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Event Details
  • Speed Date (you must be accepted prior to purchase)
    March 3, 2019
    4:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Writer-Producer Speed Date 03-03-19

Shetler Studios, 244 W. 54th St., 12th fl. (PH1)

Sunday March 3rd / Submission deadline passed
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 already have a  lineup of 11 producers, so check them out below, and apply!

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 (We Are The Tigers, Afterglow, Counting Sheep; National tours Million Dollar Quartet, Charlie Brown Christmas);
  • Cate Cammarata, producer (My Life Is a Musical, The 365 Women's Festival), artistic associate of Rhymes Over Beats hip hop theater company;
  • Luis Cardenas, artistic director Open Hydrant Theatre;
  • Rashad V. Chambers, producer (American SonIt Happened in Key West, Ain't Too Proud);
  • Nolan Doran, producer (Head Over Heels), writer/director;
  • 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);
  • Suzanne Gilad, producer (The Other Josh Cohen, Angels in America revival, Natasha, Pierre..., Significant Other);
  • John Lant, indie producer (Frankenstein the musical, It Came from Beyond, Fabulous), artistic director WriteAct Repertory;
  • Ken Waissman, producer (Grease, Agnes of God, Torch Song Trilogy);
  • Claudia Zahn, former managing director Malibu Playhouse.
  • Frank Zuback, producer (Taking Leave, American Soldier, Roof of the World).

Coaches: Diana CalderazzoBailie Slevin, Samantha Saltzman

Trailing Producers to include actor/producer Xander Chauncey*, entertainment attorney Lee Feldshon*, writer Mara Lee Gilbert, casting  pro/aspiring producer Charlie Hano, Sharon Kilfoyle, writer/producer Dickson Lane*, artistic associate at Surflight Theater Nicholas Kaminski, TV, film and theater producer/writer Charles Nuckolls, producer Joanne Phillips (Dangerous the musical), writer/producer Jeffery Lyle Segal*, director/producer Mark Sklawer.
[*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
  • 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

  • SAMANTHA SALTZMAN

    Current Directing Projects: Drama League Gala Honoring Steve Martin, and Bryant Park Christmas Skatetacular. Resident Director: Matilda the Musical (1st National Tour).  Assistant Resident Director: Matilda the Musical (Broadway).   Additional Associate/Assistant Directing credits: Southern Comfort (The Public), Sarah Brightman’s Dreamchaser World TourOn the Town (Barrington Stage), An Iliad (National Tour), Academia Nuts, and multiple shows at NYMF and FringeNYC. Select Directing credits include: The Arkadina Project, Urinetown, 210 Amlent Ave, and Madam Fury’s Traveling Show. Drama League Directing Fellow. www.samanthasaltzman.com

Producers
  • 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, freelance 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 LaMaMa 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 holds a BFA in Acting/Directing from Syracuse University and an MFA in Dramaturgy at SUNY Stony Brook, where she teaches Theatre Arts. Her latest book, "Contemporary Monologues for a New Theater," has just been published by Applause Books. catecammarata.com

  • LUIS REYES CARDENAS

    is Co-Founder and Co-Artistic Director of Open Hydrant Theater Company, the first ensemble professional theater company in the South Bronx. Film: Shakespeare High Executive Produced by Kevin Spacey and From Bronx to Yale Executive Produced by The Guardian. Actor: Fools in Love at MET, BAM, Lincoln Center Boro-Linc and Open Hydrant, Balm in Gilead with Barefoot Theatre Company and Durang, Durang at Open Hydrant. Playwright: Play The Papers For Lupe, Visa Decline, Place of Assembly and Last Exit In New York. He is currently a member of the New Play Development at Laguardia Performing Arts Center and a member of The Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre Company's Playwright Unit. He is the Director of Individual Events at The Stanford National Forensic Institute at Stanford University. 

