Event Details
  • Speed Date (you must be accepted prior to purchase)
    October 30, 2016
    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. 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: 

  • Margot Astrachan - producer (A Gentleman's Guide..., Ghost the musical, Around the World in 80 Days, Nice Work If You Can Get It, On a Clear Day...);
  • Patrick Blake - producer (The 39 Steps revival, Bedlam Theater's Hamlet/St. Joan, Play Dead, The Exonerated, In the Continuum), founding artistic director Rhymes Over Beats;
  • Robert Blume¬†-¬†producer (On Kentucky Avenue, Mindgames,¬†upcoming revival of¬†The Rise and Fall of Little Voice,¬†The Drama Desk Awards);
  • Bill Franzblau - producer (Tony-nominated Say Goodnight Gracie, Wonderland on Broadway, Sistas, Evil Dead off-Broadway);
  • Michael Leland¬†- indie producer/director;
  • Deborah Pautler, co-founder of Open Hydrant Theater Company;¬†
  • Lorca Peress - artistic director MultiStages theatre company;
  • Markus Potter¬†- producing artistic director NewYorkRep, producer (The Velocity of Autumn, Stalking the Bogeyman);
  • Jana Robbins - producer (Ragtime revival, Little Women, I Love You Because..., Through the Night, Roof of the World);
  • Ken Waissman - producer (Josephine, original Grease, Agnes of God, Torch Song Trilogy);¬†
  • Frank Zuback -¬†commercial¬†producer (Taking Leave, American Soldier, Roof of the World)

Trailing Producers to include:

  • Glenna Bowman*
  • Toni Hart*
  • Jessica McCoy*
  • Tamra Pica
  • Monika Robbins*
  • Richard Rizzo
  • Danielle Trczinski*

Coaches (confirmed):

  • Phoebe Duncan
  • Gillien Goll
  • Bailie Slevin

* member of TRU's Producer Mentorship & Development Program


    is a Tony Award winning commercial theatrical producer based in New York. Broadway: Diana, A New Musical, The Prom, 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 produced The Sting starring Harry Connick Jr. at The Papermill Playhouse. 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 was the Vice Chair of The New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF), and is a board member of The Alumni & Friends of The LaGuardia High School for the Arts, Chair of the Theater Advisory Committee of the Library For the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center, a Board Member of The Transport Group and Co-Chair of the Rachel Crothers Award of the League of Professional Theatre Women. 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 of The American Friends of the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Upcoming: Radio Galaxy by Michele Aldin Kushner (found in the TRU Voices series). 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 Theater Resources Unlimited and The American Friends of the London Philharmonic Orchestra. 


    is a writer/producer based in New York and San Francisco, and Founding Artistic Director of Rhymes Over Beats, a hip hop theater company. In New York theater, he is a producer of the off-Broadway revival of The 39 Steps, the off-Broadway transfer of Bedlam Theater Company's dual productions of Hamlet and Saint Joan, and is currently producing My Life Is a Musical (from the TRU Voices series) which had a debut production at Bay Street Theatre. He was one of the producers of Play Dead! at The Players Theatre, he has produced In the Continuum at Perry Street Theatre, Noah's Archive, Joe Fearless, The Exonerated (Lucille Lortel, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Court TV's Scales of Justice Award) and The Soap Myth at Southstreet Seaport. He also produced Dirty Works at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. He was Executive Producer for the short film, The Igloo, and the feature film Mr. Smith Gets a Hustler. Patrick is a proud board member of TRU.


