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 03/06, 2022 - submission deadline 02/23
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...);
- Patrick Blake, producer (The 39 Steps revival, Bedlam Theater’s Hamlet/St. Joan, Play Dead, The Exonerated, In the Continuum), founding artistic director Rhymes Over Beats Hip Hop Theater Collective;
- Cate Cammarata, director-dramaturg and producer (My Life Is a Musical, The Assignment), executive producer of CreateTheater's New Works Fest, associate artistic director for Rhymes Over Beats Hip Hop Theater Collective;
- Susan Cohen, Ladies Who Launch Theatricals, producer (What They Said About Love in NY and London, Money Talks the off-Broadway musical) - "My taste is eclectic. I prefer happy endings where people come together as compared to when they are driven apart, but I am open to anything.";
- Merrie L. Davis, producer & out of the-box-marketer (winner 4 Olivier awards for Company London, Company on Broadway, 6 Tony Nominations for Eclipsed, Gigi; Museum of Broadway coming to Times Square; off-Broadway Himself and Nora);
- Jane Dubin, producer (current: Is This A Room, Dana H.; The Prom, Tony winning The Norman Conquests, An American in Paris, Farinelli and the King, Bandstand, Peter and the Starcatcher, Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey, The 39 Steps, Ann);
- 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.";
- John Lant, indie producer & director (15 off-Broadway shows: Frankenstein, Wicked Frozen, It Came from Beyond, Wicked City Blues, Fabulous; current Earnestly LGBTQ+), producing artistic director Write Act Rep NYC/LA (18 years); 2-time NAACP, 4-time DramaLogue & 2-time California for the Arts Winner - "I specialize in the development of new works and am a theatrical show runner for financed projects wanting to come to Off-Broadway.";
- Michael Mills, DDM Productions, producer (Little Shop of Horrors at Westside Arts, Unexpected Joy in NY and London, The Other Josh Cohen off-Broadway, Kleptocracy at Arena Stage D.C.);
- 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.";
- Stephanie Rosenberg, Tony Award-Winningproducer (Tony winner for Moulin Rouge!, Anastasia, Matilda, On The Town, Santa's Sing-A-Long!), CEO and Founder of The Empress Productions, co-CEO and Founder of BroadwayApproved;
- Blair Russell, producer (Tony nominated Slave Play, Lizard Boy, concept recording For Tonight, plus fringe festivals), new play developer - "I look for work from writers who have knowledge, experience, and talent and who care about continually improving their craft. I find myself drawn to traditional stories told in new and unique ways, and new, unique stories told in traditional ways. All of these things are true, and none of them are final, good work should be persuasive and inevitable.";
- Ken Waissman, producer (Josephine, original Grease, Agnes of God, Torch Song Trilogy).
Coaches: Diana Calderazzo, Emileena Pedigo, Bailie Slevin
Observing Producers: Maureen Condon*, Melvina Douse-Manuel*, Musa Gurnis, Randall Huskinson*, Christopher Michaels*, David Quang Pham*, Eric Sirota*, Tracy Swedlow*, Patricia Zehentmayr*
[*members and alumni of TRU's Producer Development program]
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
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
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
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