fbpx
Event Details
  • Writer-Producer Speed Date (do not purchase until accepted)
    June 5, 2022
    2:00 pm - 7:15 pm
Details Price Qty
TRU member $75.00 (USD)   Goes On Sale
May 29, 2022
Non-member $85.00 (USD)   Goes On Sale
May 29, 2022
Addt'l collaborator $20.00 (USD)   Goes On Sale
May 29, 2022
Non-participating observer (coaching & pitching) $75.00 (USD)  

Writer-Producer Virtual Speed Date 06-05-22

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 EllingLa Cage Aux Folles revival);
  • 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);
  • 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);
  • 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

Faculty
  • DIANA CALDERAZZO

    is an adjunct instructor of Theatre at Fordham University, teaching Invitation to Theatre with a focus in Cognitive Studies from the University of Pittsburgh and a Master’s Degree in Theatre from the University of Central Florida. She has taught Theatre and/or Communications at both of those universities, as well as Central Texas College and Bronx Community College. Diana was also a scholarship recipient at Smith College, where she completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Theatre. Diana has published peer-reviewed articles in such journals as Theatre Topics and Theatre Symposium, and has presented papers at national and international conferences such as the American Society for Theatre Research and the International Federation for Theatre Research. She is also a member of Wardrobe Local 764 in New York City, where she works as a wardrobe technician for various Broadway shows. She worked as a full-time dresser for Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark on Broadway from 2010 to 2013. Diana is a former Tour Actor/Director for the Missoula Children’s Theatre and has taught Theatre to over 2,500 children around the country with this company. She has also toured in Europe as a performer with Music Theatre Bavaria

  • EMILEENA PEDIGO

    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. 

  • JOANNE ZIPPEL

    is a collaborator and communicator who has an extensive network of relationships in both the creative and corporate worlds. She has over 25 years of experience as an entrepreneur, working in theatre and live event production, promotion, sponsorship, B2B and B2C sales and marketing, creative development, literary management and creative coaching in the entertainment business. Joanne ‘s creative coaching business evolved out of her work as a manager of playwrights and screenwriters – guiding their careers and helping them to pursue their passions in what is well known as an often difficult, changeable and sometimes arbitrary business. Through her company Zip Creative, she works with clients helping them to open themselves up to their creative capacity, build a solid foundation from which to make authentic work and life decisions and take practical action on them. For more information go to www.zipcreative.net. Joanne graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and did graduate work at NYU's Gallatin School of Individualized Study. She is a graduate of the Hoffman Institute.

Producers
  • 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 is the Vice Chair of The New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF), a board member of The Alumni & Friends of The LaGuardia High School for the Arts, The League of Professional Theater Women, and The Theater Board of The Kaufman Cultural Center. 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 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.

  • MERRIE L. DAVIS

    Producer  (New York, London) & Out-of-the-Box Marketer… Merrie is an Olivier Award Winner for Company, West End (Winner of 4 Olivier awards including Best Musical Revival 2019) and Tony nominated producer for Eclipsed with Lupita Nyong’o (6 Tony nominations). She is currently a producer on Company, Broadway. 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, Network 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 and the Broadway Association and is still delighted that she took the giant leap into an industry that she had always loved!!! 

  • ROBERT DRIEMEYER & MORGAN SILLS

    credits include shows on Broadway, Off Broadway, and in regional theatre. Most recently, they were lead producers of the award-winning Off Broadway hit Party Face at New York City Center Stage II, starring Academy Award, Golden Globe and BAFTA winner Hayley Mills and directed by Amanda Bearse. They were on the producing team of the NYC production of the worldwide phenomenon Shear Madness at the Davenport Theatre and New World Stages. Also at New World Stages, they produced the critically acclaimed revival of Tennessee Williams’ The Two-Charcter Play starring Tony and Emmy winner Amanda Plummer and Golden Globe winner and Oscar nominee Brad Dourif. Individual Broadway and Off Broadway credits include La Cage Aux Folles starring Kelsey Grammer, Of Mice And Men starring James Franco, and Forbidden Broadway. Morgan is Executive Producer of Judson Theatre Company in Pinehurst, NC and has also been involved in the New York production of The Fantasticks. Driemeyer-Sills Productions focuses on new works and classic revivals, and offers producing and executive producing services.

  • 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 co-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 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: Current Season: Is This A Room, Dana H. Previously: 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.

  • 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. 

     

  • JOHN LANT

    (Creative Producer / Artistic Director / Consultant) 40-year veteran in the entertainment in over 700 television, film, theatre/music tours, and live theater. Pre-Covid: Production Manager at Carnegie Hall since 2006-2020 season for over 2,000 events. Award-winning producer, director, writer, lighting/set designer at Interlochen, Cal Arts, Ricardo Montalban, Powerhouse, Glendale Center, Hollywood Playhouse, Long Beach Playhouse, the Jewel Box Theatre Center and Write Act Repertory garnering DramaLogue, Diamond, ADA, NAACP Awards, LA Weekly and Backstage Pick of the Week, Garland and Valley Theatre (LA) nods. Executive Producer New Frequency - Theatre of the Mind 150 original Radio Dramas for SIRIUS/XM Radio's Sonic Theatre - Ranked #1 Radio show. Mentored with Jonathan Sanger & Chanticleer Films for two shorts that won an Emmy and an Oscar, Howard Storm CBS Radford and TRU PDMP Master fellow under Jane Dubin and Jennifer Issacson.  Directed TV / Pilots Symphology, Carrot Talk, BET JAZZ Master Awards (1&2), Toronto Independent Shorts Awards, Funiki-Jam Season 2, and Anonymous Confessions. 14 Off-Broadway Lead Producing (union and non-union) credits include FABULOUS! 2By Tennessee WilliamsLili Marlene, Frankenstein, It Came from Beyond, Wicked Frozen, Teen Party Massacre, SWING!, Wicked City Blues, Great Cat Massacre, GEEKS! (St. Luke's & Actors Temple). Recent Pre-COVID LA productions: Finest Hour (Winston Churchill), Wicked Wicked Mae West, The Lester Young Story, and Frank and Eva. TV/Film Credits include King of New York, The Freshman, Army of Darkness, Renegade, Power Rangers, and HBO Max's The Flight Attendant (CCO Supervisor). Tours include Phantom of the Opera, Singin' in the Rain, Gypsy, and EvitaCurrent Off-Broadway pre-production Pearl Bailey Musical (with Tony winning team members of Dreamgirls! and Hamilton). Development Director/Consultant - Twisted Media NYC, Nathan Murphy Prod, Gatehouse Entertainment, Tin Mirror Prod and Trinity Theatrics for new network and streaming content. COVID Compliance Officer for Film/TV/Theatre.

  • 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.

  • BLAIR RUSSELL

    is a freelance producer, developer, supporter, and lover of theatre whose experience ranges from fringe festivals to Broadway shows. His most recent projects include Slave Play by Jeremy O. Harris and the critically acclaimed immersive Off-Broadway production of Sweeney Todd. At Show Shepherd, he helps writers and producers to navigate the development of new work, and he produces live immersive audio dramas as Director of Operations for Resounding. He currently serves on the board of New York Theatre Barn and The New Harmony Project. He is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University with a BFA in Technical Theatre/Stage Management. https://www.blairrussell.net/

     
  • 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.

SHARE THIS: