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TRU Producer Development & Mentorship Program (PDMP)
Description




ONGOING TRAINING FOR SERIOUS PRODUCERS AND SELF-PRODUCING ARTISTS 
WE ARE OFFERING OUR FALL 2021 SEMESTER VIRTUALLY, SUBMISSIONS NOW OPEN.
FOUNDATIONS CLASS TO START October 26th, and meet once a month - Deadline to apply extended!
MASTER CLASS TO START Monday 9/20, and meet twice a month (see schedule below) - submissions now closed
*exact date subject to change - note this is a schedule change from what was previously announced

Classes will be held virtually so students from beyond the New York area may continue to attend virtually.

 

FOUNDATIONS is open to everyone interested in producing, incuding artists who are smart enough to want to know about the business; MASTER CLASS is open for graduates of the Foundations Class, with limited openings for people who have taken previous TRU workshops, or the Commercial Theatre Institute 14-week course, or a combination of other CTI courses. To request an application for Master Class, or to inquire about the program, email TRUMentor@gmail.com.

Download Foundations (Basic Class) application here: PDMP.Intake.Form2021-22 - fill out and email to TRUMentor@gmail.com (be sure to add your name to the start of the document name when you send it). Also send a resume emphasizing your theater and business experience.

NEW! An intermediate FOUNDATIONS PLUS option - our basic instructional class with private consultations with the program directors focused on individual projects.

Click here to pay for your PDMP upgrade, if accepted.

Finances a concern? Payment plans can be arranged, and limited financial aid available. Click here for our Scholarship Application (a limited number of partial scholarships are available). Email TRUMentor@gmail.com with questions.

Click here for Foundations (Basic) Class curriculum and schedule.
   Classes on Tuesday nights, once a month for 9 months, starting end of October, 6:30 to 9:30pm
Click here for Master Class curriculum and schedule.
   Classes on Monday nights, twice a month, 5:30pm to 8pm

Theater Resources Unlimited (TRU) Producer Development & Mentorship Program, created in collaboration with 4-time Tony winning producer Cheryl Wiesenfeld (The Heidi Chronicles, Rocky, All the Way, The Gershwin's Porgy & Bess, Vanya & Sonya & Masha & Spike, Elaine Stritch: At Liberty, The Exonerated) offers ongoing support and education for producers at all levels of experience. The program consists of two levels:

The 2021 Fall FOUNDATIONS CLASS will be led by producer/consultant/former general manager R. Erin Craig of La Vie Productions LLC (Austen's Pride, Mr Rickey Calls a Meeting, Into the Wild, In the Heights, Irena's Vow, Velocity of Autumn, High Fidelity, Stalking the Bogeyman, Beatsville, Right Before I Go) with co-director, producer Randy Donaldson (American Son, The Pee-Wee Herman Show, The Scottsboro Boys).  

The 2021 Fall MASTER CLASS for Basic PDMP graduates and other eligible candidates will be led by Broadway producer Jane Dubin (The Prom, Tony winning The Norman ConquestsFarinelli and the King, BandstandPeter and the Starcatcher and An American in Paris; plus Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey, The 39 Steps, Ann) and Jennifer Isaacson, producer (Moulin Rouge!, An American in Paris, Hedwig and the Angry Inch starring Neil Patrick Harris, ANN, The Norman Conquests; off-Broadway The 39 Steps, Beebo Brinker Chronicles).

Foundations Price: $295 for new members, $245 for returning members and students (ID required). The program will meet one evening a month from October through June (schedule to be confirmed) - that's 9 sessions ($29.50 per session). You must also be a paid member of TRU, currently $95/year.

Master Class Price: $425 for new members. Limited to 10 full participants. (Adjunct memberships available - you attend all sessions on a non-participating auditor basis, $295.)
Meets twice a month from September 20th thru January 10th (schedule subject to change) – 9 sessions (less than $50 per session). You must also be a paid member of TRU, currently $95/year.

Candidates may be asked to interview on Zoom. 

 IF YOU HAVE BEEN ACCEPTED INTO THE PROGRAM, YOU MAY PAY FOR IT HERE. 

