Event Details
  • Essentials of Successful Self-Producing
    December 6, 2020
    1:00 pm - 6:30 pm
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Essentials of Successful Self-Producing 2020

Sunday December 6th, 1pm to 6:30 pm EST
Our annual workshop reformatted and rethought for virtual presentation

Sometimes you've just got to jump in and be more than an artist to make theater happen. "I'm just an artist" no longer cuts it when you make the move from page to paying audience - you are the CEO of your brand!  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 expert jugglers.

Learn to view your creative work from a business perspective and understand the need to think differently. Make smarter choices, not only now but for the future of your show. 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! Cost: $100, $75 for TRU members (see red registration box on this page). 

COVID-19 scholarships available - fill out an online scholarship application at https://forms.gle/BeGgYecFcaJUsNk18 and send a brief email to TRUnltd@aol.com requesting financial help.

Faculty for this half-day workshop will include Emileena Pedigo of The Show Goes On Productions, former managing producer of Midtown International Theatre Festival; and Bob Ost, writer-producer, executive director of TRU. Guest speakers will include: 

  • dramaturg/director/producer Cate Cammarata of CreateTheater.com;
  • general manager/producer Lisa Dozier-King of LDK Productions (NYMF, Be More Chill, A Letter to Harvey Milk, The Crusade of Connor Stephens, Bedbugs the Musical, F#%king Up Everything, Sistas the Musical);
  • production advisor/strategist and producer Blair Russell (Slave Play, off-Broadway's long-running immersive Sweeney Todd) of Show Shepherd, a strategic theatrical development company, and producer www.blairrussell.net;
  • entertainment attorney Lee Feldshon of Feldshon Law PLLC;
  • marketing expert and omnipreneur Mathew Heggem;
  • Dorothy Marcic of Dr. Dorothy Productions, self-producing writer (off-Broadway long-running Sistas!, This One's for the Girls, Respect);
  • performing artist, producer and activist Maria Aponte.

Our curriculum (subject to change):

12:45 check-in

1:00 “Why Are You Doing This?” with Bob Ost & Emileena Pedigo

  • Adapting to the new virtual world: new technology, teams, and audiences.
  • Aligning with a vision of your work (defining the Why).
  • Understanding your property and identifying your audience.
  • Building a Road Map and setting attainable S.M.A.R.T. Goals.

1:30 "Legal Protections and Antidotes" with Lee Feldshon

  • Agreements: collaborator, options, contractors, and more.
  • What you need to know when you ask for money. And what your responsibilities are.
  • Pre-existing and underlying rights, intellectual property protections.

10-minute break-out sessions

2:30 “Planning Ahead” with Blair Russell of Show Shepherd

  • Having a vision of what this play could be and how far it can go. 
  • Thinking and planning beyond your project (5/10 year plan).
  • How to plant the seeds for the next step.
  • The impact the pandemic has had on the development process.

3:00 “Wearing Many Different Hats” with Dorothy Marcic

  • The different hats of being an entrepreneur.
  • Thinking in spreadsheets and understanding the business. 
  • Finding your team. It’s never a one-man show, even if it sometimes feels like it.

15 minute break

3:45 “Knowing What You Need to Make It Happen” with Lisa Dozier-King

  • How your goals affect your choices (budget, venue, creative team, and more).
  • Effective use of virtual performance for development.
  • The development options: table read, staged reading, showcase, festivals, cabaret, and more.
  • How much do things really cost? How much should you pay people?  How to have those conversations and more.
  • How to put together and manage your creative team. 

4:30 “Marketing, Promotion and Self-Promotion” with Mathew Heggem

  • Self-producing and branding in the virtual age.
  • Identifying your audience (Lean Startup Model).
  • The marketing basics: website, postcards, social media, and ticketing.
  • Effective networking: creating brand ambassadors for your art.

10-minute break-out sessions

5:15 “Finding & Creating Opportunities” with Cate Cammarata

  • Producing virtually: platforms, unions, and international reach.
  • Getting your plays out there in the world: licensing, and getting the most out of it.
  • Researching and booking tours.
  • Fringes and festivals.

5:45 Keynote speech: performing artist, producer and activist Maria Aponte (Transitions of a Nuyorican Cinderella, Award Winning Author 2013 International Latino Book Awards)

6:00 Q&A/break-out sessions for networking


    MARIA is a Poet/Performance Artist/ Community Arts Activist/Educator. Featured on Bronx Net, News 12, NBC Latino and TIEMPO WABC-TV. She is a two- time recipient of the International Latino Book Awards for Transitions of a Nuyorican Cinderella and The Gift of Loss.   Maria is the Founder & President of Latina 50 Plus™ a not for profit organization honoring Latina Pioneers.  She is also the Assistant Director of Global Diversity & Inclusion for Career Services at Fordham University.


