Shetler Studios, 244 W. 54th Street, Penthouse
Sunday March 1, 2020 - submission deadline 02/19
Session 1: coaching at 4:30, pitching at 5:30
Session 2: coaching at 5:30, pitching at 6:30
You meet a producer at a party, and have two minutes to interest him in your work. Do you have the skill to sell yourself? Here's a chance to practice your pitching with real producers who are open to and interested in meeting you. Okay, they probably won't option you on the spot, but they'll give you valuable feedback about your work and your ability to talk about it. And you'll have the opportunity to start developing a relationship. And that's what this business is all about. Relationships.
The Speed Date is the only event I know of that gives writers the chance to meet high level producers one-on-one in a room. To me, that's what makes the Speed-Dates so valuable. And you do it with kindness, which I value in life. ~Vincent Amelio (How Alfo Learned to Love)
Click here: WriterSpeedDateApp-85-75 for application. Please fill out and email to TRUStaff1@gmail.com (PLEASE - add your name to the document name, and put it first when you "save as").
We'll have eleven producers lined up, from both the commercial and not-for-profit worlds, all with an interest in new projects; we also may have eleven aspiring producers from our Producer Development program. So you'll be pitching to as many as 22 producers in total! Come with a willingness to learn, because the real value is the chance to practice your pitching. And you'll be getting invaluable coaching from experts, as well. And did we mention the wine and snacks afterwards?
Confirmed producers include:
- Evan Bernardin, producer/general manager, Evan Bernardin Productions (We Are The Tigers, Afterglow, Counting Sheep; National tours Million Dollar Quartet, Charlie Brown Christmas);
- Cate Cammarata, dramaturg, director, producer (My Life Is a Musical, The Assignment, My Father's Daughter), Associate Artistic Director for Rhymes Over Beats Hip Hop Theater Collective;
- Rashad Chambers producer (Ain't Too Proud, American Son, It Happened in Key West, Mr. Rickey Calls a Meeting, the world premiere of The Erlkings);
- Robert Driemeyer of Driemeyer/Sills Productions, producer (off-Broadway Forbidden Broadway Comes Out Swinging, Party Face, The Two-Character Play, Shear Madness; Broadway Elling, La Cage Aux Folles revival);
- Jane Dubin, producer (The Prom, Tony winning The Norman Conquests, An American in Paris, Farinelli and the King, Bandstand, Peter and the Starcatcher, Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey, The 39 Steps, Ann);
- William Franzblau, producer (Rocktopia, Tony Award-nominated Say Goodnight Gracie, American Buffalo and Wonderland on Broadway; tour of Little House on the Prairie the Musical; off-Broadway Sistas, Jewtopia, Evil Dead the Musical, Respect, Illuminate);
- John Melo, theater and film producer;
- Lorca Peress artistic director of MultiStages, multicultural multidisciplinary theatre (2019 LMCC Creative Engagement Grantee, NYMF 2017 Next Link Project, HOLA Awards, NYIT Nominations);
- Shela Xoregos, artistic director Xoregos Performing Company;
- Claudia Zahn, former managing director Malibu Playhouse;
- Frank Zuback, producer (Taking Leave, American Soldier, Roof of the World).
