Event Details
  • Essentials of Successful Self-Producing
    September 26, 2021
    1:00 pm - 6:30 pm
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Essentials of Successful Self-Producing 2021

Sunday September 26th, 1pm to 6:30 pm EST
Our annual workshop reformatted and rethought for virtual presentation

Sometimes you've just got to jump in and be more than an artist to make theater happen. "I'm just an artist" no longer cuts it when you make the move from page to paying audience - you are the CEO of your brand!  In this groundbreaking half-day workshop we will look at how artists can successfully take on the challenging role of producer to generate their own opportunities. The ones who are most successful have to master a range of business skills, don a variety of hats, and learn to be expert jugglers.

Learn to view your creative work from a business perspective and understand the need to think differently. Make smarter choices, not only now but for the future of your show. It all seems a little overwhelming at times, but we will break it down into easily digestible bites. When you know what you're doing, it can actually be fun and fulfilling! Cost: $100, $75 for TRU members (see red registration box on this page). 

COVID-19 scholarships available - fill out an online scholarship application at https://forms.gle/BeGgYecFcaJUsNk18 and send a brief email to TRUnltd@aol.com requesting financial help.

Faculty for this half-day workshop will include Emileena Pedigo of The Show Goes On Productions, former managing producer of Midtown International Theatre Festival; and Bob Ost, writer-producer, executive director of TRU. Guest speakers will include: 

  • dramaturg/director/producer Cate Cammarata of CreateTheater.com;
  • production advisor/strategist and producer Blair Russell ¬†of Show Shepherd, a strategic theatrical development company, and producer¬†(Slave Play, off-Broadway's long-running immersive Sweeney Todd)¬† www.blairrussell.net;
  • entertainment attorney Eric Goldman;
  • marketing expert and omnipreneur Roger Gonzalez of Alliance Media and Entertainment;
  • Solo artist¬†Valerie David and playwright Phil Olson.

Our curriculum (subject to change):

12:45 check-in

1:00-1:30 ‚ÄúWhy Are You Doing This?‚ÄĚ with Bob Ost & Emileena Pedigo

  • Adapting to #AnotherWay and finding your own path.
  • Aligning with a vision of your work (defining the Why).
  • Understanding your property and identifying your audience.
  • Building a Road Map and setting attainable S.M.A.R.T. Goals.

1:30-2:15 "Legal Pitfalls and Protections" with attorney Eric Goldman

  • Agreements: collaborator, options, contractors, and more.
  • What you need to know when you ask for money. And what your responsibilities are.
  • Pre-existing and underlying rights, intellectual property protections.

15-minute break-out sessions

2:30-3:30 ‚ÄúPlanning Ahead and Making it Happen‚ÄĚ with producer Blair Russell

  • Having a vision of what this play could be and how far it can go.¬†
  • Thinking and planning¬†beyond¬†your current production (5/10 year plan).
  • How to put together and manage your creative team.
  • How much do things really cost? How much should you pay people?¬† How to have those conversations and more.
  • The impact the pandemic has had on the development process, and how to add "virtual" to your plan.
  • The development options: table read, staged reading, showcase, festivals, cabaret, virtual, and more.

3:30-4:00 ‚ÄúFinding & Creating Opportunities‚ÄĚ with Cate Cammarata

  • Producing virtually: platforms, unions, and international reach.
  • Getting your plays out there in the world: licensing, and getting the most out of it.
  • Researching and booking tours.
  • Fringes and festivals.¬†
15-minute BREAK

4:15-5:15 ‚ÄúMarketing, Promotion and Self-Promotion‚ÄĚ with Roger Gonzalez

  • Self-producing and branding in the virtual age.
  • Identifying your audience (Lean Startup Model).
  • The marketing basics: website, postcards, social media, and ticketing.
  • Effective networking: creating brand ambassadors for your art.

5:15-6:00 Keynote panel: "Self-Producing and Staying Sane" with Valerie David and Phil Olson.

6:00 Q&A/break-out sessions for networking


    is an Off-Broadway producer, director and dramaturg in NYC specializing in the development of new plays and musicals, and has been the Literary Manager for Theater Resources Unlimited (TRU) for ten years. She is the Founder and Executive Producer of CreateTheater's New Works Festival and Artistic Director of The Experts Theater Company. Her company CreateTheater.com has developed and produced dozens of new plays and musicals since its founding in 2016. Off-Broadway: The Assignment, My Father's Daughter. Regional: My Life Is a Musical (Bay Street Theater), Bran Castle (Porchlight Theater). In development: Atlantis (book by Ken Cerniglia & Scott Morris, music & lyrics by Matthew Robinson), The Falling Season, a new hip hop musical by international hip hop legend Masta Ace,. During the shutdown of 2020-2022 CreateTheater developed and/or produced more than 70 shows with online readings, workshops and dramaturgical guidance. For this work Theater Resources Unlimited (TRU) has honored her with the TRU Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2022. Cate holds a BFA in Acting/Directing from Syracuse University and an MFA in Dramaturgy at SUNY Stony Brook, and is Associate Professor of Theatre Arts at CUNY Baruch College. Her book, "Contemporary Monologues for a New Theater," published by Applause Books, was listed as one of the Top Ten Books for theater lovers by BroadwayDirect in 2018. www.CateCammarata.com  www.CreateTheater.com


