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SERIES ONE: RECENT TRU PANELS
(click here for workshops)
NEW! THEATER IN A CHANGING WORLD: TIME TO GET OFF THE BLOCK
Panel features Teresa Eyring, executive director of Theater Communications Group (TCG); legendary press agent Irene Gandy of Jeffrey Richards Associates (The Great Society, American Son, The Heidi Chronicles and You Can't Take It with You revivals, Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill, The Realistic Joneses, All the Way); and Kat Mustatea, playwright/poet, TED resident ("the meaning of art in an age of machines").
SECRETS OF SUCCESSFUL NOT-FOR-PROFITS
Panel features Luis Reyes Cardenas, co-founder and co-artistic director of Open Hydrant Theatre Company; Edward Corcino, managing director Harlem Repertory Theatre; Anne Hamburger, founder & artistic director En Garde Arts; Ty Jones, producing artistic director Classical Theatre of Harlem; Ralph Peña, producing artistic director of Ma-Yi Theater Company; Lorca Peress, founding artistic director of MultiStages.
The perspiration and inspiration it takes to start a theater company is daunting enough in itself. How do you keep your company vital and relevant from year to year? Starting out, a strong and specific mission statement can help you establish yourself. But sometimes your mission needs to evolve and change. How do you find your audience, and keep it engaged as you change? Where does the money come from to keep going? Partnerships are an important part of survival. How can you effectively partner without compromising your identity? What strategies have been useful in the growth of the companies you will be meeting? Come learn their secrets of success, the ones they planned for and the surprises along the way.
SOLO SUCCESS: TELLING IT, SELLING IT, BOOKING IT
Panel features Valerie David, solo artist, self-producer (The Pink Hulk); Aizzah Fatima, solo artist, self-producer (Dirty Paki Lingerie); Ingrid Griffith, writer, performer and self-producer (Demerara Gold); Kurt Johns, writer (Hello Kitty Must Die), director (Churchill, The Unfortunates), co-founder SoloChicago Theatre Company; Jessica Sherr, solo artist, self-producer (Bette Davis Ain't for Sissies); Douglas Taurel, actor, solo artist, self-producer (The American Soldier).
Though creating and performing a solo show is one of the most rewarding experiences for an actor, it does present unique challenges for both creator and audience. One-person shows tend to be tricky commercially, unless they are driven by star power. So how can a relative unknown make the most of their moment in the spotlight, and generate interest and opportunities to attract attention and extend the life of their show? What are the secrets that help engage an audience in what is often a very personal story? What are the techniques that make a solo show more than a monologue? How do you make it accessible and identifiable to a broader audience, and where do you find that audience?
GETTING PAST THE GATEKEEPERS: OPENING DOORS FOR GREATER DIVERSITY IN THEATER
Thursday 1/24/19 panel co-moderated by Tony Award winner Tonya Pinkins (Jelly's Last Jam, Caroline or Change; TV's All My Children, Fear the Walking Dead), the panel will feature Christine Bruno, actor, teaching artist, SAG-AFTRA NY Board member, Disability Inclusion Consultant; Adrian Budhu, Deputy Director and Chief Operating Officer at Theatre Communications Group (TCG); Nina Zoie Lam, co founder of National Asian Artists Project; Harry Newman, co-founder of Non-Traditional Casting Project; Natasha Sinha, director of artistic programs for Signature Theatre; Ludovica Villar-Hauser, founder and artistic director of Parity Productions.
WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A PRODUCER (AND WHY I DO IT)
12/13/18 panel with commercial producers Margot Astrachan (The Prom, A Gentleman's Guide..., Nice Work If You Can Get It, On a Clear Day...), RK Greene (Peter and the Starcatcher, Terms of Endearment, Cougar), Cody Lassen (Indecent, Spring Awakening revival), Brian Moreland (The Lifespan of a Fact; upcoming: Thoughts of a Colored Man directed by Taye Diggs, BLUE, and ) and Ken Waissman (original Grease, Torch Song Trilogy, Agnes of God).
GENERAL MANAGER AND ATTORNEY, AND THE EARLY DEVELOPMENT OF NEW WORK
11/15/18 panel featuring Bob Brinkerhoff, associate general manager of KGM Theatrical, David Elliot, producer and general manager of Perry Street Theatricals, Ed Gaynes, producer and general manager/theater owner of The Actors Temple and St. Luke's Theatre, and Lee A.G. Feldshon, entertainment attorney.