Coaches: Diana Calderazzo, Alison Sheff, Bailie Slevin
Trailing Producers: Ina Chadwick*, Hal Diamond*, Geo Geller, Stephanie Grayson, Adam Gregory*, Jessica Jennings of Ripple Effect Artists, Sharon Kilfoyle, Lori Mannette, Sanford Silverberg*, David Stamps*
[*members and alumni of TRU's Producer Development program]
I participated in TRU's Writer's Speed Date Pitch session last year, and got a LOT out of it! I found it so motivating to have a deadline to create production assets and prepare myself for meeting producers. My partner and I worked tirelessly for days before the event to make sure we were in top form before presenting (as writers) to the "producers" on hand. My experience was one of the rare occasions where several producers expressed real interest in my work. Later, one attended my reading, and followed up with a coffee meeting to talk financing. We're still in touch. Again, this is never promised, but it does happen for some of us. In my opinion, the price of $85 for all that value is a BARGAIN! ~Ed Zareh (Long Lost John)
I've had follow-up meetings with two people I met from the event. and provided scripts to three others. I also met some fellow playwrights, and through a chain of introductions coming out of that, I'm now working on a possible film deal in Los Angeles. If you have a project where you'd like to practice and receive feedback on your pitch; potentially make some connections that would be useful for script development or early production; and meet some other playwrights – this is an ideal opportunity. ~William Roetzheim
is an adjunct instructor of Theatre at Fordham University, teaching Invitation to Theatre with a focus in Cognitive Studies from the University of Pittsburgh and a Master’s Degree in Theatre from the University of Central Florida. She has taught Theatre and/or Communications at both of those universities, as well as Central Texas College and Bronx Community College. Diana was also a scholarship recipient at Smith College, where she completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Theatre. Diana has published peer-reviewed articles in such journals as Theatre Topics and Theatre Symposium, and has presented papers at national and international conferences such as the American Society for Theatre Research and the International Federation for Theatre Research. She is also a member of Wardrobe Local 764 in New York City, where she works as a wardrobe technician for various Broadway shows. She worked as a full-time dresser for Spider-Man: Turn Oﬀ the Dark on Broadway from 2010 to 2013. Diana is a former Tour Actor/Director for the Missoula Children’s Theatre and has taught Theatre to over 2,500 children around the country with this company. She has also toured in Europe as a performer with Music Theatre Bavaria
is a stage director with a background in performing and marketing. She previously worked in the Marketing Department for the Huntington Theater Company as well as working as a marketing consultant for actors and regional theater companies. She has taught her business and marketing workshop at universities across the country and for the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival. As a director, Allison has worked in numerous regional theaters and has helped develop productions in New York City. She recently served at the Assistant Director on the revival of Smokey Joe’s Café. Allison has also served as an Artistic Liaison on 11 Broadway productions. Allison believes in telling stories with heart, humor and authenticity. She strives to challenge perspectives and affect change while encouraging tolerance and empathy. She has a strong commitment to diversity in casting and telling the stories of the underrepresented.
is the founder of Entertaining Finance, a financial consulting and consulting firm geared specifically towards freelancers, specifically those in arts and entertainment. With 13 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 PATH Fund and “Rockers on Broadway, a non-profit Arts organization committed to bringing arts education to all. Visit www.EntertainingFinance.com to learn more
Evan Bernardin Productions is a general management and production company specializing in consulting and management for theatrical productions. They have supported the development of projects headed for the Broadway and Off-Broadway markets. National Tours: Million Dollar Quartet, Charlie Brown Christmas Live. Select Off Broadway: Afterglow, Must, Diaspora, Counting Sheep. EBP has worked with the New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF), Broadway Cares Equity Fights AIDS (BCEFA), Fringe (NY & LA), The Workshop Theatre Company, and The Make A Wish Foundation; collaborative projects include performances at Lincoln Center, The United Nations, Cornell University, Georgetown's Gaston Hall, The Culture Project, The Ohio Theatre, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art. www.
