TRU Producer Development & Mentorship Program (PDMP)
Description



ONGOING TRAINING FOR SERIOUS PRODUCERS AND SELF-PRODUCING ARTISTS 
Submissions now officially closed for the 2017-18 program.

Basic Class is open to everyone interested in producing; Master Class is open for graduates of the Basic 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, or to inquire about the program, email TRUMentor@gmail.com or download PDMP.Intake.Form2017 fill out and email to TRUMentor@gmail.com (be sure to add your name to the document name when you send it). Also send a resume emphasizing your theater and business experience.

Click here to pay for your PDMP upgrade.

Click here for Basic Class tentative curriculum and schedule. 
Click here for Master Class tentative curriculum and schedule. 

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 2017-18 Basic Class  will be led by producer/consultant/former general manager R. Erin Craig of La Vie Productions (Himself and NoraStalking the Bogeyman; Mr Rickey Calls A MeetingAusten's Pride, Academy, Right Before I Go benefit in October 2017and Broadway/off-Broadway producer Jana Robbins (Roof of the World, Ragtime revival, I Love You Because, Little Women).  

The 2017-18 Master Class for Basic PDMP graduates and other eligible candidates will be led by Broadway producers Jane Dubin (Tony winning The Norman Conquests, BandstandPeter and the Starcatcher and An American in Paris; plus Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey, The 39 Steps, Annupcoming: Farinelli and the King and Fingersmith) and Rachel Weinstein (Dear Evan Hansen, Disgraced, The Heiress with Jessica Chastain).

Submissions for 2017-18 accepted now through September 8th:
Basic Class, c
ost is $295 for new members. The program will meet one WEDNESDAY evening of each month from September through July - that's 11 sessions. You must also be a paid member of TRU, currently $95/year.
Master Class, cost is $395 for new members. Meets mostly MONDAY evenings (TUESDAYS in January and June), once a month from October thru July. You must also be a paid member of TRU, currently $95/year.

Candidates will be interviewed shortly after Labor Day with a start date for the program of Wednesday evening, September 27th for Basic Class, Monday October 23rd for Master Class. 

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

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


Basic PDMP Upgrade, returning mentorship member, $225 
(you must also be a current TRU member and accepted into this program) click this button:


PDMP Master Class Upgrade, $395
(you must also be a current TRU member and accepted into this program) click this button:


PDMP Master Class Upgrade - auditor level, $285 
(you must also be a current TRU member and accepted into this program) click this button:

 

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PDMP BASIC CLASS

Overview: The PDMP Directors 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 develop, for a hypothetical ongoing classroom exercise in tandem with the show's actual producer.  Those choosing the same material will be put into groups and formulate a development plan that will be informed by the monthly panels. At the final session in June, Groups will present their development plan to a panel of commercial producers.

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 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 10 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 $395 scholarship. In addition, members may submit a proposal for a work they are producing on their won, and one individual project will be selected and given an endowment of $500 (The "Randall Wreghitt TRU Producer Award") 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. Not everyone who is accepted into the program will receive a 3-month mentorship, though every effort will be made to place everyone in meaningful consultations to help guide them in development.

• All career producer members are eligible for one-on-one mentorships 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 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 BASIC CURRICULUM
(topics subject to change, classes will meet one Wednesday evening of each month, 6:30-9:30pm)

SEPTEMBER 27th - Introduction and Overview of the Program: Clarifying Goals, Collaboration and Partnering. Particular attention paid to “actionable goals”, the prevalence of producer partners and how to make it work, and determining what projects are in sync with your goals.
Team Projects will be pitched to members by active producers.

OCTOBER 18th  - Assignment of Team Projects. Developing a Strategy: What Goes Into an Effective Business Plan? A detailed look at the usual components of a business plan, with examples. 
An Overview of Developmental Steps: Table Read, Stage Reading, Showcase, Festivals, Partnering with a Not-for-Profit. 

NOVEMBER 15th - Who Loves Your Baby? Identifying Your Audience, and Finding the Market for Your Project. A critical and dramaturgical look at projects to help members determine reasonable goals and appropriate markets to inform their plan. Plus a dramaturge discussing the elements of a good play: structure, an engaging protagonist, dramatic arc.

DECEMBER 13th - topic to be determined

JANUARY 24th - Why You Need an Attorney, and When. Options and underlying rights … collaborator agreements and the merging of rights. Focusing on the SPA/artist needs.
Setting up your business structure, legal entities and how they protect you. Not-for-profit versus commercial models of producing. Paperwork you need to raise money. Defining front money. At what point do you need offering papers?

