Studios 353, 353 W. 48th St., 2nd floor
Sunday July 15th
Session 1: coaching at 4:30, pitching at 5:30
Session 2: coaching at 5:30, pitching at 6:30
(Note: we are starting one hour earlier than usual!)
Deadline to apply: extended to July 5th at 6pm. Click here for application. Please fill out and email to TRUStaff1@gmail.com (PLEASE - put "Speed Date" in the file name)
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 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.
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
The speed date was essential to my production, helped me learn how to communicate about my work. ~Yaakov Bressler
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
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 (A Gentleman's Guide..., The Realistic Joneses, Ghost the musical, Around the World in 80 Days, Nice Work If You Can Get It, On a Clear Day...);
- Gene Fisch, producer (High with Kathleen Turner), founder of the New York New Works Theater Festival;
- RK Greene, producer (Farinelli and the King, Terms of Endearment, A Time to Kill, Peter & the Starcatcher, Cougar, Room Service);
- Cooper Jordan, producer of Live Entertainment for New York, Atlantic City and Northeast Touring Productions (The Rat Pack Undead, Dex! a killer musical);
- Cody Lassen, producer (Indecent, Spring Awakening revival);
- Markus Potter, producing artistic director NewYorkRep, producer (The Velocity of Autumn, Stalking the Bogeyman);
- Stephanie Rosenberg, producer (Anastasia, On the Town, Moulin Rouge, With Love Marilyn, The Last Smoker in America);
- Shela Xoregos, artistic director of Xoregos Performing Company;
- Ken Waissman, producer (original Grease, Torch Song Trilogy, Over Here!, Agnes of God);
- Frank Zuback, producer (Taking Leave, American Soldier, Roof of the World)
- Sharon Albert
- Gillien Goll
- Bailie Slevin
Trailing producers: Rachael Bilardi, producer; Mark Butler*, artistic director of The Wild Whatever; Mike Griffiths, producer and managing director of marketing at Dixon Place; Emileena Pedigo/The Show Goes On Productions; Phil Reissman, writer/attorney; Jeffery Lyle Segal*, writer/producer; Jessica Sherr*, actress/writer/producer; Yoni Vendriger*, executive director of the Israeli Artists Project (Scoop), and producer in the TRU Voices series.
* member or graduate of TRU's Producer Development & Mentorship Program (PDMP)
has spent her career as a strategic marketing professional assisting global organizations in promoting their brands/services/products through the development of targeted messages to reach the right person, at the right time, using the right tactics. One of her main passions is all aspects of theatre - from a supporter of playwrights to a maniacal theatre-goer, attending over 100 performances a year. She is delighted to be part of the TRU team, and celebrates the creativity and hard work of all of its staff and members.
is both an acting teacher & acting coach. As a teacher, she can help you connect emotionally & truthfully to your role. As a coach, she can guide you to an audition that is truly exceptional and unique to showcasing your strengths and talents. With an additional background in coaching presentation techniques, she can help you overcome stage fright and nerves. As a produced playwright and TV & Film Story Editor (for Emmy winning producer Linda Yellen), she is adept at cutting & pasting dialogue together to create original monologues. She has taught courses in monologues, acting technique, scene study, voiceover, & on-camera acting, and has taught and/or lectured at Fordham University, AMDA (where she has been teaching since 2001), The Centaur Stage (at which she is Artistic Director), Barnard College, Wellesley College, and for ACTRA (the Canadian Actors Union), among others. She has also been an on set coach and cast a PBS movie. Having worked as a Casting Assistant for TV pilots and as a director (M.A. in Directing), she has been on the other side of the audition process and has a clear idea of what does and doesn’t work. (She has watched literally thousands of hours of acting presentations at AMDA over the years!) Her clients appear in every medium: Broadway, films, TV shows, soap operas, commercials, first national tours, etc. An actor herself, she has appeared in film, television, and on stage; check out her website at www.gilliengoll.com
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
is a Tony Award winning commercial theatrical producer based in New York. Broadway: Tony Award winning A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder, The Realistic Joneses, Nice Work If You Can Get It, the revival of On a Clear Day You Can See Forever; Bonnie & Clyde; Busker Alley, Ghost 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.
GENE FISCH JR.
has been a passionate fan of the arts his entire life. Though only as a hobby these past ten years, he has either produced, directed, or invested in 100+ shows during that span, most all at the Off Broadway and Broadway levels. Philanthropy being his primary focus, he was the lead producer for Carnegie Hall performance / Album that donated the proceeds to establish music programs in NYC schools. He has two television pilots in his repertoire, one of which was his directorial debut that was funded for four episodes by a group who worked for ABC. Fisch is particularly fond of his work directing the Off Broadway parody of the television show, “Dexter”. Subsequent to being part of the Broadway producing team for High starring Kathleen Turner, Gene founded The New York New Works Theatre Festival, helping over 1,000 artists by giving them a shot on a top tier stage (historically the Duke and Acorn Theaters). Three shows from NYNW’s stages are on their way to Broadway and one (“12 Angry Voices” produced by his mentor and panelist, Lauren Class Schneider) is generating traction for its national tour. Submissions are free and NYNW outlays most all of the upfront costs with the hopes that the NYNW stage is only the first step of the project's journey (Numerous shows have moved forward). Every submission is reviewed by at least one Broadway producer. Gene has led a wonderfully diverse career outside of the arts and currently teaches Engineering Technogenesis at the Stevens Institute of Technology. "The bottom line is that theatre is awesome and if there is a way that we can help someone take their art to the next level while having a ton of fun, we’re all in!" nynwtheatrefestival.com
is a producer of the Tony Award winning Broadway and off-Broadway hit Peter & the Starcatcher as well as Farinelli and the King and A Time to Kill. As an entrepreneur, R.K. has started several businesses over the years. A theatre professional since 1978, he was a founding member of the Seattle Group Theatre, a multi-cultural ensemble that produced its own work. In 2000, he founded The StoryLine Project, LLC, a commercial theater production company, to develop new plays and musicals. SLP made its debut as an above line producer for the Off Broadway hit, Room Service, and went on to produce Love Child, by Daniel Jenkins and Robert Stanton, Cougar The Musical, and Terms of Endearment with Molly Ringwald. In the non-profit world, R.K. is the Marketing Director at The Directors Company and helped to transfer Irena’s Vow to Broadway and produced several shows at 59E59 Theaters. Currently in development is the new musical Beau by Douglas Lyons and Ethan D. Pakchar. The world premiere album is available on the Sony Masterworks label, www.StoryLineProject.com.
