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Event Details
  • Writer-Producer Speed Date (do not purchase until accepted)
    March 5, 2023
    2:00 pm - 7:15 pm
Details Price Qty
TRU member $75.00 (USD)   Goes On Sale
February 24, 2023
Non-member $85.00 (USD)   Goes On Sale
February 24, 2023
Addt'l collaborator $25.00 (USD)   Goes On Sale
February 24, 2023
Non-participating observer (coaching & pitching) $75.00 (USD)   Goes On Sale
February 24, 2023
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...);
  • 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 (Blues Brothers, The Rat Pack Undead, Santa's Sing-a-Long, Dex! A Killer Musical) - 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."
  • 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;
  • Ron Simons of SimonSays Entertainment (Thoughts of a Colored Man, For Colored Girls... revival, Ain't Too Proud; Tonys for The Gershwin's Porgy & Bess, A Gentleman's Guide...Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike and Jitney; all black Streetcar Named Desire; Off-Broadway Turn Me Loose with Joe Morton, and Bedlam Theatre's Hamlet/St. Joan);
  • 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
  • plus one more tbd.

Coaches: Diana Calderazzo, Emileena Pedigo, Bailie Slevin

Observing Producers: Natalie Lifson, Donald Loftus*

[*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. Her latest project is Radio Galaxy by Michele Aldin Kushner (found in the TRU Voices series) and directed by Mark Waldrop, currently in development. 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. 

  • 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, now on Tour), 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 is an independent Theatre Producer, General Manager, and Theatrical Consultant.  Celebrating 20-plus years in the entertainment industry, 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 productions/ general management 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 (showcases, readings, early development workshops, etc.) 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, Matilda the Musical, and Lysistrata Jones. 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 a number of projects in development. Sharon is a Board Member-elect of NAMT, the National Association of Musical Theatres, co-chair of the Festival of New Musicals Committee, and a dedicated and lifelong supporter of social justice, cultural equity, diversity, and inclusion.
  • 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 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 where he ran it for 3 years and is currently producing its first Tour for this October. He also currently works on The Edwards Twins' An Evening with the Stars National Tour (Booker/Producer). Cooper was Managing Director & Producer with Off-Broadway's former Elektra Theater where he produced many shows including the Off-Broadway hits Boogie Stomp (Executive Producer), Miles Thorn Master Illusionist (Producer) -- 2 yr NYC run, & New York's Got Talent (Producer/Host). New York's Got Talent has moved to The Green Room 42, currently on Season 5. Also an Actor & Show Host, as well as Producer he splits his time between New York & Atlantic City, where he's revitalizing the AC Live Entertainment market. 

  • 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

  • RON SIMONS

    is a three-time Tony Award-winning producer, four-time Sundance Film Festival selected producer and actor of stage, film and television. Ron is also the Founder and CEO of SimonSays Entertainment - A Film & Theatre production company with a mission to Tell Every Story™. SimonSays tells stories that examine the unheard voices of the American Tapestry. Broadway projects include the 2012 Tony-winning Broadway production of The Gershwins' Porgy & Bess and the all-black Broadway production of A Streetcar Named Desire. Additionally, Ron produced the Tony Award winning BEST PLAY and BEST MUSICAL winners Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike and A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder. Off-Broadway: Turn Me Loose with Joe Morton, and Bedlam Theatre's Hamlet/St. Joan. His film credits include Night Catches Us which premiered as a Grand Jury Nominee at Sundance and won both the FIPRESCI Award for Best American Feature and the 2010 African-American Film Critics Association Award for Best Picture. Blue Caprice (Sundance premier) was sold to Sundance Selects/IFC, nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for Best Picture and nominated for the NAACP Image Awards' Outstanding Independent Motion Picture. Mother of George was a Grand Jury nominee in Sundance's U.S. Dramatic Competition earning Bradford Young an award for Best Cinematography. Mother of George was given the Best World Cinema honor by the African American Film Critics Association. Gun Hill Road premiered at Sundance as a Grand Jury nominee and was the winner of the IMAGEN Award for Best Film. It was released theatrically in the U.S. and abroad.

  • 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.

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