Event Details
  • Essentials of Self-Producing
    September 24, 2016
    12:00 pm - 4:30 pm
Essentials of Self-Producing (2016)

Saturday September 24th, noon to 4:30 pm.
Desotelle NuBox Theatre, 300 W. 43rd Street, 3rd floor

Writers, actors, directors and all artists need producers if their work is ever to be seen by an audience. So what can you do for your career while you're waiting to be produced?

Sometimes you've just got to jump in and be more than an artist to make theater happen. In this groundbreaking half-day workshop we will look at how artists can successfully take on the challenging role of producer to generate their own opportunities. The ones who are most successful have to master a range of business skills, don a variety of hats and learn to be an expert juggler. "I'm just an artist" no longer cuts it when you make the move from page to paying audience. Learn to view your creative work from a business perspective, understand the need to think differently and make smarter choices, not only now but for the future of your show, and your brand. It all seems a little overwhelming at times, but we will break it down into easily digestible bites. When you know what you're doing, it can actually be fun and fulfilling.

Faculty for this workshop will include TRU executive director Bob Ost, a successful writer and producer of his own and other people's works, plus a quartet of highly successful self-producers (see full bios below): actor-writer-producer Karen Eterovich, who has toured the US and Europe with one-woman shows about Aphra Behn and Jane Austen; writer-producer Dorothy Marcic whose musical SISTAS has played off-Broadway for five years, and whose previous show Respect has played in 44 cities; writer-director-producer Nancy Holson who spans the worlds of commercial live theater, corporate theater, and television with the Emmy Award winning The News in Revue, off-Broadway's Bush Wars and the touring Ludwig Live!Jay Michaels/Jay Michaels Arts & Entertainmentproducer/director, educator, and entrepreneur in the marketing, promotion, and public relations fields.

Our curriculum (subject to change due to availability of speakers):

noon - check-in

12:15 – 12:45 “Why Are You Doing This?” with Nancy Holson

  • Understanding your property and identifying your audience.
  • Managing expectations and setting attainable goals.
  • Is producing this worth giving up months of my life that I could spend creating something new? 

12:45-1:15 “Knowing What You Need to Make It Happen” with TRU executive director Bob Ost

  • Basic development steps: Table Reading, Staged Reading, Showcase, Festival.
  • How your goals affect your choices (budget, venue, creative team and more).
  • How much do things really cost? How much should you pay people, and how to have those conversations? Including a review of actual budgets.
  • The most uncomfortable ask: friends and family.
  • How to get help when you think you can’t afford it.
  • How to put together and manage your creative team.

1:15-1:45 “Wearing Many Different Hats” with Dorothy Marcic

  • You are no longer “just an artist” - the 5 different hats of any entrepreneur.
  • Keeping the identities separate – know who you are in each situation.
  • Thinking in spreadsheets, and understanding the business.
  • Collaboration. It’s never a one-man show, even if it sometimes feels like it.

1:45-2:00 – BREAK

2:00-2:30 “Marketing, Promotion and Self-Promotion” with Jay Michaels

  • Branding yourself, branding your plays, branding your company.
  • Identifying your audience – If you’re selling to everyone, you’re selling to no one.
  • The marketing basics: website, postcards, social media, tdf, and papering.
  • Being an effective spokesperson - Think like an audience, not like an artist.

2:30-3:00 “Finding or Creating Opportunities” with Karen Eterovich

  • Getting your plays out there in the world: licensing, and getting the most out of it.
  • Researching and booking tours.
  • Fringes and festivals.
  • Networking, now and for the future.