    is an award-winning actor and playwright. She¬†wrote her autobiographical solo show¬†The Pink Hulk¬†as a cancer survivor to express the empowerment to find humor and superhero inner strength to become a 3-time cancer survivor. It has been accepted into 45 different festivals/engagements, performed in over 23 cities in the U.S. and abroad including England, Finland, Sweden and Iceland; went from page to stage in less than 6 months‚Äô time.¬†The Pink Hulk¬†have been featured on NBC 4 New York, CBS, FOX,¬†amNY,¬†The IndyStar,¬†Breast Friends Cancer Support Radio Network, First Online With Fran, The Crisis Help Show and the Jim Masters Show! Live. Kristen Morale of Broadway World writes:¬†‚ÄúWatching Valerie David perform¬†The Pink Hulk is something so marvelous‚Ķit is the most powerful and poignant two hours I have ever spent at a theater.‚Ä̬†Upcoming in-person¬†Pink Hulk¬†performances are Oct 27, 28 and 30 at The Cell Theatre in Chelsea. She is currently developing her new solo show¬†Baggage from BaghDAD¬†about her father and his family fleeing Iraq in 1941 from religious persecution.¬†Valerie has self-produced¬†The Pink Hulk¬†since its debut in 2016.¬†For more info on Valerie and¬†The Pink Hulk/upcoming run, visit¬†https://pinkhulkplay.com/¬†


    is owner of Alliance Media & Communications, a media and live entertainment, integrated marketing and PR firm that works with media companies, small to mid-sized businesses, and with the independent theatre industry to promote theatre and live entertainment. In 2006, Alliance Media & Communications founded LocalTheatreNY.com, which is now being relaunched as LocalTheatreUSA.com, in part to be more inclusive of events taking place across the country, but also to help theatre and the arts in this country make a full comeback in 2021. Roger is also producing a new comedy called "It's All About Lorrie" with the folks of Broadway United, and is currently shopping the show for a tour. He owns a development company to help playwrights realize their work on stage (virtually or otherwise). Marketing: www.90-dayFasttrack.com, and development is www.AllianceMediaTheatricals.com. On IG, find him @TheatreMarketing2021


    While still a senior at U. of Pa., his one-act Beast was produced by Bob Moss in the first season of Playwrights Horizons. He went on to write book, music and lyrics for the off-Broadway revue Everybody’s Gettin’ into the Act at the Actor’s Playhouse, and Finale!, Grand Prize winner in the 1990 American Musical Theater Festival Competition (presented at NAMT) and the 1992 New American Musical Writers Competition, and a finalist at the O’Neill Music Conference in 1989. More recently his musical Angel in My Heart won Best Musical in the Fresh Fruit Festival. He won the New Works of Merit Playwriting Competition for his play Breeders, previously a finalist at the O'Neill, as well as a selection of the TRU Voices New Plays Reading Series. The Necessary Disposal was a finalist in the Maxim Mazumdar New Play Competition at the Alleyway Theatre in Buffalo, has been a finalist in three other national competitions, and was part of the Shotgun Productions New Play Reading Series and the Oberon Theatre Reading Series, both in NYC; his one-act A Glass of Water was part of the Lovecreek Festival, HomoGenius Festival, Downtown Urban Arts Festival; other one-acts have been showcased all over New York. He won a 2004 OOBR Award for the review "Songs Are Like Friends", and is a 3-time MAC nominee. While he was producing his own musical revues at cabarets around Manhattan he discovered he could combine his artistic talent with the business skills he was picking up in the advertising world. The idea of Theater Resources Unlimited was born, with the help of co-founders (and  fellow writers) Gary Hughes and Cheryl Davis in 1992. He has gone on to produce musicals Civil War Voices and Rip in the Midtown International Theater Festival, and the classic Chinese musical, Romance of the Western Chamber.


    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 helped 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. 


    is a Tony-nominated producer, developer, whose experience ranges from fringe festivals to Broadway shows. His most recent theatre projects include the 12-time Tony-nominated Slave Play, Lizard Boy, and the concept recording of the new musical For Tonight. As Co-founder and Director of Operations for Resounding, he produces live immersive entertainment. Blair has been a guest speaker/artist at a number of institutions including the University of Maryland, University of North Carolina Greensboro, Walnut Hill School for the Performing Arts, and the York School in Monterey, CA. He was also a visiting lecturer for the semester-long Atelier program at Princeton University where he collaborated with composer Georgia Stitt on her oratorio The Circling Universe. Blair has appeared as a guest on a number of podcasts (American Theatre Artists Online, A Star Is Bored, Backstage Talk, Broadway ReFocused), webseries (Actors Unscripted, Awkward Conversations, Be Our Guest! - Live and In Color, Dreamland XR, In The (Home) Office - Goodspeed Musicals), and at global conferences (National Alliance for Musical Theater, Global XR Conference, Immerse Global Summit Series)