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.com, createtheater.com
RASHAD V. CHAMBERSis a global producer, talent manager and lawyer. He recently produced the world premiere of It Happened In Key West at the Charing Cross Theatre in London. His Broadway productions include American Son, The Inheritance, Betrayal and Ain't Too Proud - The Life and Times of The Temptations. In addition, Rashad produced the world premiere of The Erlkings at the Beckett Theatre in New York. He also produced an independent romantic comedy entitled True to the Heart, which won five awards at the Long Island International Film Expo and was an official selection of the Big Apple Film Festival. His short films, Hunger and Click, were official selections of the Urbanworld Film Festival, Hollywood Black Film Festival and Pan African Film Festival. Rashad is currently developing a TV series with Stacy Sutphen, Damon Sharpe, Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds and Electus. He has also developed and produced concerts series at 54 Below, 42West, Ars Nova and the 92Y in Tribeca. A licensed attorney in New York and Connecticut, Rashad earned his JD and MBA degrees from The Ohio State University and BA in Business Administration from Morehouse College. He is the Founder and President of Esquire Entertainment, a New York based talent management and production company. www.esquireentertainment.com
Broadway credits include the Tony Award-winning revival of La Cage aux Folles starring Kelsey Grammar and Douglas Hodge, and Elling starring Brendan Fraser and Denis O'Hare. Off Broadway he produced Tennessee Williams' The Two-Character Play starring Amanda Plummer and Brad Dourif, and Party Face starring Hayley Mills and directed by Amanda Bearse. Other Off Broadway credits include Shear Madness and Forbidden Broadway. He produced David Parr's critically acclaimed Slap & Tickle directed by David Drake in Provincetown, MA. He and producing partner Morgan Sills formed Driemeyer-Sills Productions which focuses on new works and classic revivals, and offers producing and executive producing services, reproducers.com
is a TONY Award-winning producer and the President of Double Play Connections, a theatrical production and management company committed to supporting emerging artists and playwrights in the creation and development of new works. A graduate of the Commercial Theatre Institute's 14-week (NYC) and O’Neill Center Intensive (CT) Producing Workshops and co-Director of Theater Resources Unlimited’s Producer Development Program Master Class, Ms. Dubin is President of the Board of Directors of Houses on the Moon Theater Company, a recent Board member of the League of Professional Theatre Women, a member of the Broadway Women’s Alliance and the Off-Broadway League. For two years she was co-curator of the Hudson Valley Writers’ Center New Play Reading Series. She co-produced Hudson River Rising, presenting events in Westchester for One Billion Rising (V-Day). She was a strategic consultant to SPACE on Ryder Farm, an artists’ residency in Brewster, NY and a member of the Grand Jury for New York Musical Festival’s 2015 – 2019 seasons. She served as an evaluator for a NAMT innovation grant panel. She is a frequent panelist and guest lecturer on theater-related matters. Before embarking on her career in theater, Ms. Dubin spent over 20 years in the financial services industry. Productions: The Prom (Drama Desk Award Best Musical), Farinelli and the King (starring Mark Rylance, nominated for 5 Tony Awards), An American in Paris (4 TONY Awards, plus London and National Tour), Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey (Westside Theater and on Tour), Ann, starring Holland Taylor (Lincoln Center); Bandstand (Broadway), Beebo Brinker Chronicles (2008 GLAAD Media Award for Theatre); Groundswell (the New Group), Peter and the Starcatcher (Broadway, Off-Broadway, National Tour), winner of 5 TONY Awards; The Norman Conquests (TONY Award, Best Play Revival), The 39 Steps (OB, Tour); The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (London). Film: Radium Girls.
created and produced the recent Broadway Rocktopia, the Tony Nominated Best Play Say Goodnight Gracie, produced David Mamet’s American Buffalo on Broadway, and the tour of Little House on the Prairie the Musical starring Melissa Gilbert. He also served as the Executive and Lead Producer for Broadway’s Wonderland. He licensed and produced the off-Broadway shows, SISTAS the Musical (recently shot and broadcast on BET, now in its sixth year off Broadway), This One's for the Girls, Jewtopia, Evil Dead the Musical, the male intellect: an oxymoron, Respect and ILuminate (America’s Got Talent Finalist) while developing several Broadway shows including Paramount’s Crazy People and the new Rupert Holmes play, Kennedy/Reagan. He produced and Co-Directed Rocktopia for the 2016 PBS National Pledge Broadcast with a 2017 tour. As Chief Executive Officer of the high technology company, KATrix Inc. he created strategic alliances with the Walt Disney Company, Microsoft Corporation, MGM and the Intel Corporation. In the early nineties, Mr. Franzblau co-founded Interfilm Inc., a publicly traded company combining interactive technologies with cinematic art. He was the driving force in putting together an $18 million initial public offering underwritten by Smith Barney and subsequently facilitated the sale of the company via a reverse triangular merger with Palatin Technologies, Inc. From 1990 through 1992 Mr. Franzblau served as producer of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles touring show, a 21-month tour involving 500 appearances in 200 cities and 10 countries, for which he managed all aspects of the business development and operations. The tours grossed over $60 million in sponsorships, ticket sales and merchandising as well as spinning off a double platinum record and a national pay-per-view. Previous to the above Mr. Franzblau served as Executive Producer of three tours of the Moscow Circus on Broadway and North America and produced the touring productions of BEATLEMANIA. In 2021 he produced MANSlaughter (episodic podcast) which reached # 1 podcast in the US, Canada, UK and Australia.
