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Event Details
  • Communications Lab (writers must be accepted before buying)
    December 11, 2021
    12:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Details Price Qty
Non Member fee (director) $90.00 (USD)  
TRU member fee (director) $75.00 (USD)  
Non member fee (writer) $90.00 (USD)  
TRU member fee (writer) $75.00 (USD)  
Collaborator (writer team) $30.00 (USD)  
Observer non member $55.00 (USD)  
Observer TRU member $35.00 (USD)  

Writer-Director (Virtual) Communications Lab 2021

Saturday, December 11th, 2021
1pm to 7pm eastern time (check in at 12:30)
To be held virtually on Zoom, so artists beyond the New York area are encouraged to join. Register to receive the link.

This is an amazing opportunity for directors and writers to meet, and hone their ability to talk productively with each other! Led by commercial producer Ric Wanetik (Tony nominated Twilight Los Angeles: 1992, Broadway’s Marlene, Off-Broadway’s Jolson and Company) and TRU executive director Bob Ost, with entertainment attorney/mediator Eric Goldman. 

Writers, use this form to submit: DIRECTOR-WRITER-2021-Lab-writer-app - deadline for writer submissions is Wednesday December 1. (All submissions are shared with our directors, and it is generally better to submit early.) Email to TRUStaff1@gmail.com with "Writer Lab Submission" in your subject line.


One of the most important - and most sensitive - relationships in theater is that between playwright and director. In some ways, the entire success of a show can hinge on the shared understanding,  trust and mutual respect between these two artists. The director and the writer need to see the show with the same eyes, otherwise their collaboration won't work.  This is important to establish in the initial meetings. TRU's program will train theater artists in the crucial skills of communication. It is led by commercial producers, since the producer is generally the real-world mediator in writer-director disagreements, and has the better overview of a production.

In this Lab we will team up to ten directors with up to ten writers prior to the Lab itself. OBSERVERS ARE ALSO WELCOME TO COME WATCH AND LEARN, LIMITED SPACE AVAILABLE. Playwrights will email us a synopsis, pitch and production history, plus 5-10 sample pages of a script; directors will select a project that interests them from those submitted, request and read the script and prepare for a preliminary director-writer discussion about the play. We will watch and guide that discussion in the Lab. You will:

• Discover your personal communication style
• Learn to identify the style of the person you are with, and adjust to it for maximum mutual understanding
• Explore non-threatening ways of discussing text, communicating and listening
• Identify your domain of authority, and determine protocols

Confirmed directors: Andrea Andresakis, Dennis Corsi, Ryan Cupello, Brian Daye, Miriam Eusebio, Jesica Garou, Chris Michaels. 3 slots are available. Other directors (as well as writers) are encouraged to attend as Observers and join the conversations.

COST (writers and directors):
$90 non-members 
$75 TRU members 


TESTIMONIALS:

I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for orchestrating the Director/Writer Communication workshop (which is clearly quite a feat!) and your wonderfully wise thoughts on every interaction.  I was very impressed with the caliber and generosity of the panel and I thought they brought excellent points to each discussion.  I appreciated how clear eyed you were on each interaction.  I am tempted to ask if you have a methodology for how you listen to these discussions, but I suspect that years of experience is the primary method. It was an excellent workshop - it is just great to be around people who love theater as much as I do and are working super hard.  Bliss! ~Noel MacDuffie, director-choreographer, '18
 
I want to thank you for the director/writer workshop last week. I am now directing a 25 minute excerpt of Look For Me in the upcoming New York New Work Theater Festival! Thanks!  ~Miriam Eusebio, director, '18

Great workshop! Wonderful people participating, both deeply knowledgeable panelists, and generous directors. I will continue to talk up your programs as well as attend as many as I can. My best to you and your true passion, the arts and theater. ~Ina Chadwick, '18

I found it helpful and illuminating in a number of ways. Coming shortly after my first experience of selecting a director, it made me aware of the necessity of a lengthy and focussed discussion before any commitments are made. It was useful both to talk through the issues raised by my own play with a director like Cate [Cammarata] and to observe other couples going through the process of discovering whether they could work together or not. It was also moving to witness unexpected dramatic moments in the course of the day. And finally the presence of two such knowledgeable and successful Broadway producers as Ken [Waissman] and Margot [Astrachan] commenting freely on the proceedings was a huge bonus. ~ Dennis Porter, playwright

One of the things that I find invaluable about the TRU Director/Writer Communications Lab is the opportunity to see my fellow directors in action. We don't very often talk about "our method," so being able to observe another director meet a particular challenge or negotiate with a writer is special indeed. I walked away with many new ideas I'll use – and even a few things I plan to avoid. ~Brent Buell, director