    is a producer, director, dramaturg and writer in NYC and is the Associate Artistic Director for Rhymes Over Beats Hip Hop Theater Collective. Cate has produced The Assignment off-Broadway and My Father's Daughter with Ursula Rucker at La Mama for Rhymes Over Beats. Regionally she produced My Life Is a Musical at Bay Street Theater and has directed many readings of new work in NYC. She is the Literary Manager for Theater Resources Unlimited (TRU) and is the Director of Creative Development for MusicalWriters.com. Cate holds a BFA in Acting/Directing from Syracuse University and an MFA in Dramaturgy at SUNY Stony Brook, and teaches Theatre Arts at Baruch College. Her latest book, "Contemporary Monologues for a New Theater," was listed as one of the Top Ten Books for theatre lovers by BroadwayDirect in 2018. catecammarata.comcreatetheater.com


    LDK Productions is a theatrical general management and producing firm based in New York City, founded by Lisa Dozier King in 2004. Recent/Upcoming: Be More Chill, Tennessee Whiskey, Hit Her With The Skates, Unlikely Heroes, LIKAH! Select Past Credits: Be More Chill, Kennedy: Bobby’s Last Crusade, A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur, A Letter to Harvey Milk, The Crusade of Connor StephensVincentPromisingBedbugs the MusicalThe ErlkingsBreakfast with MugabeFinal AnalysisF#%king Up EverythingSistas the MusicalBronte: A Portrait of CharlotteTen ChimneysThe Duchess of MalfiHow to be a Good Italian DaughterMilk, The Diary of a Teenage GirlInto the Hazard (Henry 5)The Rise and Fall of Annie Hall, Jeff Daniels’ Apartment 3A. Lisa has managed more than one hundred professional productions, and has been on staff at the New 42nd Street, Manhattan Theatre Club, Symphony Space, American Repertory Theatre and New York Stage & Film. She is also on faculty at the University of Florida, served as the BFA Theatre Management program director at the University of Miami from 2013-2018, and was the founding producing director for Miami New Drama, a new regional theatre that produces and manages the 400 seat historic Colony Theatre on Miami Beach. Lisa served as the resident general manager for the National Alliance for Musical Theatre’s Festival of New Musicals from 2008-2018.


    has over 23 years of experience in entertainment and corporate law. He recently formed Feldshon Law PLLC to launch his private practice, after having partnered with David Schwartz in Feldshon & Schwartz, LLP for the last 10 years. He represents producers, co-producers, composers, bookwriters, lyricists, directors, and other creatives in the live theatrical industry. He has represented the New York Musical Theatre Festival since its 2004 founding.  He was production counsel for the Broadway revival of Pump Boys & Dinettes and represented stars (including a Tony-award winning actor) in connection with the Tony-award winning Broadway musical The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. He did legal work for Desperate Measures (2018 Drama Desk Award for original music and lyrics), Who’s Your BaghdaddyMoney TalksBloody, Bloody, Jessica FletcherLibertyEmojilandRooms, and other Off Broadway shows.  He represents co-producers on the Broadway productions of Moulin RougeKing Kong and Chasing Rainbows.  He negotiates screenplay option/purchase agreements and financing documents for film producers, and has worked as film production counsel for Good Girls GoneFly 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 SpectacularA 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. 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.


    Versatile marketing, sales & business development professional with 15+ years of experience advising entrepreneurs, CEOs and executive leaders across multiple industries. Emphasis on developing brands and leading growth initiatives to launch and/or improve products & services. Graduated from the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Program. Recognized by CPA Practice Advisor as a “20 Under 40 Superstar;" and, invited to speak at conferences like QuickBooks Connect and Xerocon. Authored 30+ articles on leadership, accounting technology, and small business advice for publications, including The Accountex Report, SmartCEO, and Entrepreneur.com. As a dancer, he has worked with Nicholas Leichter Dance, ClancyWorks Dance Company, Clyde Forth Visual Theater, and Jennifer Monson.  For over 10 years, he has presented his own work at arts festivals, cabarets, and theaters throughout the Northeast, including: Cabaret Cataplexy; Queer Art Impact's 'Come As You Are' Festival and Gay Wars; various evenings at Dixon Place and The Tank; the New Dance Alliance's 'Performance Mix Festival', the Gloucester New Arts Festival and the Transmodern Festival. As an arts educator, he has been on faculty at the Goucher Summer Arts Institute and Experimental Movement Concepts, and taught workshops for various colleges, high schools and private performing arts institutions. Mathew holds a BA in Dance from Goucher College.


    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.


    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 2014 Fresh Fruit Festival. He won the 2011 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 2010 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.


    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. 


    is a freelance producer, developer, supporter, and lover of theatre whose experience ranges from fringe festivals to Broadway shows. His most recent projects include Slave Play by Jeremy O. Harris and the critically acclaimed immersive Off-Broadway production of Sweeney Todd. At Show Shepherd, he helps writers and producers to navigate the development of new work, and he produces live immersive audio dramas as Director of Operations for Resounding. He currently serves on the board of New York Theatre Barn and The New Harmony Project. He is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University with a BFA in Technical Theatre/Stage Management. https://www.blairrussell.net/