Foundations PDMP Upgrade, first time mentorship member, $295
(you must also be a current paid TRU member and accepted into this program)
click this button: 


Foundations Plus - our new intermediate program, $345
(you must also be a current paid TRU member and accepted into this program)
click this button:


Foundations PDMP Upgrade, returning mentorship member or student, $245 
(you must also be a current paid TRU member and accepted into this program, and you have taken Foundations before)
click this button: 


PDMP Master Class Upgrade – participating level, $425
(you must also be a current paid TRU member and accepted into this program)
click this button: 


PDMP Master Class Upgrade - returning member, $375
(you must also be a current TRU member and accepted into this program, and you have taken Master Class before)
click this button:


PDMP Master Class Upgrade - adjunct/auditor level, $325 
(you must also be a current TRU member and accepted into this program)
click this button: 


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SUBMISSIONS NOW OPEN FOR 2021-22 PDMP FOUNDATIONS CLASS
meeting monthly starting end of October

Overview: Professional Producers will present new plays and musicals that are actively in development.  PDMP Members will choose a first and second choice of the show they would like to work on in a hypothetical ongoing classroom exercise. Those choosing the same material will be put into groups and formulate a development plan that will be informed by the bi-monthly panels. At the final session in June, Groups will present their development plan to a panel of the Class Directors and other producers. Members with their own projects in development may be able to use those as their class project, subject to approval.

Mentorships: Members shall have the right to request a one-on-one mentorship with one of the Program Directors and will have access to mentorships as a group with industry professionals who participate on the panels. 

• Special bi-monthly interactive seminars with various topics of discussion. Guest speakers are all respected theater professionals.

• Curriculum designed to cover all major aspects of producing, step by step, from project selection to legal issues to budgets to marketing. Seminars will be geared to offer members the information needed to put together a solid business plan for their own project.

• At the end of 9 months, all members will present their business plan for evaluation by the program directors and invited guest professionals. One team will be awarded automatic acceptance into PDMP Master Class for up to 2 members, with up to a $400 scholarship. In addition, members may submit a proposal for a work they are producing on their own, and one individual project will be selected and given an endowment of $500 (The "Randall Wreghitt TRU Producer Award," subject to availability of funding) for a developmental table read with industry talkback, or other developmental needs.

• The opportunity for goal-oriented one-on-one mentorships and consultations between industry pros and aspiring producers, if requested by you. Not everyone who is accepted into the program will receive a 3-month mentorship, though every effort will be made to place everyone who asks in meaningful consultations to help guide them in development.

• All career producer members are eligible for one-on-one mentorships upon request, after program review and member’s goals are clarified. If you are placed in a mentorship - if you have a specific project and need - you meet with your mentor once a month for three months; the rest is follow up phone calls or emails. If you have specific areas that you want to explore and want a one-time consultation with a producer, general manager, lawyer or other theater professional, we set that up for you. But you have to email and request it.

• All SPA (Self-Producing Artist) members are eligible for one-time consultations (there can be multiple consultations). A one-on-one mentorship is available only when the PDMP Directors feel the SPA member has clarified a qualified need for a mentorship, and after program review.

• Occasional hands-on internships with theater professionals, as available.

PDMP FOUNDATIONS CURRICULUM (Spring schedule still being finalized)
(classes will meet on Zoom one Tuesday evening each month, 6:30-9:30pm;
curriculum subject to change, date determined by student availability)

Week 1 - Introduction and Overview of the Program: Clarifying Goals.
Week 2 - How to choose a Project. Developing a Strategy. Developmental Steps. Live vs Virtual?

Week 3 - Project Pitches. Meet Mentor producers and hear about their projects.
Week 4 - General Manager - who? when? why? what? The producer-general manager relationship.

Week 5 - Budgets, and Understanding What Things Cost.
Week 6 - Putting Together Your Creative and Production Teams. Who does what. 

Week 7 - Introduction to Legal
Week 8 - Marketing, Advertising, Publicity. Special Interest Groups. Identifying Your Audience and Finding the Market for Your Project.

Week 9 - Raising money. Investor relations. NFP vs Commercial opportunities.
Week 10 - Final Presentation: "pitches" to an invited panel of guests (will run the full 3 hrs of class).

