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. And since we have no venue costs, we've lowered the application fee by $10.
Sunday November 8, 2020 - submission deadline 10/28
Session 1: coaching at 2:30, pitching at 4:30 (there will be an hour wait time between coaching and pitching)
Session 2: coaching at 3:30, pitching at 5:30 (there will be an hour 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-85-75(new) for application (and note that actual pricing is $10 less than the application says, during these virtual days). 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:
- Patrick Blake, producer (The 39 Steps, Bedlam Theatre's Hamlet/St. Joan, My Life Is a Musical, Play Dead, The Exonerated), founding artistic director of Rhymes Over Beats Hip Hop Theater Collective;
- Merrie L. Davis, producer (Olivier Winning Producer Best Musical Revival Company, West End; Company, Broadway; Eclipsed, a 6 Tony winner; Gigi; off-Broadway Himself and Nora);
- Jane Dubin, producer (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);
- Gene Fisch, Jr., Broadway Producing Team (High), 100+ Off Broadway, Off-Off Broadway productions, Carnegie Hall concert Producer, Director of the New York New Works Theatre Festival, Director of 4 episodes of the TV series, “Two Many Moms";
- John Lant, indie producer (Fabulous, Frankenstein the musical, Wicked City Blues), artistic director Write Act Repertory, producer The Park Theatre in Union City NJ;
- Cody Lassen, producer (How I Learned to Drive, Indecent, Spring Awakening; Upcoming: Titanic, A Commercial Jingle for Regina Comet; Co-Producer: Tootsie, What The Constitution Means to Me, The Band's Visit, Torch Song, Significant Other, Macbeth);
- Tamra Pica, producer and casting director for WriteAct Repertory, and the new Park Performing Arts Center’s (PPAC) in Union City, NJ
- Neal Rubinstein, producer (On the Town, The Velocity of Autumn, Hedwig and the Angry Inch revival; upcoming Dangerous the musical);
- Kim Vasquez/Gray Lady Entertainment (Be More Chill London, Chicago, On/Off Broadway, Broadway Bounty Hunter, Church and State; Founding Producer New York Musical Festival, Producing Director Park Square Theatre Mainstage/Saint Paul);
- Ken Waissman, producer (original Grease, Torch Song Trilogy, Agnes of God);
- Claudia Zahn, former producing director Malibu Playhouse.
Coaches: Diana Calderazzo, Emileena Pedigo, Joanne Zippel
Trailing Producers: Ina Chadwick*, Maureen Condon*, Vincent Connor*, Larry Daggett*, Carol DiTosti*, Maera Hagage*, Amrita Jain*, Stephanie Pope Lofgren*, David Quang Pham, Stephanie Schwartz, Sandy Silverberg*
[*members and alumni of TRU's Producer Development program]
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