is one of New York's youngest producers, having produced/managed over 30 shows in Manhattan. Cooper created the Halloween hit The Rat Pack Undead in 2013, shortly after acquiring a Times Square residency where he ran it for 3 years and is currently producing its first Tour for this October. He also currently works on The Edwards Twins' An Evening with the Stars National Tour (Booker/Producer). Cooper was Managing Director & Producer with Off-Broadway's former Elektra Theater where he produced many shows including the Off-Broadway hits Boogie Stomp (Executive Producer), Miles Thorn Master Illusionist (Producer) -- 2 yr NYC run, & New York's Got Talent (Producer/Host). New York's Got Talent has moved to The Green Room 42, currently on Season 5. Also an Actor & Show Host, as well as Producer he splits his time between New York & Atlantic City, where he's revitalizing the AC Live Entertainment market.
CODY LASSENis 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. 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
is the Producing Artistic Director of NewYorkRep. This past season he served as Interim Artistic Director of Theatre Aspen. Recent directing includes Stalking the Bogeyman off-Broadway at New World Stages (Outer Critics Circle Award nomination, NYTimes critics pick), London’s Southwark Playhouse (Off West End Award nomination for best production and direction), Red Speedo by Lucas Hnath at Center Rep, Lost Boy Found In Whole Foods by Tammy Ryan at The Portland Stage Company, Why You Beasting by David Don Miller (Best of FringeNYC - Time Out NY critic's pick), Weston Playhouse, North Carolina Stage Company, and New Jersey Rep. As an actor: Guthrie Theatre, Long Wharf, Berkeley Rep, ACT, Denver Center, tour of Death of a Salesman with Christopher Lloyd. As producer: The Velocity of Autumn on Broadway (Estelle Parsons's Tony Award nomination). Markus received his MFA from Columbia University, and is an Assistant Professor of Theatre at the University of Kansas.
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.
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 WILLIAM BUTLER
has written and produced over twenty plays, musicals and revues, including Ugly Christmas Sweater, The Musical, which was chosen for the TRU Voices New Musicals Reading Series, and award-winning productions of The Laundry War, The Nickname Fairy, and Bad Christmas Sweater. His work has been selected for various festivals in NYC, including The Midtown International Theatre Festival, The Planet Connections Theatre Festivity, The Players Theatre Short Play Festival, The Bare Knuckle Festival, 8 Minute Madness, and The Manhattan Rep One Act Festival. His short story, Cool and Clean and Crisp, was published in the Best American Erotica book series (Simon & Shuster). He also produces shows for non-profits, including the annual Eugene O’Neill Lifetime Achievement Award, presented by Irish-American Writers & Artists, and The Amazing Library Variety Show, a fundraiser for Urban Librarians Unite, a library advocacy group. He is also a published poet and journalist, and a member of DGA, ASCAP, and Theater Resources Unlimited, as well as a graduate of TRU’s Producers Development and Mentorship Program (PDMP).
has worked both on and offstage. Michael opened as Barildo in a modern interpretation of Lorca’s Fuente Ovejuna, and was Luka in a classical rendition of Anton Chekhov’s The Bear and has numerous credits in New York as a Stage Manager, Director and Producer. Mike is currently the Marketing Director of Dixon Place, where he oversees the production of over 8 full-length productions per year as well as on average of 15 works in progress piece per week. Each month he hosts a marketing workshop geared at helping new and emerging artists to successfully produce their own work Off-Broadway and off-off-Broadway. Currently, he is working on a production of a new play about the life of writer James Baldwin set for an off-broadway run in 2019.
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 is currently helping 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.
wrote the short film Patient Zero (directed by Jacob Chase), screened in the Cannes and Newport Beach Film Festivals (among several others) in 2011.; screenplay for Parallax, was an official selection of the GI Film Festival (Washington, DC) in May 2017. Full-length play Shakespeare’s Revenge has had two productions in New York City (The Vital Theatre and the Riant Theatre.) Has also had several one-acts done at The Strawberry Festival, the Friars Club, and other venues. Rehearsed readings of a full length screenplay and two short plays at The Drawing Board NYC. One of 10 writers selected from over 1,000 applicants for a sitcom workshop sponsored by WGA-East and the New York Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.
YONI VENDRIGERis 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.