To request an application, or to inquire about the program, email TRUMentor@gmail.com or download PDMP.Intake.Form2021-22, fill out and email to TRUMentor@gmail.com (be sure to add your name to the document name when you send it). Include a resume, please, focusing on your business as well as theater experience.

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SUBMISSIONS NOW OPEN FOR SPRING MASTER CLASS
Meeting bi-monthly on Monday nights, 5:30 to 8:00

PDMP MASTER CLASS:  The 2021-22 program directors are Broadway producers Jane Dubin and Jennifer Isaacson. TRU Members that have completed the PDMP Foundations Class may apply for the PDMP Master Class, though limited exceptions may be made if you have a high level of producing experience.  We will also accept applications from those who have taken other TRU Boot Camp workshops as well as the Commercial Theatre Institute 14-week course, or at least two other CTI courses other than the Weekend Intensive. The Class will be comprised of no more than 10 participants.  Non-participating Adjunct Members may also be accepted in the class. The Program Directors will alternate in working with participants on individual projects they are developing.

Students must have a specific project they are moving towards production, orsome form of realization.  Self-producing artists will be considered if you are working on a specific project. 

Presentations

Students will be responsible for 3 different presentations during the Course: 
1.  Presenting a project of a classmate who in turn will present your project (10 minutes).
2. A “hot topic” talk related to the theater world of student’s choosing (5 minutes).
3. Final presentation of student’s project to a panel of theater professionals (10 minutes). 

Master Class participants shall have the right but not the obligation to attend the PDMP Foundations Panels at no additional cost. 

MASTER CLASS CURRICULUM (Fall schedule below - tentative, still being finalized)
(Monday nights, 5:30 to 8:00pm - subject to change based on the specific needs of our 10-12 members)
 

September 20 – Introduction and Overview of Class.  Actionable objectives for students.  Review of projects undertaken by students focusing on Why Am I Producing This?  And Why Now. 

October 4 – Getting Started: Who Does What. A look at potential issues that need to be considered at early stages of development, as well as what you need before approaching prospective investors. This will be a discussion with an attorney and general manager incorporating your “actionable objectives” as a jumping off point for discussion. Topics for discussion will include options, entity formation, underlying rights, contracts, not-for-profit partnerships, regional partnerships, non-traditional development steps, and when and how to hire an attorney and general manager. 

October 18 – Development Paths.  Where does your show go next? A discussion of readings, workshops, and developmental productions. Enhancement and Relationships with not-for-profit theaters.  Online/virtual performances. 

November 1 – Budgets and What Things Cost. An in-depth discussion of the producer-general manager relationship and an exploration of costs of translating your script to the stage.   

November 15 – Money, Money, Money. Raising Money, Investor Cultivation and Incentives. Finding and talking to investors. Different strategies for different points in the process: front money, offerings, and the capital raising process. Exploring the differences between funding a commercial and not-for-profit production.  

November 22* – Pitching: Speaking Persuasively about Your Project. A discussion of issues involved with different types of pitches. Students will have the opportunity to practice, receive feedback, and refine your elevator pitch.

December 6 – Selling Your Show - Marketing/Press/Advertising. How to identify your audience and market, including ways of determining commercial viability, the importance of timing, and knowing when to pull the plug or pivot.  

December 20 – Downstream Sources of Revenue. An exploration of exploiting the rights after initial production, including licensing, merchandise, cast recording, touring, and subsidiary rights.

January 10 – Presentations of completed project pitches.

*change in usual class frequency

We plan to have a repeat of the above class schedule in the spring, March thru July.
 
