Event Details
  • Essentials of Successful Self-Producing
    October 6, 2018
    10:30 am - 3:30 pm
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Essentials of Successful Self-Producing

Saturday October 6th, 10:30am to 3:30 pm
Clinton Cameo Studios, 307 W. 43rd Street, NYC

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 half-day workshop will include Michael Griffiths, Marketing & Audience Development Associate for Dixon Place Theatre; Emileena Pedigo of The Show Goes on Productions, former general manager of Midtown International Theatre festival; and Bob Ost, writer-producer, executive director of TRU. With guest speaker Dorothy Marcic, self-producing writer (off-Broadway long-running Sistas!, This One's for the Girls, Respect); solo artist Meshelle “The Indie-Mom of Comedy”; Joey McKneely, two-time Tony nominated choreographer/director; Jay Michaels of Jay Michaels Arts & Entertainment.

Our curriculum (subject to change):

10:30 check-in

10:45- 11:15 “Why Are You Doing This?” with Emileena Pedigo

  • If you don’t know where you’re going, you can’t know how to get there.
  • Understanding your property and identifying your audience.
  • Managing expectations and setting attainable goals (S.M.A.R.T. Goals) 

11:15-12:00 “Knowing What You Need to Make It Happen” with Bob Ost, Emileena Pedigo and Michael Griffiths

  • How your goals affect your choices (budget, venue, creative team and more)
  • The development options: table read, staged reading, showcase, festivals, cabaret 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.
  • Developing leadership and management skills.
  • How to put together and manage your creative team. 

12:00-12:30 “Wearing Many Different Hats” with Dorothy Marcic

  • You are no longer “just an artist” – the different hats of any entrepreneur.
  • Keeping identities separate – know who you are in each situation.
  • Thinking in spreadsheets, and understanding the business. 
  • Trusting that using your left brain will not compromise your right brain
  • Finding your team. It’s never a one-man show, even if it sometimes feels like it.

12:30-1:15 – LUNCH

1:15-2:00 “Marketing, Promotion and Self-Promotion” with Michael Griffiths

  • 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.

2:00-2:30 “Finding or Creating Opportunities” - panel to include Joey McKneely, Jay Michaels, Meshelle.

  • Getting your plays out there in the world: licensing, and getting the most out of it.
  • Researching and booking tours.
  • Fringes and festivals.
  • The Art of Networking: creating brand ambassadors for your art

2:30-3:00 “Planning Ahead” - panel to include Joey McKneely, Jay Michaels, Meshelle.

  • Thinking and planning beyond your project (5/10 year plan)
  • 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.

3:00-3:30 Q&A and networking reception


    Emileena's work focuses on building sustainable careers #AnotherWay, using entrepreneurial strategies that prioritize the artist over their art.  Her company, The Show Goes On Productions provides coaching and artist management, as well as produces workshops, showcases, and events.  Before that Emileena was managing producer of the Midtown International Theater Festival.  She helped expand the annual festival into seven venues, presenting up to 60 shows in one month during her seven-year tenure.  Emileena also general-managed for several nonprofits, assisted Stewart F. Lane on four Broadway shows, including the Off-Broadway transfer of The 39 Steps, and worked on various film and music festivals.  She toured theaters, music arenas, and schools across the country, working with artists from all artistic disciplines.  Emileena has served on the board of Conscious Capitalism NYC, and helped to build Arts programming within the Chelsea Greenwich Village Chelsea Chamber of Commerce.  She is a graduate of the Commercial Theatre Institute, SUNY/Kaufmann's Fasttrac program for entrepreneurs, and a Purdue University alum. 


    has worked both on and offstage. Michael opened as Barildo in a modern interpretation of Lorca’s Fuente Ovejuna, and was Luka in a classical rendition of Anton Chekhov’s The Bear and has numerous credits in New York as a Stage Manager, Director and Producer. Mike is currently the Marketing Director of Dixon Place, where he oversees the production of over 8 full-length productions per year as well as on average of 15 works in progress piece per week. Each month he hosts a marketing workshop geared at helping new and emerging artists to successfully produce their own work Off-Broadway and off-off-Broadway. Currently, he is working on a production of a new play about the life of writer James Baldwin set for an off-broadway run in 2019.


    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.


    is a two-time Tony Nominated Broadway Choreographer and the international Director and Choreographer of West Side Story. Broadway Credits include Smokey Joe’s CafĂ©,  The Life, Twelfth Night, The Wild Party, The Boy From OZ and the West Side Story revival. He directed/choreographed the US National Tours of Thoroughly Modern Millie, Annie Get Your Gun, Crazy For You and Smokey Joe’s CafĂ©. Internationally, he directed/choreographed the world premieres of Love U Theresa, Ah, Kuling! and Jiu Gan Tang Mai Wu in China; The Beautiful Game, Thoroughly Modern Millie, West Side Story in Japan; Evita and Dusty in London. He will be self-producing his new show Shadows, a Dance Musical, this fall at the Connelly Theater in NYC.


