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 (PLEASE - put "Speed Date" in the file name) - we already have our full lineup of producers, so check them out below, and apply early!
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:
- Patrick Blake, producer (The 39 Steps, Bedlam Theatre's Hamlet/St. Joan, My Life Is a Musical, Play Dead, The Exonerated)
- Luis Reyes Cardenas, Co-Founder/Co-Artistic Director, Open Hydrant Theater Company
- William Franzblau, producer (upcoming Rocktopia, TONY Nominated Best Play Say Goodnight Gracie, American Buffalo and Wonderland on Broadway, the tour of Little House on the Prairie the Musical; off-Broadway Sistas, Jewtopia, Evil Dead the Musical, Respect and Illuminate)
- Ed Gaynes - producer (Cougar the musical, Zero Hour, Black Angels Over Tuskegee, Fried Chicken and Latkes), theater owner St. Luke's, manager Actors Temple;
- Cody Lassen - producer (Indecent, Significant Other, The Band's Visit)
- John Melo, theater and film producer (On the Town)
- Lawrence D. Poster/Asparagus Entertainment - producer (Rags, Forbidden Broadway Comes Out Swinging, Fingers and Toes)
- Ken Waissman (original Grease, Agnes of God, Torch Song Trilogy, Josephine)
- Trish Whitehurst, theater/film producer (The Realistic Joneses, The Gronholm Method in L.A.; upcoming Austen’s Pride; film: Clear Blue Tuesday)
- Shela Xoregos - artistic director of Xoregos Performing Company
- Frank Zuback - commercial producer (Taking Leave, American Soldier, Roof of the World)
- Gillien Goll
- Samantha Saltzman
- Bailie Slevin
- Todd Hulet
- Marsha Letcher
- Ed Levy
- Reva Solomon
- Judy Supersad
* member of TRU's Producer Development & Mentorship Program (PDMP)
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
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 Tour, On 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.
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 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.
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.
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
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.
As a theatre producer, Mr. Gaynes’ Off-Broadway productions include the current hit Black Angels Over Tuskegee (6 years), the recent long-running productions of Zero Hour (Drama Desk Award), The Devil’s Music: The Life and Blues of Bessie Smith (Drama Desk and Lortel nominations), Danny and Sylvia: The Danny Kaye Musical, The Rise of Dorothy Hale, The Big Voice: God or Merman?, Cougar The Musical, Picon Pie, Emily Mann’s Annulla, Matty: An Evening with Christy Mathewson and Bein’ With Behan, which was nominated for an Outer Critics Circle Award. He produced the West Coast premieres of Marry Me a Little and Starting Here, Starting Now and has been nominated for four Ovation Awards, Los Angeles’ highest theatre honor. Mr. Gaynes also produced the National Tour of Gilligan’s Island: The Musical, which played coast to coast. He currently operates two Off-Broadway theatres in New York City: St. Luke’s Theatre and Actors Temple Theatre, as well as the Whitmore-Lindley Theatre Center, the Avery Schreiber Playhouse and the BrickHouse Theatre in Los Angeles. He has also produced throughout the country, with over forty productions in Los Angeles alone. He has also appeared as an actor in 13 Broadway and Off-Broadway shows including Best Foot Forward, in which he co-starred with Christopher Walken and Liza Minnelli and sang “Buckle Down, Winsocki” on the original cast album. This past year, Mr. Gaynes was presented with a “Legend of Off-Broadway” honor by the Off-Broadway Alliance at Sardi’s in New York City.
LAWRENCE D. POSTER
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 – on almost everyone’s 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’ Knittin’ and Bitchin’ 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) – Platinum Supporter – 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 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.
is a producer of theatre, film and live events. Currently she is producing Austen’s Pride: a musical of Pride and Prejudice - as well as working on the development of the play Strings by Carole Bugge (from the TRU Speed Date Series). Trish produces events and meetings for numerous corporate clients. She was one of the producers of the Broadway production of The Realistic Joneses, and a producer on the film Clear Blue Tuesday. Other projects include the LA production of The Gronholm Method; Grant Olding’s Three Sides; 15th Anniversary Production of By Jeeves (London). Event credits include Women in Cable, Lifetime and CBS Upfronts; Canon – Chairman’s Gala. She began her career working in both lighting and wardrobe with her parents in IATSE Local 72. During her early years in New York, Trish was a stage manager, and during graduate school at Columbia University she was an intern at the Shubert Organization where she worked on productions of Zoot Suit and Dancin’.
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
Z-MANZ-Man Films and Stage Productions has produced staged productions of Hip Hop High-The Musical, Vampires In Da House and several other stage productions. They also developed numerous independent films including “The Killing Machines” , “Crickett and The Little Girl Power” and is currently developing “Little Frankie Stein,” their domestic answer to “Harry Potter.” Other intellectual properties of Z-man films includes registered trademarked TV Networks named named HIP•HOP•TV®, The Motorcycle Channel® Urban News Network® and Kids of Color TV registered trademarked Films and TV shows that include The Path To Stardom, Hip Hop High Incorporated , Hip Hop City, Basement Tapes and many registered Trademarked products and services including Stardom Ice Tea Beverages, Hip Hop High Radio, The National Hip Hop Hall of Fame Tour, Hip High Hop High Clothing Company, Theater Live Online. Z-Man films and Hip Hop High Incorporated is working hard to bringing all of these companies to the market place. Inquiries about any of these amazing brands can be made at firstname.lastname@example.org