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TRU Community Gathering

Join us Fridays at 5:00pm (ET) for weekly virtual Community Gatherings, conversations about creativity and theater in the time of COVID-19 ‚Äď and post-pandemic ‚Äď led by TRU executive director/founder Bob Ost. These gatherings are free for TRU members; we ask that non-members consider making a donation to TRU to help keep us running, or join as a member. You can view past conversations at our YouTube Channel.

To automatically receive the Zoom link for each week's conversation, email TRUnltd@aol.com and use the word "Zoom" creatively in your subject line.

UPCOMING CONVERSATIONS
(subject to change since ... well, life happens)

 
7/12 - Is Australian Theatre Back to Business As Usual? And What Exactly Is That? In the room: Australian producer Neil Gooding (Back to the Future in London and New York, Holding The Man in London, UK productions of What's New Pussycat and Little Voice; Australian premieres of Gutenberg! The Musical!, Dogfight and 33 Variations and New York productions of Harmony, Islander, Church and State, Handle with Care, The 39 Steps); Nancye Hayes, member of the Order of Australia for services to the entertainment industry, legendary Australian actress, dancer, singer and choreographer/director and narrator, a leading figure in Australian musical theatre (starred in Sweet Charity, Chicago, Guys and Dolls, 42nd Street, Annie, My Fair Lady, Sweeney Todd, A Little Night Music, Sunday in the Park, Follies and Australian productions of new work) as well as plays (Born Yesterday, Same Time Next Year, Stepping Out, Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks and new work); Paul J. Hodge, an award-winning writer-composer from Brisbane (Clinton the Musical Off-Broadway, London, Edinburgh, Western Australia, JOH for P.M.; upcoming Martin Guerre); Michael Tyack, one of Australia’s top musical directors (most recently Come from Away; plus Side by Side by Sondheim, Chess, The Wizard of Oz, Jerry’s Girls, Joseph and His Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, High School Musical, Dusty, Brigadoon, Blood Brothers, You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown, Green Room Award for The Witches of Eastwick, plus a Green Room Award for the original and Hugh Jackman tours of Boy From Oz).  A 14 hour time difference is the easy part. Australia and the US are worlds apart in terms of a career path in theater, the development of new works and the very business itself.  What can we learn from each other? Click here to register and receive the zoom link.

 
7/19 - Abroad Perspective: The Potential for International Theater Partnerships. In the room: Chris Grady, producer, director at CGO Institute, fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts, staunch networker; Martin Platt of Perry Street Theatricals general management, producer (Tony winner for Vanya & Sonia & Masha & Spike; also Dames at Sea revival, Bedlam's Hamlet/St. Joan, off-Broadway award winning In the Continuum and an oak tree; Lend Me a Tenor musical in London). After two years of shutdown dominated by zoom, like it or not we have entered an era of greater global opportunity in theater. And we have (hopefully) discovered colleagues beyond our national borders. Martin has produced both in the US and the UK, and can address the differences, plus some of the advantages (and challenges) of partnerships. Chris is actively engaged in current initiatives to foster stronger ties among producers, including a database to link producers from different countries as he puts his focus on international collaborations that generate opportunities to find what connects us all as human beings. With quarantine behind us, let's consider ways to broaden our horizons as we move our projects forward once again. Click here to register and receive the zoom link.

7/26 needs to be confirmed, but we promise we will have something of interest.

8/2 - Prison Breakthroughs: How Art Can Transform Lives. In the room: Leslie Lichter, executive director of Rehabilitation Through the Arts (RTA), a company that has run theater and other arts programs in 8 prisons in NY State (and expanding) for 27 years. We met and interviewed one of the RTA program facilitators a few months ago, TRU member Brent Buell, and learned how his experiences led to the newly released acclaimed film Sing Sing. Now we take a broader look at RTA, the breadth of their programs, and their mission to open people’s eyes to the humanity behind prison walls and to recognize the transformational power of the arts, and theater in particular. Their core program is a comprehensive in-prison arts program which teaches critical life skills. They also have a social reentry program which helps inmates focus on inevitable social and emotional issues, and they engage RTA members after their release, as they rejoin and thrive in our communities. We'll explore the limitations as well as the achievements of these invaluable programs. Click here to register and receive the zoom link.

8/9 - Free Introduction to our Producer Development & Mentorship Program. NOTE: we open at 4:45pm ET, presentation will start at 5:15 sharp. In the room: Master class instructor Jane Dubin, producer (Is This a Room, Dana H., The Prom, Tony winning The Norman Conquests, Farinelli and the King, Bandstand, Peter and the Starcatcher and An American in Paris; plus off-Broadway Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey, The 39 Steps, Ann) and Foundations instructor Blair Russell (Slave Play, Sweeney Todd off-Broadway). A free meet-and-greet info session about our Producer Development and Mentorship Program, the only theater production program to offer in-depth instruction from accomplished producers at an affordable price. The fall semester will start in Late September or October. Prospective applicants will have the opportunity to learn from and network with our commercial producer instructors. You will also meet and hear from successful program graduates at this Intro evening. Click here to register and receive the zoom link.
 
8/16 - Hybrid and Beyond: Maximizing the Theater Experience for Those Who Cannot Attend Live Theater. In the room: Suzanne Richard, theater director, co-founder and artistic director of Open Circle Theatre, Washington, D.C.’s first professional theater promoting careers in the arts for people with disabilities; Lisa Sniderman, multi-award-winning artist, playwright, producer, disabled artist and advocate; and Jessica Skintges Wallach, disabled artist, DC-based accessibility consultant and photographer. We have finally added "accessibility" to our current D.E.I.-awareness, but we have only begun the journey of creating accessible theater. Our perspective and conversation are now focusing on the need to rethink what access means. We will look at going beyond traditional forms of access and consider utilizing telepresence robots, creating comparable live/virtual "hybrid" experiences and generally extending theater into virtual spaces in ways that give our stay-at-home audiences a genuine sense of the live theater experience.  
 
 PREVIOUS 2022-23 CONVERSATIONS
(CLICK HERE for 2021)
(CLICK HERE for 2020)
 
6/28 - Do All These Musicals Belong on Broadway? In the room: Frankie Daily, new works director of NAMT (National Association for Musical Theater); and Peter Filichia, former New York-based theater critic for The Star-Ledger, writer and historian of the American musical theater.  In 2023-24 season 15 new musicals opened on Broadway, the highest number since the 2016-17 season. Assumptions about what constitutes a Broadway musical have changed over the decades and the financial challenges of off-Broadway have lured some smaller shows into the commercial spotlight. Nevertheless, some musicals have found a level of success without the Broadway stamp of approval. Are there realistic criteria for success other than being a Broadway blockbuster? Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel!
 
6/21 - From Big Broadway to a Small West Coast Non-profit. In the room: Nancy Richards, an accomplished marketing professional with a distinguished 20 year theater career in New York (13 the Musical, Tony Award-winning Spring Awakening, Dance of Death, Pulitzer Prize-winning Topdog/Underdog, Gore Vidal’s The Best Man, Jekyll & Hyde and more), followed by a decade at the non-profit North Coast Repertory Theatre in Solanas, California. How do marketing tactics change from one coast to another, from commercial to not-profit and from a Broadway house to an intimate space with a subscription base? Have audiences changed over the years, and particularly since shutdown? How did North Coast Rep adapt when live performance became impossible (oh yes, there was a Covid pivot), and are they back to business as usual yet? In addition, Nancy will share her producer side with us, including several productions she was part of in London. And her thoughts about a life in theater. Available via a private link. Email trunltd@aol.com to request link.
 
6/14 - Theater in a Box: Yes, You Can Do It!  In the room: TRU board member John Lant, 17-time off-Broadway lead producer/director & film producer specializes in showrunning, consulting, fiscal sponsorship, in depth development of production runs of plays and musicals in NYC and his theatrical space in LA. A detailed discussion for self-producers around basic bullet point "in's and out's" of what you want, thought you knew, and what you really NEED TO KNOW to run an effective production of your work. Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel!
 
6/7 - TRU Diversity presents A Cross Cultural Exchange: Diversity in Translation. Hosted by the TRU Diversity committee: attorney/playwright Cheryl L. Davis, writer Scott Sickles and producer/dramaturg Janel C. Scarborough. In the room: Jamaican award winning theater maker David Heron, who is presenting the American premiere of McBEE a Caribbean adaptation of Shakespeare's Macbeth in tribute to the late playwright Alwin Bully, planned for Caribbean American Heritage month (June). mcbeetheplay.eventbrite.com The African Diaspora is vast, however non-American based stories very rarely appear on US main stages; while there are inherent universal commonalities, there are also specific nuanced distinctions which are ripe for exploration, discovery and discussion. Join us as we explore the Caribbean culture and it's place in our American theater. Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel!
 
5/31 - Duet: A Conversation about Musical Theater Development, for Two Voices. In the room: James Morgan, producing artistic director of The York Theater Company on NYC; and Michael Unger, former associate artistic director of the York, current artistic director of the Skylight Music Theater in Milwaukee. Similar missions, very different cities. Jim and Michael will talk about how they engage their communities, build and nurture their audience base and maintain programs that have a successful subscription following, as well as educational programs that support the development of new works and new artists. And most of all: why musical theater matters. Not available on YouTube.
 
5/24 - Social Media Strategies and the New Hot Things. In the room: writer-producer Nicolette Blount of Take My Shot Productions, Camila Grunberg, creative producer and member of TRU's YPAC young artists' group, and Benita Samuels, Linked In subject matter expert with The Visibility Solutions Group. Social media, my how you've changed! Benita will be sharing some quick tips and strategies for maximizing exposure across today’s digital platforms. Nicolette and Camila will share their multi-platform social media strategies for growing their following and gaining exposure for their projects. Some basics still apply, others keep evolving. What works best these days, at least for now? Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel!

5/17 - Development Opportunities: Theater Festivals and How to Get the Most Out of Them. In the room: Suzanna Bowling, spokesperson for New York Theater Festival; Cate Cammarata, executive producing director of the Create Theatre New Works Festival; Clara Elser, festival coordinator for the Dream Up Festival at Theatre for the New City; Gene Fisch Jr., founding director of New York New Works Theatre Festival; Jimmy Lovett, FRIGID New York resident artistic director and curator of the upcoming Queerly Festival. We'll talk about the history and mission of Dream Up, plus other opportunities to use Theater for the New City ... CreateTheater's unique mission and purpose ... the year-round opportunities (and awards) provided by New York Theater Festival's Spring/Summerfest, Fall/Winterfest and Musicfest ... the various festivals produced by FRIGID NY (including the NY Fringe) ... and the financial support Gene Fisch offers through NYNWTF. Each in its own way can be a stepping stone on the developmental path for new works. We'll also take a general look at expectations and best practices when you choose to participate in a festival, and how to make the festival experience positive and useful. Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel!
 
5/10 - Finding Her Way to the Right Story: A Conversation with Joanna Gleason. In the room: Joanna Gleason, actress in theater (Tony winner for Into the Woods, nominee for A Day in the Death of Joe Egg and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels), film (Crimes and Misdemeanors, Hannah and Her Sisters, Heartburn, Boogie Nights) and TV (The Good Wife, The West Wing). She also coaches singing actors and has dipped her toe into film directing. What is her favorite medium to work in, and why? Does each have its satisfaction? How does she choose her roles? Are there differences in how she approaches a role in film versus stage? What were some of her most gratifying moments, in or out of the spotlight? And what advice does she have for younger actors looking to build a career? We'll even talk about what it was like being the daughter of a TV icon! (If you don't know who, watch and find out.) Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel!
 

5/3 - Reach for the STAAR (and Learn about the League of Historic American Theaters). In the room: Tammy Pierchoski, executive director of the STAAR (Southern Tennessee Area Arts Repertory), a small not-for-profit company in Pulaski, Tennessee that turned the first floor of an 1868 Opera house into a 177 seat home for a small local theater company. Hear about their plan to renovate the opera house itself and transform it into a cultural destination for the broader Tennessee area.¬† Their focus is on family theater, as well as arts education for children, teens and adults as well. How did Tammy become the leader of this community-engaging venture 17 years ago? Where does her love of theater and the arts stem from? Have children and teens been the focus from the start, or has the STAAR mission and function evolved over 20+ years? How do they manage the impressive feat of presenting a new show every other month, and how do they fund it all? Tired of small cast shows? STAAR's childrens shows work with casts as large as 100 ‚Äď how do they manage that? And how does Tammy split her time between performances and managing the company's educational programs? Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel!