Zephyr Communications, Inc. has over 30 years experience in advertising, strategic marketing, corporate communications, branding, interactive and multimedia in multiple industries. In the Entertainment Industry we cover Film, Theater, TV and Cable. Our Entertainment division has worked in the motion picture industry for over 25 years, engaged by most of the major studios, Twentieth Century Fox, Orion Pictures Corporation, Warner Bros., Universal Studios among others. As well as the independents as: Miramax, New Line Cinema, Cinema Shares International, Magna Distribution, Atlantic Releasing and Jim Henson Productions “The Muppets”. We started marketing Broadway theater productions in 1976, our first major involvement on Broadway was the original Dreamgirls. Recently we have expanded into assisting Broadway, Off, and Off Off Broadway productions to get started, thru readings, development, and marketing of their projects. We are also assisting producers on the funding of both theater and film projects.
LORCA PERESSspecializes in producing and directing multicultural and multidisciplinary theatre, dance-theatre, musicals, and opera. She is the Founding Artistic Director of MultiStages (est. 1997), and works as a freelance director. Lorca recently received the 2017 Cultural Award from the Institute of Puerto Rico. She has produced over 35 new works, festivals and reading series. Off-Broadway: Puerto Rican/Taino musical Temple of the Souls (w/ Broadway actors Lorraine Velez and Danny Bolero; NYMF 2017 Next Link Project at the Acorn Theatre at Theatre Row). Other credits: Rebeck’s What We’re Up Against (June Havoc Theatre), Desi Moreno-Penson’s Comida de Puta (F-ing Lousy Food) (MultiStages, HOLA Award), Leonard Bernstein’s "MASS" (QC-CUNY Colden Center, 2nd prize National Opera Competition), Nichole Thompson Adams’ Black Girl You’ve Been Gentrified (Public Theatre), Maya Contreras’ Let the Devil Take the Hindmost (w/ Thursday Farrar, NY Fringe). She has had the honor to direct Ruby Dee, Tovah Feldshuh, and Kathleen Chalfant. Lorca is a featured panelist and moderator specializing in gender parity and diversity (TRU, The Fire This Time Festival, No-Passports, NYU, CUNY, et al.); and playwriting judge for MultiStages, Repertorio Espanol Nuevas Voces, Ohio Council on the Arts, Strasberg One Acts, LaMia Ink! Faculty: NYU Tisch Strasberg Studio and Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute; hotINK Festival Curator for NYU Strasberg Studio (2002-2010). Memberships: NTC, SDC, AEA, SAG-AFTRA, League of Professional Theatre Women (Co-President 2011-14), Creative Network for the Federal Affairs Administration Office of the Governor of Puerto Rico. Other grants/awards include six 2015 Innovative Theatre Nominations, five HOLA Awards, 4 MCAF Awards, Dramatists Guild Fund Award, Taino Areito Drama Award, National Opera Competition Prizes, 2 Women in Arts and Media Coalition Collaboration Honorable Mentions, and La MaMa INKY. Lorca is a Bennington College and NTI graduate. Website: www.multistages.org
began life as a dancer and actress, morphing into choreography and directing. She has directed and/or choreographed for festivals, museums, regional theaters as well as for many NYC theaters. She has discovered and premiered short plays by Oscar Wilde, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Sarah Bernhardt, others, as well as directing neglected classics and original plays by living authors. Recently, her non-profit Xoregos Performing Company has produced a dozen Harlem Renaissance one-acts (including plays by Zora Neale Hurston and Langston Hughes), Jean Racine's Britannicus, an a capella opera in the round with dance and a fantasy bio of Anna Nicole Smith by Grace Cavalieri, the premiere of Six O'Clock Sky, a surreal romp (with songs) by Arnold Schulman, screenwriter. Coming in 2020, Brocade, a 17th-c. Venetian comedy.