    Meshelle's inaugural literary offering "101 Things Every Girl/Young Woman of Color Should Know" (Duafe Press, 2010) is currently utilized in school-based, private, faith-based, and non-profit programming. Meshelle returned to her musical theater roots as the “Mayor of Dingburg”  (Baltimore Theater Project; November 2010) during the 2 week production of Zippy the Pinhead: The Musical, an original adaptation of the internationally award winning syndicated comic strip.  Her One Woman Show, Diary of a M.I.L.F. (Mom I’d Love to FOLLOW) directed by Rain Pryor; debuted December 17, 2011 to a sold-out audience at the Baltimore Theatre Project and “sold-out” special engagement performance at Joe’s Pub @ THE PUBLIC THEATER (July, 2018:NY/NY) has received multiple awards; WINNER, Favorite Overall Theatrical Experience (Atlanta Black Theatre Festival, 2012); WINNER Audience Choice Award (DC Black Theatre Festival, 2013). WINNER, “One Act Battle” (DC Black Theatre Festival, 2012, 2013), WINNER, Outstanding Solo Performer (Midtown International Theatre Festival, 2014: NY, NY). Meshelle's comedy album debuted January, 2016; Funny As a Mother
 produced by Comedy Dynamics Records (Los Angeles, CA) and can be purchased on iTunes, Amazon, GooglePlay, and Spotify and can be heard on Pandora Radio (www.pandora.com) on the Meshelle Radio Station. She was featured on TruTV’s LaffMobb’s Lafftracks which debuted January 3, 2018.


    is a producer/director, marketing and public relations executive, entrepreneur & educator. He has been part of the indie theater and film scene since 1985. In 1997, he took the knowledge he acquired as a casting director for New York Daily News commercials and production associate for KSL Media and PBS and founded the boutique PR firm that now bears his name. Jay Michaels Arts & Entertainment creates visibility for self-producing stage artists and production companies on the East & West coasts and in multiple film arenas. Stage clients include Planet Connections Theatre Festivity; Downtown Urban Arts Festival; Fresh Fruit Festival; New York New Works Theatre Festival; Richard Skipper Celebrates; the Improvisational Repertory Theatre Ensemble; Step1 Theatre Project; Medicine Show Theatre; Opera at Hunter College; Spotlight-On Festivals; Playwrights/Authors Doug DeVita, Gary Morgenstein, Patrick Hickey, Jr., Anthony J. Piccione, Antonia Kasper, and Dorian Palumbo; Cabaret Artists Lane Bradbury, Andrea Bell Wolff, and Rev. Mary and Granny's Blue-Mers. Film clients include award-winning filmmakers, Eliana Ujueta (“Beneath The Rock,” “The Airport Run”) and Ben Goldstein ("Jack London") and Steve Silver (“The Watchtower,”). JMA&E also produces live promotional events. Michaels presented live promo events for the HBO Summer Stage, Spotlight-On Film Festival, and the promo showings of “UVX,” a live theater and film hybrid, which was a sponsor of the 2017 New York ComicCon. In 1999, he and Mary Elizabeth Micari formed Genesis Repertory Ensemble, a non-profit arts organization dedicated to giving opportunities to emerging artists in the stage and film (and live event) industries. A professor of communications at Kingsborough College, Michaels continues to appear as a guest speaker and artist throughout the tri-state area at universities and arts organizations.


    While still a senior at U. of Pa., his one-act Beast was produced by Bob Moss in the first season of Playwrights Horizons. He went on to write book, music and lyrics for the off-Broadway revue Everybody’s Gettin’ into the Act at the Actor’s Playhouse, and Finale!, Grand Prize winner in the 1990 American Musical Theater Festival Competition (presented at NAMT) and the 1992 New American Musical Writers Competition, and a finalist at the O’Neill Music Conference in 1989. More recently his musical Angel in My Heart won Best Musical in the Fresh Fruit Festival. He won the New Works of Merit Playwriting Competition for his play Breeders, previously a finalist at the O'Neill, as well as a selection of the TRU Voices New Plays Reading Series. The Necessary Disposal was a finalist in the Maxim Mazumdar New Play Competition at the Alleyway Theatre in Buffalo, has been a finalist in three other national competitions, and was part of the Shotgun Productions New Play Reading Series and the Oberon Theatre Reading Series, both in NYC; his one-act A Glass of Water was part of the Lovecreek Festival, HomoGenius Festival, Downtown Urban Arts Festival; other one-acts have been showcased all over New York. He won a 2004 OOBR Award for the review "Songs Are Like Friends", and is a 3-time MAC nominee. While he was producing his own musical revues at cabarets around Manhattan he discovered he could combine his artistic talent with the business skills he was picking up in the advertising world. The idea of Theater Resources Unlimited was born, with the help of co-founders (and  fellow writers) Gary Hughes and Cheryl Davis in 1992. He has gone on to produce musicals Civil War Voices and Rip in the Midtown International Theater Festival, and the classic Chinese musical, Romance of the Western Chamber.