There really is no substitute for being "in the room" with collaborators and the fact that you are able to create this atmosphere with working professionals who are in the trenches and can speak to what's real says a lot about the good and relevant work you're doing with your organization. Kudos. ~ Ben Gonshor, writer

You created a wonderful space for us writers. And, personally, it could have not gone better for me and the relationship I hope to have started with [my Lab director]. He gets my words written on paper and that's fantastic. ~ Jonathan Citron, writer

What a fabulous Lab that was! No drama - everyone seemed to match up so perfectly! I know I did. I'm eager to continue my conversations with [my writer] - we really hit it off and she's fantastic. ~Cate Cammarata, director

The lab is fascinating, and I found not just my time, but watching the other teams very valuable. ~Richard Riskin, director

Directors
  • ANDREA ANDRESAKIS

    early career includes performing at Lincoln Center, Radio City, on Broadway, in South America, and Japan. A graduate of The High School of Performing Arts, she appeared in the film and television show, Fame. Later, she went on to direct and choreograph the stage version at the Barrington Stage Company. She has over a hundred director and choreographer credits in plays, musicals, operas and dance pieces in New York City, the US and internationally including residencies in Alaska, Europe, India, and China. Original work includes: Spandex (Off-Broadway); My Purple Wig and Quiet Cry  (Theatre Row); The Little Prince (Merkin Concert Hall); Lola Luning’s First Steps (Abingdon); The Egg Project (NYC International Fringe Festival); The Dragon Slayer and Lake of Sorrows (NY Theatre Festival); Nellie (Lamb’s Theatre); Fahrenheit 451 (Wing’s) and Hip Hop High (Fringe & Off-Broadway) which Andrea co-wrote along with “Z-Man” Thornton. She directed and choreographed the East Coast premiere of The Marvelous Wonderettes (Arundel Barn Theatre). Revivals include the Star Spangled Girl (Playwrights Horizons); Children of Eden (Sheboygan Theatre Co.); Little Shop of Horrors (Theatre at St. Clément’s) and five Gilbert and Sullivan productions. As Associate Artist with NY Classical Theatre, she has collaborated on six productions, including Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, where the cast reversed roles on alternate performances. Her production of The Pearl Diver is currently being streamed as a fundraiser for Asian Americans Advancing Justice. Awards and honors include an SDCF grant to direct Shaw’s Arms and The Man at EMU and a Kennedy Center Award for her direction of Spring Awakening at Whitman College. Proud member of SDC. www.Andresakis.com

  • DENNIS CORSI

    is a queer director specializing in new work development and queer work. As a certified health & wellness coach, he fosters rehearsal rooms that prioritize well-being. His directing style is fast-paced and bold. Transitions are rehearsed as much as the rest of the play. His casting always prioritizes diversity and inclusion. Dennis is currently studying ASL. His dream is to one day stage a killer exorcism. Dennis is the Artistic Director of the Fresh Fruit Festival, which develops and presents theatre by queer artists. He is the Director of New Works at Live & In Color, a creative incubator developing new plays and musicals celebrating diversity. Dennis is the co-director of the Chesley Chambers reading series at TOSOS, NYC’s oldest and longest-producing LGBTQ+ theater company. Dennis is an alumnus of the Lincoln Center Directors Lab, Directors Lab West, and the Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation Observership program. Associate Member SDC. www.denniscorsi.com   

  • RYAN CUPELLO

    is a NYC-based producer, director, and actor from Rochester, NY. He is a founder and the Artistic Director of the newly formed Brazen Light Theater Company which has a mission to challenge ingrained prejudices in American society by spotlighting artists and communities that have been ignored or exploited in American theater. He received his MFA from the program that boasts the longest title: American Repertory Theater/Moscow Art Theatre School Institute for Advanced Theater Training at Harvard University. Directing credits: The Tempest (Soho Shakespeare Company), BardCore (A.R.T./Oberon), Ionesco’s The Leader (Self Produced), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Self Produced). Select acting credits: The Sickness (Off-Broadway), Dirty Dancing (National Tour), Fiddler on the Roof (National Tour), James and the Giant Peach (American Repertory Theater), and the film Once Every Day directed by Richard Foreman. He is a company member of the monthly, immersive Our Bar here in NYC. 