If you have a serious plan for a new theater work in development, the first two people a producer or self-producer needs to have on board are a savvy general manager and an entertainment attorney. Just how early should you fill these roles? And who comes first? We'll define the responsibilities of each, and the dynamic between the producer and his two right hand people. Then we'll take a look at the usual steps of development for new works, and the agreements that need to be entered for each: table readings, stage readings, showcases and workshops. Plus the advantages and disadvantages of using a festival as a step in your project's development.
WINNING WAYS: THE TRUE MEANING OF THEATER AWARDS
6/28/18 panel featured Peter Breger, president of the Off Broadway Alliance, presenters of the Off-Broadway Alliance Awards; Shay Gines, founding co-director of the New York Innovative Theatre (NYIT) Awards; Simon Saltzman, president of the Outer Critics Circle; Charles Wright, current president of the Drama Desk, presenters of the Drama Desk Awards.
The unique identity and purpose of different theater awards, the complex and probably exhausting process of managing and administering an annual awards ceremony and how it functions in stimulating the development of our theater culture. You will learn about eligibility, of course, and how the awards are run and produced. Should art even be competitive? Are awards healthy acknowledgments that offer artists something to aspire to? Isn't this inevitably subjective, or are there ever objective criteria to consider when choosing nominees and winners?
ATTRACTING WANTED ATTENTION: HELPING YOUR AUDIENCE FIND YOU
5/22/18 panel featuring Pippa Bexon, director of client services at Situation Interactive, a digital-first marketing agency; Themis Gomes CEO, Cennarium America, Inc.; Monica Hammond, director of marketing for Davenport Theatricals; Emily McGill, founder of Press Play and a press rep for Disney on Broadway.
The business has evolved, as has the world, and tried-and-true marketing efforts may not always be enough to break through in a crowded market dominated by mega-hits. In this panel, we will direct attention to and emphasize specialized marketing strategies and some of the specific ways each panelist approaches the task of putting butts in seats. One size does not fit all, and we'll discuss how to customize your strategy to your product.
SO MANY FESTIVALS, SO LITTLE TIME!
2/20/18 panel featuring Lenore Skomal, artistic director of Broadway Bound Theatre Festival; Jay Michaels, publicist for Downtown Urban Arts Festival and Fresh Fruit Festival; Michael Scott-Price, artistic director Dream Up Festival at Theatre for the New City; Elena Holy, producing artistic director of FringeNYC; Liz Ulmer, managing director of New York Musical Festival (NYMF); Gene Fisch, New York New Works Theatre Festival; Van Dirk Fisher, artistic director Riant Theatre / Strawberry Festival; Shaun Peknic, artistic director Planet Connections Theatre Festivity.
The festival scene is a hotbed of opportunity for the development of new work. And FringeNYC is back in a new incarnation. Which festivals provide the best environment for your production? How do you submit, what are the deadlines, and what are some of the secrets to giving your submission a competitive edge?
BREAKING THE SILENCE: THE VOICES OF THEATER AROUND THE WORLD
1/30/18 panel featuring Teresa Eyring, Executive Director and CEO of Theatre Communications Group, co-President of the US Center for the International Theatre Institute and co-founder of the Global Theatre Initiative at Georgetown; Philip Himberg, Artistic Director of Sundance Institute Theatre program, under whose leadership, the Theatre Program’s international activity has grown from a handful of international observers at the Theatre Lab in Utah to over 14 years of deep peer-to-peer intercultural engagement in six East African countries and, currently, in the Middle East & North Africa; Mark Russell, Director/Founder of the Public Theater’s Under the Radar Festival.
BEYOND BROADWAY: A BROADER PERSPECTIVE ON DEVELOPING NEW MUSICALS
12/12/17 panel featuring Ken Cerniglia, Dramaturg and Literary Manager, Disney Theatrical Group; Jason Cocovinis, Director of Marketing, Music Theatre International (MTI),one of the world's leading theatrical licensing agencies, granting theaters from around the world the rights to perform the greatest selection of musicals from Broadway and beyond; Michael Colby, librettist/lyricist (Drama Desk nominee for Charlotte Sweet, Tales of Tinseltown, Meester Amerika in the TRU Voices series, upcoming Dangerous), founding member of the Stuart Ostrow Foundation/St. Clement's Musical Theatre Lab; Betsy King Militello, executive director National Alliance for Musical Theatre (NAMT), whose 160 organizational members and 40 individual members, located throughout 31 states and abroad, are some of the leading producers of musical theatre in the world.
