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Event Details
  • March 20, 2016
    5:30 pm - 9:30 pm
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Writer-Producer Speed Date

SUNDAY MARCH 20th
Deadline to submit: Friday March 11th at 10pm!

NOLA Rehearsal Studio
250 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?

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!

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

Confirmed producers include:

  • Frank Calo - indie producer and director (The Believer, Here and There, The Cookout);
  • Ed Gaynes - producer (Cougar the musical, Zero Hour, Black Angels Over Tuskegee, Fried Chicken and Latkes), theater owner St. Luke's, Actors Temple;
  • Jeremy Handelman - producer (On the Town, White's Lies, F#@king Up Everything);
  • John Lant - indie producer, producing artistic director of Write Act Repertory;
  • Michael Leland - Indie director & producer (upcoming in 2016: For Colored Girls...);
  • Tom Polum - producer (The Toxic Avenger, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, All Shook Up);
  • James Simon - producer (revival of Pippin, The Velocity Of Autumn, West End production of Damn Yankees with Jerry Lewis, upcoming Roof of the World);
  • Will Trice/Jeffrey Richards Associates - producer (All the Way, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Porgy & Bess...);
  • Ken Waissman - producer (Grease, Torch Song Trilogy, Agnes of God);
  • Cheryl Wiesenfeld - producer (The Heidi Chronicles, Rocky, Legally Blonde, Tony Awards for: All the Way, Vanya & Sonia & Masha & Spike, The Gershwin's Porgy & Bess, Elaine Stritch: At Liberty);
  • Frank Zuback/Frank Zuback Productions (Moolah).

See below for full bios.

Trailing Producers will include:

  • Ben Goldstein
  • Dan Irwin
  • Jeffery Lyle Segal
  • Elyse Sholk

Coaches will include:

  • Michael Ian Cedar
  • Gillien Goll
  • Bailie Slevin

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 cheese afterwards?

Producers
  • FRANK M. CALO

    is an Independent Producer and Director whose film THE BELIEVER, starring Ryan Gosling and Billy Zane won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2001 Sundance Festival. That film won all the festivals that year including The Berlin Film Festival. It was shown nation wide and had a great box office run. His film, HERE & THERE with Cyndi Lauper and David Thornton has won the BEST NY NARRATIVE IN WORLD COMPETITION 2009 at Robert DeNiro’s, Tribeca Film Festival in NYC and had it’s official News York premier played to wide audiences domestically and overseas. Mr. Calo has worked with Robert DeNiro (Godsend), Demi Moore, Mike Myers Shelly Winters, Marlon Brando and many more. His film THE COOKOUT with Queen Latifah also had a great box office run distributed by Lions Gate Films. He is currently working on two featured films entitled JOHNNY POSTAL and EYES OF THE KINGS along with a TV. Pilot entitled ESQ starring Rihanna and Dayton Callie from Sons of Anarchy. He was one of the few and only directors who studied privately under Mr. Elia Kazan.

  • ED GAYNES

    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.

  • JEREMY HANDELMAN

    is a two-time Tony Award nominated producer whose many credits include John Leguizamo’s Latin History for Morons (Broadway and National Tour), the Broadway revival of On the Town, the Off Broadway and regional production of the rock musical comedy Brooklyn Crush, formerly F#%king Up Everything (NY Times Critics' Pick & Best New Musical nominee), White’s Lies and the acclaimed production of The Chekhov Dreams. He is one of the lead producers of Dearly Beloved, a fully immersive theater production slated for 2020, and is on the producing team for several Broadway-aimed musicals currently in development. Jeremy is the founder of Off The Leash Productions, where he produces a wide range of marketing and entertainment video including commercials, promos, web videos and performance shoots (OffTheLeashProductions.com). Past Lives: Vice President, Programming of CBS Sports; Vice President, Programming Sales for Wink Communications. Other Lives: Co-President of the Brown University Club in New York; serves on the board of Houses on the Moon Theater Company and served for many years on the board of Theater Resources Unlimited.

  • 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

     
     
  • MICHAEL LELAND

    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.

