Event Details
  • Speed Date (you must be accepted prior to purchase)
    March 5, 2017
    5:30 pm - 10:00 pm
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Writer-Producer Speed Date

NOLA Rehearsal Studio
244 W. 54th St., 11th fl.

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?

Click here for application. Please fill out and email to TRUStaff1@gmail.com

Submission deadline extended to Saturday 2/25. We will let you know if you are accepted by Sunday 2/26. And do not purchase a spot through our ticketing app above left unless you have actually been accepted into the event. You must be accepted first.

Here's a chance to practice your pitching with real producers who are open to and looking for new work. Okay, they probably won't option you on the spot, but you'll meet them and have the opportunity to start developing a relationship. And that's what this business is all about. Relationships.

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: 

  • Luis Reyes Cardenas - co-artistic director Open Hydrant Theatre;
  • Dan Irwin/H Danforth & Co - producer (The Nose, upcoming Broadway musical tba);
  • John Lant - indie producer, artistic director, Write Act Repertory;
  • Wendy Leopold - producer (The Whitmores), producing associate (Ernest Shackleton Loves Me¬†at Second Stage,¬†Wakefield film¬†with Bryan Cranston);
  • John Melo¬†-¬†theater and film producer;
  • Lawrence D. Poster/Asparagus Entertainment - producer (Rags, Forbidden Broadway Alive and Kicking, ¬†Fingers and Toes);
  • Daryl Sledge - film and off-Broadway¬†producer (Fried Chicken and Latkes; upcoming:¬†Pound for Pound; plus films in development);
  • Ken Waissman¬†- commercial producer (original Grease, Torch Song Trilogy, Agnes of God, Josephine the musical);
  • Shela Xoregos¬†- artistic director of Xoregos Performing Company;¬†
  • Frank Zuback -¬†commercial¬†producer (Taking Leave, American Soldier, Roof of the World)

Trailing Producers to include Karen Bishko, Mark Brystowski, MaryAnne Dumont*, LeCee Johnson*, Ed Levy, Ralph Lewis (founding co-artistic director of Obie-winning Peculiar Works Projects), Melissa Nally*, Yoni Vendriger*, others tba


  • Gary Hughes
  • Grace Kiley¬†
  • Mary Kate Burke

* member of TRU's Producer Mentorship & Development Program


    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. 


    is the founder of H Danforth & Co. Over the last four years Dan has worked with almost every major Off-Broadway theatre as well as on Broadway and at Radio City. Recent credits include Why You Beasting?, The Joint, Ruthless!, Fuerza Bruta, and more. Current projects include The Nose and a soon to be announced Broadway musical planned for the 17-18 season.


    Producer/Director, Consultant specialist for musicals/plays off-Broadway and TV/Film studio operator for stage to screen. 43-year veteran in the entertainment in over 750 television, film, theatre/music tours, and live theater. Production Manager at Carnegie Hall since 2006-2020 season for over 2,000 events. Award-winning producer, director, writer, lighting/set designer; Interlochen, Cal Arts, Ricardo Montalban, Hollywood Playhouse, Long Beach Playhouse, Glendale Center, Jewel Box Theatre Center and Write Act Repertory garnering DramaLogue, Diamond, ADA, NAACP Awards, LA Weekly and Backstage Pick of the Week, Garland and Valley Theatre (LA) nods. Executive Radio Producer New Frequency - Theatre of the Mind for SIRIUS/XM Radio - Ranked #1 Radio show. Mentored with Jonathan Sanger/Chanticleer Films for two shorts (Emmy & Oscar Winners), Howard Storm CBS Radford and TRU PDMP Master Fellow under Jane Dubin and Jennifer Issacson. Directed TV / Pilots Symphology, Carrot Talk, BET JAZZ Master Awards (1&2), Toronto Independent Shorts Awards, Funiki-Jam Season 2, and Anonymous Confessions. 17 Off-Broadway Lead Producer / Director (AEA/Non-union) credits include Fabulous!, 2By Tennessee Williams, Lili Marlene, Frankenstein, It Came from Beyond, Wicked Frozen, Teen Party Massacre, Swing!, Wicked City Blues, Geeks! TV/Film Credits include King of New York, The Freshman, Army of Darkness, Renegade, Power Rangers, and HBO Max's The Flight Attendant (CCO Supervisor). Tours include Phantom of the Opera, Singin' in the Rain, Gypsy and Evita. Current money raise - Pearl Bailey Musical (with Tony winning team members of Dreamgirls! and Hamilton). Development Director/Consultant for TV Film - Twisted Media NYC, Nathan Murphy Prod, Gatehouse Entertainment, Tin Mirror Prod and Trinity Theatrics network and streaming content for 3 TV pilots & 2 feature film currently in pre-production. COVID Compliance Supervisor certified for Film/TV/Broadway Theatre.