 
4/26 - Knowing the Score: The Theatrical Nature of Being an Orchestra Conductor.¬†In the room:¬†Christoph Schl√ľren, founder of Germany's Symphonia Momentum, and frequent conductor of the Deutsche Kammerakademie Neuss am Rhein and St Michel Strings Mikkeli. He will be joining us from Munich as we look at conducting through a theater perspective. Does conducting have aspects of dramatic performance, and to what degree does he view himself as a visual part of a classical concert? Does he interpret a score as a theater director might interpret a script? What is more challenging: mastering the dramatic arc of a complex new piece, or finding his own voice within familiar works? Has he ever felt like he discovered an inner voicing or musical detail that others have perhaps missed or underestimated?¬† He talks about finding dramaturgical connections between diverse pieces. What are some of those connections? How else¬† does he determine programming for a concert? What have been some of the most challenging pieces he's ever taken on, and what makes them challenging? And most mysteriously, how does he translate the abstracts of music into a specific communication to an audience? Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel!
 
4/19 - How to Make an Effective Documentary (and Win a Few Emmys). In the room: Susan Handman, creator and narrator for NYC Media, an award winning series created with the New York Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment, and a winner of 10 Local NYC Emmys. We'll look at the dramatic structure needed for any work of art to engage an audience, and talk about the specifics of the documentary and its many forms. At its heart, is the documentary simply a specific form of storytelling? Is it more narrative than dramatic? How much creative license can a filmmaker exercise in telling what is generally a factual record of a real person, place or event? What skills can a theater artist bring to this related art form? Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel!
 
4/12 - Feminists in Action: Meet the Magnolia Theatre Company! In the room: Gina Handy Minyard, founding artistic director and Rachel Robinson, board member of the Magnolia Theatre Company, founded in 2012 in Pennsylvania as a response to the lack of female leadership in theater. From the start the company has been dedicated to fostering a world where gender equity thrives in the theater, and uplifting those who have been historically marginalized and oppressed by the limitations of the gender binary. What prompted the company's move to Dayton Ohio in 2014? In what ways have they served their mission of supporting and uplifting the voices of female-identifying artists? Do they consider themselves "political" and is there a line that separates art and politics? How did they adapt to the limitations of shutdown, and are audiences in Dayton coming back to live performance now? And does Magnolia offer opportunities to artists outside of their area? Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel!
 
4/5 - Too Many Hats to Even Count: Meet Marketer and Multi-Hyphenate Jay Michaels. In the room: Jay Michaels of Jay Michaels Global Communications, director, stage and film producer, one-time actor and a marketing and promotion guru for over thirty years. Though straying into commercial theater from time to time, Jay has remained in the forefront of the independent theater and film movement since 1977 and was part of the original off-off Broadway movement in 1985. He'll offer insights into the birth, evolution and current state of indie and off-off-Broadway theater, as well as an overview of the changes in our industry. What does he miss from the early days, and are some things better? Are there exciting new opportunities for theater artists today? How have his marketing tactics changed, and what are the most effective ways of promoting your show in a post-shutdown world? He's been around for quite some time. What are some of his most memorable moments? Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel!
 
3/29 - Bringing Theater to Prisons (A Thing Movies Are Made of). In the room: Brent Buell, producer (the hip hop musical Freedom), director (unFramed, produced by TRU's Jane Dubin, From Sing Sing to Broadway at Playwright's Horizons), playwright (The Gate, The Gem Exchange), novelist (Rapturous), actor, activist. And a graduate of TRU's producer program. For ten years, Buell volunteered with the non-profit organization Rehabilitation Through the Arts, directing theater in New York’s maximum-security prisons. There his productions of plays, ranging from John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men to three original works by prisoners, earned praise from critics, including from The New York Times. His original comedy Breakin’ the Mummy’s Code premiered at Sing Sing and was the subject of a feature article in Esquire. But the current big news is that he recently completed work on a movie about events that took place while he was teaching theater inside Sing Sing, and the result is the new film Sing Sing, directed by Greg Kwedar and starring Oscar nominees Colman Domingo and Paul Raci. What inspired Brent to bring theater to prisons in the first place? What are the rewards? And are there dangers as well? How did the idea of making a movie about it come to be? What were the challenges of accurately telling this story? And what was the learning curve like moving from live performance to film? Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel!
 
3/22 - Write Who You Know: A Conversation with Luke Yankee, the Son of Actress Eileen Heckart. In the room: Luke Yankee, writer (The Last Lifeboat, The Lavender Mafia and TRU Voices finalist The Jesus Hickey), director, producer, actor and teacher, former Producing Artistic Director of the Long Beach Civic Light Opera and the Struthers Library Theatre. And the son of theater and film legend Eileen Heckart (Oscar winner for Butterflies Are Free, nominee for The Bad Seed; Tony nominee for Butterflies Are Free, Invitation to a March and The Dark at the Top of the Stairs; and on Broadway as recently as 2000 in The Waverly Gallery and recipient of a Tony lifetime achievement award that same year). What's it like being raised by a star, and living "just outside the spotlight"? How did it shape Luke's esthetic and style as a writer? His play Marilyn, Mom and Me is currently in development, and yes, it's about that Marilyn. What is the creative process like taking people you know and moments you've lived and dramatizing them effectively and objectively? Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel!

3/15 - TRU Success: The Play That Found Producers at a TRU Speed Date! In the room: Heather Cohn, executive producer of Colt Coeur, a Brooklyn-based theater company, producers of the upcoming production of Still; Merrie L. Davis, producer and TRU board member (Tony winner for Parade, 5 TONY awards for Company Broadway, 4 Olivier awards for Company London, 6 Tony Nominations for Eclipsed, Gigi; Himself and Nora; Museum of Broadway; upcoming Working Girl); the director of TRU's producing Master Class, producer Jane Dubin (Is This a Room, Dana H., The Prom, Tony winning The Norman Conquests, Farinelli and the King, Bandstand, Peter and the Starcatcher and An American in Paris; upcoming: Village of Vale); and playwright Lia Romeo (Still), playwriting fellow at Juilliard, published by TRW, Broadway Licensing, and others, associate artistic director with Project Y Theatre Company. Jane and Merrie will discuss the experience of Speed Date, and how Lia's pitch broke through, and the subsequent partnership formed with Blair Russell and Colt Coeur's upcoming production off-Broadway at the DR2 Theatre starring Jayne Atkinson and Tim Daly. We'll also discuss the delicate producer-writer dynamic, including the partnership with Colt Coeur, and the expectations on all sides of this artistic equation. Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel!

3/8 - Amplifying AANHPI Voices: Meet Leviathan Lab. In the room: Ariel Estrada, actor, singer, arts advocate, producer, and Founder & Producing Artistic Director of Leviathan Lab; and LGBTQ/neurodivergent/biracial Korean American writer Scott Sickles (Marianas Trench, Emmy nominated and 5-time Writers Guild of America winner for General Hospital). Leviathan Lab is an award-winning not-for-profit creative studio whose mission is the advancement of Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander performing artists and their work. Learn the history, how it achieves its mission, how it has evolved (including the challenges of shutdown), and the goals of its founder: to open spaces that promote social justice, bridge communities and assert the power of art to change the world. We'll also discuss the current partnership with the TRU Diversity initiative in presenting Scott's new play, Marianas Trench. Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel!

3/1 - The Challenges of Young Professionals Trying to Kickstart a Career in Theater. In the room: members of TRU 's Young Professionals and Artists Circle (YPAC), including writer/director/filmmaker Burak Tatar and actor/writer/director Jordan Richards, Executive Co-Chairs; aspiring producer Camila Grunberg, graduate of TRU's producer program, head of Fundraising and Events; and actor/producer/director Andrew Beck of Outta Bounds Productions, head of Finance, Administration, and Innovation. Come meet the new leaders of YPAC, an initiative created to bring together under-40 theater professionals, a forum to provide peer networking and career development opportunities to rising industry professionals. For many full time performing arts professionals, it takes until at least mid-life to make a living from their craft.  YPAC offers a power network of young theater professionals and supporters, an anchoring base of people to whom they can reach out for resources, support and inspiration.  Those who feel passionate about the performing arts but work in other fields are welcome! Come hear their plans, and share your own needs and ideas. Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel!

2/23 -What I Didn't Know You Could Do in a Virtual Play Reading! TRU Voices creative teams talk about the experience of preparing their plays for virtual presentation. In the room: Iben Cenholt, managing producer of TRU Voices; John Ewing III, producer and Christopher Scott, director of 1920; Nicolette Blount, producer of Rolling with the Punches; and Susan Griffin of Wayward Creatives Entertainment, producer of Un Hombre: A Golem Story. What was gained, and also was anything lost for the audience experience? What are the options offered for virtual production, and why did they choose the technical formats that they chose? What did they learn from being thrust into a virtual presentation? Did the writers gain insights into their work that they can take with them into future productions? And if they had it to do over again ... would they? And to get down to the basic question we always ask: if it's filmed, is it still a play? Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel!

2/16 - It's Just Us... A TRU Conversation about the Current State of Theater. In the room: producer Jane Dubin (Dana H., Is This a Room, The Prom, An American in Paris, Peter and the Starcatcher, Tony for The Norman Conquests; upcoming: Village of Vale); producer R.K. Greene of The StoryLine Project (Harmony, Peter and the Starcatcher, The Lightning Thief tour, Farinelli and the King, A Time to Kill, Cougar the musical, Room Service; upcoming: Beau the Musical); and producer/general manager Martin Platt of Perry Street Theatricals (Tony for Vanya & Sonia& Masha & Spike, Dames at Sea on Broadway, Lend Me a Tenor in London, Islander, Bedlam’s Hamlet & St. Joan, Here Lies Jenny, In the Continuum, Obie-winning An Oak Tree). An open conversation with the room about the current state of theater, the move from virtual back to live production, relative costs of shows in London versus Broadway, and general comcerns about the future of our business. Private video available upom request. Email TRUnltd@aol.com for the link.

2/9 - Why Theater Needs Cast Recordings, and the Introduction of a Brand New Label. In the room: Van Dean, producer (Jagged Little Pill, Anastasia, Matilda, The Lightning Thief, Tony winner for Porgy and Bess revival), co-founder and former head of Broadway Records (Grammy for The Color Purple revival, Grammy nominee for Caroline, or Change, Matilda and My Fair Lady; also released nearly 300 recordings including Camelot 2023 revival, Anastasia, Once On This Island), now founder and president of Center Stage Records (Gutenberg! The Musical, How to Dance in Ohio). Van built Broadway Records into a respected brand. Has a change of his goals and/or the business itself influenced his decision to create the recently announced Center Stage Records label? How has the market for original cast albums changed over the years? How does a cast album fit into a commercial production budget? Digital albums vs. CDs: what is the market for each? Going forward, how will Van apply everything he learned with Broadway Records, and what lessons is he taking into the new brand? Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel!

2/2 - Free Intro to TRU's Spring 24 Producer Development & Mentorship Program. In the room: Master class instructor Jane Dubin, producer (Is This a Room, Dana H., The Prom, Tony winning The Norman Conquests, Farinelli and the King, Bandstand, Peter and the Starcatcher and An American in Paris; plus off-Broadway Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey, The 39 Steps, Ann) and Foundations instructor Dave Elliott, producer/general manager of Perry Street Theatricals (Tony-winning Vanya & Sonia & Masha & Spike, Dames at Sea on Broadway, Lend Me a Tenor musical in London, off-Broadway productions of Islander, In the Continuum, an oak tree, Bedlam Theatre’s Hamlet & St. Joan). A free meet-and-greet info session about our Producer Development and Mentorship Program, the only theater production program to offer in-depth instruction from accomplished producers at an affordable price. The spring semester will start in March. Prospective applicants will have the opportunity to learn from and network with our commercial producer instructors. You will also meet and hear from successful program graduates at this Intro evening. Interested in the program? To request a private recording, email trunltd@aol.com

1/26 - Strengthening the Brand: New Initiatives to Promote Indie Theater. In the room: writer/director Montserrat Mendez, board member of the League of Independent Theaters and the Shirley Chisolm Cultural Institute, and director/dramaturg Aimee Todoroff, managing director of the League of Independent Theater. Think of it as an intricate system of tributaries that in some ways feed the mainstream, and a less visible but essential part of theater's ecosystem. Join us for a report on the recent Indie Theater Convocation, a solution-minded, unifying conversation exploring the current needs of indie theater ... a look at the rebranding the NYIT Awards and a look at the nominees ... and the creation of indietheaternyc.com, a newly unveiled site with a comprehensive array of information pertaining to the vibrant world of Indie Theatre. Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel!

