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Event Details
  • Writer-Producer Speed Date (DO NOT PURCHASE UNTIL ACCEPTED!!!)
    March 5, 2023
    2:00 pm - 7:15 pm
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Writer-Producer Virtual Speed Date 03/05/23

We're Zooming ahead into the Virtual World - Speed Date has been reformatted for Zoom! More tech, less noise – each writer will be in an individual breakout room with each of our 11+ producers. 

Sunday 03/05, 2023 - submission deadline 02/22
Session 1: coaching at 2:00, pitching at 4:00 ET (there will be an hour wait time between coaching and pitching)
Session 2: coaching at 3:00, pitching at 5:30 ET (there will be a 90 minute wait time between coaching and pitching)

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 interested in meeting you. Okay, they probably won't option you on the spot, but they'll give you valuable feedback about your work and your ability to talk about it. And you'll have the opportunity to start developing a relationship. And that's what this business is all about. Relationships.

The Speed Date is the only event I know of that gives writers the chance to meet high level producers one-on-one in a room. To me, that's what makes the Speed-Dates so valuable. And you do it with kindness, which I value in life. ~Vincent Amelio (How Alfo Learned to Love)

Click here: WriterSpeedDateApp-85-75virtual-rev2 for application. Please fill out and email to TRUStaff1@gmail.com (PLEASE - add your name to the document name, and put it first when you "save as").

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.

Confirmed producers include:

  • Margot Astrachan, producer (Diana, The Prom, A Gentleman's Guide..., Ghost the musical, Around the World in 80 Days, Nice Work If You Can Get It, On a Clear Day...);
  • Nicolette Blount of Take My Shot Productions, helping new artist's voices to be heard, especially those who have been marginalized within the industry;
  • Merrie L. Davis, producer (Parade, 5 TONY awards for Company broadway, 4 Olivier awards for Company London, 6 Tony Nominations for Eclipsed, Gigi; Himself and Nora; Museum of Broadway; upcoming Working Girl);
  • Jane Dubin, producer (current: Is This A Room, Dana H.; The Prom, Tony winning The Norman ConquestsAn American in ParisFarinelli and the KingBandstandPeter and the StarcatcherAbsolute Brightness of Leonard PelkeyThe 39 StepsAnn);
  • Sharon Fallon/Sharon Fallon Productions, executive producer, general manager and consultant (IndecentBeautiful Broadway, London & National Tour, Matilda The Musical, Lysistrata Jones);
  • William Franzblau, producer (Rocktopia, Tony Award-nominated Say Goodnight GracieAmerican Buffalo and Wonderland on Broadway; tour of Little House on the Prairie the Musical; off-Broadway Sistas, Jewtopia, Evil Dead the MusicalRespect, Illuminate)
  • Neil Gooding, producer (Australia: 33 Variations, Sweet Charity, Drummer Queens, The Bridges Of Madison CountyGutenberg! The Musical!, Dogfight; New York: Church and StateHandle with CareThe 39 Steps, Alan Cumming’s one-man Macbeth on Broadway; upcoming productions: Back to the Future in London, What’s New Pussycat in the UK and Harmony in New York);
  • Cooper Jordan, producer of Live Entertainment for New York, Atlantic City and National Touring Productions (New York's Got Talent, Santa's Sing-A-Long, Easter Bunny HOP! Live, The Rat Pack Undead, Saw The Musical: The Unauthorized Parody of Saw & more) - Cooper Jordan Entertainment manages and produces national self-producing artists, tribute artists and 1-3 person Live Entertainment touring productions primarily based in New York, Boston, Atlantic City, and Las Vegas."
  • Tamra Pica, producer and casting director for Write Act Repertory, and the new Park Performing Arts Center’s (PPAC) in Union City, NJ - "My work centers on developing writers in theater, film and television.  Though I tend to produce more musicals, I am interested in writers in all genres with a strong voice who write the stories they are uniquely meant to tell.";
  • Markus Potter, theatre director, Artistic Director of Kansas Repertory Theatre, Founding Producing Artistic Director of NewYorkRep, Co-Producer of the Velocity of Autumn on Broadway;
  • Ken Waissman, producer (Grease, Torch Song Trilogy, Agnes of God, And Miss Reardon Drinks a Little, Over There!);
  • Aly York, indie producer, LA and Philadelphia area.

