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Event Details
  • Who Is TRU? - free season opening panel
    September 20, 2018
    7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Who Is TRU? A Free Introduction to Our Community and Programs
Thursday, September 20th season opener
Doors open 7pm, panel starts 7:30
The Playroom Theater, 151 W. 46th Street, 8th floor
 
Come to our free-for-everyone seasonal kickoff and networking meet-and-greet. And meet the program directors and illustrious board members of Theater Resources Unlimited that make it possible to bring you the range of programming we offer for producers and artists. Our confirmed lineup includes TRU Vice-President and co-founder Cheryl Davis, award-winning playwright, attorney, General Counsel for The Authors Guild, and feedback panelist for our musical feedback lab; plus Board members Patrick Blake, producer (The Exonerated, In the Continuum, Bedlam's Hamlet/St. Joan, founding artistic director of Rhymes Over Beats) who facilitates "Practical Playwriting" and sits in on the Writer-Producer Speed Date, Neal Rubinstein, producer (On the Town, The Velocity of Autumn, Hedwig and the Angry Inch revival) and Courtney Sweeting. Also meet TRU literary manager  Cate Cammarata (TRU Voices and How to Write a Musical That Works) and assistant Literary Manager Jessie ShinbergEmileena Pedigo of The Show Goes on Productions, who will be leading our "Essentials of Successful Self-Producing" workshop; Broadway producer and actress Jana Robbins  (Ragtime revival, I Love You Because..., Roof of the World, Little Women), program director for our Producer Development & Mentorship Program; Skip Kennon, former Artistic Coordinator of the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop, who now helps facilitate TRU's How to Write a Musical That Works workshop; and Ken Waissman, producer (Grease, Torch Song Trilogy, Agnes of God) who helps run our Director-Writer Communications Lab and is often a Speed Date producer. Plus three of the people who offer free consultations to new members: entertainment attorney Lee Feldshon, financial consultant Bailie Slevin of Entertaining Finance and career consultant Joanne Zippel of Zip Creative. 
 
Learn about our programs, including our Producer Development & Mentorship Program, the TRU Voices Reading Series, Essentials of Successful Self-Producing and other Producer Boot Camps, Writer-Producer Speed Date, Director-Writer Communications Lab, How to Write a Musical That Works workshop and more. And let us know what we don't offer that you wish we did.
 
Doors open at 7:00pm for networking and refreshments, roundtable introductions of everyone in the room will start at 7:30pm - come prepared with your best half-minute summary of who you are, and what you need. Free for TRU members; usually $12.50 for non-members, but free for everyone for this season opener. Please use the bright red reservation box on this page, or call at least a day in advance (or much sooner) for reservations: 212/714-7628, or e-mail  TRUStaff1@gmail.com 
Panelists
  • PATRICK BLAKE

    is a writer/producer based in New York and San Francisco, and Founding Artistic Director of Rhymes Over Beats, a hip hop theater company. In New York theater, he is a producer of the off-Broadway revival of The 39 Steps, the off-Broadway transfer of Bedlam Theater Company's dual productions of Hamlet and Saint Joan, and is currently producing My Life Is a Musical (from the TRU Voices series) which had a debut production at Bay Street Theatre. He was one of the producers of Play Dead! at The Players Theatre, he has produced In the Continuum at Perry Street Theatre, Noah's Archive, Joe Fearless, The Exonerated (Lucille Lortel, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Court TV's Scales of Justice Award) and The Soap Myth at Southstreet Seaport. He also produced Dirty Works at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. He was Executive Producer for the short film, The Igloo, and the feature film Mr. Smith Gets a Hustler. Patrick is a proud board member of TRU.

  • CATE CAMMARATA

    is a producer, director, freelance dramaturg and writer in NYC and is the Associate Artistic Director for Rhymes Over Beats Hip Hop Theater Collective. Cate has produced The Assignment off-Broadway and My Father's Daughter with Ursula Rucker at LaMaMa for Rhymes Over Beats. Regionally she produced My Life Is a Musical at Bay Street Theater and has directed many readings of new work in NYC. She is the Literary Manager for Theater Resources Unlimited (TRU) and holds a BFA in Acting/Directing from Syracuse University and an MFA in Dramaturgy at SUNY Stony Brook, where she teaches Theatre Arts. Her latest book, "Contemporary Monologues for a New Theater," has just been published by Applause Books. catecammarata.com

  • CHERYL DAVIS

    received the Kleban Award as a librettist for her musical Barnstormer, (written with Douglas J. Cohen) about Bessie Coleman, the first Black woman flyer. The show received a Jonathan Larson Award through the Lark Play Development Center. Her play Maid’s Door received great reviews, won seven Audelco Awards, and was a finalist for the Francesca Primus Prize. Her play The Color of Justice (commissioned by Theatreworks/USA), received excellent reviews in the New York Times and Daily News, and tours regularly. Her musical Bridges, which was commissioned by the Berkeley Playhouse, received its world premiere in February 2016 to great reviews and three award nominations from the San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle. She received a Writers’ Guild Award for her work on “As the World Turns”, and was also nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award. Her work has been read and performed internationally, including at the Cleveland Play House, the Actors Theatre of Louisville, and the Kennedy Center.  She is the General Counsel of the Authors Guild.