1/19 - Getting Past the Bad Rap: Hip Hop's Slow Entry into Mainstream Theater. In the room: Patrick Blake, producer (The Exonerated, Play Dead, The 39 Steps) and founding artistic director of Rhymes Over Beats Hip Hop Collective, plus guest hip hop artists Masta Ace (playwright/rapper) and Power(actor/rapper) will talk about the history of hip hop, it's purpose and esthetic and its bumpy journey into mainstream theater. Did Hamilton finally break the barrier between hip hop and theater? Does "theater rap" differ in any way from street rap, gangsta rap and other variations on the form? What can rap uniquely bring to theater? And does the broader hip hop culture have relevance in theater, and vice versa? Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel!

1/12 - Streaming Musicals Revisited: Insights into the Role of Virtual in a Changing Landscape. In the room: Tom Polum, producer (The Toxic Avenger, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels) and CEO and executive producer of Streaming Musicals LLC, and Stacia Fernandez, executive producer of Streaming Musicals LLC (Estella Scrooge, Emma, Being Ernest, Mooseltoe, 1600 Vine) and Tyler Miilliron or Milliron Studios. As we return to live performance, many question the place of virtual performance in our industry, yet Streaming Musicals is upgrading and expanding. Perhaps because there is a marked increase of interest in streaming content since shutdown changed the world's viewing habits. And streaming has become part of the development path for new works. What is the line drawn between using AEA or SAG/AFTRA agreements and contracts? What are current best practices? How can we best use the lessons of virtual performance in our evolving industry? As Streaming Musicals enters a new stage of growth, what are the lessons Tom and his company have learned, and how have they changed their creative approach to "virtual theater"? Recording available upon request, email TRUStaff1@gmail.com

 

1/5/24 - How Theater Serves Community, and Community Serves Theater, LA Style. In the room: John Malpede, founding artistic director of Los Angeles Poverty Department. Exploring the culture of Los Angeles Skid Row, the Los Angeles Poverty Department creates a space and an opportunity for the residents to tell their own stories in their own voices. Founded in 1985, it's easy to see how LAPD serves a genuinely underserved and possibly ignored community. How does community serve founder John Malpede's artistic goals? How has he kept this fringe company vital for 38 years? How is it funded, and most importantly, what changes and improvements has he seen in these neighborhoods over the years ... and what part has art played in the health of this community? Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel!

12/29 - The Cabaret Career: Singing Like an Angel (But Thinking Like a Producer). In the room: Sue Matsuki, author (So You Want to Sing Cabaret), columnist (Sue's Views), award-winning singing veteran who has played every major (and minor) club in New York from Birdland to Feinstein’s to the Iridium, as well as Carnegie Hall and The Metropolitan Opera. Over the course of her career she has evolved beyond a self-producing cabaret artist, tapping into her management and business background to become a producer of cabaret, variety, open mics and fundraisers including the current music series Winter Rhythms for Urban Stages here in NYC. What are the secrets of a successful and lasting career in cabaret? How does focusing on the business side of things affect her as an artist? What attracted Sue to producing, and how does she now divide her time between her own shows and helping to bring others to the stage? And from a broader view: how is the cabaret scene different now from when she first started out? Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel!
 

12/22 - Balancing Act 3: A Second Conversation with Writer/Director Richard Maltby Jr.  One of theater's most esteemed lyricists, Richard Maltby (Starting Here, Starting Now, Closer Than Ever, Big, Baby with composer David Shire; Nick and Nora with composer Charles Strouse) also conceived and directed the only two musical revues to win a Tony Award for Best Musical: Ain't Misbehavin' and Fosse. Does his director side influence his writer side, and vice versa? How does each fulfill his creative goals? He is currenty directing a benefit reading of the Maltby & Shire The Country Wife musical. Can a writer successfully direct his own work? Three of his shows started in cabaret. What were the pluses and minuses of developing new works that way? And what are the secrets to his successful collaborations: of course with David Shire, which spanned college years at Yale through their most recent collaboration, Take Flight, in 2007? But also as a co-writer of Song and Dance, Miss Saigon and The Pirate Queen? Is it tricky to adapt his personal style to blend with other voices? Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel!

 
12/15 - It's Better in Britain: An American Perspective on the Development of New Work. A followup to our conversation with UK and Australian producers last month. In the room: Martin Platt and David Elliott of Perry Street Theatricals general management, producers (Tony winners for Vanya & Sonia & Masha & Spike; also Dames at Sea revival, Bedlam's Hamlet/St. Joan, off-Broadway award winning In the Continuum and an oak tree; Lend Me a Tenor musical in London). London is indeed becoming the place to produce rather than Broadway because of costs. Martin and Dave will talk about two productions which have redirected their efforts to London: a 3 character play which would cost $5-6 million in NYC, $1.5 million in London; and a 15 character musical which would cost around $18 million on Broadway, $3 million in London. Plus some additional UK perks. Are there nevertheless some shows that would fare better here in US? We'll look at some expanded opportunities for development here in NYC and around the country. Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel!

12/8 - Exploring the Nature of Live Performance: Opportunities for You at New York's TheaterLab. In the room: Orietta Crispino, theater artist and actress, artistic director of TheaterLab, a women- and artist-led laboratory dedicated to researching the nature of live performance, including theater, music, and hybrid forms. Learn about TheaterLab programs, including: Round the Block! promenade-style performance event where audiences travel to see short pieces of music, theater, and visual art; Hotel New Work, a curated series with short-term residencies, providing artists and audiences with time and space to take a detailed look at the theater-making process in an open studio setting; Mothers Myths Monsters invites one artist to bring together a selection of trusted colleagues to craft short miniatures in overlapping, complementing, and sometimes contradicting genres; The Gallery Series challenges artists to craft ambitious explorations of the relationship between solo performers and spectators; and Celebrate the Artist, one of Theaterlab’s oldest and most valued programs, in which they celebrate an international theater company and introduce them to New York audiences.  Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel!
 
12/1 ‚Äď The Ramifications of the Settlement of the Writer and Actor Strikes. In the room: Dauna Williams, entertainment, tech and IP attorney and founder of LawTechLearn. Strikes brought areas of our industry to a standstill. Writers were on strike 143 days, and SAG/AFTRA shut down for an overlapping 118 days. What was finally resolved? What is still uncertain? And how will it all affect the entertainment industry now and in the future? Our conversation will include a particular focus on how the law is dealing with AI, and if it is even possible for it to keep up with an ever-evolving technology. Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel!
 
11/24 - TRU-ly Thankful: A Conversation about Theater (and the World) with the TRU Board. In the room: TRU board chair Sandy Silverberg (producer The Way Out, tech consultant); board members: Broadway producer Margot Astrachan (upcoming: The Outsiders, Broadway, Spring 2024. Previous: Diana, The Prom, A Gentleman's Guide...), indie/off-Bway producer John Lant (Frankenstein, Wicked Frozen, It Came from Beyond, Wicked City Blues, Fabulous; Earnestly LGBTQ+, XIMER), actress/producer/singer N'Kenge (Caroline or Change revival, Motown: The Musical, Dandridge: A New Musical, Dangerous), producer Neil Rubinstein (On the Town, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, 39 Steps), playwright and TV soap Emmy nominee Scott Sickles (General Hospital, One Life to Live), and longtime TRU officer Courtney Sweeting. What do our board members think about TRU? Why do they contribute their time to us? What do they see as the key issues in our business today? Why does theater matter? And what are YOU thankful for in these troubled times? Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel!
 
11/17 - Is the Development Path a Little Smoother in the UK? In the room: Australian producer Neil Gooding (Back to the Future in London and New York, Holding The Man in London, UK productions of What's New Pussycat and Little Voice; Australian premieres of Gutenberg! The Musical!, Dogfight and 33 Variations and New York productions of Harmony, Islander, Church and State, Handle with Care, The 39 Steps); Patrick Gracey, London-based producer, on the Boards of the Society of London Theatre (SOLT) and League of Independent Producers in the UK; and Katy Lipson of Aria Entertainment, producer of over 100 shows in the West End, Off-West End and UK Touring scene (including Flowers for Mrs. Harris, Brokeback Mountain, Olivier Award Nominated Best New Play Cruise, The Last Five Years, The Toxic Avenger, The Addams Family, Little Voice). Is the road to production as laborious in the UK as it is here in New York? We hear it takes a lot less time and a lot less money to get a new show up on its feet across the pond. Neil, Patrick and Katy give us the details! Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel!
 
11/10 - Opportunities for New Musical Development at NAMT. In the room: Frankie Dailey, New Works Director for the National Alliance of Musical Theatre (NAMT), a not-for-profit organization serving the musical theatre community with 155 organizational members and 60 individual members, located throughout 33 states and abroad. Most of us are familiar with the annual NAMT Festival of New Works. Frankie give us an overview of the history and evolution of the festival, as well as conferences, granting programs, and many other initiatives through which NAMT supports musical theater and the artists who create it. We'll also hear about his love for the form, and how and why he has moved from being a general manager and producer to his current position. Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel! 
 
11/3 - Yes Virginia, There Is a New York Fringe Festival! In the room: Jimmy Lovett, co-artistic director, and Erez Ziv, managing director of Frigid New York. We were all sad about the closing of our beloved FringeNYC in 2019, but now Frigid New York has filled the gap with a New York Fringe Festival that offers opportunities to indie artists from all over. This is an unjuried Fringe, and a member of the Canadian Association of Fringe Festivals (CAFF) and United States Associate of Fringe Festivals (USAFF). It is also only one of many programs offered by Frigid including The Queerly Festival, the Estrogenius Festival of work by female-identifying artists and a new site specific off-shoot of the Fringe that is currently seeking submissions. Come hear about all the opportunities they offer! Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel! 
 
10/27 - Horrors! How Musical Theater Acquired a Taste for Blood! In the room: Cooper Jordan (DEX! A Killer Musical,¬†Rat Pack Undead) and Stephanie Rosenberg (Moulin Rouge!, Anastasia, Matilda, On The Town, Santa's Sing-A-Long)¬†producers of SAW, the Musical; Jordan Wolfe, creator of Night of the Living Dead! The Musical!. As a kickoff to Hallowe'en, a look at the monster mashup of horror and musical theater. From parodies like Silence the Musical and Stranger Sings! to genuine scarefests like Sweeney Todd, Evil Dead, Night of the Living Dead and Little Shop of Horrors ‚Äď what does music add to the horror genre? Does the box office power of a horror film translate into stage success?¬†

10/20 - The Perks and Pitfalls of Producing Partnerships. In the room: Sue Gilad and Larry Rogowsky of  In Fine Company, producers (Tony Awards for Moulin Rouge, Angels in America revival and Company revival; Grammy Award for Jagged Little Pill; Funny Girl revival, Natasha, Pierre, & the Great Comet of 1812; current: Merrily We Roll Along, Here Lies Love). Sue and Larry will talk about how they met, and why they decided to partner as producers and create In Fine Company, their production company. What are the specific skills each brings to the table? What is the secret to getting along? Have they ever had any disagreements? Has compromise played a part in their success, or are they just lucky enough to see things the same way? (Is that even a thing?) Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel! 