WOMEN PRODUCERS: WHAT THEY UNIQUELY BRING TO THE TABLE
10/24/17 panel moderated by TRU Vice President and Co-Founder Cheryl Davis. Presented in association with Women in the Arts & Media Coalition. Speakers to include Pat Addiss, producer (Gigi, TONY Award for Vanya & Sonia & Masha & Spike and Spring Awakening, A Christmas Story, The Fantasticks off-Broadway); Sue Frost, founding partner at Junkyard Dog Productions (Come From Away, TONY Award-winning Memphis, First Date); Baayork Lee, co-founder & executive artistic director and Nina Zoie Lam, co-founder & advisory board member of National Asian Arts Project; Kristin Marting, executive director of HERE Arts Center; Lorca Peress, artistic director of MultiStages; Cheryl Wiesenfeld, 4-time Tony winning producer (Vanya & Sonia & Masha & Spike, All the Way, Porgy & Bess, Elaine Stritch: At Liberty; plus A Steady Rain, Play Dead, The Exonerated, In the Continuum).
IS OFF-BROADWAY BROKEN...AND CAN WE FIX IT?
7/18/17 panel featuring Darren Cole, owner/manager of The Soho Playhouse; Erika Feldman, general manager of Theatre Row Theatres; Ed Gaynes, producer and owner St. Luke's Theatre, booking manager at the Actors Temple; Josh Goodman, producer (Tony award winning Pippin and Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, also Rocky and Come From Away; upcoming: When Pigs Fly); Meredith Lucio, producer (Tony award winning Porgy and Bess, Rooms: a rock romance, The 39 Steps, Bedlam Theatre's St. Joan/Hamlet; upcoming: Absolutely Filthy).
ENTREPRENEURSHIP & THE ARTS: BALANCING CREATIVITY WITH COMMERCE
5/23/17 panel featuring David Garfinkle, producer (A Gentleman's Guide..., On the Town, The Realistic Joneses, Ghost, Spider-man) former entertainment attorney and adjunct professor with Duke University's 'Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship'; Eric Krebs, producer (That Physics Show, Bill Maher: Victory Begins At Home, Neil Simon’s The Dinner Party, Ain't Nothin' But the Blues, Electra), professor at Baruch and theater manager (formerly the John Houseman and Douglas Fairbanks Theatres, currently The Playroom Theatre); Dorothy Marcic, self-producing writer (Respect, Sistas) and author of 15 books, including the best-selling Understanding Management; Bailie Slevin, Entertaining Finance, financial advisor to the arts.
WHERE DO I FIT IN: WHICH FESTIVAL, AND WHY?
3/21/17 panel featuring John Chatterton, founder of Midtown International Theatre Festival (MITF); Gene Fisch, New York New Works Theatre Festival; Abby Judd, general manager Broadway Bound Theatre Festival; Jay Michaels, marketing and public relations for Midtown International Theatre Festival, Planet Connections and Spotlight-On Festival; Brock H. Hill, producing artistic director Planet Connections Theatre Festivity; Michael Scott-Price, artistic director Dream Up Festival at Theatre for the New City; Liz Ulmer, general manager NY Musical Festival (NYMF).
THE IMPACT OF THE ELECTION ON THE ARTS: WHAT IS AT RISK? WHAT IS OUR RESPONSIBILITY?
2/20/17 panel in partnership with TRU's Young Patron & Artists Circle (YPAC), co-hosted by Christin Cato and Bob Ost. Panelists: Teresa Eyring, executive director of Theater Communications Group (TCG); Kareem Fahmy, Rising Circle Collective, director and playwright (world premiere Indian Head at Luna Stage); Ari Laura Kreith, Artistic Director of Theatre 167, a multicultural, multilingual ensemble; David Mendizábal, Producing Artistic Leader of The Movement Theatre Company, director (Tell Hector I Miss Him at the Atlantic Theater); Beto O'Byrne, Playwright and Co-Founder of Radical Evolution; Jacob Padron, Artistic Director of The Sol Project (Alligator at New Georges); Meropi Peponides, artistic director and co-founder of Radical Evolution, a multi-disciplinary performance company, producer at Soho Rep.
