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What People Say About TRU

2021-22

Click a program:

COMMUNITY GATHERING
BOOT CAMP
BENEFIT: TRUSPEAK 
TRU BEGINNINGS
VIRTUAL AUDITION EVENT
GENERAL
EDITORIAL

CLICK HERE for comments prior to 2021


COMMUNITY GATHERINGS

Overcoming the Challenges of Presenting Music Virtually with Joe Barros, Jen Sandler, Tom Polum 
It was a great panel! ~Lorca Peress

Would love to get the chat from yesterday’s ZOOM call. So much good info was shared about virtual presentations.... ~Stephanie Pope Lofgren

Great program as always. ~Ellen Rittberg

Thanks for all these wonderful meetings! I just signed up for TRU membership. Thanks for allowing us to attend for free for so long! ~Maureen Condon

Well, so today’s zoom call kind of answered my question.  With all the lush intricate three and five-person harmonies in my score — and since so many people say the music is the strongest part — I could probably not create any decent online video.... I may concentrate on other ways to create an online presence for the show. I do appreciate your support and encouragement! And the gatherings! ~Al Becker

Regional Perspective
Thank you, as always. Wonderful meeting! ~Janet Conrad

I think you are providing, on many levels, an incredible service to those of us who live for the arts. I plan to join soon as a member. ~Grant Robbin

It was so nice to see you yesterday. I loved the meeting. ~Judi Beecher

Politics and the Arts: Being the Change
Thank you and thanks to the people who attended and spoke tonight. The arts are , of course, vital to the economy of N.Y.  Moreover, as you brought up,  the arts are essential to the development of aware, empathetic, open- minded human beings. And they make us happy. They give voice to the voiceless ( or should). I was very impressed with this virtual get-together and all the speakers. It's important and hopeful to hear people who are working for change. Thank you for putting together this session. It was good to get a sense that arts and politics are actually inter-related. Now I want to join TRU. I'll take care of nuts & bolts of joining tomorrow. Thanks again! ~Jerilyn Sackler

Maximizing Your Visibility on Social Media
I wanted to tell you that that meeting with Benita was so very helpful and illuminating! I never ever thought of using LinkedIn. I never thought: You do business with people, not corporations... I never thought other various wise and frank and simple things that have to do with relationships in our business. So thank YOU for this terrific meeting! ~Barbara Blatner

Is the Great White Way Getting Less White?
Thanks for the opportunity today Bob. I think many of us had a lot to learn and reframe. Events like this are rare. It was eye opening for me. I'd heard the term white fragility but hadn't really understood it. Thanks for opening the floor to those brave and impressive speakers. ~Emma Wood (from Australia) 

National New Play Network
I wanted to thank you for the wonderful gathering last night. I have been writing, but not submitting much during the pandemic. I woke up this morning with a renewed faith (I’m not religious...) ~Stephanie Griffin

Thank you so much for this presentation! I just joined as a Writer/Member and look forward to upcoming programs as well. I appreciate everything your organization does for our theater community! ~Sarah Lawrence

Art and Politics
The amount of unity and support you have created in TRU is something quite remarkable. I mean, I don’t know this stuff! TRU insists I’m accountable for splitting hairs…. And the magical part, Bob, is you’ve created a world where it’s done with what feels like ... like, if not actually love. So damn…. Splitting hairs is great! As they say in another place I go with squares…. it works if you work it. ~Kathryn Keats

Friday's chat [Exploring the Australian Theater Biz] felt like we were casting our nets across the glittery water to understand the different ways our countries function in our ‘industry’ and ‘business’. It was great reconnecting with Nancye and Jason as well! ~Vicki Larnach (in Australia)

Thank you for having me as part of the panel discussion on [Friday]. It was lovely to gather with a community of artists on the other side of the world. Also lovely to meet you. You were a terrific host and moderator. I do hope Nancye and I didn’t paint a bleak picture of our industry. We do have a vibrant and eclectic theatre scene here. It’s just that the culture [here] of creating new musical theatre is quite different to the US.... I enjoyed chatting with individuals in the breakout room too – it was a great way to start the day! ~Jason Langley (Australian director and guest)

Such an honor to be invited and involved in such a rich conversation! ~Alexis Fishman

Thank you to you and TRU for being once again a high point of the year! ~Emma Wood (in Australia)

It is so wonderful what you offer. ~Stefanie Rummel (in Germany)

Thank you for the community gatherings that have opened up our world. ~Patricia Zehentmayr, writer