Coaches: Diana Calderazzo, Emileena Pedigo, Bailie Slevin

Observing Producers: Suzanne Bachner*/JMTC Theatre, Maureen Condon*, Zillah Glory*, Robert Hofmann*, Jennifer Joy*, Natalie Lifson, Donald Loftus*, Nils MacQuarrie*, Jacquelyn Reingold, Chris Spencer*, Cynthia Stephens/Sacred Ground Productions, Tracy Swedlow*

[*members and alumni of TRU's Producer Development program]


At TRU they not only provide you with the opportunity to meet 11 different producers, but they also provide you with tools and coaching to make your pitch night a success. They also bring producers that love the educational aspect of the pitch night and genuinely love meeting new writers. So, even if you don’t walk away with an option, which they tell you not to expect, you walk away with a better pitch, new ideas, and a bigger network. ~Kenady Sean, musicalwriters.com 

I really am impressed with the info and support from TRU. I've done several of these with [another] group. I quit last year. With you guys it's like you're setting us up for success, what a concept. ~Kurt Johns (Hello Kitty Must Die)

I just wanted to relay a huge thanks to you and everyone at TRU for this experience, it was awesome! We really felt supported the whole way through, and we feel so much better prepared to market our show after getting the chance to practice pitching. If there's anywhere we can write a review or something for this experience, please let us know. And thank you and the rest of the team for all the tech effort behind this. ~Daniel Rosen & Alara Magritte (Safe Hands)

Just wanted to say “thanks” for your Herculean efforts in making the event so worthwhile.... Honestly, I much preferred pitching via Zoom than in person with everyone else within earshot. ~Sam Affoumado (Panic Defense)

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 (Long Lost John)

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

Panelists
  • MARGOT ASTRACHAN

    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 MurderThe Realistic JonesesNice Work If You Can Get It, the revival of On a Clear Day You Can See ForeverBonnie & ClydeBusker AlleyGhost 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. 

  • NICOLETTE BLOUNT

    is a proud voting tribal member of the Chickasaw Nation, a musical theatre composer, lyricist, writer, performer, producer, investor, mother to three girls, and starbucksaholic who doesn't sleep. As a creative, she is a classically trained vocalist, but often performs in local musicals and loves singing jazz and blues. Some of her music she has written was recently performed at Women of the Wings Vol 4 at 54 Below and she has performed at Ben Cameron's Broadway Sessions. She is the co-writer, composer and lyricist for Savage the Musical that recently received honorable mention in the American Playwriting Foundation's Relentless Award. She is also currently working with an all female team on, Red, the story of the Queen of Hearts. As a producer, she started producing in 2005 while living in Hawaii when she started a nonprofit that put on yearly arts festivals featuring artists, musicians, actors, and dancers with all original work. She started the LLC Take My Shot Productions and through that she produced Savage the Musical's first developmental production (Ja'Duke Theater, MA). The show received standing ovations to packed houses at each of the 4 productions, received 11 Broadway World Boston Regional Nominations and won several runner ups including first runner up in Best New Musical, only losing first by 1%!  In addition, she self produced Savage the Musical 's Original Cast EP and has received 39K streams to date. The EP has no record label or Broadway singers. Nicolette co-produced A Commercial Jingle for Regina Comet with Jo-Ann Dean. She is an investor for the upcoming Off Broadway show, Millennials are Killing Musicals and soon will be joining the co-producing team. She is also an investor for the Museum of Broadway. Nicolette started the company Underground Demos to help composers and writers early in their process record quality demos with great talent and economical prices. In her spare time, she is in charge of all of Savage the Musical's social media on FB, IG, and Tik Tok that currently has a total of 9K followers and counting. Nicolette is a member of Dramatist Guild, ASCAP, Maestra, Beyond Music, Songwriters Guild of America, and the Parents Advocacy League for Performing Arts and Media. She continues to write, perform, songwrite, and continues to look for important original works by females and marginalized people to champion, uplift and help move forward to the next step.