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WHAT GRADUATES HAVE SAID:

"I wanted to let you how much I enjoyed Master class this year. It was a very special group of amazing people. I felt we all grew a lot together. I have grown to love each of my classmates. I haven’t felt that in years past. I call it a blessing. Rachel and Jane were awesome. Such bright spirits. So supportive. Thank you for making it happen." ~Jessica Sherr

"I wanted to take a moment to personally thank [Jane Dubin and Van Dean] for your wisdom and guidance, and especially for your generosity of time, and your commitment to supporting new generations of producers, and showing them it really is possible to play in this arena and make some wonderful things happen. You know, back when I first started investigating producing, I felt so out of my league, so small and insignificant, and ignorant. But thanks to people like you both, and Bob and Gary, and so many other producers I've met through TRU, I feel part of a very kind family. And that it's ok to not know everything. But it is remarkable to me how much I've learned so far." ~ Frank Avellino

"I can't tell you how smart you are to have conceived PDMP. It's the best learning experience in theater. Martin, Dave and Jana are incredibly helpful. Thank you." ~Toni Hart

"I wanted to reach out and thank you so much for being my mentors for the TRU 2015/2016 Master Class. I don't think I realized how much you taught me until I presented my business plan at the last session. It was the Master Class application that motivated me to commit to my very first project! Ten months later I've navigated from option agreements to hiring a director to staging a successful reading with four Tony-nominated actors! Having access to the caliber of theater professionals you brought us was invaluable. Having mentors to talk to and listen to in class, and forming relationships with my other theater mates has been invaluable....  I would recommend this program to anyone who wants to learn producing, because you learn by doing."~ Wendy Leopold

"Since joining TRU and participating in PDMP for four years, I have learned a great deal and seen movement in our organization. We have expanded our season to include three productions a year and theater camp in addition to our fundraiser.  We have built a website and are now in the process of producing a marketing 3 minute film about Polaris.  Finally, we have expanded our enrollment enough to keep us in business.  We are on our way. While it is true we haven't completely reached our goals and there is much work to be done still, it is also true that we have a path to achieve our goals.  We are in a very different place from where we were when you and I first met." ~LeCee Johnson, Polaris Productions

"Through TRU's commercial producer training program I was able to work on my first Broadway show as a producer, be mentored by a multi Tony awarded producer and work with a well known and highly respected dramaturge/creative consultant from MTC on my current musical project." ~Jayne Ackley Lynch

"As an actor/playwright I finally found a supportive program that not only helped me achieve my goals but taught me the business of the business.  Thanks to TRU, I now have a concrete knowledge of how the business of theater works and a supportive community to turn to when I need advice!" ~T. Cat Ford 

 

Faculty
  • R. ERIN CRAIG/La Vie Productions LLC

    has been nurturing and developing new theatrical, film and musical artists and projects through their work as a General Manager, Production Manager, Educator, Consultant, Executive Producer and Producer. Current projects include: Austen's PrideMr. Rickey Calls a Meeting, Beatsville, Academy, Village of Vale, Into The Wild, Right Before I Go. Past projects include: The Exonerated (OB) , In The Heights (OB, Bdwy), High Fidelity (pre-Bdwy, Broadway),  Irena's Vow (Broadway), Easter Mysteries (live film), Himself and Nora (OB) Liberty: A Monumental Musical (development, OB), Stalking the Bogeyman (OB), Velocity of Autumn (Broadway), How We Got Away With It (film); and with Houses On The Moon Theatre Company, The Assignment, DeNovo, The Santa Closet and gUN COUNTRY. Member: The Broadway League, The Off-Broadway League, EdTA, Theater Resources Unlimited (TRU); and a proud board member of Houses On The Moon Theater Company. Erin is the new Producing Director for ACT of Connecticut (actofct.org). LaVieProductions.com 
  • RANDY DONALDSON

    has produced shows both on Broadway and Off-Broadway, as well as music videos and film. Broadway productions include American Son starring Kerry Washington, the critically acclaimed The Scottsboro Boys (nominated for 12 Tony Awards), The Pee Wee Herman Show; off Broadway credits include One Funny Mother; I’m Not Crazy!, Triassic Parq and Falling For Eve. Randy has a BFA in Theater from Webster University and has performed in 11 Broadway shows/National Tours including: The Lion King, Kiss Me, Kate, Wonderful Town and Annie Get Your Gun.