    has been an entertainment producer for over 25 years and this year marks his 18th year as an Executive Producer of the annual¬†Drama Desk Awards¬†("the Golden Globes of the theatre‚ÄĚ), now in partnership with and under the leadership of¬†TheaterMania.com.¬† His current theatrical¬†productions¬†include¬†¬†On Kentucky Avenue, ¬† the Famed Atlantic City Club Harlem Musical, which performs periodically in NYC and New Jersey;¬†and¬†a new Broadway production of¬†The Rise and Fall of Little Voice¬†¬†scheduled to open in the 2017-2018 season. He¬†most recently was the producer of three productions starring International Chanteuse,¬†Adrienne Haan.¬† Previously, Mr. Blume produced Skitso!¬†starring Australian actor/writer/comedian Jim Dailakis at the¬†Hollywood Fringe Festival¬†and¬†The Triad, NYC; and was a co-producer on a¬†revival of the play¬†Me And Jezebel¬†at the Snapple Theater in NYC.¬† Other theatrical producing ventures include Sue Mathys Sings Broadway & Piaf¬†at Weill/Carnegie Hall;¬†off-Broadway thriller¬†Mindgame¬†with Academy and Tony Award winner Keith Carradine,¬†directed by Ken Russell at¬†The¬†Soho Playhouse, NYC. Other current entertainment projects include¬†co-Executive Producing a TV pilot for kids,¬†Childish Dream Tales - Mess-up Room¬†(available on Amazon).¬† In film & TV world, Mr. Blume started as an NBC Page and then worked on the production staff of The Tonight Showstarring Johnny Carson; was the Executive Producer of the 1992 Cannes Film Festival (short film category) entry by Ronald Guttman,¬†Looping; Associate Producer of the¬†Jerry Lewis MDA Labor Day Telethon¬†in New York; served as Entertainment Director for the¬†National Fitness Awards¬†ceremony honoring former President Richard M. Nixon¬†and then IBM Chief Executive, John Akers; and was a Producer of corporate events for Lot Airlines, IBM Int'l Marketing Group, Bonwit Teller among others. Mr. Blume‚Äôs previous theatrical producing ventures include the NYC production of¬†Legends in Concert¬†at what is now the Foxwoods Theatre; the Los Angeles productions of Coming of Age, staged by Tony Tanner and¬†THE HEAD,¬†directed by former Love Boat star Lauren Tewes; the 28-city USA/Canadian Tour of¬†Slask, The National Folk Ballet Of Poland; the Broadway limited engagements of¬†Manny, The Edward G. Robinson Story¬† and¬†Marlowe, the Rock Musical; and the development of the musical¬†Milton & Me¬† (life of comedian Milton Berle) for Broadway. Mr. Blume is proud to have been a 20-year Tony voter as a member of The Broadway League and is currently a¬†Drama Desk¬†voter and Advisory¬†Board Member of the Duke Ellington Center for the¬†Arts.


    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. 


    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 a proud Co-Founder and Company Manager of Open Hydrant Theater Company, the first Equity Ensemble Theater in the Bronx. For the last 4 years, our company has produced 8 equity shows, creating opportunities for the youth and adult in the South Bronx and changing lives. I am also a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association, retired Supreme Court Reporter and Reiki healer. Moving to New York City in 2000 to pursue my dream and passion of acting, I am rewarded every day when I see the faces of the children and members of the community mirroring the joy that is shared when they find their voices on stage and connect with the energy of the audience telling their stories. I am blessed to be surrounded by incredibly talented colleagues and artists who inspire and motivate me constantly. Learning new things and meeting new people to build relationships with is key to life and I embrace it daily.


    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

    is the Acting Artistic Director or Center REP in the Bay Area and currently serves as Artistic Director at the University of Kansas.  As a director, he received the Outer Critics Circle Award nomination, New York Times Critic's Pick, and was a Callaway Award finalist for the off-Broadway production of Stalking the Bogeyman at New World Stages. Markus is the former Founding Artistic Director of NewYorkRep and Interim Artistic Director of Theatre Aspen. Other directing projects include Church & State at New World Stages (Off-Broadway Alliance Nominated for best new play), Why You Beasting? (Time Out NY Critics' Pick), and the Associate Director for the Donmar Warehouse production of Blindness at the Daryl Roth Theatre. Regional: Lost Boy Found in Whole Foods by Tammy Ryan at The Portland Stage Company, London's Southwark Playhouse (Off-West End Award nomination for Best Production and Best Direction), Red Speedo at Center REP (Shellie Award nomination for best direction), Kansas Repertory Theatre production of Chasing Gods by Paris Crayton III. As an actor, several seasons at The Guthrie, Denver Center, Long Wharf, tour of Death of A Salesman with Christopher Lloyd, and many more. As Producer, he was on the team that brought the Arena Stage production of Eric Cobble's The Velocity of Autumn to Broadway, starring Estelle Parsons, who received a Tony Award nomination. Markus received his MFA from Columbia University. MarkusPotter.com


    is the recipient of the 2017 TRU ‚ÄúSpirit of Theater Award‚ÄĚ and is both a Broadway actor and producer having played leading roles on Broadway in Good News, I Love My Wife, Crimes of the Heart, Gypsy (playing the ‚Äúbump it with the trumpet" stripper Mazzeppa while covering Tyne Daly as Mama Rose) and The Tale of the Allergist‚Äôs Wife (covering both Linda Lavin and Michele Lee and starring opposite Valerie Harper in the National Tour). Jana founded Better World Productions in order to ‚Äúpresent theater that not only entertains, but also educates; and inspires us to create a Better World." She made her Broadway producing debut with Little Women. Other Broadway producing credits include the revival of Ragtime and a financial stake in War Horse and Something Rotten (currently on National Tour). Off-Broadway productions include I Love You Because, Through The Night and White‚Äôs Lies.¬†She was also a producer on Marianne Elliot‚Äôs Heisenberg and Company in London as well as the Broadway revival. Shows in development include: The Astonishing Times of Timothy Cratchit (developed at The Workshop Theater) and The Jazz Age (World Premiere at 59e59) slated for a London production. For more info: www.janarobbins.com


    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.


    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