  • MERRIE L. DAVIS

    is a producer and Tony Winner for Parade, Best Revival of a Musical 2023; Tony & Olivier Winner  (New York, London), for Company 2022 for Best Revival of a Musical and West End (winner of 4 Olivier awards total including Best Musical Revival 2019); and a Tony nominated producer for Eclipsed with Lupita Nyong’o (6 Tony nominations). Her producing career began with Gigi the Musical, Himself and Nora with Matt Bogart (Jersey Boys) and Whitney Bashor (The Bridges of Madison County). Since coming into the New York theatre world she has been investing and raising money for shows including Dear Evan Hansen, To Kill a Mockingbird, Hello, Dolly!, The Band's Visit and Moulin Rouge, among  others. In addition to producing, she is an Out-of-the Box Marketer who founded Next Act 2 Follow, a producing/marketing company, utilizing her unique marketing skills and introducing inventive ideas to the Broadway scene on shows including Allegiance and 39 Steps. Prior to making a career change into producing, Merrie had been a Publisher and Out-of-the-Box Marketer for over 25+ years in the magazine world dealing in the Hospitality and Tourism industries. While owning her own Visitor Magazines, IN New York and WHERE that were distributed in the hotels, she also had the pleasure of working with all the theater agencies.  Merrie is on the Board of TRU, Abingdon Theatre Company and the Broadway Association and is still delighted that she took the giant leap into an industry that she had always loved!!! 

  • JANE DUBIN

    is a TONY Award-winning producer and the President of Double Play Connections, a theatrical production and management company committed to supporting emerging artists and playwrights in the creation and development of new works. Jane is a graduate of the Commercial Theatre Institute's 14-week (NYC) and O’Neill Center Intensive (CT) Producing Workshops and Director of Theater Resources Unlimited’s Producer Development Program Master Class. Ms. Dubin is Chair of the Board of Directors of Houses on the Moon Theater Company.  She is a member and recent Board member of the League of Professional Theatre Women.  She is a member of the Broadway Women’s Alliance and the Off-Broadway League.  For two years she was co-curator of the Hudson Valley Writers’ Center New Play Reading Series. She co-produced Hudson River Rising, presenting events in Westchester for One Billion Rising (V-Day).  She was a strategic consultant to SPACE on Ryder Farm, an artists’ residency in Brewster, NY and a member of the Grand Jury for New York Musical Festival’s 2015 – 2019 seasons.  She served as an evaluator for a NAMT innovation grant panel and is a juror for Bethany Arts Community residency program.  She is a frequent panelist and guest lecturer on theater-related matters. Before embarking on her career in theater, Ms. Dubin spent over 20 years in the financial services industry. Productions: Upcoming: The Village of Vale.  Recent: Is This A Room, Dana H., The Prom (Drama Desk Award Best Musical), Farinelli and the King (starring Mark Rylance, nominated for 5 Tony Awards), An American in Paris (4 TONY Awards, plus London and National Tour), Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey (Westside Theater and on Tour), Ann, starring Holland Taylor (Lincoln Center); Bandstand (Broadway), Beebo Brinker Chronicles (2008 GLAAD Media Award for Theatre); Groundswell (the New Group), Peter and the Starcatcher (Broadway, Off-Broadway, National Tour), winner of 5 TONY Awards; The Norman Conquests (TONY Award, Best Play Revival), The 39 Steps (OB, Tour); The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (London).  Film: Radium Girls.

  • SHARON FALLON

    Sharon Fallon Productions, Inc. is an independent Theatre Producer, General Manager, and Theatrical Consultant.  working both in the commercial and non-profit theatre industry, Sharon brings a unique perspective to her work. In 2015 she created a boutique theatrical production company with a mission to bridge the gap between art and business allowing productions to be financially viable and artistically satisfying. Taking a holistic approach – from page to stage and everything in between, she works directly with early-career producers and artist-driven niche projects as well as on larger union and non-union projects. She has worked in the theatre as an actress, director, general manager, managing director, and producer. Broadway credits include IndecentBeautiful the Carole King Musical, Matilda The Musical, and Lysistrata Jones. Off-Broadway credits include The Little Match Girl, Creeps, Krymov Lab NYC. In addition to producing commercially, Sharon served as the Associate General Manager of both the Helen Hayes Theatre and Lyric Theatre in New York. Currently, she is the executive producer on several projects in development.  Sharon is a Board Member of NAMT, the National Alliance of Musical Theatres, co-chair of the Festival of New Musicals Committee, and a Member of the Off-Broadway League. 
  • WILLIAM FRANZBLAU

    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. 

