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 07/16, 2023
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 your name 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...);
- Lewis Gurgis, board vice-president, Open Hydrant Theater Company, NYC;
- Charlotte Cohn, producer (Here Lies Love on Broadway; Without You with Anthony Rapp, Handle with Care, Church and State);
- Merrie L. Davis, producer (Tony winner for 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 (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; upcoming: The Village of Vale, an original fantasy musical audio drama);
- Tim Errickson, artistic director of Boomerang Theatre Company, NYC;
- Sharon Fallon/Sharon Fallon Productions, executive producer, general manager and consultant (Indecent, Beautiful Broadway, London & National Tour, Matilda The Musical, Lysistrata Jones);
- 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."
- John Lant, indie producer/director & showrunner (17 off-Broadway shows: Frankenstein, Wicked Frozen, It Came from Beyond, Wicked City Blues, Fabulous; Earnestly LGBTQ+, XIMER), producing artistic director Write Act Rep NYC/LA (20 years); 2-time NAACP, 4-time DramaLogue & 4-time California for the Arts Winner; production manager Carnegie Hall (13 years), resident theatre operator and renter in NYC & LA; development consultant and specialist for musicals/plays off-Broadway;
- Tamra Pica, TV, film and theater producer and casting director for Write Act Repertory - "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 L. Rosenberg, producer (Tony Award-Winner for Moulin Rouge!, Anastasia, Matilda, On The Town; tour of Santa's Sing-A-Long);
- Blair Russell, a Tony nominated producer, developer whose experience ranges from fringe festivals to Broadway shows (Slave Play, Sweeney Todd off-Broadway, Lizard Boy);
- Gayle Waxenberg, founding executive director of NewYorkRep, producer (Bitter Pill, Stalking the Bogeymen in London, award winning film Influence).
Coaches: Diana Calderazzo, Gillien Goll, Chelsey Shannon
Observing Producers: Suzanne Bachner* (artistic director JMTC Theatre), Laurel Brewer*, Melissa Center*, Adam Cohen* (Tony-winning producer-investor), Musa Gurnis*, Zillah Glory* (associate artistic director Prism Stage Company), Rob Hofmann*, Nils MacQuarrie*, Kim Ruyle*, Christine Spencer* (WalkingPath Entertainment)
[*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