10/13 - Time to Move on: Two Leaders of Downtown Theater and the Legacies They Leave Behind. In the room: Robert Lyons, founding artistic director of The Ohio, The New Ohio Theater, and the Obie Award-winning Soho Think Tank; and Kristin Marting, the founding artistic director of the form-breaking performance space HERE in New York, and a director and producer of hybrid work. Two of the driving forces of the downtown theater scene are both moving on after impacting and shaping the New York theater scene for decades. Is it a coincidence that these two risk-taking leaders are both stepping down post-pandemic? Did shutdown influence their decision? Cultural shifts? The frustrating economics of theater? Or something else entirely? Lyons' exit marks the end of New Ohio, though Kristin will be passing the baton on so HERE will still be here. Neither is retiring. What do they see in their future, and the future of "experimental" theater? Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel! 
 
10/6 - Balancing Act 2: A Conversation with Writer and Director Richard Maltby Jr.  One of theater's most esteemed lyricists, Richard Maltby (Starting Here, Starting Now, Closer Than Ever, Big, Baby with composer David Shire; Nick and Nora with composer Charles Strouse) also conceived and directed the only two musical revues to win a Tony Award for Best Musical: Ain't Misbehavin' and Fosse. Does his director side influence his writer side, and vice versa? How does each fulfill his creative goals? Three of his shows started in cabaret. What were the pluses and minuses of developing new works that way? And what are the secrets to his successful collaborations: of course with David Shire, which spanned college years at Yale through their most recent collaboration, Take Flight, in 2007? But also as a co-writer of Song and Dance, Miss Saigon and The Pirate Queen? Is it tricky to adapt his personal style to blend with other voices? Not available on YouTube.

9/29 - A More Affordable Way to Develop New Works for Theater: Cabaret.¬†In the room: Sherry Eaker, producer of the annual Bistro Awards, former editor-in-chief of Backstage; Max Friedman, director of Midnight at the Never Get; Michael Chase Gosselin, producer/general manager at Visceral Entertainment (The Most Miserable Christmas Tree, Emojiland, Midnight at the Never Get), director (The Nose, Endangered! The Music, Money Talks); Sidney Myer, cabaret icon and booking manager for Don't Tell Mama. Cabaret has always been a vibrant force in the arts scene in New York and around the world. A place to nurture up-and-coming talent as well as an intimate home for established stars, it has also offered exposure for song writers and ‚Äď most importantly ‚Äď has become an easy and accessible part of the developmental process for bringing new works to the stage. Come hear a range of success stories that started in cabaret, dating back to the birth of legendary mega-hit Nunsense,¬†Forever Plaid, three shows by Maltby and Shire and many others. Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel!
 
9/22 - Hey, It's Just Us! An Open Conversation about Alternate Roads to Production. In the room: TRU's Bob Ost; PDMP master class instructor, producer Jane Dubin (upcoming: Village of Vale; Dana H./Is This a Room?, The Prom, Tony winning The Norman Conquests, Farinelli and the King, Bandstand, Peter and the Starcatcher, An American in Paris; off-B'way Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey, The 39 Steps, Ann), and producer RK Greene, Executive Director The StoryLine Project (Harmony, Beau, Peter and the Starcatcher, The Lightning Thief tour, Farinelli and the King, A Time to Kill, Terms of Endearment, Cougar the musical, Room Service). They will lead a conversation with you, the TRU Community. Theater post-Covid is having a slow recovery, forcing many of us to think about different ways of doing things. Both Jane and R.K. have been guiding new projects along non-traditional routes. Come hear their thoughts, and share yours. Recording available privately upon request - email TRUnltd@aol.com
 
9/15 - Broadway Producer. Playwright. Novelist. More. The Many Lives of Jennifer Manocherian. In the room: Jennifer Manocherian, Tony winning producer (awards for War Horse, La Cage Aux Folles revival, August: Osage County, Spring Awakening, The Norman Conquests revival, Thoroughly Modern Millie; and she's also been on 24 other Broadway shows), film writer/producer (Family Blues, formerly Hudson River Blues; in production Boundary Waters), screenwriting teacher, playwright-librettist (Marry Harry, Cockroaches & Cologne). Meet a media-hopping multi-tasker who perhaps has found a happy medium with her newly released novel, Alpha Bette, which features a seance and ... a medium. How has being a producer influenced her writing career? How (and why) does she move from one form to another? How do different mediums satisfy her artistically? Are there common themes that appear throughout her work, and did those influence her choices in shows that she helped produce? And btw, which came first: writing or producing? Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel!
 
9/8 - Harnessing the Beast: Using A.I. to Your Advantage. In the room: Stephanie Grayson, content marketing leader/advisor/strategist. A.I. is currently at the center of union conflicts and other impassioned conversations these days. It's easy to want to damn it and dismiss it, but it is unlikely that it will be going away. Stephanie will talk about how other industries use A.I. for business, and how it has helped generate marketing strategies across industries. We'll consider how A.I. Marketing/Pitching/Promotion efforts apply to theater pitching, support effective marketing on a budget, glean insights inbound and/or outbound to help generate more effective marketing or fundraising, create copy drafts to get the word out about your show, and help you do smart networking as well as smart ticketing. Don't fear it. Use it. Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel!
 
9/1 - An Intriguing Unfinished Opera Reimagined for Today: Treemonisha. In the room: playwrights¬†Leah-Simone Bowen¬†and¬†TRU's¬†very own¬†Cheryl¬†L. Davis¬†who gave Joplin's¬†Treemonisha¬†a recent makeover. Ragtime legend Scott Joplin never got to hear his only opera performed, though it was resurrected and orchestrated 50 years after his death. Now a resurgence of interest ‚Äď and perhaps a cultural awakening ‚Äď has led to a series of new versions of the opera. Why is now the time to take a new look at Scott Joplin's ambitious break from ragtime? How did our two gifted speakers divide the writing duties and form a successful collaboration? Was it tricky respecting the past while finding relevance for today? Who initiated the acclaimed new version that played Toronto in June? And how does this century old work resonate for today's audiences? Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel!
 
8/25 - Balancing Act: A Conversation with Actor and Director Austin Pendleton. In the room: Austin Pendleton, prolific character actor of stage (Oh Dad, Poor Dad..., Fiddler on the Roof, The Last Sweet Dyas of Isaac, Educating Rita, Grand Hotel, Straight White Men, Choir Boy, The Minutes) and screen (What's Up Doc?, Catch-22, My Cousin Vinny, Amistad, A Beautiful Mind, Finding Nemo) and an equally prolific director (Shelter, Tony nomination for The Little Foxes, 2011 Obie Award for The Three Sisters, Between Riverside and Crazy off- and on Broadway). Also a longtime member of Chicago's Steppenwolf Theater Company where he has directed and acted since 1979. Has he always been equally passionate about acting and directing? How does he balance his love of each? How does he choose his projects? What enables him to move so freely from stage to film to TV? And has the business changed significantly since his 1962 NY debut? Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel!
 
8/18 - Listen Up: 21 Successful Years of Radiotheatre NYC. In the room: Dan Bianchi, artistic director. Though focusing on text and sound for storytelling, Radiotheatre has traditionally done live performances with minimal visual effects (though lighting is always involved). Was this award-winning company well-positioned for an unexpected 2 year shutdown? How hard was it to adapt to the limits of virtual performance? We will also talk about the art of radio performance and the secrets of telling your stories successfully through text and sound. Is there any difference between radio plays and the current prevalence of podcasts? Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel!

 
8/11 - Theater Collaboration That Stirs Controversy and Changes Lives. In the room: Peter Van Heerden, executive director of Fairfield University's Quick Center for the Arts, and Cheryl Wiesenfeld, Broadway producer (Pictures from Home, 4-time Tony winner for Elaine Stritch: At Liberty, The Gershwin's Porgy & Bess, All the Way and Vanya & Sonia & Masha & Spike; plus off-Broadway's The Exonerated) and curator of the Quick’s Global Theatre: Performance Series. Winning Tony Awards is certainly gratifying, but one of Cheryl Wiesenfeld's proudest achievements was being on the producing team of The Exonerated, a play that literally changed lives and laws, and forced many to rethink our prison system. Theater as a means of social change is her passion and years later she has found a perfect partner for pursuing that passion: Peter Van Heerden at Fairfied University. Together they help give voice to an ongoing series of theater works intended to spur conversation. How do they find these plays? What informs their decision to produce this reading series? Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel!

8/4 - A Free Introduction to the TRU Producer Training Program. In the room: commercial producer Jane Dubin (Is This a Room, Dana H., The Prom, Tony winning The Norman Conquests, Farinelli and the King, Bandstand, Peter and the Starcatcher and An American in Paris; plus off-Broadway Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey, The 39 Steps, Ann) who will be teaching our Master Class; and Blair Russell, producer, developer, whose experience ranges from fringe festivals to Broadway (Tony nominee for Slave Play, Lizard Boy, Sweeney Todd off-Broadway), who will be teaching Foundations of Producing. a free meet-and-greet info session about our Producer Development and Mentorship Program, the only theater production program to offer in-depth instruction from accomplished producers at an affordable price. Prospective applicants will have the opportunity to learn from and network with our commercial producer instructors. You will also meet and hear from successful program graduates at this Intro evening. Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel!

7/28 - Outside the Box: Alternative Spaces and Site-Specific Theater. In the room: Anita Durst, founding artistic director of ChaShaMa, a company that "helps create a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive world by partnering with property owners to transform unused real estate" into space for creatives; and Anne Hamburger, founding executive artistic director of En Garde Arts, an artist-centric company that "uses the city as our stage to offer accessible theatre that explores the salient social issues of our time." Anita interned with Anne when she was 18, and developed a fascination with renovated performance  spaces through her work with En Garde Arts. Many years later both women have had a profound impact on the New York theater scene. How have these women influenced each other? Where do their visions diverge? The art they have both created and helped nurture used to be called "avant-garde." Has yesterday's avant-garde become a more widely accepted form of art? Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel!

7/21 - A Legal Perspective on the Current State of the Arts.
In the room: attorneys Gordon Firemark (based in LA) and Eric Goldman (based in New York). The entertainment industry has been rolling with the punches, first adapting to the restrictions of a world in shutdown, and now adjusting to the changes that have been wrought in our business as a result. Streaming now out-performs network TV, and competes with film studios for both audience and awards; live performance is struggling to bring back an audience that has been steeped in home entertainment for nearly three years. Changes now have to be made, as evidenced first by the writers' strike and now amplified by SAG/AFTRA joining the protests. What are the legal underpinnings of this turmoil? Is mediation possible? And what are the specific changes in the way we now do business? Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel!


7/14 - Hey, It's Just Us: An Open Conversation with the TRU Community.
TRU's Bob Ost, producer and PDMP master class instructor Jane Dubin, producer RK Greene and Guy Yedweb of League of Independent Theaters lead a conversation with you, the TRU Community. What are your concerns now that we are returning to "normal"? What are your challenges as artists and/or producers? Recent reports indicate that some of our most influential regional theaters are in financial danger, and we even talked about the Public Theatre dropping the greatly-respected Under the Radar Festival due to budgetary shortfalls. So... what's the good news? Is there a light at the end of the tunnel? Is there anything TRU can do to help? 

 
7/7 - How Influencers and Other Social Media Strategies Can Extend Your Reach. Bob is back as moderator. In the room: Nico Juber, writer of the recent Off-Broadway musical Millennials Are Killing Musicals and TRU PDMP grad; Brandon Powers, social media influencer and creative director of the production & marketing company constellation. Many shows don’t start thinking about their influencer/creator strategies until their Broadway theater is booked, but the time to start building awareness and community online should be much earlier in the process. Nico brought in Brandon and his company constellation to head up social media Creator Partnerships and Community to start building those relationships from the ground up. Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel!
 
6/30 - Theater Development Then and Now: How Things Changed Post-Covid. Moderated by Cate Cammarata, TRU literary manager and the founder of Create Theater, an online community of writers. In the room: playwright Melissa Bell (Lady Capulet, Zoe Comes Home), member of CreateTheatre.com; Patrick Blake, producer (The Exonerated, Bedlam's Hamlet/St. Joan, The 39 Steps), founding artistic director of Rhymes Over Beats; and Neal Rubinstein, producer (Grey House, The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, On the Town), adjudicator of the Create Theater Festival. Cate and company discuss how play development has changed in the post-covid world of theater, including the ways in which the plays are being seen and what is expected. Conversation includes how the Create Theater New Works Festival evolved during COVID. Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel!
 