    is a Tony-nominated theatre producer and live entertainment consultant. Broadway productions include Indecent, the Deaf West Theatre revival of Spring Awakening, and the upcoming revival of Paula Vogel’s How I Learned to Drive. Currently running off-Broadway A Commercial Jingle for Regina Comet, the first new musical to open since the pandemic began. He has been part of the producing team for other Broadway productions including Tootsie, What the Constitution Means to Me, Torch Song, The Band's Visit, Macbeth and Significant Other. Upcoming: the first revival of Titanic, The Flamingo Kid, Steven Sater & Duncan' Sheik's Alice By Heart and Burt Bacharach's Some Lovers. In addition to producing his own projects, Cody consults for producers, theaters and agencies to help them discover how they should market their shows for the best chance of financial and critical success. Previously, he was the director of marketing for Los Angeles' Center Theatre Group and its three theaters: the Ahmanson Theatre, Mark Taper Forum and Kirk Douglas Theatre. He is an active member of the Broadway League, the National Association of Musical Theatre, and serves on the Board of NY’s Vineyard Theatre. More info at codylassen.com


    is a two time NY Times critically Acclaimed Director, two time Village Voice critics choice. Currently reviving Ntozake Shange's For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow Is Enuf. Michael's work has garnered critical acclaim from everyone from The New York Times and Village Voice to Stage Magazine and the Philadelphia Inquirer. In April 1998, Lincoln Center Theatre named Mr. LeLand to the Directors Lab. He was also one of only twelve directors selected by the Lincoln Center Directors’ Lab to be showcased at Here Center for Contemporary Arts in the American Living Room Series. Mr. LeLand had the honor of directing Pulitzer Prize, Tony Award Winner, and Academy Award nominee Jason Miller in his one man play Barrymore’s Ghost. As an actor he has recently created and originated the role of Mark Taylor in The New York Times critically acclaimed Philadelphia Fringe production of Pig Iron Theatre's 99 Breakups. Other favorite roles include critically acclaimed turns as Hoke in Driving Miss Daisy and Jim in Big River. He originated several roles in Theatre Double productions including Harold Prine Artaud in ...And the Sky Can Still Fall on our Heads, Mr. Jack in J. Rufus Caleb's Ballad of Mistauh Jack and Malcolm Magic in Magic Bookshop series. He filmed a lead role in the web based mini Musical Pay to Play. This fall he will be recording his first cd, live The Sacred and The Secular.


    is the Founder, Managing Member and Lead Producer of Asparagus Entertainment, LLC. He has been Associate Producer of 4 Off-Broadway Shows: Forbidden Broadway, Alive and Kicking ‚Äď on almost everyone‚Äôs Top 10 List (2012-13); Forever Dusty (2012-13); Becoming Dr. Ruth (2014); and Forbidden Broadway Comes Out Swinging (2014). He also was lead Producer of Fingers & Toes, developing it in New York and licensing it for 2 Regional Productions (2013, 2014). He is currently assisting Producers with several new plays and Musicals and is Lead Producer of The Harlem Ladies‚Äô Knittin‚Äô and Bitchin‚Äô Society (www.harlemladies.com), now in development.¬†His producing debut began with Rags, the 1986 Charles Strouse, Stephen Schwartz, Joe Stein musical of immigrants on the Lower East Side, which Mr. Poster hopes one day to return to Broadway. In addition to theater, Lawrence has also pursued a career in Management Consulting, Executive Search and Investment Banking.¬†Lawrence is an Alumnus of numerous CTI courses, including the 14-Week Program, which at the time he attended was 16 weeks. He is or has been a Member of the Off-Broadway Alliance, The Off-Broadway Theatre League and the National Alliance for Musical Theatre (NAMT), and has been a supporter of the New York Musical Festival (NYMF) ‚Äď Platinum Supporter ‚Äď 3 years; Playwrights Horizons and Amas Musical Theatre. He is also a veteran Member of the Amateur Comedy Club performing on its stage, most notably as Sergeant Match in What the Butler Saw.


    is a theater producer as well as a film and television professional. He was the producer of the Off-Broadway solo project Fried Chicken and Latkes written by and starring Rain Pryor at the Actors Temple Theatre. His main objective is producing commercially whether it be Broadway, Off Broadway, Regionally/Touring and the West End. Daryl is lead producer for the play Pound for Pound by Steven Alexander, which he found through TRU's Speed Date, and is in negotiations to present a professional staged reading of the work. He produced the documentary, That Daughter's Crazy featuring Rain Pryor (winner of Saatchi and Saatchi Achievement in Film Award), and the HBO Best Short Film, 2nd LiFE by Jake Alexander, which is now in the first round for being nominated for Best Live-Action Short Film for the Academy Awards. He is developing a feature length screenplay/film based on the murder of Emmett Till and producing two smaller independent films: Satellite Flight and The Dark. He has been a member of Theater Resources Unlimited and has and is taking courses and attending seminars at CTI. He would love to see more people of color and women get involved with these two great organizations.


