TRU Beginnings



Opportunities for early development of new works. A unique series of 4 different workshops designed to offer guidance and networking for writers, directors and everyone involved in making theater.


Writer-Producer Speed Date

"I wanted to pass on my appreciation for the opportunity to take part in last night‚Äôs Writer‚ÄďProducer Speed Date; I greatly enjoyed it, and learned an incredible amount in a short space of time. You, Gary, Diana, Jay and everyone else at TRU did a great job before and during the event, and the producers were remarkably adept in pinpointing the shortcomings of my pitch, as well as asking incredibly thoughtful (and valuable) questions regarding my project. I definitely would love to repeat the experience in the future." Chris Wellard (The Turkey Farm)

"Thanks for hosting a very successful event and giving me the chance to participate in it. The feedback I got was very helpful." ~George Pfirrmann (The Death of Love)

‚ÄúI actually enjoyed myself last night ‚Äď all that hard work getting it wrong in the run-up to pitching was totally worth it!‚ÄĚ ~ Martha Pichey (Ashes & Ink)

"Thank you for organizing such a great event last night. We had a wonderful time giving our pitch for SNOW WAY OUT to each of the producers and trailing producers at the speed date, and we came out of the event feeling very confident about our pitch and ourselves. It was a very informative evening, and I think we made some exciting connections, too. We hope we can attend another speed date in the future. This was a hit!"  ~ Becca Anderson & Julian Blackmore (SNOW WAY OUT)

"TRU Speed-Date taught me to pitch fearlessly - with fun and fantastic results!" Susan Horowitz (Reel Romance with a Twist!)

‚ÄúEnjoyed process. Felt uncomfortable at first, but got good reactions, which made it more fun.¬†I appreciated and took Bailie‚Äôs advice, which was good.¬†Got a chance to talk with/meet producers ‚Äď some gave advice, many showed interest. Very positive experience.‚ÄĚ ¬†~ Claude Solnik (Victoria Woodhull)

"I brought my play Adam Then to a TRU writer/director speed date with uncertain expectations.... Before the speed date even happened, the TRU team helped me craft a logline and pitch document that crystallized the play's plot and theme and, at the speed date, caught the attention of a producer. With his advocacy and support, my director and I organized a developmental staged reaching at The Drama League, for which TRU served as fiscal sponsor. I doubt we ever would have gotten this far without TRU!" ~ Terry Milner

"It was such a constructive, informative exercise, and we had a lot of fun. You, Mary Kate, and every person we met was kind, gracious, and generous with their time and feedback." ~Adam Blotner & Jenny Pinzari (Trump: A Tremendous American Musical)

"It was a lot of fun and everyone seemed interested!" ~Alan Cancellino (Sybil the musical)
"Always an interesting evening." ~Peter Kellogg (Desperate Measures)

"A couple of the producers even told me to call so-and-so at such-and-such 'and tell 'em I sent you.'  I wasn't expecting such positive results. Plus, the event got me to hone the way I talk and write about my show - the improvements will, I'm sure, help me as I contact other producers and theaters. A highly positive experience." ~Mike Takiff

"The experience was amazing (aside from when I threw up right before meeting the producers - just kidding). Nerve wracking but very helpful. Kind of like theater Shark Tank." ~Gwyn McAllister

Director-Writer Communications Lab

"I absolutely loved the experience.¬†Learned a lot about how to make that crucial ‚Äčwriter-director ‚Äčrelationship work. Much as I enjoyed watching the interactions that went well, the ones that didn't go so swimmingly, including my own, were actually the most useful: The better to see the pitf‚Äča‚Äčlls that may occur in a real situation. Your ‚Äúprologue,‚ÄĚ along with Ken's, Ric's and your post-interaction analyses, were insightful and compassionate." ~Gary Plotkin

"I found it helpful and illuminating in a number of ways.... It made me aware of the necessity of a lengthy and focussed discussion before any commitments are made. To be honest I didn't know exactly what to expect. It was, therefore, useful both to talk through the issues raised by my own play with a director like Cate 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