6/23 - Theater in a Box: Unpacking the Tools Necessary for an off-Broadway Run. In the room: TRU board member John Lant, 17-time off-Broadway lead producer/director & showrunner specializes in consulting and the development of plays and musicals in NYC and LA. John discusses the in's and out's of what you want, thought you knew, but what you really NEED TO KNOW to run a production. Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel!
 
6/16 - What's New in the Post-Shutdown Tech World? Moderated by TRU board chair Sandy Silverberg. In the room: Tamra Pica, theater, TV and film producer, producer/casting director for Write Act Repertory and TRU's Virtual consultant for our online programming; and Tom Polum, former board chair of TRU, producer (The Toxic Avenger musical, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels) and founder of StreamingMusicals.com. Learn how technology has zoomed ahead since the start of Covid as well as a very workable DIY setup for hybrid streaming that TRU currently uses for our monthly Town Halls. Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel!
 
6/9 - Coloring Outside the Lines: Theater That Ignores the Rules. In the room: Mark Russell, producer of the Under the Radar Festival, in residence at the Public Theatre since 2006. Mark has a long history of supporting non-traditional theater forms, including 21 years as the executive artistic director of Performance Space 122, a staple of the East Village arts scene. He created Under the Radar in 2004 as a festival and a professional symposium focused on contemporary theater that investigates the nature of the theater experience and contextualizes it for today's audience. What drives his esthetic and fuels his artistic decisions? Who is his audience? And how does he gauge the success of a production? Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel!
 
6/2 - The Theater of Tomorrow, Today: Adding New Technologies to the Toolbox. In the room: Tim Kashani, co-founder of Apples and Oranges Arts, a company that merges theater and technology in their THEatre ACCELERATOR program, an innovative incubator for new musical development; plus the more recent Humani3, a venture studio that harnesses the potential of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Extended Realities (XR), and Web 3.0 (W3).  Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel!
 
5/26 - Don't Just Stand There - Do Something: Addressing DEI. In the room: Miranda Gohh, founder of Theater Producers of Color, co-founding member of The Industry Standard Group, associate producer at Davenport Theatricals (A Beautiful Noise, Harmony) and Stairwell Productions (What the Constitution Means to Me), co-producer of KPOP and Here Lies Love; Rob Laqui, founding member of The Industry Standard Group, associate producer at No Guarantees, co-producer of Hadestown National Tour, A Strange Loop and Here Lies Love.  Most of us recognize and acknowledge the need for greater diversity in our industry, at all levels. So what do we do about it? In 2020, our guests directly addressed the needs of the BIPOC theater community. Both TISG and TPOC can be seen as direct responses to the outcry of "We See You White American Theater," and years of frustration, putting into place initiatives to strengthen the collective voices of BIPOC theater professionals, and making commercial producing and investing more accessible. Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel!
 
5/19 - Still Thinking in Virtual: Translating Plays into Film. In the room: Iben Cenholt, founding technical producer of TRUSpeak: Hear Our Voices! 2023. Plus the directors of this year's plays: Miriam Eusebio (Reprieve), Ben Rauch (Ditmas), Jordan Richards (Guellen Kansas), Epiphany Samuels (Socially Distant), Misti Wills (Missus Dobbs, American). Zoom became a survival tactic for theater during shutdown. Now, as we re-enter a world of live performance, TRU continues to explore the possibilities of the hybrid form of play-as-film. Does a play lose anything when it is filmed? And more importantly, what does it gain? Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel!
 
5/12 - A Path to Off-Broadway: A Case Study with Christin Eve Cato. In the room: Christin Eve Cato, actress and writer of the off-Broadway Sancocho, a co-production of WP Theater, The Latinx Playwrights Circle and The Sol Project; Adriana Gaviria, founding member & co-artistic director The Sol Fest, SolFest producer; Janio Marrero, Executive Director of Latinx Playwrights Circle. How many plays does it take to finally get a full production? And how many producers? We'll talk about Christin's early days as an actor member of The Bats at the Flea Theatre, her transition into writing, and the supportive communities that helped her develop as a writer. And how pages brought into a virtual workshop during shutdown blossomed into a great opportunity. Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel!
 
5/5 - One for All: Can a Solo Show Be for Everyone? In the room: 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"; Wendy-Lane Bailey, assistant artistic director and Omar Sangare, founder and artistic drector of United Solo Theatre Festival, the world's largest solo theater festival. What makes a successful solo show, and how do we expand beyond the aficionados and attract a wider audience? What does United Solo look for when programming an entire festival? Video not avaible for this Community Gathering. You may request an audio recording by emailing TRUStaff2@gmail.com
 
4/28 - Winning Ways: The True Meaning of Theater Awards. In the room: Bonnie Comley, president of the board of directors for The Drama League; David Gordon, president of Outer Critics Circle, managing editor of Theatermania; Aimee Todoroff, managing director of League of Independent Theater, presenter of the new Independent Theater Awards; Lauren Yarger, executive producer of the Outer Critics Circle Awards, former vice-president of the Drama Desk. We will examine the history of many of the current theater awards, including why each was created, the different philosophies behind them, and the differences in aesthetics for each. Attendees will learn what various awards are looking for, and what they value. Attendees will also learn about eligibility, and how different awards operate. Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel!
 
4/21 - How Theater Serves Community (continued): The Purpose of a Public Theater. In the room: Raymond Bobgan, artistic director of the Cleveland Public Theatre, founded in 1981; and Jim Frangione, artistic director of the Great Barrington Public Theatre, founded in 2019, a year before COVID. What makes a theater "public" and how do these two very different companies fulfill their mission and engage their communities? And what were the lessons of shutdown that they are taking into the future? Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel!
 
4/14 - Let's Talk About Readings (and Why a Producer Might Want to See Yours). In the room: Sharon Fallon/Sharon Fallon Productions, executive producer, general manager and consultant (Indecent, Beautiful Broadway, London & National Tour, Matilda The Musical, Lysistrata Jones) and Joey Monda, general manager and producer (Tony Award winner for A Strange Loop, The Inheritance and Hadestown). We'll talk about the best way to create an effective reading to interest a producer in your work. It all starts with your goals, and how the details depend on what you want to get out of it. How much do you need to spend to attract producers? How finished a product does a producer expect to see? Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel!
 
4/7 - How a Regional Theater Serves Community (and Won a Tony Award). In the room: Monica Weeks, director of operations and marketing for Crossroads Theatre in New Brunswick, NJ, recipient of the 1999 Tony Award¬ģ for Outstanding Regional Theatre in the United States, and considered one of the nation's most respected African American theaters. A look at the history, mission and future plans of a company committed to literary works that examine the African American experience so that it may be understood and appreciated by all people ... how they have offered opportunities to African artists for 33 years ... and how they created community and have built audience support over the last 33 years. Plus a look at their upcoming Genesis Festival.¬†Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel!
 
3/24 - The Journey from Actress to Producer: A How-to Guide. In the room: Stephanie Rosenberg, Tony Award-Winning producer (Moulin Rouge!, Anastasia, Matilda, On The Town and now Santa's Sing-A-Long); Cady Huffman (Tony winnng actress for The Producers, Tony nominee for The Will Rogers Follies, The Nance with Nathan Lane, off-Broadway Surface to Air; producer and star of the film Sunday on the Rocks and web series Cady Did); Paige Price, actress (Beauty and the Beast, Smokey Joe's Cafe, Saturday Night Fever) and producer of events, TV and theater. We all have many different talents, and sometimes we surprise ourselves with what we can do. Why do so many in our business move out of the spotlight and go behind-the-scenes? Three women talk about balancing art and business, and how acting and producing are fulfilling in different ways. Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel!
 
Friday 3/17 - The Hybrid Path to Success. Like Maybe a Film Festival? In the room: Andrea Andresakis, director and Ian Patrick Williams, writer of TRUSpeak '22 Slave Trade; Glynn Borders, director of and John Busser, writer of TRUSpeak '22 Obstacle; Cate Cammarata of Createtheater.com and the director of TRUSpeak '21 Change of Plan; Iben Cenholt, digital producer and technical consultant of TRUSpeak '21, '22 & '23 and film festival submitting editor of Obstacle. There are many ways to adapt a stage play to film. Pushed by the impossibility of live performance, our guests all found different creative ways to use the virtual medium for the TRU gala, and went on to successfully submit them to film festivals. So how do you do that? What are the steps, the costs, the resources you need? Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel!

Friday 3/10 - How Theater Serves Community, and Community Serves Theater. In the room: Emily Weiner, artistic director and Susan Goodwillie, managing director of Houses on the Moon Theater Company; and Gayle Waxenberg, founding executive director of NewYorkRep. Meet two New York City not-for-profits that are deeply dedicated to raising awareness, challenging social injustices and amplifying unheard voices. Learn the different ways they confront crucial issues and how audiences ‚Äď and community ‚Äď play a key role in their programming and identity. How has their mission evolved since their founding? How did they survive shutdown, and¬† are audiences back yet? And what more do they hope to accomplish in the future? (Due to an internet outage, we do not have the full recording of this important conversation. Dang!)

Friday 3/3 - A Free Introduction to the TRU Producer Development & Mentorship Program. In the room: Blair Russell, producer, developer, whose experience ranges from fringe festivals to Broadway (Tony nominee for Slave Play, Lizard Boy, Sweeney Todd off-Broadway); Martin Platt and David Elliott of Perry Street Theatricals general management, producers (Tony winners for Vanya & Sonia & Masha & Spike; also Dames at Sea revival, Bedlam's Hamlet/St. Joan, off-Broadway award winning In the Continuum and an oak tree; Lend Me a Tenor musical in London). Meet Blair, instructor for the Foundations Class, a basic but thorough overview of the major business aspects of producing. Meet Martin and David, who will lead the Master Class, an in-depth and personalized approach to producing focusing on your own project. The more you know about the business, the better your chances of success. Come hear how the TRU program can fill in the skill sets for aspiring producers, and how writers and other theater artists will also benefit from this program. Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel!

Friday¬†2/24 - How a Regional Theater Serves Its Community (and Survived Shutdown). In the room: Mike Sablone, producing artistic director of the Warehouse Theater in Greenville, South Carolina. Priding itself on being "more than just theater," this local institution ‚Äď the only AEA house for hundreds of miles ‚Äst selects productions with stories that challenge the status quo and yet are relevant to the Greenville audience. What goes into the play selection process? What are the themes that speak to its community? And what keeps the audiences coming back? Challenged by big expenses and one of the smallest venues in town, how does Mike overcome the challenges and keep this 50-year old theater going? (Did we mention their Upstate Shakespeare Festival?) Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel!
 
Friday 2/17 - Moving Musicals from Stage to Screen (and Vice Versa). In the room: David Armstrong, host, writer and producer of Broadway Nation¬†podcast, artistic director emeritus of¬†The 5th Avenue Theatre. A look at the history of movie musicals, the ones we love and the ones we have never forgiven. What's gained and what's lost in moving from stage to screen?¬† Musicals made for film and not based on a stage show are almost never trying to do what Broadway musicals are trying to do. What are the basic differences between the two mediums and why do some things need to be adjusted ‚Äď for better or worse ‚Äď for a film? Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel!
 

Friday 2/10 - Breaking Up the Boys' Club: Women Producers Take the Stage. In the room: Jane Dubin, producer (Is This A Room, Dana H.; The Prom, Tony winning The Norman Conquests, An American in Paris, Farinelli and the King, Bandstand, Peter and the Starcatcher), Tracey Knight Narang, playwright, producer (Tony award winning 2019 revival of Oklahoma!, Period Piece, for colored girls ...  revival, Be More Chill), Kim Vasquez, Grey Lady Entertainment (Without You, the Kite Runner, be More Chill, Broadway Bounty Hunter). Men have traditionally dominated the world of producing, whether on film or on stage. Are there still obstacles to overcome when a woman takes the lead? Even in regional theaters men have dominated. Is that changing? Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel!