    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‚Äôs 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¬ģ nominations, and 5 Tony Awards¬ģ including a Tony Award¬ģ as ‚ÄėBest Play Producer.‚Äô 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.


    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.


    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

  • MARK BRYSTOWSKI (Trailing)

    is an emerging producer of theater and film. Theater: Bamboo In Bushwick (Working Theater), The Nose (Master Theater), Bachelorette (sold out run at Soho Rep.), Between Men (MITF Nom. Outstanding Production), Broken City: Wall Street (PopUp Theatrics). Film: Interiors (Dir. Reed Van Dyk), Zenith (Dir. Ellie Foumbi, premiering at Lincoln Center). Directing: Private Lives (Cap21). Production Management highlights: God of Vengeance (La MaMa - NYT Critic’s Pick), Death of a Salesman (Drama Desk Nom.). He has collaborated with Lincoln Center Theater, Manhattan Theatre Club, LAByrinth Theater Company, The New Group, Sinking Ship Productions, Phoenix Theatre Ensemble, Nomad Theatrical Co. and many others. Mark has worked on productions for VH1, Collegehumor, UCB, Brooklyn Sound, and We The Internet. He is always excited by the opportunity to meet new artists and expand his producer's toolkit. 


    received a B.A. in theater from Connecticut College and attended the Eugene O'Neill Theater Institute. She has studied acting with various teachers in NY and has worked with small theater companies, mostly doing original pieces. She has completed her first play The  Gift and joined the TRU Producer Development & Mentorship Program (PDMP) to learn how to self-produce.


    creates original theater as conceiver, director, writer, teacher, and actor, as well as producing diverse, multi-disciplinary works in unique, non-theater venues throughout NYC and beyond. Recipient of NYIT’s 2018 Caffe Cino Award, he has been the co-director of Peculiar Works Project, an Obie Award-winning producer of site-specific performance, since 1993. Most recently on Zoom, he created Janes Calling for the 2021 Jane’s Walk (Municipal Art Society), and directed Fengar Gael’s Smile Like A Knife (Ego Actus). His virtual tour of NYC’s first theaters, Behind the Curtain, has been workshopped by both the Episcopal Actors’ Guild and Untapped Cities and has been picked up by NY Adventure Club for a monthly open run on LiveStorm. Already selected for 8 festivals, Covid-created Language Games, including Best Shorts Competition (Best Experimental), On Women Festival (3rd prize), New Wave Film Festival (Best Woman’s Empowerment), and thanks to Covid is his first video project since the 2005 documentary, Welcome Aboard the Tripbox. Pre-pandemic creations include Afterparty: The Rothko Studio in the landmarked 222 Bowery; 2 Jane Jacobs for Village Preservation at the Cherry Lane Theater; and Planet X for the 2018 [Re]Happening Festival at the legendary Black Mountain College, NC. Other directing includes American Hamburger, Mother Suck, and 3 Robert Heide Plays (Howl! Happening); two Climate Change Theater Actions for Artichoke Arts; and America’s first play, Androboros, in both Fraunces Tavern Museum and Overthrow’s boxing ring; as well as terrific plays by William M. Hoffman, Megan Terry, Larry Gelbart, Paul Foster, Tom Murrin, Marina Shron, John Patrick Shanley, Hallie Flanagan, Dostoevsky, Aristophanes, and Dr. Suess, among others. When not making theater, Ralph lives in a 200-year-old Federal house on the Bowery and volunteers with the Bowery Alliance of Neighbors, NYC Loft Tenants, and Henry St. Food Pantry. NYU-TSOA, AEA, SAG/AFTRA, LCT Directors Lab.


    is an attorney, writer, and theatre producer. Current projects include The Wrong Box by Kit Goldstein Grant, and Morgan Street (Associate Producer) by Anika Noni Rose, Jeremy Alan Richards, and Eugene Gwozdz. She presented shows at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2010 and 2011, and the Philadelphia Fringe Festival in 2012. She has also produced cabarets and benefits in the Philadelphia area. Melissa is a graduate of CTI's producer program and a current member of TRU's Producer Development & Mentorship Program.

    is the Executive Director of the Israeli Artists Project, a new non-profit theater company that had their first production in March called Scoop (www.Scooptheplay.com) He recently finished the TRU PDMP Master Program. He is the winner of the TRU Randall Wreghitt New Producer Award, won the PDMP Basic class presentation competition, and has produced several staged readings in the TRU Voices series (associate producer on Question One and Catharsis, producer of Viva Max!). He has a company for photo favors called Magnetic Memories and you may have seen him in improv and sketch shows around town.