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 06/05, 2022 - submission deadline 05/25
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...);
- 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);
- Robert Driemeyer & Morgan Sills of Driemeyer/Sills Productions, producer (off-Broadway Forbidden Broadway Comes Out Swinging, Party Face, The Two-Character Play, Shear Madness; Broadway Elling, La Cage Aux Folles revival);
- 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);
- William Franzblau, producer (Rocktopia, Tony Award-nominated Say Goodnight Gracie, American Buffalo and Wonderland on Broadway; tour of Little House on the Prairie the Musical; off-Broadway Sistas, Jewtopia, Evil Dead the Musical, Respect, Illuminate);
- Neil Gooding, producer (Australia: 33 Variations, Sweet Charity, Drummer Queens, The Bridges Of Madison County, Gutenberg! The Musical!, Dogfight; New York: Church and State, Handle with Care, The 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);
- 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.";
- Dominick LaRuffa Jr., producer (Betrayal revival, American Son, Lifespan of a Fact, On the Town revival, You Can't Take It With You revival, Deaf West's Spring Awakening, The Realistic Joneses);
- 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.";
- 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.";
- Aly York, indie producer, LA and Philadelphia area.
Coaches: Diana Calderazzo, Emileena Pedigo, Joanne Zippel
Observing Producers: Nico Juber*, others tbd
[*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 (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