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Event Details
  • Writer-Producer Speed Date (do not purchase until accepted)
    March 1, 2020
    4:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Details Price Qty
TRU member $75.00 (USD)   Goes On Sale
February 22, 2020
Non-member $85.00 (USD)   Goes On Sale
February 22, 2020
Addt'l collaborator $25.00 (USD)   Goes On Sale
February 22, 2020
Writer-Producer Speed Date 03-01-20

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: 

  • Margot Astrachan, producer (The Prom, A Gentleman's Guide..., Ghost the musical, Around the World in 80 Days, Nice Work If You Can Get It, On a Clear Day...);
  • 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);
  • 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 GracieAmerican Buffalo and Wonderland on Broadway; tour of Little House on the Prairie the Musical; off-Broadway Sistas, Jewtopia, Evil Dead the MusicalRespect, Illuminate);
  • Lorca Peress aritstic director of MultiStages;
  • Anita Waxman (unconfirmed) producer (Marie the Little Dancer, Slave Play, Escape to Margaritaville, 1984, Hello Dolly!, Doctor Zhivago, Rocky, Bombay Dreams, Enron);
  • Shela Xoregos, artistic director Xoregos Performing Company;
  • Claudia Zahn, former managing director Malibu Playhouse;
  • plus 1 more tbd

Coaches: Diana Calderazzo, Gillien Goll, Bailie Slevin

Trailing Producers: Hal Diamond*, Adam Gregory*, Ina Chadwick*, Sanford Silverberg*, David Stamps*, others tbd
[*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

Faculty
  • DIANA CALDERAZZO

    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

  • ALLISON SHEFF

    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.

  • BAILIE SLEVIN

    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 ConquestsAltar BoyzNaked Boys Singing!Pursuit of PersephoneA 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

Producers
  • MARGOT ASTRACHAN

    is a Tony Award winning commercial theatrical producer based in New York. Broadway: Tony Award winning A Gentleman's Guide to Love and MurderThe Realistic JonesesNice Work If You Can Get It, the revival of On a Clear Day You Can See ForeverBonnie & ClydeBusker AlleyGhost the Musical National Tour, and the only staging of Stephen Sondheim’s Evening Primrose. She also recently produced The Sting starring Harry Connick Jr. at The Papermill Playhouse. Upcoming: Diana, A New Musical (La Jolla, February 2019)Margot wrote, produced and performed five one-woman cabaret shows.  New York: Danny’s Skylight Room, Judy’s, The Plaza Hotel, The Oak Room of The Algonquin Hotel, the Triad, The National Arts Club, and Don’t Tell Mama’s, among others. With dancer/choreographer Carmen de Lavallade, she wrote the book of a new Jazz musical, which has been read at Lincoln Center and at The York Theater.Margot was the American Artistic Director of the Jermyn Street Theatre in London and The Kings Head Theatre in London, and has had over 30 years’ experience producing special events for Arts Organizations such as The York Theatre Company, The Theatre Museum, and Brit-Arts of The St. George’s Society, which with Jim Dale, featured British and American theatre professionals in readings and panels in New York. She is the Vice Chair of The New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF), a board member of The Alumni & Friends of The LaGuardia High School for the Arts, The League of Professional Theater Women, and The Theater Board of The Kaufman Cultural Center. She is a graduate of CTI (The Commercial Theatre Institute) and is a member of The Association of Performing Arts Presenters, The National Alliance For Musical Theatre, The Broadway League, The Dramatists Guild, the Advisory Board of TRU, British American Business, Inc. and BAFTA East Coast. She is the past chair and current board member of The American Friends of the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Her latest project is Radio Galaxy by Michele Aldin Kushner (found in the TRU Voices series) and directed by Mark Waldrop, currently in development.

  • EVAN BERNARDIN

    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 QuartetCharlie Brown Christmas Live. Select Off Broadway: AfterglowMustDiasporaCounting 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.evanbernardinproductions.com 

  • CATE CAMMARATA

    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

  • RASHAD V. CHAMBERS

    is 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 upcoming Broadway productions include American Son 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
  • JANE DUBIN

    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. Jane is a graduate of the Commercial Theatre Institute's 14-week (NYC) and O’Neill Center Intensive (CT) Producing Workshops and past Director of Theater Resources Unlimited’s Producer Development Program, and current Director of the program's Master Class. Broadway: The Prom, Farinelli and the King (5 Tony nominations)starring Mark Rylance, Bandstand, An American in Paris on Broadway (4 TONY Awards), National Tour and in London, Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey (Off Broadway and on Tour)Upcoming: Fingersmith. Previously: Peter and the Starcatcher (Broadway, Off-Broadway, National Tour), winner of 5 TONY Awards; Ann, starring Holland Taylor (Lincoln Center); The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (London); The 39 Steps (OB, Tour); The Norman Conquests (TONY Award, Best Play Revival), Groundswell (the New Group), Beebo Brinker Chronicles (2008 GLAAD Media Award for Theatre). Other: OPA! at TBG Theatre (Best Commercial Production, MITF 2008), Take Me America (Best Musical, MITF 2007), Count Down, (Bank Street Theatre) and the one-woman show that started it all, MentalPause by Margaret Liston. Ms. Dubin is a full voting member of the Broadway League. She is President of the Board of Directors of Houses on the Moon Theater Company and a prior Board member of the League of Professional Theatre Women. 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 for One Billion Rising (V-Day) 2013 and 2014. 

  • WILLIAM FRANZBLAU

    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.

  • LORCA PERESS

    specializes 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
     
  • SHELA XOREGOS

    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.

  • CLAUDIA ZAHN

    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. 

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