A YEAR IN THE LIFE OF A PRODUCER: TIMELINES AND STRATEGIES
1/25/17 panel featuring Broadway producer Sue Frost (Come from Away, Memphis, First Date, Vanities, Dr. Zhivago; former Associate Producer at Goodspeed Musicals); Jessica McCoy, not-for-profit consultant; Broadway producer Jeffrey Richards, producer (Fiddler on the Roof revival, China Doll, American Psycho The Musical, Wolf Hall Parts 1 & 2, The Heidi Chronicles, You Can’t Take It With You, Glengarry Glen Ross, Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Gore Vidal’s The Best Man, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess); and Donna Trinkoff, Artistic Producer of Amas Musical Theatre (The Red Eye of Love, The Other Josh Cohen, Triassic Parq!, Wanda’s World, Shout! The Mod Musical, Lone Star Love).
WHY SOLO SHOWS? UNDERSTANDING THE APPEAL, MINING THE MARKET
12/20/16 panel featuring Kayhan Irani, Emmy-award winning writer, producer, and a Theater of the Oppressed trainer; Peter Michael Marino, co-producer/creator of SOLOCOM which has premiered over 270 new solo comedies at The PIT; Michael Wolk, Gorgeous Entertainment and the All-in-One Festival; Prudence Wright Holmes, writer/performer (Bexley, OH!! at NY Theatre Workshop, plus touring solo shows about Willa Cather, Agatha Christie and Harper Lee). From the literally thousands of one-person shows developed by writers and writer-performers, a few make it into commercial production. What elevates a one-person show and gives it commercial potential? What are the essential elements that come together to turn solo performance into effective storytelling, the dramaturgical principles that can elevate this to art?
LIVE STREAMING AND DIGITAL CAPTURE: BRINGING THEATER INTO THE 21ST CENTURY
11/15/16 panel fearturing Broadway producers Stewart F. Lane (Tony Award®-winning producer for A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder, War Horse, Jay Johnson: The Two & Only, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Will Rogers Follies and La Cage Aux Folles) and Bonnie Comley (Tony Award-winning producer for Jay Johnson: The Two and Only, War Horse and A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder), co-founders of BroadwayHD; Benjamin Birney, Vice President of Technology and Business Affairs for BroadwayHD; Kathryn Jones, CEO of VirtualArtsTV. Learn the distinctions between livestreaming and digital capture, and how to incorporate them into your development plans, as well as use them for marketing and exposure and to extend the life and value of your creative property.
FESTIVALS: HOW TO GET IN 'EM, WHAT TO GET OUT OF 'EM!
4/19/16 panel featuring Elena K. Holy, producing artistic director FringeNYC; Jay Michaels, marketing director Midtown International Theatre Festival; Brock H. Hill, artistic producing director Planet Connections Theatre Festivity; Catherine Lamm, participant in Edinburgh Fringe; Lou Lopardi, executive director All Out Arts/Fresh Fruit Festival; Michael Scott-Price, festival director/curator of Theater for the New City's Dream Up Festival; and Liz Ulmer, general manager NY Musical Festival (NYMF).
MARKETING MAVERICKS: NEW THINKING, NEW METHODS, NEW IDEAS
7/19/16 panel featuring speakers Merrie Davis of Next Act 2 Follow; Toni Isreal, managing director of Walker Communications; Jay Michaels of Jay Michaels Arts & Entertainment; Lorenzo Thione, chief executive of The Social Edge.
THEATER AND COMMUNITY: EDUCATION, OUTREACH & SOCIAL JUSTICE
5/17/16 panel featuring Brooke Boertzel, director of education at New York City Children's Theater; Brent Buell, producing artistic director of Doing Life Productions and Founding Producer of Rhymes Over Beats; Rod Christensen, Director of Education with TADA! Youth Theater; Van Dean, a commercial producer (Porgy and Bess, Cinderella) who has been working with the Sandy Hook/Newtown community since the tragic shooting to use the performing arts to raise funds and help empower the community; Annie Hamburger, executive producer of EnGarde Arts, an award-winning producer whose documentary theatre productions bring theatre to the uninitiated promoting community and conversation in New York and across the country; Katie McAllister, the Program Director of Inside Broadway, dedicated to introducing NYC school children to live theater; David Shookhoff, director of education Manhattan Theatre Club; and Emily Joy Weiner, co-artistic director of Houses on the Moon Theater Company.