  • 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
  • NOLAN DORAN

    is a writer, director, and producer who creates new works across theatre, music and film. He has worked with hit-makers and artists like Desmond Child, Michael Mayer, Neil Patrick Harris, Merce Cunningham and Margo Lion to name a few. His original theatre works include The Lesson, Woody - A New Fairy Tale (Main Street Musicals winner), The Spectrum (Azalea Film Festival winner), The King (L.A. Indie Film Festival winner) and music for Ayodele Casel's While I Have the Floor (Spoleto Festival). He was recently Co-Producer and Assistant Director for the Broadway musical Head Over Heels with songs of the Go-Go's. Past Broadway: Associate Director for Michael Moore’s The Terms of My Surrender and Assistant Director of the star studded one night concert Hillary on Broadway. Doran has also worked as Associate Director for CHESS at Kennedy Center, Assistant Director of Jamboree starring Sutton Foster & Jonathan Groff at NY City Center, Associate Director for Wigstock with Lady Bunny & Neil Patrick Harris filmed for HBO as part of Wig and Assistant on the Sony Classics release of The Seagull starring Annette Bening and Saoirse Ronan.  Current projects include: The Museum of Broadway in Spring 2020, The Secret Life of Bees at The Atlantic Theatre, The Golden Girls Musical Parody: Pride Edition at HERE, and a concert of his original work My Eclectic Life at HERE in NYC.

  • 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.

  • SUZANNE GILAD

    is the lead producer of the award-winning hit musical The Other Josh Cohen, currently running at the Westside Theatre on 43rd Street. Sue’s recent Broadway credits include Angels in America (Tony Award winner for Best Revival of a Play), Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812 (nominated for 12 Tony Awards), M. Butterfly,  Disaster! and Significant Other. Upcoming Broadway: Moulin Rouge and Jagged Little Pill. She is the co-founder of In Fine Company.com and CustomBroadway.com, which provides individualized, Broadway-level concerts and shows for theaters and Performing Arts centers around the US, Canada and international markets. Sue’s career started with voiceovers for TV, film, radio and Broadway. Sue is the Co-Chair on the Leadership Council of Broadway Cares / Equity Fights AIDS. Her favorite gig is playing the Voice of God for the Broadway Cares’ annual Broadway Backwards benefit. Before entering the world of producing, she was an entrepreneur. Sue is the author of The Real Estate Millionaire (McGraw-Hill) and Copyediting and Proofreading for Dummies (Wiley).  She is the creator of PaidToProofread.com, which sells books and video programs. Sue is a mom of three very active kids who promise not to become performers.

  • JOHN LANT

    (Producer/Artistic Director) is a 35-year veteran in the entertainment industry and has been involved in over 600 television, film, music tours, and theatrical productions. An award-winning producer, director, writer, lighting/set designer, he has mounted productions at Cal Arts, Ricardo Montalban, Powerhouse, Glendale Center, Hollywood Playhouse, Long Beach Playhouse, the Jewel Box Theatres and Write Act Repertory garnering DramaLogue, Diamond, ADA, NAACP Awards, LA Weekly and Backstage Picks of the Week, Garland and Valley Theatre (LA) nominations. As an Executive Producer of New Frequency - Theatre of the Mind, he produced 150 all-new original Radio Dramas for XM Radio's Sonic Theatre - Ranked as the #1 Radio show. With Jonathan Sanger at Chanticleer Films, he worked on two shorts that won an Emmy and an Oscar, also mentored under Howard Storm and directed Children's TV Pilots Symphology, Carrot Talk, and Anonymous Confessions. Recently as Producing Artistic Director of Write Act Repertory/Director of Development for Twisted Media NYC his Off-Broadway production of FABULOUS! The Queen of Musicals! Other Off-Broadway Lead Producing credits; 2by Tennessee Williams (AEA), Pillars of NY; Off-Broadway productions currently running: Lili Marlene, Frankenstein, It Came from Beyond, Wicked Frozen, and in pre-Production Pearl-The Musical (with creative team members of Dreamgirls! Original Broadway Cast); Los Angeles productions currently running: - Finest Hour (Winston Churchill project), Wicked Wicked Mae West West, and Prez - The Lester Young Story

     
     
  • KEN WAISSMAN

    is one of only two producers in the history of Broadway to have a musical run over 3000 performances and a play run over 1000. (The other producer he shares this distinction with is the legendary David Merrick.) Waissman developed and produced the original Broadway production of Grease as well as two of Broadway’s longest running plays, Agnes of God by John Pielmeier and Torch Song Trilogy by Harvey Fierstein.Waissman's first Broadway credit was the 1971 Paul Zindel play And Miss Reardon Drinks a Little with Estelle Parsons and Julie Harris, and his prolific Broadway efforts have resulted in four motion picture features, a PBS TV special, 25 Tony Award® nominations, and 5 Tony Awards® including a Tony Award® as ‘Best Play Producer.’ His new musical, Josephine, inspired by Josephine Baker, had its World Premiere in April at the Asolo Theatre in Sarasota, Florida. Deborah Cox played the title role and Joey McKneely directed and choreographed.

  • FRANK ZUBACK

    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

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