  • BRIAN DAYE

    is an actor, director, writer, producer and voice talent based in Cornelius, NC. His acting training includes Margie Haber Studios & The Savvy Actor in Los Angeles and ActTrue in Atlanta & New York. As a playwright, he has written the original plays “ONE IN THE SPIRIT”, which toured NC, VA & GA and “THE RACE”, which had a premiere play-reading for Lee Street Theatre in Salisbury, NC. His television experience includes Lifetime’s original series, “Drop Dead Diva”, and commercials for Food Lion, Bojangles, Capital One and the NC Lottery. His film experience includes “Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married Too”, and the original films ‘Sanguine Addiction”, “Ebbing”, “A Social Love Affair”, and “Sara Carter Part 3”. Brian’s directing experience includes “TRIBE” and “HOME” for OnQ Productions, “ONE IN THE SPIRIT”, “TUESDAY’S WITH MORRIE” and “August Wilson’s FENCES” for Lee Street Theatre. His one-man show, “HEY YOU!! An Afrostereophonicjourney” was performed to sold-out audiences at the 2018 United Solo Theatre Festival in NYC and at The Warehouse Performing Arts Center in Cornelius, NC. He is represented by JTA Talent in Charlotte.

  • MIRIAM EUSEBIO

    director and sometime actor in NY.  She recently directed a filmed online reading of the musical Look For Me by Liz Schiller whom she met here at the communication lab!  If you would like to see it please contact Miriam.  Miriam’s directing work includes the acclaimed Truth Values: One Girl’s Romp Through MIT’s Male Math Maze written and performed by Gioia De Cari, touring since 2009, and Happy Days by Samuel Beckett at WOW Café Theatre.  Work in classic theater includes PericlesTaming of the Shrew, and Midsummer Night’s Dream as well as Oedipus at Colonus by Sophocles.  With young people: The Twelve Huntsmen by Briandaniel Ogelsby, Escape From Happiness by George Walker, several works by Thornton Wilder, and Handsel and Gretel, the opera by Engelbert Humperdink.  As staged readings she had directed include Illegal Helpers by Maxi Obexer with Voyage Theater, and The Mysteries of Monet Berzoff by Sharon Jane Smith at Wow Cafe Theater. Her directing work has been seen at Dixon Place, New Jersey Repertory Company, Wow Cafe Theater among others. Acting credits include Suzanna in Murder of Crows by Mac Wellman, Banana in Asshole Differential by Moira Cutler and Dromio of Syracuse in Shakespeare’s Comedy of Errors, and she sang in the band for The Kandake Dance Theatre for Social Change’s 1001 Nights: Love Stories from Death Row.  Miriam also sings with The Glass Menagerie chorus which was part of the Mile Long Opera by David Lang in October 2018. She in a member of the Lincoln Center Director’s Lab, Wow Cafe Theater and an associate member of SD.

  • CHRISTOPHER MICHAELS

    is a New York-based director, actor, and producer as well as the Founder and Artistic Director of IndieWorks Theatre Company. Select directing credits include IndieWorks’ productions of Casper, The Not-So-Friendly Ghost, Empty Frames, The Giant Hoax, The Wedding Warrior (Asst. Director), The Commuters... (Winner: Best Director in the Strawberry Theatre Festival, 2016), Oklahoma! (Osceola Theatre), Two Boys In A Bed On A Cold Winter's Night (Asst. Director; Rising Action Theatre), Yosef: An Epic New Musical (Born Entertainment), Evangeline: A Curious Journey (Assoc. Director; Davenport Theatricals), Into The Woods, Jr. (Largo Cultural Arts Center) How Alfo Learned To Love (Asst. Director to Robert Funaro; Al Dente Theatre Company), The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow (Asst. Director; Rodeph Sholom School), Closer Than Ever, Little Shop Of Horrors, You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown, Vanities (MuchaDu Productions). He has also directed numerous cabarets and concerts including Songs From A Hat (IndieWorks Theatre Company), The Broadway Theatre Café (Rising Action Theatre), and Playlight Theatre Company’s Songwriter's Showcases Volumes 1 & 2. His film directorial debut, Valley High, a short, musical film based on the song of the same name by Drew Gasparini, made it’s premiere this winter and will soon be available to view online. Find and follow him on social media: Facebook/Twitter/Instagram: @itscmikes

  • JESICA GAROU

    joined Theatre Resources Unlimited (TRU) during the pandemic to stretch her networking opportunities from her home state of Maine to New York and beyond. Jesica is the founder and former president of Royal River Community Players where she directed a plethora of shows for audiences of all ages by actors of all ages. Switching to online theatre during the pandemic, she directed Virtual Happy Hour, a musical which was featured at TRU’s online Gala. She was also selected to direct a piece for the TRU Voices Play Reading Series over the summer. With theater going back in-person, she is excited to be working with Threshold Stage Company on A Dolls House, Part 2 as a stage manager. She is thrilled to be with this professional company in a role for which she has trained others, but not held herself, in many years. Jesica firmly believes that art cannot be tucked away in the larger metropolitan areas and that artists deserve to be paid for their contributions to our society. She is working hard to make theatre an economically viable career and experience, regardless of cultural background, economic status, and geographic location.

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