  • WILL TRICE

    has served as associate lead producer (partnered with Jeffrey Richards and Jerry Frankel) on 17 Broadway productions, 2 West End productions, and 3 National Tours. He received Tony Awards for producing the 2014 play All the Way, the 2013 revival of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and the 2012 revival of Porgy and Bess as well as nominations for The Best Man, The Glass Menagerie, and You Can't Take it With You.  He is currently represented on Broadway by Fiddler on the Roof and American Psycho, as well as the National Tour of The Bridges of Madison County.  Prior to his career in producing, he was a Business Analyst with management consulting firm McKinsey & Co., an Artistic Administration Associate with The Metropolitan Opera, and a Strategic Growth Associate with alternative asset managers D.E. Shaw & Co.  He is a graduate of Southern Methodist and Northwestern Universities.
  • TOM POLUM

    Founding member of Streaming Musicals, producing the films of Emma, Marry Harry, No One Called Ahead, Pride and Prejudicewww.StreamingMusicals.com.  Author of Mambo Italiano which had it's world premiere last August at the Westchester Broadway Theatre.  Outer Critic's winner Best Off broadway musical for The Toxic Avenger; produced the Houston production of The Toxic Avenger, following the off-Broadway New York premiere of  about the first superhero from New Jersey by Joe DiPietro (I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change) and David Bryan (keyboardist and founding member of Bon Jovi) and directed by Tony Award-winner John Rando. He also co-produced Last Call, a musical documentary by Broadway director Christopher Ashley (Xanadu, Rocky Horror Show, All Shook Up) and is developing the musical comedies Mambo Italiano (based on the Canadian film starring Paul Sorvino) and Zombie Honeymoon, as well as other musicals, including Heloise and Abelard, The Toxic Avenger Christmas Chaos and Finding Frida Kahlo. Past credits include the tour of Broadway’s Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (Tony nomination for Best Musical).

  • JAMES SIMON

    was a co-producer on the 2000 Tony and Drama Desk Award nominated revival of Bells Are Ringing, the 2014 play The Velocity Of Autumn and an associate producer of the Tony winning Broadway revival of Pippin, Play On!, and the West End production of Damn Yankees with Jerry Lewis.  Other Broadway shows in which he participated as a limited partner include Rent, Vanya & Sonia & Masha & Spike, Little Women - The Musical, Victor Victoria, Metamorphoses,  and many other Broadway, Off-Broadway, and international tours. He is currently being represented on Broadway with the hit comedy, The Play That Goes Wrong.

  • 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.

  • CHERYL WIESENFELD

    Following a career in publishing, Cheryl began her theatre producing career in 1998. Broadway: The Great Society, The Heidi Chronicles, All The Way, Rocky, Vanya & Sonia & Masha & Spike, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, A Steady Rain, Legally Blonde, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, ‘night Mother, Caroline or Change, Elaine Stritch At Liberty, and Hedda Gabler. Off Broadway: 10th Anniversary Exonerated, Play Dead, In The Continuum, Shockheaded Peter, Talking Heads, The Exonerated, The Waverly Gallery. Film: Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me. Current: Ain’t Too Proud- The Temptations musical. Upcoming: The Harder They Come. Cheryl has produced shows that have spawned national and international tours and sit down productions, regional productions, and London engagements which have grossed hundreds of millions of dollars. Cheryl has won numerous awards for her productions including the Drama League, Drama Desk, Lucille Lortel, New York Drama Critics Awards and 4 Tony Awards. She has been honored by Theater Resources Unlimited with “The Spirit of Theater” award in 2007, and The Houses on The Moon Amplify 2015 Award for her support in championing the unheard voice. Her board commitments: Theater Resource Unlimited where she co-founded the TRU mentorship program. The program to date has mentored over 200 commercial producers and self producing artists. Cheryl is on the board of Silver Hill Hospital in New Canaan, Connecticut, and is on the Honorary Council of Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven Connecticut. Cheryl continues her mentoring work and speaks at universities, on panels and for different organizations. She is in her second year of curating a theatre program with the title - Theatre that changes OUR World- at The Quick Center at Fairfield University.
  • 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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