FEBRUARY 21st - When to Hire a General Manager, and Why. What does a GM do? The producer-general manager relationship. Plus an introduction to the team general managers.
Budgets, and Understanding What Things Cost. An analysis of actual budgets: table read, stage readings, showcase, festival/NYMF.

MARCH 21st - Putting Together Your Creative and Production Teams. Who does what? What to consider when choosing a director and a design team. The role of the Production Stage Manager and Technical Director. Understanding the hierarchy of power. The additional needs of a musical.

APRIL 25th - An Overview of Marketing, Advertising and Public Relations. Branding your project, your company or yourself. How to identify your target audience, and reach them.
Marketing to Special Interest Groups. Black audiences, Latino audiences, Asian audiences, gay audiences, other.

MAY 16th - Downstream Revenue: Subsidiary Rights, Licensing, Merchandising, Touring. 

JUNE 13th - The Pitch: teams pitch their projects to an invited feedback panel.

JULY end-of-year wrap

To request an application, or to inquire about the program, email TRUMentor@gmail.com or download PDMP.Intake.Form2017 fill out and email to TRUMentor@gmail.com (be sure to add your name to the document name when you send it).

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SUBMISSIONS NOW OPEN FOR MASTER CLASS

PDMP MASTER CLASS:  The 2017-18 program directors with be Broadway producers Jane Dubin (returning) and Rachel Weinstein. ONLY TRU Members that have completed the PDMP Basic 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.  The Program Directors will alternate in working with participants on individual projects they are developing.

Master Class participants will present their development plan at the last session to a panel of commercial producers.  One project will receive the Big Kahuna Award – a $500 financial stipend that can be used to further develop the Member’s project.

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

MASTER CLASS CURRICULUM
(subject to change based on the needs of our 10 members)
OCTOBER 23 (Monday) 
7-8pm. Presentation/Pitching of Projects, and guidance in setting actionable goals for the year.
8-9pm. Why Am I Producing This? Discussion: identifying projects that satisfy our personal goals, and determining a development path. We’ll share a basic template for a business plan as a guideline for the development path.
 
NOVEMBER 20  (Monday)
7-9pm. Getting Your Legal Ducks in a Row. A project by project look at potential legal issues that need to be considered at early stages of development, as well as what you need before approaching prospective investors.  This will incorporate members’ “actionable goals” as a jumping off for discussion with a panel of entertainment attorneys. Depending on projects, members may need info about: options, underlying rights, collaborator agreements, not-for-profit partnerships, regional partnerships, non-traditional development steps. 
 
DECEMBER 13 (Wednesday) Holiday Party for Master Class and Basic Class, with guest speakers
 
JANUARY 30 (Tuesday) 
7-9pm. Budgets, General Managers and What Things Cost. Discussion of the producer-general manager relationship. We will go through members’ individual projects and their budgets, line by line. Plus any questions members have specific to a general manager.
 
FEBRUARY 26 (Monday)
Money, Money, Money. Raising Money, Investor Cultivation and Incentives. Include not-for-profit partnerships and enhancement deals. Plus details about front money and offerings, general and limited partnerships, the capital raising process, Tax Issues including the new tax laws, P&L forecasts, the new commercial crowdsourcing opportunities. 
 
MARCH 12 (Monday)
Marketing (part 1): Identifying Your Market, including ways of determining commercial viability ... the importance of timing ... knowing when to pull the plug or change direction. 
 
APRIL 23 or 30 (Monday)
Marketing (part 2): Speaking Persuasively about Your Project. This will include personally coaching members on their pitches.
 
MAY 21 (Monday)
Downstream Sources of Revenue: Licensing, Merchandise, OCR’s, Touring, Subsidiary Rights – have a speaker for each if possible. With specific questions about member projects.
 