  • NEIL GOODING

    As a director, Neil was nominated for a 2009 Helpmann Award and a 2009 Green Room Award for the Australian premiere of Gutenberg! The Musical!. He has also been nominated for a Sydney Theatre Critics Award for his direction of the Australian premiere of Dogfight. Directing highlights include the Australian premieres of Stalking The Bogeyman and The Bridges Of Madison County and the World Premiere of Paris (in concert), The Red Tree and Becoming Bill. Other highlights include the New York Production of Church And State (Asst. Director), Passion, The Hatpin (Asst. Director). Neil was also assistant director to Gale Edwards for the launch concert of Kookaburra Music Theatre Company. As Producer / Director Neil has created many productions including Sing on Through Tomorrow (a song revue of the music of Matthew Robinson); LOVEBiTES by Peter Rutherford and James Millar; Love Letters (starring Ian Stenlake and Rachael Beck), Truth Beauty And A Picture Of You and High Fidelity (Hayes Theatre Co); the national tour of Thank You for Being A Friend; as well as Side by Side by Sondheim and Diciasette (starring Mark Vincent). His producing work internationally includes the New York productions of Church and State, Handle with Care; The 39 Steps; Alan Cumming’s one-man version of Macbeth on Broadway; as well as being a financial investor in It’s Only A Play and The Ferryman. In London’s West End, NGP has produced the hit Australian play, Holding the Man, Cyrano and the upcoming Back to the Future. 

     

  • COOPER JORDAN

    is one of New York's youngest theatrical Off-Broadway & Touring 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, and now is celebrating 10 years running. Cooper was Managing Director & Producer with Off-Broadway's former Elektra Theater where he produced multiple Off-Broadway hits Boogie Stomp (Executive Producer), Miles Thorn Master Illusionist (Lead Producer) which ran consistently for 2 years, New York's Got Talent (Producer & Host) and more.  An Actor & Show Host, as well as Producers he splits his East Coast time between New York & Atlantic City, where he's revitalizing the AC Live Entertainment market. Cooper Jordan Entertainment now manages and produces Live Entertainment & Touring productions primarily based in New York, Atlantic City, and Las Vegas.

  • TAMRA PICA

    producer and casting director for Write Act Repertory. Tamra's theater and television work spans 33 years and over 250 productions as a prop designer, AEA Stage Manager, producer and casting director of plays, musicals, dance and ice shows. She produces both Off Broadway, as well as, managing the Los Angeles theater presence for Write Act.  Recent credits include the long-running Frankenstein, Wicked City Blues, and Swing.  Other credits include: Lili Marlene, Caldwell’s Bomb for the New York Venus/Adonis Theater Festival, RenewalYour Name on My Lips at Theater for the New City and the long running musical Fabulous! Queen of the New Musicals where she served as a casting director and producer.  Alongside theater, Tamra’s work production, casting, and development television work can be seen for companies such as Disney, Sony, Cartoon Network, NBC Studios, TBS, CBS, MTV, ABC and FOX.  She currently works on the animated Disney series Mira, Royal Detective.

  • MARKUS POTTER

    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

  • 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.

  • ALY YORK

    holds a bachelor’s degree in theatre from Syracuse University and is an alumni of the prestigious Eugene O’Neill Theater Center. Additionally she is a member of the Classical Theatre Lab in Los Angeles, Ca. Aly is an indie producer and has produced several plays throughout the Los Angeles and Philadelphia area. She has produced 4 of Phil Olson's plays; 2 of which were world premieres -- additionally she produced Phil's short film he wrote with Paul Lazarus called Graham: A Dog's Story starring Tatyana Ali and Chris Williams. Recently Aly produced Neil Simon's London Suite at the GRT in Los Angeles, Ca. Aly has worked with the great Tony Tanner, Louis Fantasia, Richard Digby Day, Howard Fine and Jay Goldenberg.

  • MAUREEN CONDON

    is a recent graduate of TRU’s Producer Development Master and Foundations Classes, and was assistant to the producers for the 2021 TRUSpeak Benefit.  In 2019, Condon helped raise production funding for the Cape Cod Theatre Company’s debut of her new musical comedy CRUDE-The Climate Change Musical. Condon has produced and directed TV commercials that have aired on The Weather Channel and other cable TV channels. Condon has also produced documentary and promotional videos for Fortune 500 and high tech companies. Notable, among her productions focusing on technology, are:  “Severe Weather,” a documentary distributed nationwide to TV weathercasters; a documentary about NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the Fly-by of Saturn by NASA’s Voyager II Spacecraft; and a Maysles Brothers’ cinema verite film about Polaroid Corporation’s technology. Condon has also produced, directed and choreographed multi-media/live fashion and magic shows for trade shows nationwide. Memberships include:  Theater Resources Unlimited; League of Professional Theatre Women; CreateTheater; ASCAP; The Dramatist Guild; and The Eventide Theatre Company’s Playwrights’ Lab.

