blonde; Dirty Rotten Scoundrels; Caroline, or Change; ‘night, Mother; Elaine Stritch: At Liberty (Tony Award). Off-Broadway: Play Dead; In the Continuum; Shockheaded Peter; The Exonerated; Talking Heads; The Waverly Gallery. Ms. Wiesenfeld was the recipient of Theater Resources Unlimited's 2007 "Spirit of Theater" Award for her ongoing generosity to young producers in the New York community, as well as her selfless support of the work that TRU does. She is one of the founders of the TRU Producer Development & Mentorship Program, and to date has mentored dozens of aspirants, including guiding one production to win four Audelco Awards, and helping another production find success in regional theaters. Cheryl is a proud board member of TRU.


    Credits include The Gershwins' Porgy & Bess (Associate Producer 2012); Liberty A Monumental New Musical (2010 AEA Workshop; 2012 Developmental Production Warner Theatre/Torrington, CT; 2014 Off-Broadway Premier / Theatre 80 St. Marks; 2016 Off-Broadway remount/Club 42West - opening July 4th)