Event Details
  • Communications Lab (writers must be accepted before buying)
    November 12, 2023
    12:00 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)   Goes On Sale
November 3, 2023
TRU member fee (writer) $75.00 (USD)   Goes On Sale
November 3, 2023
Collaborator (writer team) $30.00 (USD)   Goes On Sale
November 3, 2023
Observer non member $55.00 (USD)  
Observer TRU member $35.00 (USD)  

Writer-Director (Virtual) Communications Lab 2023

Sunday, November 12th, 2023 (writer submission deadline 11/3)
12pm to 6:30pm eastern time (check in at 11:30)
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. 

Writers, use this form to submit: DIRECTOR-WRITER-2023-Lab-writer-app - deadline for writer submissions is Friday 11/3. 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, Ryan Cupello, Kate Katcher, Bryna Kearney, John Lant, Kevin Ploth, Rain Pryor. 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 


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


    is a Director and Choreographer with well 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. Credits include Spandex and Hip Hop High (Off-Broadway); My Purple Wig (Theatre Row); The Little Prince (Nat. Tour); Lola Luning's First Steps (Abingdon); The Egg Project (Fringe); The Dragon Slayer (Hudson Guild); Fahrenheit 451 (Wing’s); Star Spangled Girl (Playwrights Horizons). As Associate Artist with NY Classical Theatre, she collaborated on choreography and movement for six productionsAwards 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. Ms. Andresakis directed the film Slave Trade for TRU Speaks in 2021. Her production of The Pearl Diver is being streamed as a fundraiser for Asian Americans Advancing Justice. Proud member of SDC. www.Andresakis.com


    is an NYC-based producer, director, and actor from Rochester, NY. He is the Founding Artistic Director of Brazen Light Theater Company, whose mission is to challenge stigma in American society. He received his MFA from the American Repertory Theater Institute at Harvard University. He studied at the Moscow Art Theatre in Moscow, Russia, and the AST National Academy of Theatre Arts in Krakow, Poland, where he learned the practice of Active Analysis, which he frequently uses in his directing projects. Directing credits include The Tempest (Soho Shakespeare Company), BardCore (A.R.T./Oberon), and an immersive production of A Midsummer Night's Dream (SUNY Buffalo). Acting credits include 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 Our Bar, a monthly immersive show in NYC. 


    As Artistic Director of Newtown’s Stray Kats Theatre Company, Kate Katcher directed the world premiere of Small World by Fred Stroppel, Rounding Third by Richard Dresser and the CT premiere of Seven a dramatic piece written by seven award winning female playwrights– Paula Cizmar, Catherine Filloux, Gail Kriegel, Carol Mack, Ruth Margraff, Anna Deveare Smith, & Susan Yankowitz– about seven activists for women’s rights worldwide. Additionally, she directed over a dozen staged readings of contemporary classics and new works in keeping with the company’s mission: everything from Edwatd Albee to The Bickersons. Her favorite projects were working with the playwrights on new works– Kent Brown’s In the Middle of Nowhere and Butcher’s CabinBy the Heirs of St. Patrick by Steve Bellwood, and Christopher Demos Brown’s Our Lady of Allapattah. As the Education Director of ARTSport and at the Regional Center for the Arts, Kate directed such productions as Li’l Abner, Little Shop of Horrors, Godspell, Fame and more. She wrote and appears in several short films co-directed and shot by Emmy Award winning director Dave Distinti, including A Nice Drive, Planning Ahead, and the original Missus Dobbs American which, despite being taped as a stage piece during the pandemic, went on to be a semi-finalist in two film festivals. 