Friday 2/3 - Music to Your Ears: More Opportunities for Development. In the room: Cate Cammarata, literary manager of TRU and founder of CreateTheater.com and host Bob Ost talk about upcoming programs for the development of new works for the musical theater. TRU continues offering a musical feedback lab with dramaturgical guidance and new financial support for writers, as well as looking forward to the live return of the TRU Voices Musicals Series. CreateTheater.com offers development programs and a New Works Festival. And most of all, they both offer communities you can be a part of. Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel!

Friday 1/27 - Something British Our Way Comes: Meet a Key UK Player. In the room: Louis Hartshorn of UK's Hartshorn-Hook Productions, a theater and live entertainment group of companies, producing world-class immersive as well as traditional theater and providing services to the live entertainment industry. Having produced over 100 productions since 2007, with an emphasis on immersive, site-specific and musical works, Louis Hartshorn is about to make his mark on the New York theater scene. Hear about his soon-to-open immersive Great Gatsby transferring from a successful run in London, as well as his company's efforts to create new off-Broadway venues, and new opportunities. He is joined by Leah Siesfeld, venue manager and associate general manager at Broadway Asia. Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel!

Friday 1/20 - How Shutdown Changed the TV and Film Industry. In the room: Louis Guerra, first assistant director; Jim Bigwood, film and TV producer. We'll look at the unexpected production challenges of shutdown, and the need to acquire new skills, as well as how shutdown pushed streaming into the spotlight and helped it gain greater significance and stature so that it now competes with theatrically released films in the major awards. We'll also include comparisons with the theater industry, and the differences in their business models, job descriptions and hierarchies. Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel!
 

Friday 1/13 - Finding Harmony: Resources for Musical Theater Professionals. In the room: Holly Reed, CEO at MusicalWriters.com and Reed Creative Group; Rebecca Lowrey, Producing Director at MusicalWriters.com and Accompany Musicals; and Jean-Paul Yovanoff, Founder of MTR/Musical Theatre Radio and co-founder of the Jill Edmund Virtual Theatre. Learn about the many opportunities and support offered by our guests, plus a "State of the Art" conversation about how musical theater is evolving, and what influences shutdown may have had on it. We'll touch on an increasing interest in new works from theater companies and actors, the role social media plays in the development process, and the advantages of being part of a community of artists. Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel!

 
Friday 1/6/23 - Going Global: Forging Partnerships in Foreign Markets. In the room: commercial NY producer Cody Lassen (How I Learned To Drive, A Commercial Jingle for Regina Comet, Indecent, Spring Awakening  revival); Australian producer Neil Gooding (Australian premieres of Gutenberg! The Musical!, and Dogfight and New York productions of Church and State, Handle with Care, The 39 Steps; Back to the Future in London); UK producer Chris Grady, director at CGO Institute, fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts. We're finally back to live performance here in New York. London and Australia have had their ups and downs, with reopening attempts long before ours. With two years of shutdown dominated by zoom, have we entered an era of greater global opportunity in theater? Our speakers have projects in development or production in the US, UK and Australia and are currently exploring opportunities in the Korean and Saudi markets and more. What are the possibilities and pitfalls of going global? Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel!
 
Friday 12/30 - Post-Pandemic Union Agreements: Why and How They Have Evolved. In the room: general manager and theatrical consultant Anthony Francavilla of Form Theatricals. A conversation about the revised union contracts and agreements, and how disagreements have led to revised agreements with AEA and SAG-AFTRA. Are there still advantages to using new media/virtual agreements for early stages of development? Can you use SAG/AFTRA agreements to develop a new work intended for stage? What are the recommended paths of development, and how did practices change during shutdown? Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel!
 
Friday 12/16 - A Tale of Two More Theaters: Goodspeed and La Mirada. In the room: Donna Lynn Hilton, artistic director of Goodspeed Musical Theatre in East Haddam, CT; and BT McNicholl, producing artistic director of La Mirada Performing Arts Center in La Mirada, CA. As we re-enter the world of live performance, we'll continue to check in with theater companies around the country. Donna Lynn and BT will tell us about the history of their companies as well as their responses to shutdown and their challenges and successes as they welcome back their audiences. Did the pandemic shift their mission in any way? How did they maintain their audience base without live performance? Did they venture into virtual? And what are their plans for programming going forward? Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel!

Friday 12/9 - One Word, Many Meanings: Licensing. In the room: Eric Goldman, entertainment attorney; Michael McDonough, assistant VP professional licensing at Theatrical Rights Worldwide; and Liz Ulmer, senior manager Stage Rights for Sony Music Publishing. Sony's relationship to theater/stage rights is different from a musical theater licensing company like TRW. Learn the distinctions as well as the various way licensing weaves through our business. How has the creation of Concord Music ‚Äď an aggregate that has acquired Samuel French, Tams Witmark, Rodgers & Hammerstein Theatricals and more ‚Äď impacted the licensing business? And has shutdown left its mark in any way? YouTube link to come. Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel!
 
Friday 12/2 - How BroadwayHD Anticipated Theater in a Pandemic (and Post-Pandemic) World. In the room: Bonnie Comley (Tony Award¬ģ-winner for¬†A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder, War Horse, Jay Johnson: The Two & Only) and Stewart Lane¬†(Tony Award¬ģ-winner 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), co-founders of BroadwayHD, the subscription-based streaming service for stage performances with a mission to promote and preserve live theater. Created in 2015, BroadwayHD started out by making Broadway calibre entertainment accessible and affordable to people everywhere. Is filmed theater still theater? How do you recreate the live experience with digital capture? Was this streaming service particularly well-positioned to serve a world in shutdown? And did two years of shutdown normalize the idea of filmed theater, especially for audiences reluctant to embrace the talking-heads-in-frames esthetic of Zoom performance?¬† Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel!

Friday 11/18 - A Tale of Two Theaters: Papermill Playhouse and the Village Theatre.
In the room: Jen Bender, associate artistic director of Papermill Playhouse; and Adam Immerwahr, artistic director of the Village Theatre in Issaquah and Everett Washington. Jen and Adam will talk about the effect of shutdown on their respective theater companies, both notable for their development of new works for the musical theater. Did the pandemic shift their mission in any way? How did they maintain their audience base without live performance? Did they venture into virtual? Do they still develop new shows? And what are their plans for programming going forward? Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel!

Friday 11/11 -
Adding Virtual to the Commercial Development Toolbox.¬†In the room:¬†Tom Polum, producer (The Toxic Avenger, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels), CEO and co-founder of StreamingMusicals.com¬†(Estella Scrooge, Mooseltoe, Emma, Marry Harry). Tom talks about¬†1660Vine ‚Äď a new musical. With an original script and score by a diverse group of 20-something songwriters (and choreography by Paula Abdul!), the show looks into the journey of life as a social media influencer. Learn about a hybrid development path that launches live and virtual versions of a show consecutively. Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel!
 
Friday 11/4 - Business, Not As Usual: New Ways of Looking at Your Career. In the room: Emileena Pedigo, CEO and Founder of The Show Goes On, building supportive environments to develop, incubate, showcase, and launch creative expression using #AnotherWay; and Michael Roderick, founder and CEO of Small Pond Enterprises, a consulting company and educational resource for solopreneurs, entrepreneurs, and intrapreneurs who want to accelerate the success of their business, with an emphasis on your Referable Brand. Meet two valued TRU alums who found their own paths to success by helping others find theirs. They’ll share their philosophies about art and business, how they developed their coaching methods and how they help artists and others to see the world in a new light and push past the roadblocks. What are some of their most gratifying success stories? Have their methods - and the world - changed since they started doing this work? How did they respond to shutdown, and has the pandemic taught them lessons they have brought into their work? Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel!
 
Friday 10/28 -  More Than Child's Play: TYA As an Educational and Cultural Tool. In the room: Khalia Davis (she/her), a multidisciplinary artist recently named Artistic Director of Bay Area Children’s Theatre; and Mara McEwin (she/her), Artistic Director, Co-Founder of Treehouse Shakers, as well as a writer and director. A passionate discussion about why Theater for Young Audiences is important, how it supports healthy growth and development of young audiences and shapes future generations of theater-goers. Mara and Khalia will share their thoughts about attracting and serving the youth market and the specifics of their companies' aesthetics, as well as efforts to be more inclusive in youth theater and all theater. We will also touch on their responses to COVID, how they survived shutdown and their current plans for coming back to live performance. Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel!
 
Friday 10/21 - From Self-Producing to Getting Produced: The Unique Journey of Stranger Sings! In the room: Nick Flatto, director; Jonathan Hogue, writer; Tony Award winners Sue Gilad and Larry Rogowsky, producers (previous credits: Moulin Rouge!, Angels in America, Jagged Little Pill, Company, Funny Girl, Disaster! The Musical; Significant Other). We met writer Jonathan Hogue last year when his parody musical was the first new musical to open after shutdown. Since then the show has won seven 2021 BroadwayWorld Off-Broadway Awards including ‚ÄėBest New Musical', and picked up a pair of Broadway producers to guide the show forward. How did Sue and Larry find their way to Hawkins, Indiana? How has the show developed and changed, and how have the originating artists adapted to the dynamic of having actual producers on board? What is the division of responsibility, now and going forward? Who negotiated the current off-Broadway production, as well as future productions in the UK and Australia? Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel!
 
Friday 10/14 - Zooming into Tomorrow: Advances in Our Go-To Virtual Platform. In the room: Tamra Pica, producer and casting director for Write Act Repertory, and co-producer of the TRU Writer-Producer Speed Dates and Audition Event. How TRU adapted our programs to virtual presentation, including adjustments we've been able to incorporate into our Speed Dates and our annual Audition Weekend. With an overview of the progress virtual platforms have made since the start of shutdown, and the things that Zoom now does better than any other platform. It's really come a long way! Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel!

Friday 10/7 ‚Äď Supporting the Arts, Artists and Self-Producers: The Players Theatre. In the room:¬†Michael Sgouros, composer, percussionist and owner of The Players Theatre; and¬†Brenda Bell, writer, producing artistic director Literally Alive Theatre and Be Bold Productions.¬† Michael and Brenda administer The Players Theatre Self Producing Artist Residency Program, dedicated to helping original plays and musicals move on to an Off Broadway or New York run, and also run the Players Theatre Short Play Festival which gives playwrights and composers the opportunity to present new original material in an informal setting. They even pivoted during the COVID theater shutdown by opening Bravo's Book Nook to offer writers an outlet for their published (or self-published) plays. Also learn about The Players Theatre Collaborative, dedicated to help preserve and promote the growth of the performing arts in and around Greenwich Village. Hear the many ways The Players Theatre might support your career and creative growth. Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel!

Friday 9/23 - The Road to Success: Meet Broadway & Beyond Theatricals. In the room: Victoria Lang and Ryan Bogner, founders and co-presidents of Broadway & Beyond Theatricals, dedicated to the distribution and creation of quality branded theatrical content for traditional and non-traditional venues throughout North America and beyond. And producers of the The Kite Runner on Broadway. We'll talk about increasing the longterm success of a project by building a tour into your producing plan, and the various models (and markets) that can be successful for different projects and different goals. How do you know where to launch a project? How do you know where your show might be most successful? And we'll also look at the path of The Kite Runner to Broadway and beyond. Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel!
 
Friday 9/16 - Growing and Running a Not-for-Profit Theater Company (part 2). In the room: Meredith Lucio, producing director of The Assembly Theater; Rob Neill, co-artistic & founding ensemble member of New York Neo-Futurists; Stephen Sunderlin, producing artistic director of the Vital Theater Company. The Assembly is a collective of multi-disciplinary performance artists who create "devised theater"; NY Neo-Futurists is a community of artists that fuses elements of poetry, game and performance art to create ever-changing theater and other artistic experiments; Vital Theatre Company is a community of artists dedicated to inspiring young audiences. Our guests will share stories about their company's founding. Has their mission, their infrastructure and their audience evolved over the years? How did they grow and maintain their companies? To what do they attribute their longevity? How did they adapt to the restraints of shutdown, what lessons were learned and what are their plans going forward? Click here 
 
Friday 9/9 - Which Comes First: The Cast Album or the Production? In the room: Joe Iconis, a musical theater writer and performer, recipient of an Ed Kleban Award, Jonathan Larson Award and Richard Rodgers Award. And the writer of the social media phenomenon Be More Chill. We’ll talk about how his show became an internet sensation, going from a modest production in Red Bank NJ to an album getting 350 million online streams and how that led to New York. Is this the new path of development for shows? How has Joe tapped into social media so successfully? How important is it to have the individual songs for sale in iTunes, played on Spotify, etc. to build a fan base?  Are music videos useful tools for promoting musicals to producers at non-profit theaters? Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel! 
 