3:00-3:30 “Planning Ahead” - with all presenters, moderated by Bob Ost

  • Thinking beyond a single production.
  • Having a vision of what this play could be and how far it can go. 
  • How to capitalize on this production in order to plant the seeds for the next step

3:30-4:00 “How to Stay Inspired” - with all presenters, moderated by Bob Ost

  • Celebrating the joys and challenges of self-producing
  • Q&A

    has toured nationally and internationally as Aphra Behn in her solo play, Love Arm’d, Aphra Behn & Her Pen, including the Bedlam Theatre, Edinburgh, Scotland and the Mission Theatre, Bath, UK. Karen played Jane Austen in her own solo play Cheer from Chawton, A Jane Austen Family Theatrical. Cheer has played coast to coast from Stockton, CA to the Players Club and National Arts Clubs in New York City to the Mission Theatre in Bath. Recent New York City: Miss Prism in The Importance of Being Earnest with the Hudson Warehouse. Regional: Great Expectations, Indiana Repertory Theatre, All’s Well That Ends Well at The Shakespeare Theatre, Michael Kahn, director. Masha in The Three Sisters and Alma in Summer and Smoke, Paul Giovanni, director. Current: Member, Blue Roses, Member LPTW, Heritage Committee, Women Stage the World. Recent video interview, Aphra Behn as Activist by the New York Times Women in the World section. http://www.lovearmd.com


    general Manager/self-producer, is an Emmy-award winning writer, director and producer whose 25-year career spans the worlds of commercial live theater, corporate theater, and television. Nancy wrote, produced and directed the long-running hit show The News In Revue (1992 – 2011), on PBS (5 Emmy Awards), NPR, Off Broadway, the Berkshires and numerous venues from coast to coast. Writer/Director/Producer/ and/or General Manager - Off Broadway: Bush Wars and Ludwig Live! NYC and Regional: Parenting 101: The Musical, Dear Mom, Can I Really Date A Guy Who Wears a Yarmulke?, Folk City; Wild Women of Planet Wongo, London: Ludwig Live!. Coming Christmas 2015 in both London and New York: Nutcracker, The Musical. www.holsonproductions.com


    is a playwright, whose productions have played in over 40 cities, including three years of her Off-Broadway musical SISTAS. She is adjunct professor at Columbia University, and a former professor at Vanderbilt University. She was a Fulbright Scholar in Prague, has two masters and a doctorate, and is the author of 15 books, including the best-selling Understanding Management and RESPECT: Women and Popular Music. In 2003, Dorothy left full-time academia for playwriting. She turned her Respect book into a musical, tracing women’s development through Top-40 music with content-analysis research of how women are depicted in popular music lyrics. Dorothy has also been working on several plays. The reading of Intentions in June 2013 resulted in a Broadway producer optioning the piece, and it is currently in development, with an Industry Reading scheduled for April 2015. Dorothy started her career in the arts as a production assistant on the TV program, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, while in graduate school. She has appeared on C-SPAN, CMT, and Bravo Network.


    a stage and film producer/director, educator, and entrepreneur in the marketing, promotion, and public relations fields, has maintained a career in the arts & entertainment industry since the late 70s when he worked as an actor. By the mid-1980s he was working as a director and a producer with a specialty in promotion. Credits include: OFF-BROADWAY: a series of acclaimed productions of Shakespeare’s canon and new works at the Midtown International Theater Festival,  New York International Fringe Festival, as well as two Samuel French New Plays Festival winners. He founded JAY MICHAELS ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT supplying public relations services and production consultation to independent theater and film. Under this specialty, his credits include BROADWAY: Guys & Dolls (1992), Damn Yankees (1994) and The Vagina Monologues at Broadway's Town Hall; NATIONAL TOUR: Cats, Les Miserables, Oliver, Edwin Drood; RESIDENT THEATRE: the Midtown International Theatre Festival (2014 – present) and the 13th Street Repertory Theater (2015-present); The Bronx Opera (2006-2015); In 1998, he and Mary E. MiCari formed Genesis Repertory, a stage and film production company dedicated to educating through the arts. Mr. Michaels is a professor of communications at Kingsborough College and has lectured throughout the five boroughs. He has been recognized in National SDC, TheatreWorld, American Theater, and Cambridge’s Who’s Who with productions winning ASCAP, SPOTLIGHT, MITF, and OOBR Awards, published by Samuel French Play Service, and NYIT, GLAAD, and Drama Desk nominations.