JUNE 12 (Tuesday)
Presentation of completed business plans
JULY (Monday) End-of-term Wrap Party with guest speaker
 
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WHAT GRADUATES HAVE SAID:

"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

    Since 1997, Erin and her company, La Vie Productions, have worked with artists and new projects in theatre, film and music through their work as a General Manager, Production Manager, Grassroot Marketing / Branding Consultant, Executive Producer and Producer. Current projects include: Austen's Pride: A New Musical of Pride and PrejudiceMr. Rickey Calls A Meeting, Academy, Nonsense and Beauty, Chick Flick, The Musical Recent projects include: Easter Mysteries (live film), Himself and Nora, For Heaven's Sake, Liberty: A Monumental Musical, Stalking the Bogeyman, Velocity of Autumn, In The Heights, High Fidelity, Irena's Vow,  How We Got Away With It (film), and with Houses On The Moon Theatre Company, The Assignment and gUN COUNTRY. Erin is a member of The Broadway League, The Off-Broadway League, The League of Professional Theatre Women, Theater Resources Unlimited (TRU) and NY Women in Film and Television. 

  • JANA ROBBINS

    was recently producer of Roof of the World (formerly The Great Game) by D. Tucker Smith at Kansas City Rep, with plans for a New York production. Jana made her Broadway producing debut with the Broadway musical of Little Women starring Sutton Foster and Maureen McGovern. She was one of the producers of the acclaimed Ragtime revival, as well as off-Broadway's White's Lies. She was also one of the producers of the Off-Broadway musical I Love You Because. Unlock'd won the "Best of the Fest" Award at the New York Musical Theater Festival, and Talkin' Broadway called it "One of the most ravishing new musicals of 2007!" She produced The Jazz Age by Allan Knee (Little Women, Finding Neverland) in a limited run at 59E59 St., which she produced in association with the Blank Theater Co. in LA. As an actress Jana has appeared in 6 Broadway shows including Gypsy (standby for Tyne Daly) and The Tale of the Allergist's Wife (standby for Linda Lavin & Michele Lee), starring opposite Valerie Harper when Allergist's Wife went on National Tour. Her television credits include Law and Order, SVU, Criminal Intent and others, and she was seen in the film of The Women starring Meg Ryan, Eva Mendez and Annette Bening. For more information: www.janarobbins.com.

  • 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. Jane is a graduate of the Commercial Theatre Institute's 14-week (NYC) and O’Neill Center Intensive (CT) Producing Workshops and past Director of Theater Resources Unlimited’s Producer Development Program, and current Director of the program's Master Class. Current: Bandstand, An American in Paris (4 TONY Awards) now on Tour and in London, Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey (on Tour)Upcoming Broadway: Farinelli and the King, starring Mark Rylance (opening in December), Fingersmith. Previously: Peter and the Starcatcher (Broadway, Off-Broadway, National Tour), winner of 5 TONY Awards; Ann, starring Holland Taylor (Lincoln Center); The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (London); The 39 Steps (OB, Tour); The Norman Conquests (TONY Award, Best Play Revival), Groundswell (the New Group), Beebo Brinker Chronicles (2008 GLAAD Media Award for Theatre). Other: OPA! at TBG Theatre (Best Commercial Production, MITF 2008), Take Me America (Best Musical, MITF 2007), Count Down, (Bank Street Theatre) and the one-woman show that started it all, MentalPause by Margaret Liston. Ms. Dubin is a full member of the Broadway League. She is Vice-President of the Board of Directors of Houses on the Moon Theater Company and a Board member of the League of Professional Theatre Women. 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 for One Billion Rising (V-Day) 2013 and 2014. She was a strategic consultant to SPACE on Ryder Farm, an artists’ residency in Brewster, NY and a member of the Grand Jury for NYMF’s 2015, 2016 and upcoming 2017 seasons.

  • RACHEL WEINSTEIN

    is a Broadway producer with over two decades of experience in professional performing arts management.  Rachel began her career in the not-for-profit sector holding leadership positions at theatre companies around the globe including: Roundabout Theatre Company (New York), Donmar Warehouse (London), Writers’ Theatre (Chicago) and The Old Vic (London/New York). 

    In 2012, Rachel segued to the commercial side of the business producing for Broadway.  Her producing credits include: The Heiress (starring Jessica Chastain), the Pulitzer-prize winning Disgraced, Hughie (starring Forest Whitaker), the world premiere musical of An American in Paris, which is currently enjoying a US National Tour as well as a West End production and Farinelli and the King (starring Mark Rylance), which is scheduled to open on Broadway in December 2017. Rachel is also an Associate Producer of the Tony Award-winning musical, Dear Evan Hansen, which is currently playing on Broadway at the Music Box Theatre. 

    Rachel is a graduate of the Commercial Theatre Institute's 14-week Intensive (New York) and a former member of TCG’s National Council for the American Theatre.

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