Friday 9/2 - Solo but Never Alone: The 33 Year History of The Marsh. In the room: Stephanie Weisman, founder and artistic/executive director of The Marsh in San Francisco and Berkley, as well as Marsh Stream, a performance broadcast platform. Stephanie will share her vision, and her passion for solo performance, how it all started, and how buying a permanent space helped the development of her company. Did owning her own space change the way she did things? Did it bring in new challenges? We’ll talk about how she embraced virtual performance when the world required her to do so, consider the strengths and weaknesses of live versus virtual performance and whether solo performance is perhaps the performance style most suited to virtual presentation. Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel!

Friday 8/26 - TV or Not TV: Adapting Your Theater Skills to a Different Medium.
In the room: Brian Seth Hurst, a multi-disciplinary producer, writer and strategist, Chief Storyteller of StoryTech¬ģ Immersive;
Jason Kyle, co-founder of the¬†Creators Writing Room¬†and Head of Development at CWR Productions; and¬†Tracy Swedlow, CEO and co-founder of TMRW Corp, parent company of Interactive TV Today. Understanding the multi-platform TV industry and conceiving a property that expands beyond a single platform ‚Ķ the process of pitching content to the networks and other outlets, and how the CWR trains writers to do this: the process, pitfalls and politics ‚Ķwhat stage properties translate best to TV, and the differences in the markets for single TV ‚Äúfilms‚ÄĚ and the episodic¬†"series." Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel!

Friday 8/19 - That Was Then, This Is Now: Finding New Relevance in a Long-Running Hit. In the room: Jeff Whiting, director/choreographer and Kaya Littleturtle, native music and cultural advisor for The Lost Colony, theater's longest running outdoor symphonic drama, presented annually since 1937 in Manteo North Carolina near the original location of the lost Roanoke colony. Winner of a Tony Award in 2013, the show by Pulitzer Prize winner Paul Green was re-imagined and overhauled during shutdown, in 2021, with an eye towards paying greater respect to the indigenous elements of the production, as well as updating the production for a modern audience, adding technology and theatricality with puppets and 3d projections. What prompted the change after 83 years? How successful has the new team been in finding new relevance in a familiar piece? Were there compromises made? Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel!

Friday 8/12 - Harlem and Beyond: Amplifying the Voices of Diversity.  
In the room: legendary Harlem-born off-Broadway and Broadway producer Voza Rivers, a leading theater, music and events producer and documentary filmmaker, executive producer and founding member of the New Heritage Theatre Group (est. 1964), executive producer and co-founder of IMPACT Repertory Theatre (the Oscar-nominated youth division of New Heritage Theatre Group), chairman of the Harlem Arts Alliance (est. 2001) and vice-president of the Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce and founder of their signature Harlem Week program, now in its 48th year. A long view of the evolution of diversity in theater and the arts from a man who has been at the forefront for over 50 years. What are the major changes he has seen over the years? How successful are current efforts to infuse into our culture a greater embrace of diverse voices? What were some of the ways he supported the community through the pandemic? And what are his thoughts about the current recovery from shutdown and the future of our industry? Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel!
 
Friday 8/5 - A Stellar Conversation: The Power of Hybrid and Live Streaming for Theater. In the room: Jody Bell of Stellar Ticketing; and Madelyn Paquette, General Manager of The 24 Hour Plays which brings together creative communities to produce plays and musicals that are written, rehearsed and performed in 24 hours. Today, theater organizers are continuing to benefit from leaning into the endless potential of the hybrid stage. A response to the world-gone-virtual, Stellar was created to be an all-in-one shop for theatermakers, offering a user-friendly ticketing system plus a full-service platform usable for livestream, on-demand and live events. Join us for an illuminating conversation about how streaming can offer limitless possibilities for live entertainment professionals looking to expand their reach. Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel!
 
Friday 7/29 - Growing and Running a Not-for-Profit Theater Company: Metropolitan and Mint. In the room: Jonathan Bank, artistic director of the Mint Theater Company, and Alex Roe, producing artistic director of Metropolitan Playhouse. Our guests will talk about nearly 30 years of exploring the history of American theater and uncovering lost works, and how each company approached a similar mission. Has their mission, their infrastructure and their audience evolved over the years? How did they grow and maintain their companies? To what do they attribute their longevity? How did they adapt to the restraints of shutdown, what lessons were learned and what are their plans going forward? The path hasn't always been an easy one. We'll look at both the successes and the struggles. Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel!
 
Friday 7/22 - Politics and Art: Integrating the Political and the Personal (Part 2). In the room: Leslie Boghosian-Murphy, former candidate for NY City Council, Vice Chair of Comunity Board 4, serving on the  Arts & Education Committee; Harrison Marks, recent candidate for NY State Assembly, and son of commercial Broadway producers; and Aimee Todoroff, managing director for the League of Independent Theater. Can we ever be sure we are working for the greater good, especially in a current social climate of violently opposing factions? Are a politician’s well-meaning goals affected by the realities of politics? What prompted Marks to run for office, what issues are the ones he was hoping to address, and how will he stay engaged in the good fight going forward? Being from a theater family, what are the arts-related issues he hopes to address now as a politically aware New Yorker? How do all three feel about current intitiatives to bring back live theater?  With women's rights now shattered, voting rights obstructed and gay rights threatened, is censorship the next restriction on the horizon? What do we think the future holds for our country in general, and for the arts community in particular? Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel!
 
Friday 7/15 -¬† The Theater/Film Crossover: The Differences in Development and Financing.¬†In the room:¬†Gordon Firemark¬†of Firemark Entertainment Law and The Podcast Lawyer‚ĄĘ, LA-based attorney; and Lee Feldshon, New York based entertainment attorney. We'll look at the basic differences of copyright and ownership in film versus theater versus podcasts and new media ... the contrasts in contracts and budgets, including the film industry's multi-party deals involving distributors, banks, completion guarantors and more ... plus a close look at the evolving agreements for podcasts and new media presentations. Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel!¬†
 
Friday 7/8 - Has an Increase in Diverse Shows Attracted a More Diverse Audience? (Part 2) In the room: Toni Isreal, founder and CEO and Cherine Anderson, director of Marketing & Media Relations for RealEmN Productions, specializing in the promotion of multicultural film, television and theater projects with an emphasis on BIPOC voices. Recent credits: For Colored Girls..., Little Girl Blue, Hadestown, MJ, Paradise Square, Pass Over, Jagged Little Pill. With the goal of promoting arts and entertainment to multicultural communities and delivering experiences that encourage diverse audiences to tune in, RealEmN has been busy in this post-COVID season of BIPOC voices on Broadway. Will this season's conscious effort to bring more diverse voices to the stage have a lasting effect? Has it changed the makeup of the commercial Broadway audience? Do this year's Tony Awards indicate a genuine step forward for diversity and inclusion? Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel!

Friday 7/1 - A Hybrid New World Requires a Hybrid-Thinking Platform: Meet the IFT Network. In the room: Nate Raven, Creative Director of Development, Writing Room Director, Script Doctor; Melanie Magri, Managing Director; and Jay Cruz, CEO, Founder and Executive Producer of the IFT Network, a platform dedicated to independent filmmakers and theater producers. Discover a complete creative ecosystem designed to build community and empower creators through revenue sharing and a suite of creative services, including pitch deck design and other creative marketing services, actor and director reels, film editing, production consultation, script doctoring. Plus free weekly online readings in The Writing Room, a safe space for developing your new work. Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel!

Friday 6/24 - Redefining Yourself in a Pandemic (and Supporting Theater in a Changing Environment). In the room: Chad Austin, director, choreographer, Artistic Director of Abingdon Theatre and principal in The Twenty Nine Hour Venture which provides an artistic space for writers to hear their work; JV Mercanti, director, principal in The Twenty Nine Hour Venture; James Rocco, director, choreographer, former Producing Artistic Director of the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, founder of Thirty Saints Productions (Come from Away, Magic Mike, creator of The Broadway Songbook Series) and the newly formed Thirty Saints Music Licensing which facilitates music clearances for stage shows. What prompted a pivot for these successful theater directors, and how can they support you in your future success? Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel!

Friday 6/17 - From Stage Play to Podcast to Audio Storytelling Entry at the Tribeca Film Festival. In the room: Andre Degas, playwright (The House of Charity stage play; The Kitchen TV drama on PBS; Day by Day podcast adaptation of a play); and Sue Zizza, multi award-winning producer-director-writer of SueMedia Productions and Radio Waves Studios. What it took to migrate a play by Degas from the stage to an Audio podcast, and how SueMedia Productions guided the process. We will look at the challenges of financing as well as distributing a new work, and the collaboration process between writer, director and producer in this medium. We will include clips of Day by Day, the podcast currently in The Tribeca Film Festival. Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel!

Friday 6/10 - Politics and Art: Integrating the Political and the Personal. In the room: Guy Yedwab,  Board President and Aimee Todoroff, managing director for the League of Independent Theater. How do we form our political views, as artists as well as people? Can we ever know when we are working for the greater good, especially in a current social climate of violently opposing factions? Are a politician’s well-meaning goals affected by the realities of politics? Even though support for the arts in our country is wanting, do the arts still play an effective role in change? How can we as artists make a difference? We will also touch on more pragmatic issues such as current efforts to revitalize live theater. Video not available, but you can click here to subscribe to our channel and check out 100 Community Gatherings from the last 2 years.

Friday 6/3 - NFT (Non-Fungible Tokens): The Newest Revenue Stream for Theater. In the room: Eric Neal, founder of Third Act, the first-of-its-kind NFT marketplace for the theater community. Through NFT creation and issuance using year's the Hedera Token Service, productions can offer theatre-goers the next generation of authentic digital merchandise. Learn what NFT is, how it can range from one-of-a-kind collectibles to limited editions; what NFTs can offer a show in terms of marketing and community engagement; and how technology tracks the provenance of each item to assure authenticity. Though it sounds like an abstract concept, it actually has very practical applications. Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel!

Friday 5/27 - Will Streaming Continue to be a Part of the "Normal" Theater Experience? In the room: producer/videographer Jeremy Handelman of Off the Leash Productions; commercial producer Cody Lassen (How I Learned to Drive revival, Thoughts of a Colored Man, Tootsie, What the Constitution Means to Me, Indecent, Significant Other, Spring Awakening revival); and Gio Messale, head of content and producer specializing in Production, Acquisitions and Programming at BroadwayHD theatrical streaming platform. We'll look at using technology in creative ways to shake up "business as usual" in theater and better serve audiences; and consider current tastes and trends in the entertainment industry and how to tap into a post-shutdown consumer culture. Should we presume extensive Zoom fatigue by now, or has online medium reshaped the consumer experience? Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel!

Friday 5/20 - A Conversation with Literary Agents: How Shutdown Has Changed the Business. In the room: Kate Bussert/Bret Adams Ltd., Bonnie Davis/Bret Adams Ltd., Katie Gamelli/Paladin Artists and Lucy Powis/A3 Artists Agency. The effect of the shutdown on the role of literary agents: how contracts have changed, and the way of doing business in general has evolved. Will some of the changes remain even as live theater is reopening? Has the shutdown affected the development of new works, and has the role of an agent shifted in any way? Are opportunities for new works to flourish still limited, or simply different? Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel!

Friday 5/13 - You've Never Heard Anything Like It: The Developmental Journey of Islander. In the room: producer James Simon (Islander, Pippin revival, Roof of the World, The Velocity of Autumn, Bells Are Ringing revival; limited partner in Rent, Vanya & Sonya & Masha & Spike, Little Women); Molly Morris, producer (Islander, Come from Away, Diana, My Life Is a Musical); producer-general manager Martin Platt of Pemberley Perry www.pemberleyperry.com (Woman in Black, Islander, The Last Ship, Everybody's Talking about Jamie, Vanya Sonia Masha and Spike, Dames at Sea, Sarafina!). Learn how a small two-person musical took on technology to create a soundscape like no other, and was named Edinburgh Fringe's Best Musical by Musical Theater Review. Just before COVID hit. So the journey to off-Broadway, never an easy one, was complicated by shutdown. How did it finally find its way to a newly renovated theater on 46th Street? Why was that space the best choice for this show, and what were the pluses and minuses of being the first show there? In what ways, if any, was this small Edinburgh show rethought for New York? Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel!