  • LEE A. G. FELDSHON

    has over 23 years of experience in entertainment and corporate law. He recently formed Feldshon Law PLLC to launch his private practice, after having partnered with David Schwartz in Feldshon & Schwartz, LLP for the last 10 years. He represents producers, co-producers, composers, bookwriters, lyricists, directors, and other creatives in the live theatrical industry. He has represented the New York Musical Theatre Festival since its 2004 founding.  He was production counsel for the Broadway revival of Pump Boys & Dinettes and represented stars (including a Tony-award winning actor) in connection with the Tony-award winning Broadway musical The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. He did legal work for Desperate Measures (2018 Drama Desk Award for original music and lyrics), Who’s Your Baghdaddy, Money Talks, Bloody, Bloody, Jessica FletcherLibertyEmojilandRooms, and other Off Broadway shows.  He represents co-producers on the Broadway productions of Moulin RougeKing Kong, and Chasing Rainbows.  He negotiates screenplay option/purchase agreements and financing documents for film producers, and has worked as film production counsel for Good Girls GoneFly Away (SXSW Official Selection), and the documentary Darkon: An American Fantasy (2006 SXSW Audience Award). While Director of Legal Affairs and Business Development of the Radio City Entertainment division of Madison Square Garden, L.P., he worked on The Radio City Christmas SpectacularA Christmas Carol, and Rockettes performances. As a Levine Plotkin & Menin associate, he worked on Rent (Broadway, touring), The Wild Party (Broadway), De La Guarda (Off Broadway), and other shows. He started his career as a corporate associate at White & Case. He received a B.A. from Columbia College in 1991 (magna cum laude, Rhodes Scholar State Finalist) and a J.D. from Columbia Law School in 1994 (Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar). Bar Admissions: New York.

  • SKIP KENNON

    was the overall Artistic Coordinator of the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop and the teacher of the first year there for two decades. He wrote the music for the one-man musical Herringbone (Playwrights Horizons - starring David Rounds, Hartford Stage - starring Joel Grey, Edinburgh Festival, Philadelphia's Prince Music Theater, Chicago's St. Nicholas Theater, 2007 season opener at Williamstown Theater Festival - starring B.D. Wong), the music for Here's Our Girl (workshopped at the New York Shakespeare Festival/Public Theater), and the music and lyrics for the musical version of The Last Starfighter (Storm Theatre, Village Theatre Festival of New Musicals - summer 2006, New York Musical Theatre Festival readings - fall 2006), Blanco (Goodspeed Opera House at Chester, National Alliance for Musical Theatre, National Music Theater Network), Feathertop (WPA Theater, Pennsylvania Stage Co.), and Time and Again (Manhattan Theatre Club, San Diego's Old Globe Theater, Eugene O'Neill Center National Music Theater Conference). Kennon also wrote the music and lyrics for the one-act musical Plaisir d'Amour (book by Terrence McNally), which was produced at New York's Triangle Theater and seen in workshop at Circle Rep, as well as the music for the one-act musical Afternoon Tea (book & lyrics by Eduardo Machado), which was performed at Theater Row Theaters in 2005 by Ed Harris and Amy Madigan. He was a classical music critic at the Hollywood Reporter for five years.

  • EMILEENA PEDIGO

    was managing producer of the Midtown International Theatre Festival for seven years before leaving in 2011. She helped structure the annual festival, building it up to 60 shows in seven venues. Since then she general managed and produced multiple NYC showcases and launched The Show Goes On Productions. TSGO’s theatrical concert series Rock Tonic and Rock Musical Reading Series have introduced progressive commercial acts to the theatre and music industries.  Before that, she assisted Tony winning producer Stewart F. Lane on 4 Broadway productions and assisted in operations for Broadway’s Palace Theatre for 2 years.  Emileena managed 8 rehearsal studios and 2 small theatres for 4 years, during which time she co-produced Oberon Theatre Ensemble's 9th and 10th seasons on Theatre Row and Six Figures Theatre Company's 14th and 15th seasons at the West End Theatre.  She has taught seminars on producing theatre for TRU and the Kansas City Fringe Festival.  With a theater degree from Purdue University, she has also completed the Commercial Theatre Institute’s 14-week program and SUNY/Kaufmann's Fasttrac program for entrepreneurs.