is a director, producer, teacher and development consultant. Claudia returned to NYC last year, after living and working in LA. She was Managing Director and a board member of Malibu Playhouse, where she co-produced most of the mainstage productions in addition to running the daily operations of the theater. Since returning to New York, Claudia has been working with Mango Baroque as producer and director for their concert series in the city, and as a development consultant for Welcome Change Productions and Academy Award®-nominated documentary filmmaker Alice Elliott. In addition to working nationally as a freelance opera director, Claudia taught for ten years as Director of Opera and Music Theatre at the University of Washington in Seattle, where she directed and co-produced both operas and musicals, as well as teaching acting and directing. Claudia is member of the board of directors at the York Theatre Company.
was the Lead Producer for Moolah, a new comedy by Arje Shaw (The Gathering). Currently he is helping develop three new works: Taking Leave, American Soldier and Roof of the World. Frank has also had the great privilege of working on a number of shows and projects with the late director Tom O’Horgan (Jesus Christ Superstar, Hair). In addition, he has worked on over twenty musicals and was involved for thirty years on the Tony Awards. Also involved in the music and entertainment industry, Frank has worked with luminaries as Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, conducted the Count Basie Orchestra, and the Honolulu Symphony Orchestra and consulted on nine Super Bowl half-time shows. Mr. Zuback founded Frank Zuback Productions, which provides a wide range of services in the music and entertainment industry. Website - http://fzpi.com
AKA Ina Chadwick Wilde, holds nine New England Press Association Awards from the prehistoric days of newspapers. Since 2009 under MouseMuse Productions Chadwick has been producing, and performing live spoken word and storytelling programs at Fairfield Theatre Company’s black box, The Fairfield Museum and History Center, The Bijou Theatre, Westport Arts Center. Her company has appeared for several years in Fairfield County CT venues and also at The West End in New York City. MouseMuse produced a staged reading of a musical, Magazine, at the Theater Artists Workshop black box. Her varietal program, “Live Magazine” is a show featuring storytellers and musicians in the Garrison Keillor tradition. Her radio hour, “Real People, Real Stories,” at www.mousemuse.com can be heard every fourth Saturday on WPKN 89.5 FM and www.wpkn.org streaming live. Ina is currently co-producing a show with Ripple Effects Artists at the American Theatre of Artists (ATA) Sargent Stage.
As a producer/filmmaker/ experimental theater maker I come from a number of different hats. I'm more interested in challenging the status quo then going along to get along - more interested in experiential experiments then traditional theater or film. An example can be seen at SilentMusicVideos.com for starters.
STEPHANIE GRAYSONwas the Associate Producer of Kevin McDonald Alive on 42nd St, on Theatre Row, summer of 2019. She serves on the Board of Directors for Prospect Theater Co. (2016-present), and has been a social media strategy/marketing advisor for arts organizations since 2008, advising theater and festival producers.
graduated from Temple University with a BA in Theater / Art history and has appeared in plays, television, short films, industrials and commercials and had a minor role in Jason Bourne working with Oscar Winner Alicia Vikander. He has directed short scenes, and trained at Atlantic Theater and Barrow Group here in NYC. In 2018, Adam assist directed An Enemy of the People at Lee Strasberg and Executive produced Death of a Salesman in Los Angeles. Adam is inspired by other artists in the entertainment business, and hopes to one day produce and direct on Broadway and in films.
JESSICA JENNINGShas an extensive background in dance and acting. Performer history: in addition to a number of dance awards, she is a three-time Jean Dalrymple Award winner in acting. Directing: accolades include two Audience Vote Awards for All About Lorrie (Chatterton’s Midtown Festival), and for The Dance McCabe (Manhattan TheatreSource). She also received the Jean Dalrymple Award for Best Director for her production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and was nominated for a 2011 Princess Grace Award for her direction of Romeo & Juliet. Since 2010 she has been directing and co-producing. She co-created Ripple Effect Artists, Inc. (REA) a non-profit social-justice theatre. Winning more than 10 grants and co-producing 5 Transition-Code contract Off-Broadway shows she has also created more than 38 post-show talk-back experiences in partnership with over 20 local advocacy groups. With American Theatre of Actors she has co-produced while directing dozens of Off-Off works ranging from contemporary to classical. Currently she is directing a short comedic play Gentle Hands... by Fred Rohan-Vargas in the NY Winter Festival at Hudson Guild Theatre; also, she is prepping to direct the full-length showcase of Killing Mom by Megan Smith-Harris that will open Mother's day weekend. See killingmomplay.com