BOOT CAMP: RAISING MONEY

The workshop was far better and more substantive than I anticipated!  I was blown away by the speakers, their experience and expertise. I also found every one of them friendly and generous.  Real mensches, all of them!  Congrats!  Thanks for making yesterday a virtual option too.  I rarely get to NYC, so with ZOOM you have a new friend! Rob Hofmann

That was mind-blowing! Wowowowowow!!! Thank you so much! With an immense amount of gratitude. ~Kathryn Keats

I really, really appreciate all you do for all of us in TRU Land. Yesterday was fabulous. Loved all the presenters, and was very happy to get their information in print. What would we do without you. ~Arlene Corsano

Yesterday’s conference was great. I’m so happy I was able to participate. Thank you for including me. Like you, I shake my head in wonder everyday at how the world has shrunk and offered so much more geographic inclusion using virtual platforms. Thanks again for ... opening your community to those of us far from New York. It’s changed the game for me and Jan. ~Patricia Zehentmayr

Congratulations on an informative and comprehensive workshop and thanks for the written handouts and especially the recording (since I had to leave before the final panel). ~Robert Seigel

Thanks again for this opportunity. As always, I am blown away by the resources we have available to us. I feel totally supported on my theater journey with TRU. It was a perfectly curated group of speakers and topics. ~Nico Juber

I got so much out of it and I so thrilled to be part of the amazing and generous TRU community. Thank you for the work you do. I look forward to joining many more events. ~Mike Meth


BENEFIT: TRUSPEAK 2022

Thanks so much for including the special VIP Gala. I loved the plays. Thanks for everything. – Merrill Stone

Wonderful fundraiser and experience!  Especially liked Slave Trade and Obstacle.  I suggested that Obstacle should be shown around the country!  Led to very stimulating discussion! – Laurie Eliscu

Superb job with the TRU Speaks benefit last night! I can't begin to imagine how much work and preparation must have gone into that. 

I've been working with Cate on my show for quite some time. She really is wonderful.  – Larry Daggett

That was a terrific evening!!!! Thank you Bob, hope you made heaps of lolly. Elowyn Castle

It was a wonderful evening! The speakers and plays were excellent, as you know, and the tech ran so smoothly. Moving things along and keeping the main event to 2 hours was great, too. ~Susan Cohen

First off, I really enjoyed TRU Speaks. It was a great lineup and I am delighted that I had the opportunity to serve as one of the judges for this year's plays. ~Carolyn Brown

Superb job with the TRUSpeak benefit last night! I can't begin to imagine how much work and preparation must have gone into that. ~Larry Daggett

Enjoyed the evening very much.... I thought all the pieces were really inventive and fun, and had a great time in the after-party speaking with the creatives for Danny’s piece and some of the folks from TRU. This was my first time hearing about you, and I’m so impressed with the work that you do. Thanks so much, and congratulations on a wonderful gala!!! ~John Rinaldi

What a fantastic event! It might have been a bit harrowing getting there … but, it was a TRUly well produced and poignant evening! I kvell at what TRU has become – the inspiration for so many artists and producers. Bravo my friend!!!!! So happy to have been there to see the evolution, and as our pal Elaine [Stritch] would sing ... we're still here!! ~Cheryl Wiesenfeld

It was such a lovely event with heartfelt tributes and terrific performances of thoughtful material. I’m so glad I was able to make it - especially to remember Van Dirk Fisher along with you, some of his wonderful TRU colleagues. ~Maggie McCollester

Just wanted to congratulate you on a great show last night. I cannot imagine how much work goes into putting that together and it came off seamlessly (even in this digital environment). I enjoyed watching all of the shows and the breakout sessions with those who worked on my show and others who came by as you did was a fun capper that I wish more festivals did. ~James McLindon, writer (The First Anti-Vaxxers)

I loved the gala: the plays, performances, the flashbacks- all of it. Congratulations to you and all the others who put it together and executed it. It “almost” felt in person; a fabulous job. ~Stephanie Schwartz

Great show last night, Bob. Congratulations! ~Cady Huffman, director (The First Anti-Vaxxers)

This is my first experience with TRU and I'll never forget it. What you and your team were able to do with plays, the way in which they were brought to the "screen" was wonderful to experience.... Again thank you for all of the work that definitely played out perfectly this weekend. ~Kristy Thomas (Only Black)

Congrats on a magnificent benefit! I was so proud! ~Scott Sickles

Wanted to say a very special thank you for an amazing opportunity to produce two wonderful plays. I learned so much and the support from the executive producers was a tremendous help. Despite some challenges everyone on both teams was outstanding. The whole program was lovely. ~Melvina Douse-Manuel, producer (Cold Bread, Only Black)