  • JANA ROBBINS

    is the recipient of the 2017 TRU “Spirit of Theater Award”and is both a Broadway actor and producer having played leading roles on Broadway in Good News, I Love My Wife, Crimes of the Heart, Gypsy (playing the “bump it with the trumpet stripper Mazzeppa while covering Tyne Daly as Mama Rose) and The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife (covering both Linda Lavin and Michele Lee and starring opposite Valerie Harper in the National Tour). Jana founded Better World Productions in order to “present theater that not only entertains, but also educates; and inspires us to create a Better World. She made her Broadway producing debut with Little Women. Other Broadway producing credits include the revival of Ragtime and a financial stake in War Horse and Something Rotten (currently on National Tour). Off-Broadway productions includes I Love You Because, Through The Night and White’s Lies. She’s also a producer on Marianne Elliot’s Heisenberg and the upcoming Company in London this season. Shows in development include: Roof of the World (World Premiere at KC Rep), The Astonishing Times of Timothy Cratchit (developed at The Workshop Theater) and The Jazz Age (World Premiere at 59/E59th) slated for a London production spring of 2019. For more info: www.janarobbins.com

  • NEAL RUBINSTEIN

    is a three-time Emmy winner & five-time nominee, receiving that coveted award while working as Editor & Producer for NBC Nightly News The Today Show.   He is also a TONY nominee (On The Town) and two-time BOLI winner. He’s been represented on Broadway as Producer of On the Town, Velocity of Autumnand was also involved with: Hedwig & the Angry Inch, Of Mice & Men, The Cripple of Inishmaan, Co-Lead for the upcoming Broadway revival of  39 Steps, and Lead Producer for a Broadway-bound original new musical Dangerous. Off-B’way: Tail Spin, Clinton the Musical, Associate Producer Handle With Care, and he’s  currently developing the quintessential Broadway musical of Aristophanes’ comic farce, Trojanz Not Required – the real story of Lysistrata. Film: Exec. Prod., Ron & Laura Take Back America. Neal is currently a member on the Board, of AMAS Musical Theater, & Theater Resources Unlimited. He has served on the Board of Governors for the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS), New York Chapter (four terms) as well as chairing the Membership Committee for six years, guiding the chapter to record increased growth while implementing innovative benefits for its members. Additionally, he served for sixteen years on the NATAS Awards (EMMY) Committee. Neal was the Associate Producer for the NY EMMY Awards, as well as Stage Manager for the National EMMY Awards and the International Film & Television Festival Awards.

  • JESSIE SHINBERG

    is a recent graduate of Brandeis University. She earned her degree in American Studies and Theater Arts and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa. She has served as a dramaturg on a number of Brandeis Theater Company productions and a member of the new play submissions reading committee at Company One Theatre in Boston. Currently, Jessie works for TADA! Youth Theater in both administrative and teaching positions. Her passions include new play development, theater activism, and improv comedy. 

  • BAILIE SLEVIN

    is the founder of Entertaining Finance, a financial consulting and consulting firm geared specifically towards freelancers, specifically those in arts and entertainment. With 13 years of experience as a financial adviser and a hefty resume in theater, she is redefining planning for artists and entrepreneurs. She’s worked with Certified Financial Services and Forest Hills Financial Group in finance and teaches Financial Literacy and Well-being workshops and speaks throughout the region on the specifics of Financial Management for Artists. As a stage manager, general manager, and producer on Broadway, Off Broadway and Off-Off Broadway, Tony Awards, Drama Desk, OBIE Awards, and IT Awards pepper Bailie’s resume. Some of her favorite projects include The Norman ConquestsAltar BoyzNaked Boys Singing!Pursuit of PersephoneA Very Merry Unauthorized Children’s Scientology Pageant, and Popesical in Concert at Joe’s Pub. She currently serves as a board member for The PATH Fund and “Rockers on Broadway, a non-profit Arts organization committed to bringing arts education to all. Visit  www.EntertainingFinance.com to learn more

  • KEN WAISSMAN

    is one of only two producers in the history of Broadway to have a musical run over 3000 performances and a play run over 1000. (The other producer he shares this distinction with is the legendary David Merrick.) Waissman developed and produced the original Broadway production of Grease as well as two of Broadway’s longest running plays, Agnes of God by John Pielmeier and Torch Song Trilogy by Harvey Fierstein.Waissman's first Broadway credit was the 1971 Paul Zindel play And Miss Reardon Drinks a Little with Estelle Parsons and Julie Harris, and his prolific Broadway efforts have resulted in four motion picture features, a PBS TV special, 25 Tony Award® nominations, and 5 Tony Awards® including a Tony Award® as ‘Best Play Producer.’ His new musical, Josephine, inspired by Josephine Baker, had its World Premiere in April at the Asolo Theatre in Sarasota, Florida. Deborah Cox played the title role and Joey McKneely directed and choreographed.

  • 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.

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