A. RECOGNIZING COMMERCIAL POTENTIAL: IS THIS SHOW WORTH INVESTING IN?
Facilitated by attorney Eric S. Goldman, with a panel of commercial producers and investors offering their experience and observations. Panel includes William Franzblau, producer (TONY Nominated Best Play Say Goodnight Gracie, American Buffalo and Wonderland on Broadway, the tour of Little House on the Prairie the Musical; off-Broadway Sistas, Jewtopia, Evil Dead the Musical, Respect and Illuminate); Josh Goodman, producer (Rocky, Pippin, Vanya & Sonia & Masha & Spike); Jeremy Handelman, producer (On the Town, White's Lies, F#@king Up Everything); Cody Lassen, producer (Indecent, Significant Other, Deaf West Spring Awakening); James Simon (Hand to God, Something Rotten, Pippin).
It’s every producer’s job – to find investors for your production. Whether you are a self-producing artist looking for a lead producer to option your piece, a lead producer looking for co-producers and investors or a not-for-profit theater looking for enhancement funds, at some point you will have to sit down and make the case for why your show is the right investment.
B. 2017 WEEKEND INTENSIVE FOR SHOWCASE PRODUCING
1. Keynote speaker: 2-time Tony Award winning producer Jim Kierstead
2. "Clarifying Your Goals: Why Are You Producing This?” with Jim Kierstead and Bob Ost. Should your show be commercial or not-for-profit? In a festival or produced independently? How much should you be spending? How big a theater do you need? So much depends on what you hope to achieve.
3. "What You Need to Know Before Asking for Money" with attorney Eric Goldman. Investments, donations and gifts - do you know the difference? We'll look at commercial, not-for-profit and fiscal sponsorship models, and what you need to know about each when asking for money for your production.
4. "Legal Schmegal: Contracts, Options, Underlying Rights and More" with attorney Eric Goldman. Additional legalities to consider: Do you have the right to produce this show? How do you go about getting the option? How do you do this without encumbering your property unnecessarily? Do you need to set up a legal entity to produce a showcase?
5. "Project Management: Setting Timelines, Managing Teams, Defining Outcomes" with financial advisor and producer Bailie Slevin. It pays to get the order right. How far in advance do you book a space? Hire your creative staff? Start the marketing? Raise the money?
6. “Creative Fundraising (Please Don’t Put It on Your Credit Card!)” with Bailie Slevin. Crowdsourcing, different kinds of fundraisers and how to just get over it and ask for the money you need. We'll include belief systems and how they affect us, and understanding how money works.
MORE TO COME. STILL UPLOADING AUDIO FILES FROM THE WEEKEND.
C. 2016 WEEKEND INTENSIVE FOR SHOWCASE PRODUCING
1 - Keynote Tom Smedes - Why Producing Matters
2 & 3 - Bailie Slevin - Project Management and Setting Time Lines, Managing Teams and Defining Outcomes
4 - Watching Your Figures and Putting Together a Smart Budget with Tom Smedes
5 - How to Run and Efficient Audition, When Why and How to use a Casting Director, with Bob Kale of Bob Kale Casting
6 - Box Office and Ticketing Options with Emileena Pedigo
7 & 8 - Finding Your Audience, An Overview of Marketing and The Essentials of Successful PR with Jay Michaels
9 - Next Steps - What Happens After That Showcase, Moderated by Cheryl Wiesenfeld
11 - bonus track: Keynote Speaker Cheryl Wiesenfeld - "It's all about you"
B. ESSENTIALS OF SELF-PRODUCING
Essentials of Self-Producing Part 1 - Introduction to Self-Producing with TRU executive director Bob Ost, presentations by successful self-producing writers: “Why Are You Doing This?” with Nancy Holson (Emmy Award winning The News in Revue); “Wearing Many Different Hats” with Dorothy Marcic (long-running off-Broadway musical Sistas); plus a Nuts and Bolts overview of "What You Need to Make It Happen” with Bob Ost.
Essentials of Self-Producing Part 2 - “Marketing, Promotion and Self-Promotion” with Jay Michaels of Jay Michaels Arts & Entertainment; “Finding or Creating Opportunities” with writer/actress Karen Eterovich (international touring solo pieces about Aphra Behn and Jane Austen); and The Psychology of Self-producing, and a summary of what it takes to self-produce, with Bob Ost, Karen Eterovich and Jay Michaels.