  • JANE DUBIN

    is a TONY Award-winning producer and the President of Double Play Connections, a theatrical production and management company committed to supporting emerging artists and playwrights in the creation and development of new works. A graduate of the Commercial Theatre Institute's 14-week (NYC) and O’Neill Center Intensive (CT) Producing Workshops and co-Director of Theater Resources Unlimited’s Producer Development Program Master Class, Ms. Dubin is President of the Board of Directors of Houses on the Moon Theater Company, a recent Board member of the League of Professional Theatre Women, a member of the Broadway Women’s Alliance and the Off-Broadway League.  For two years she was co-curator of the Hudson Valley Writers’ Center New Play Reading Series. She co-produced Hudson River Rising, presenting events in Westchester for One Billion Rising (V-Day).  She was a strategic consultant to SPACE on Ryder Farm, an artists’ residency in Brewster, NY and a member of the Grand Jury for New York Musical Festival’s 2015 – 2019 seasons.  She served as an evaluator for a NAMT innovation grant panel.  She is a frequent panelist and guest lecturer on theater-related matters.  Before embarking on her career in theater, Ms. Dubin spent over 20 years in the financial services industry.  Productions: The Prom (Drama Desk Award Best Musical),  Farinelli and the King (starring Mark Rylance, nominated for 5 Tony Awards), An American in Paris (4 TONY Awards, plus London and National Tour), Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey (Westside Theater and on Tour), Ann, starring Holland Taylor (Lincoln Center); Bandstand (Broadway), Beebo Brinker Chronicles (2008 GLAAD Media Award for Theatre); Groundswell (the New Group), Peter and the Starcatcher (Broadway, Off-Broadway, National Tour), winner of 5 TONY Awards; The Norman Conquests (TONY Award, Best Play Revival), The 39 Steps (OB, Tour); The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (London).  Film: Radium Girls.

  • JENNIFER ISAACSON

    is a two-time Tony Award winning producer. She is currently the Executive Producer for WalkRunFly, a production company co-founded by Warren Adams and Brandon Victor Dixon. WalkRunFly has several new musicals and a TV series in development. WalkRunFly is also partnered with International Theatre Fund as a co-producer on Moulin Rouge! on Broadway.  Broadway producing credits include: An American in Paris, Hedwig and the Angry Inch starring Neil Patrick Harris, Of Mice and Men starring James Franco and Chris O'Dowd, ANN: The Ann Richards Play starring Holland Taylor, and The Norman Conquests. Off-Broadway producing credits include: The 39 Steps and Beebo Brinker Chronicles. Prior to joining WalkRunFly, Jennifer was a producer with Harriet Leve Productions where she was part of many critically acclaimed productions including The Mountaintop starring Samuel L. Jackson and Angela Bassett, La Cage Aux Folles starring Kelsey Grammer, and A Little Night Music starring Catherine Zeta Jones and Angela Lansbury. Jennifer co-founded the Broadway Women's Alliance, a community supporting, connecting, and empowering women on the business side of Broadway. Jennifer also serves as a board member of Houses on the Moon, a not-for-profit theater company dedicated to amplifying unheard voices. Jennifer is a member of the steering committee for Maestra, a not-for-profit community providing support and visibility for the women who make the music in the musical theater industry.
Events
  • Free Intro to the TRU Producer Program (PDMP)
    August 20, 2020
    5:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Come meet our program directors!

Thursday August 20th, 5:00pm Zoom meeting – reserve using the bright red ticketing window on this page, and we will send you the Zoom link! On August 20 from 5:00pm to 7:30pm, we will be hosting a free meet-and-greet info session about our Producer Development and Mentorship Program, the only theater production program to offer […]

  • Free Intro to the TRU Producer Program
    August 20, 2019
    6:30 pm - 9:00 pm

Tuesday August 20th, 6:30pm POLARIS NORTH THEATRE, 245 W. 29th Street, 4th floor, NYC [Use the red ticketing box to register for this event; or CLICK HERE to register for the September 17th free What TRU Can Do for You intro evening]  On August 20 from 6:30pm to 8:30pm, we will be hosting a free […]

  • Free Intro to the TRU Producer Program
    August 22, 2018
    6:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Wednesday August 22nd, 6:00pm CHANGE OF VENUE (we had to move to a bigger space because of popular demand) THE PLAYROOM THEATRE, 151 W. 46th Street, 8th floor, NYC On August 22 from 6:00pm to 8:30pm, we will be hosting a free meet-and-greet info session about our Producer Development and Mentorship Program. Prospective applicants will […]