  • SUZANNE BACHNER

    is a playwright and director, and the Artistic Director of JMTC Theatre. Suzanne’s award-winning plays include CIRCLE, which ran for 5 months Off Broadway and was called “ingenious” by The New York Times and her acclaimed show, The Good Adoptee, which toured to the London International Fringe Festival and across the U.S. and is currently being streamed globally. Broadway World called her work “the future of theatre.” JMTC is an Artist-driven, London-founded, NYC-based indie theater company which transforms personal stories into powerful theater and combines Art & Advocacy by partnering with a diverse group of wonderful nonprofit social justice and service organizations. JMTCTheatre.com 

  • DONALD LOFTUS

    is an American playwright, librettist, and lyricist whose work has been presented on stages across America, The United Kingdom, Surathkal, India, and Uppsala, Sweden. He recently won the W. Keith Hedrick National Playwriting Award, was named a finalist for the Robert J. Pickering / J.R. Colbeck Award for Playwriting Excellence, and was selected to participate in the 2022 William Inge Theatre Festival. As a producer, Donald has produced several of his plays for New York’s Emerging Artist Theatre and Equity Staged Readings of his musicals Abbey Victoria, Pollyanna and Apple Annie. In addition, Donald manages a playwrights/actors developmental group known as P.A.G.E.S., which moved from in-person to online with the pandemic and now has over 200 members from across the U.S. and worldwide. Before focusing on playwriting full-time, Donald had a distinguished career in the luxury beauty industry, serving as the U.S. President of several companies including Proctor & Gamble Prestige, Wella’s Cosmopolitan Cosmetics, and Sanofi Beauté, managing the fragrance and cosmetic brands of Yves Saint Laurent, Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, Hugo Boss, Kenneth Cole, Escada, Burberry, Christian Lacroix and many more.  Donald has also served as the Chairman of the Board of The Fashion Group and The Fragrance Foundation and was a member of the Board of Directors of The Women’s Project Theatre. He has been honored by The American Cancer Society, The March of Dimes, B.R.A.G., The Fragrance Foundation, Fashion Group Int’l, and The Dramatist’s Guild Foundation with a Patron of the Arts Award for his work in helping keep live theatER thriving. Donald currently serves on the Board of Directors of The Dramatists Guild Foundation and is a member of two playwriting groups: DGPG and P.A.G.E.S., both based in New York City. 

     

  • CYNTHIA STEPHENS

    Dr. Stephens has always been a theater-lover and after a career in the clinical field of Speech Pathology, she founded Sacred Ground Productions as a necessary response to stereotypical narratives about Black people for the sake of theatrical entertainment. Cynthia has written two musicals, including Nineteen Secrets (not your grandmother’s Harriet Tubman), The Princess and the Golden Yam (a classic Black fairy tale), and one straight play, Painted Red (about the life of Henrietta Lacks). She has also authored four children’s books, On Days Like These, 133 Daunting Days, Before Day Clean, and The Princess and the Golden Yam. Dr. Stephens has also edited one adult book titled The Chains That Join (a collection of personal stories, poems, and tributes from people of the African diaspora). In 2021, Cynthia Stephens produced and narrated her first hour-long documentary film about COVID and the Black community. Dr. Stephens believes that people should author their own stories, tell their own truths, and shine their own lights. After all, “Until the lion learns to write, every story will glorify the hunter.” (African Proverb).

  • TRACY SWEDLOW

    is CEO, publisher, and editor-in-chief of InteractiveTV Today (ITVT) (https://itvt.com), founded in 1998; and the co-executive producer and director of the TV of Tomorrow Show conferences (https://itvt.com/tvot) that occur in San Francisco and New York City or as livestreaming events. ITVT email newsletter and Web site are read by thousands of high-level TV multiplatform-focused executives around the world. I interview these executives and creatives via video interviews called “Televisionation” (https://itvt.com/televisionation)

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