    is a NYC based Director, Actor, Singer/Songwriter, and Choreographer. For over 20 years she has devoted her efforts to the ever-evolving landscape of performing arts. After moving to NYC in 2014, Bryna became a resident director at The AlphaNYC, a company focused on giving emerging actors a launch pad to build their professional resume in the heart of the Manhattan Theater District. As an artist particularly devoted to the development of new works, Bryna has had the great fortune to direct a broad range of original productions as well, ranging from Our Own Odyssey (Fuerza Festival), The Owl Girl (The Center at West Park), and Waste, Fraud, and Abuse (13th Street Repertory Theatre), a musical she also helped write and workshop. Her latest large-scale collaboration as a director with Stage Jewels Productions, brought to life the world premiere of Under Woodside, a poetic prose play written as an homage to Dylan Thomas’ Under Milkwood. The show toured parks across the NYC boroughs to packed audiences. When she isn’t directing or acting, Bryna fills her “down time” as half of the dynamic, musical duo Ponce Funeral Home Project, her eclectic, indie, passion project.

    Instagram: @filteredreality11235 Website: www.brynakearney.com  


    Producer/Director, Consultant specialist for musicals/plays off-Broadway and TV/Film studio operator for stage to screen. 43-year veteran in the entertainment in over 750 television, film, theatre/music tours, and live theater. Production Manager at Carnegie Hall since 2006-2020 season for over 2,000 events. Award-winning producer, director, writer, lighting/set designer; Interlochen, Cal Arts, Ricardo Montalban, Hollywood Playhouse, Long Beach Playhouse, Glendale Center, 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 Radio Producer New Frequency - Theatre of the Mind for SIRIUS/XM Radio - Ranked #1 Radio show. Mentored with Jonathan Sanger/Chanticleer Films for two shorts (Emmy & Oscar Winners), 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. 17 Off-Broadway Lead Producer / Director (AEA/Non-union) credits include Fabulous!, 2By Tennessee Williams, Lili Marlene, Frankenstein, It Came from Beyond, Wicked Frozen, Teen Party Massacre, Swing!, Wicked City Blues, Geeks! 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 Evita. Current money raise - Pearl Bailey Musical (with Tony winning team members of Dreamgirls! and Hamilton). Development Director/Consultant for TV Film - Twisted Media NYC, Nathan Murphy Prod, Gatehouse Entertainment, Tin Mirror Prod and Trinity Theatrics network and streaming content for 3 TV pilots & 2 feature film currently in pre-production. COVID Compliance Supervisor certified for Film/TV/Broadway Theatre.

    is an entertainer, director, writer, playwright, speaker, activist, Osun priestess, wife and mother, and wants to assist you in finding and living out your desires, and breaking down racial biases. Directing credits include Hoodoo Love by Katori Hall at Spotlighters Theater in Baltimore, The Exonerated and How I Learned To Drive at UMB, and later, MILF, Moms I’d Like to Follow written and performed by comedian Meshelle The Indie Mom of Comedy. The show won Best Stand Up, at the United Solo Festival in NY and has played to sold out crowds across the country, including Joe’s Pub in NYC. Rain was artistic director of the Strand Theatre in Baltimore in 2010. She directed three of their highly successful shows and brought the company into a financial surplus. Mother May I by humorist Dylan Brody, was Pryor’s directorial debut. The show was the Strand's first World Premier and was sold out. Rain co founded Baltimore Theatre Works, that brought theater to underserved schools. Rain shares her views on race and has lead panel discussions on diversity in education and in the entertainment industry at Princeton University, The Jewish Federation of Los Angeles, Chicago and Baltimore, Atlanta, and Cannes. She won an NAACP for her irreverent solo show Fried Chicken & Latkes, and for her role as the evil stepsister in the Michael Jackson produced musical Sisterella. She was nominated for the prestigious AUDELCO Awards for her Off Broadway run at the National Black Theatre in Harlem. She is currently in pre-production for her film directorial debut, to be filmed in Baltimore MD and Nigeria. Pryor was nominated for the African American Literary Award in 2007 for her biography Jokes My Father Never Taught Me, Life Love & Loss With Richard Pryor, and has won numerous Black Short film awards for her That Daughter’s Crazy documentary.