Friday 5/6 - Has an Increase in Diverse Shows Attracted a More Diverse Audience? In the room: Marcia Pendelton, founder and president of Walk Tall Girl Productions, a boutique marketing, audience development and group sales agency for the performing arts with a special emphasis placed on the theater. Recent credits: MJ, Thoughts of a Colored Man, Lackawanna Blues and Skeleton Crew. In addition her company provided marketing services for Choir Boy, Saint Joan, August Wilson’s Jitney, and Sweat as well as significant group sales support for Tina: The Tina Turner Musical and Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of The Temptations. The good news: the current season has shown a significant increase in works by black writers produced by more diverse teams. The bad news: this long-awaited uptick happened during the reluctant post-pandemic reopening of theater. Will this conscious effort to bring more diverse voices to the stage have a lasting effect? Has it changed the makeup of the commercial Broadway audience? Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel!

Friday 4/29 - Thinking in Zoom: Adjusting to (and Conquering) a Hybrid Medium. In the room: writer David Beardsley (Every Creeping Thing), writer John Busser (Obstacle), writer James McLindon (The First Anti-Vaxxers), writer Kristy Thomaswriter (Only Black), writer Ian Patrick Williams (Slave Trade). A zoom reading can be as simple as talking heads in frames, but what do you do when you need to generate the sense of a real production wth interaction and production values, and still adhere to the restrictions of shutdown? Though we're coming back to live performance, in order to use the Theatre Authority Benefit Agreement, TRUSpeak still needed to be shot virtually with actors in isolation. What happens to a play conceived for stage when it has to be rethought for virtual presentation? What did the writers learn, and what might they take with them into the future? What was it like having to think in film terms? What was lost, what was gained? Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel!

Friday 4/22 - Politics and Art: Current Efforts to Revitalize Live Performance in New York. In the room: Erik Bottcher, councilperson for New York City's 3rd district (Chelsea, Hell’s Kitchen, Greenwich Village, West SoHo, Hudson Square, Times Square, Garment District, Flatiron, Upper West Side); Aimee Todoroff, >managing director League of Independent Theater.  A followup to the conversation we had with Erik last fall. While government support for the arts is a given in many countries, why has America been slow to actively support our cultural voice? This touchstone of national identity is rarely even mentioned in political speeches about key issues that affect our country. Is it inevitable that other social issues be prioritized over the struggle of artists? In our educational system, why do sports outperform the arts in the arena of funding? Currently what is New York doing to support the return of theater and what are the most effective channels to go through to initiate necessary changes? And how are a politician’s well-meaning goals affected by the realities of the political world? We pose these questions to our honored guests as we hope to raise awareness of the needs of both the independent and commercial theater communities. Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel!

Friday 4/15 - Reaching Across: Revisiting the Post-Pandemic London Theater Scene.In the room: Chris Grady, producer, director at CGO Institute, fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts, staunch networker; James Steel, a Scottish born commercial producer (Ushers) and specialist in ticketing and sales in the West End; and Megan Schadler, a New York based writer and producer exploring trans-National productions and producing for companies in New York and the UK, co-founder of The Fifth Producer multi-national collective. A follow-up to last October's conversation with Chris and Megan, a reality check on the UK scene and explorations of needs/hopes for the future. We'll also hear about current initiatives to foster stronger ties among producers, with a focus on international collaborations that generate opportunities to find what connects us all as human beings. Plus a dive into the differences in producing here in US versus UK, and the variables in reopening theater. Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel!

Friday 4/8 - Virtual Teamwork: "TRUSpeak" and the Director/Technologist Collaboration.In the room: director Andrea Andresakis (Slave Trade), director Glynn Borders (Obstacle), TRUSpeak technical director Iben Cenholt, editor Joe Nelms (Slave Trade), technologist Carley Santori (The First Anti-Vaxxers, Slave Trade). In transitioning from live performance to virtual for our TRUSpeak: Hear Our Voices! gala, TRU made a choice to bring on technical collaborators from day one when possible. We'll talk about the value of a director of photography and the absolute necessity for a creative editor, the advantages of bring them on early, what each does and how a director's vision is guided and often inspired by a tech-savvy collaborator. Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel!

Friday 4/1 - Success by Association: The Advantages of APAP for Getting Seen and Getting Booked. In the room: Sue Noseworthy, Director of Membership of Association of Performing Arts Professionals (APAP), and Mister Mojo of Mojo and the Bayou Gypsies. First, a basic overview of APAP as an association, and how they serve members with a specific focus on the APAP/NYC conference’s showcases and EXPO hall, plus their new colleagues program and information about joining. Then Mister Mojo will speak about smart ways to use this annual conference for extending your artistic reach, his personal experience as an artist member of APAP, and advice for others who are looking to join APAP and get on the radar of bookers around the country. Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel!

Friday 3/25 - Maximizing Your Visibility on Social Media. In the room: Benita Samuels, Linked In subject matter expert with The Visibility Solutions Group. Understanding of LinkedIn and social media platforms is the start, but the conversation will expand into broader marketing, strategy and business-driving initiatives for solopreneurs, including artists. Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel!

Friday 3/18 - Going Off Script: Engaging an Audience with "Participatory" Works.¬†In the room: Brisa Areli Mu√Īoz, theater director, cultural worker, and arts educator whose expertise lies in devising original participatory works, Artistic Director of the New York City Department of Education‚Äôs All-City Theatre, and the new artistic director of Musical Theatre Factory; and Pablo Hernandez Basulto, manager of community impact for Public Works at The Public Theater. Non-traditional modes of creating theater have had a long proud history, and yet are not understood ‚Äď or are misunderstood ‚Äď by many theater professionals today. Now that we are returning to a post-COVID world of live performance, and we have had a year and a half to reconsider our priorities and our art, perhaps this is a good time to explore creative options. Come hear practitioners of participatory theater talk about their passion and their methods of expression that engage audiences.Click hereto watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel!

Friday 3/11 - Going Places: Touring Opportunities and Support for Artists. In the room: Robyn Busch, program officer/International at Mid Atlantic Arts, nurturing and funding the creation and presentation of diverse artistic expression and connecting people to meaningful arts experiences within our region and beyond. Known for their work in international cultural exchange, and model programs in performing arts touring. With touring solo artists Valerie David (The Pink Hulk) and Heather Massie (Hedy! The Life and Inventions of Hedy Lamar). Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel!

Friday 3/4 - How eXtended Reality (XR) Provides Creative New Opportunities for Theater. And Vice Versa. In the room: Eric Roffman, futurist, producer/publisher of QPORIT, creator of an award winning multimedia game, founder of The American Film Magazine, PhD (theoretical physics), and pioneer of the Internet and XR. Eric will explain the terms and the timeline for the interaction of XR with theater, separate the real from the hype and the branding, and clarify the sometimes hazy confusion that conceals a simple fact: digital technology is doubling in power and halving in size and cost every few years, affecting everything, including Theater. Eric will discuss how much XR can offer theater, and why Theater, and those who create it, may have even more to contribute to XR. Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel!

Friday 02/25 - Making Musicals Happen, 2: Connecting Writers with Production Opportunities. In the room: Tim Jerome, president of Main Street Musicals which promotes development opportunities for original stage musicals throughout regional America; and John Sparks, founding director of NMI (NewMusicalsInc) which is working with Shanghai Grand Theatre and Beijing Damai Culture of Alibaba to nurture writers and their writing in an ambitious plan to create stageable new works of musical theatre in China. Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel!

Friday 02/18 - Making Musicals Happen, 1: Support During Early Development. In the room: Joe Barros, artistic director of NY Theatre Barn which is focused on the development of culture shifting musicals during incubation; Aaron Salley, president and managing director of Musical Theatre Factory, an inclusive community wholly dedicated to the developmental process of innovative new musicals by early-career artists. Learn about the development process used in each of these organizations, how to become a part of it and what they look for when they consider bringing in and/or showcasing new shows. 

Friday 02/11 - Politics and the Arts: Updates on Initiatives to Support the Return of Live Theater. In the room:¬†Aimee Todoroff, managing director of the League of Independent Theater, and Carla Hoke-Miller,¬†Director of Theatre Programs and Partnerships for the Mayor‚Äôs Office of Media and Entertainment. What is New York doing to support the return of theater? Is it working? Is it enough? What else should we ask for, and what are the most effective channels to go through to initiate necessary changes? We'll look at city agencies, plus take a broader look at ways in which theater artists ‚Äď and all artists ‚Äď can be proactive throughout the country. Click here to watch the YouTube video - or click here to subscribe to our channel!

Friday 02/04 - The National New Play Network and How It Helps Producers As Well As Writers.¬†In the room:¬†Anne Morgan, program director for NNPN and¬†Stephen Kaplan, playwright. Learn about the many programs and services NNPN provides for our industry, including the Rolling World Premiere initiative and the New Play Exchange¬ģ, a cloud-based script database, enhanced with a robust search-and-filter mechanism, crowd-sourced recommendations of plays, and personal script and coverage information storage, plus the connectivity of a social networking site. These services have helped the development of new work: writers have a credible site for posting their work, and producers and theater companies can look for works of interest. Anne and Stephen will talk about Stephen's upcoming Rolling World Premiere and how that came about as well as the role of NPX in connecting writers and producers. Click here to watch the YouTube video - subscribe to our channel!

Friday 01/28/22 - Is the Great White Way Becoming a Little Less White? In the room: Adam Hyndman, board member and Tara Moses, advisory board member of Broadway for Racial Justice, fighting for greater equity and inclusion by providing immediate resources, assistance, and amplification for BIPOC in the Broadway and theatrical community at-large. Though its nickname referred to the bright lights on its marquees, intentional or not, white privilege and perspective have shaped Broadway and our business from its very beginnings. On June 8, 2020, the pandemic already raging, the BIPOC proclamation "We See You, White American Theater" challenged theater to acknowledge the problem and address it. The current commercial season boasts 7 plays by BIPOC writers, and regional theaters have announced their most diverse seasons to date. Is it enough? And is our current COVID world stifling progress? Click here to watch the YouTube video - subscribe to our channel!

Friday 01/21/22 - What I Did Last Summer: How Producer Jim Kierstead Kept Productive in a Pandemic. In the room: Jim Kierstead (Tony winner for Hadestown, Kinky Boots and Pippin; plus Ain't Too Proud, The Inheritance, Waitress) talks about moving his energies into the virtual world with Broadway Virtual, a new company specializing in streamed and video content, as well as educational opportunities to help artists master the new technologies. He'll also share his journey balancing the two sides of his ambitions: playwrighting and producing. Plus his plans for coming back to live performance. Click here to watch the YouTube video - subscribe to our channel!

Friday 01/14/22 - Keeping Virtual in Our Vocabulary: Integrating What We've Learned As We Return to Live Performance. In the Room: Kathryn Jones, leader and Innovator in live-streaming, virtual fundraising and social-first content, founder of Collective Agency. Two years in shutdown has pushed us to expand our creative skill set. We'll look at the virtual tools that can still serve us going forward, and how they can contribute to our future success in theater, from livestreaming as a supplementary revenue stream to online fundraising to new ways to approach marketing and increase awareness of our product. CLICK HERE to watch the YouTube video - subscribe to our channel!

Friday 01/07/22 - 50 Years of Leadership: A Conversation with Producer/Theater Owner Eric Krebs. In the room: entrepreneur, producer, writer and groundbreaking theater manager and owner Eric Krebs talks of a dedicated life in New York theater. Co-founder of the George Street Playhouse, and manager for years of the John Houseman and Douglas Fairbanks Theatres, Eric has been a part of the evolution of off-Broadway, through the creation of Theatre Row to running several of his own theater spaces including the current Theatre 555 on West 42nd Street. CLICK HERE to watch the YouTube video - subscribe to our channel!