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NEW SERIES: TRU COMMUNITY GATHERINGS

We here at TRU, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, started a weekly Zoom meetup called theTRU Community Gathering. Each week, we feature guest speakers discussing the changing events in the world of theater, how people are coping and adapting to new technology, platforms, and other approaches to keep theater and creativity alive and active. Zoom meetings are held every Friday between 4:30pm - 6pm. If you aren't able to join us on Fridays, we are providing the audio podcasts for you to take advantage of.

 Click TRU Community Gathering to jump to the podcasts!


For podcasts before 2019, please visit our PODCAST ARCHIVES featuring panels and producer boot camps. 


 SERIES ONE: RECENT TRU PANELS
(click here for workshops)

NEW! SOLO STRATEGIES: FINDING YOUR STORY (AND THE PEOPLE WHO'LL WANT TO HEAR IT)

Speakers include director/writer Gretchen Cryer (I'm Getting My Act Together.., Obie-winning The Last Sweet Days of Isaac) and teacher of "Creating Your Own Solo Performance"; Jon Cryer, actor (Emmy winner for TV's Two and a Half Men, Lex Luthor in Super-girl; films Pretty in Pink, No Small Affair), writer (So That Happened); writer/actor Linda Manning (Perfect LoveBite the Apple); writer/actor Brian Sheridan (I Was a Hot Monkoff-Broadway's Sirens of Titan); Abby Stokes, writer/actor (A Good Girl Doesn't), author of best-selling "Is This Thing On? A Friendly Guide to Everything Digital..."; and Steve Wruble, singer/songwriter and storyteller (Escape from Daddyland) and co-author of The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump.
 
Solo performance guru and writer/director Gretchen Cryer will guide us through the creative journeys of five solo artists she is working with, including son Jon Cryer. We'll consider how an outside eye may be essential to help shape a story and find the universal truths in personal details, as well as bring out a dramatic arc that generates audience engagement and genuine drama. But ... writing and performing is only part of the picture. Most writers have a hard time embracing that marketing is also an art form creating a demand for a product through creative communication. 

 

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").

Is theater hamstrung by tradition, or is it evolving and keeping up with the changes in our culture? Speakers from the commercial, regional and indie worlds will consider the need to stay relevant in this age of technology ... how to attract young audiences as well as diverse audiences ... the trend to rethink classics for new audiences and how far we should go with revisionism rather than create new works ... other trends, healthy or un- ... the degree to which theater can be a force for change ... the need for greater diversity within the business itself. And a look at the shifting emphases in press and marketing.  

 

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? 

 

SERIES TWO: PRODUCING BOOT CAMPS

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 GracieAmerican 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.

Part 1:

Part 2:

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.


 

TRU COMMUNITY GATHERINGS

 

Friday 6/5- Virtual Virtuosity: Acting in Isolation. In the room: Sharlene Hartman, actress; Andy Lachman, Actor, Comedian and Writer (Perspectives-Web Series , Senza Nome Musical Improv, Metamorph Dramatic Improv, Kong Show Sketch Show, Life Insurance the Musical); Julie McNamara, actress; Valerie David, actress (The Pink Hulk); Talisa Friedman, actress (The Way Out); Inger Tudor, actress.

Friday 5/29 - Finding Your Platform. In the room: Emileena Pedigo The Show Goes On Productions, and Cate Cammarata of CreateTheater.com. We've researched the choices we have for virtual presentations, which platforms offer what, and how much they cost.

Friday 5/22 - Virtual Presentations: What We Think You Can and Cannot Do (But We're Probably As Confused As You Are). In the room: Cate Cammarata, curator of the Monday Night Reading Series on CreateTheater.com; entertainment attorney Lee Feldshon; Jim Kierstead, producer (Hadestown, The Inheritance, Ain't Too Proud, Mrs. Doubtfire) and founder of Broadway Virtual presentation platform; and general manager/producer Martin Platt (Woman in Black, Dames at Sea, Vanya & Sonia & Masha & Spike, In the Continuum, an oak tree). 

Friday 5/15 - Marketing Strategies for Virtual Performances. In the room:  Roger Gonzalez, Editor & Publisher Alliance Media & Communications / LocalTheatreNY.com and Monica Hammond, Director of Marketing for Davenport Theatrical. How do we hold on to our audiences during COVID? Monica and Roger will talk about how marketing strategies may have changed in our new Virtual society, and what still works. And how to reach out to a virtual audience.

Friday 5/8 - Making Music Virtually. In the room: Ted Arthur, conductor for the virtual Sondheim 90th Birthday Celebration, talking about coordinating the parts of a musical presentation for virtual isolated performance.

Friday 5/1 - An overview of best practices for virtual performance. In the room: attorney Lee Feldshon and attorney/theater journalist Matt Windman addressing some of the legalities connected with the new virtual isolated performance model.