"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 Anna [my writer] - we really hit it off and she's fantastic." ~Cate Cammarata, director

"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 Mark [my Lab director]. He gets my words written on paper and that's fantastic." ~Jonathan Citron, writer

"Thank you for the incredible workshop this past Saturday.  It really turned out well and I met some incredibly talented people.  [The writer] and I have really hit it off and have decided to keep working together on her script." ~Kevin Lambert, director

How to Write a Musical That Works

"This seems to be a wonderful idea. I know myself I’m working on a show right now and I cannot make up my mind  about the opening number…. To have the opportunity to present something, and then get various viewpoints on it, and come away with something positive is wonderful." ~Sheldon Harnick 
"WOW! I can't begin to tell you how enlightening, thought-provoking, and helpful it was for me to: a) hear my piece being sung in front of an audience, and b) get the crucial feedback from professionals. I so much appreciate the opportunity you gave me. I've already re-written 1/2 of the song (the rest to be completed this week).... I've taken most of the criticisms to heart and to be honest ... I LIKE IT BETTER!!!" ~Richie Abanes
"I just wanted to take a moment to say how grateful we are for the opportunity to perform an excerpt from Oswald for you. The feedback we received was truly invaluable and we are so very thankful to everyone on the panel who took the time to offer their expertise and insights. Our experience with TRU continues to be amazing and we thank you all so much." ~Josh Sasanella & Tony LePage
"Just by presenting one song at the last workshop, it was greatly improved by the specific comments the panel made. The main character's need and "want" was made so much clearer to the audience just by the way the panel suggested I highlight it musically. So many thanks for that!" ~Tom Dudzick
"Janet and I LOVED the workshop part 3 and very excited to be invited back for part 1. So many things to admire about your panel and you and Cate - the integrity and kindness along with such intelligence - we are fans of all!!" ~Barbara Rottman
"I learned so much from the TRU panel of top theater industry professionals! The opportunity to present a short section from my anti-bullying musical SssWitch! gives me a motivational deadline and focus! TRU saves me money and time...and makes my show a musical on the move!" ~ Susan Horowitz
"It was a great day with invaluable information. I was very happy with my feedback from the panel and even more so with the feedback and suggestions that were given to the other writers.  I felt like I got to see 10 mini Broadway shows and the talent of the writers was simply amazing.  Not to mention the talent of the performers we were all lucky to have help represent our work." ~Roger Nehls
"I'm SO happy to have been part of it... so much talent and such gracious people." ~Lina Koutrakos
"I felt honored to be there, and I learned a lot from your comments as well as those of the other panelists. A really enjoyable and worthwhile experience!" ~Arnie Roman
"Awesome workshop! I was extremely impressed with the high quality, and truly grateful for the experience and new knowledge.... Lots of amazing info, helpful in editing my script. All the panelists were sensational...." ~Alice Shapiro

TRU Practical Playwriting

"Thank you for putting together another amazing event. I think you've done another magical job in organizing the speakers and structure for Sunday's event." ~Yaakov Bressler, '17
"I took pages of notes and left with scads of ideas as to how to attack the next draft." ~Thalia Cunningham, '17
"Thanks so much for a wonderful day yesterday. I learned so much about presenting my work and got to meet some very interesting playwrights." ~Hannah Epstein. '17

"I found it to be incredibly valuable and informative. I got everything out of it that I hoped to and more. I absolutely intend to attend more TRU events. I am grateful that your organization exists. Thank you for all that you do." ~Krishna Alexandra, '17

"This workshop was filled with Diana Amsterdam's deep  guidance for structuring a play good enough for producers to want to invest time and money, Patrick Blake's real-world strategies for connecting with producers who are already inundated with scripts, and Gillien Goll's ability to prepare us emotionally and spiritually as well as pragmatically to speak about our stories not as robots but as human beings producers want to listen to. Last thing I wanted to do on a sunny Saturday in May... but every minute resonated with value!"
~T. Anntares

"Great workshop, today as always. Wonderful panel and terrific presenters. I learned so much in such a short space of time."
 ~Pat Lin