Wonderful job yesterday. I hope it turned out the way you dreamed. Thank you again for a fantastic opportunity. I truly appreciate it. ~Glynn Borders, director (Obstacle)


TRU BEGINNINGS

Writer-Producer Speed Date

Thank you so much for that very smooth and exciting Writer Producer Speed Date event. I know it was a lot of work to put together, while you were also putting together the Gala, and I want you to know that I really appreciate the work you are doing! Liz and I had a great time, we learned a lot – and we're thinking we might have had some interest! And, we've noticed some recent openings of the recordings we have on vimeo, which may be people we met at the Speed Date. So, thank you for the opportunity. ~Miriam Eusebio, director (Look for Me)

Thank you so much for all you do. The Speed Date event was fantastic and we got lots of interest in the show. ~Mike Meth, writer (Last Night at the Rue Bayou)

Thank you so much for the opportunity to participate in the Writer-Producer Speed Date last night. I learned so much about pitching and how my play is received by producers. It was completely eye-opening and has already helped me immensely.  The coaching session and all the feedback on my pitch before the session made me feel completely supported and prepared. You and your team also made the technical process seamless and easy.  I truly appreciate all the time, thoughtfulness, and preparation that you and your team put into this amazing event. ~Charlotte Purser (The War Letters)

What a great event. Super from beginning to end. ~Scott Sublett (New Deal)

Great event yesterday. It was great to see how successful this was with zoom, but I personally do miss your whistle. ~Cooper Jordan (indie producer)

Thank you so much for the wonderful opportunity to be part of the TRU Writer-Producer Speed Date. I have wanted to participate in this for ages and you and your TRU Team made it such a challenging (in the best way) exhilarating experience. I was amazed and how expertly it was organized, all the care and attention to detail and what a fantastic group of Writers, Producers, Coaches and one amazing Tech Goddess Emily that you assembled to make this flow so artfully. It was a fun and invaluable experience. I love and deeply appreciate that you led the writers through three deep breaths before it began: it was centering, grounding and connecting — we are all in this together! ~Suzanne Bachner (Conversations with My Divorce Attorney)

Yesterday's session was so well coordinated! Great job! Learned much about pitching. ~Joseph Krawczyk (It's All About Lorrie)

I thought the speed date was terrific – some really good projects. I enjoyed doing it. ~Margot Astrachan (Broadway producer)

Thank you so much for all the hard work you did to put the Speed dating event together for all of us! I really enjoyed it and it was so great for me to get to know more people in the field as I spend most of my time writing and not networking. This is such an important aspect since most business is about relationships. It was a group of really nice producers — not intimidating at all. ~Linda Bonadies (Give It All Away)

Thanks for the great opportunity to pitch Senior Swordplay. The event was so well organized, and the feedback and coaching I received was terrific. ~Kim Ruyle

I really enjoyed being involved and it was incredible to get to chat with so many experienced theatre folks. ~Brad Kemp (Abduction)

Writer-Director Communications Lab

I can’t tell you what an awesome workshop experience I had! Thank You Very Much! Clearly, my biggest takeaway was the incredible interaction with the writers and other directors! It was beyond illuminating! It didn’t at all feel like five plus hours. It was the highlight of my Saturday! ~Brian Daye, director

Thank you to all - this was an illuminating and fascinating workshop. I think I learned as much or more from everyone else’s conversations, and the insightful questions from the facilitators really cut to the heart of the director/playwright interactions. So much to think about moving forward! ~Arthur M. Jolly, writer

Thanks so much to TRU for having these writer/director communications workshops. I found the whole experience truly illuminating. It's always so great to hear the director's perspective on the work – and I mean on anyone's work, not just your own. I was so grateful to have an opportunity to start a conversation with [director] Andrea and very much hope we'll continue it. ~Jeanne Drennan, writer

As a TRU board member it was edifying to bear witness to the multitude of creative light bulbs that were ignited during the Communications Workshop; I appreciated observing the transparency and receptiveness that evolved throughout the experience. Foremost tangible reminder: when presented with the opportunity, diligently seek the information that is necessary to make an informed decision of the viability of every collaborative relationship and release the trepidation of exploring upfront conversations; trust that in doing so it will save time and perhaps a bit of "heartache" for all involved in the long run. As a Creative Producer and Script Developer who often consults and mediates between writers and directors, I would recommend this insightful lab to fellow creatives; even if not sitting directly in the hot seat, there was much to garner in observation. ~Janel Scarborough


VIRTUAL AUDITION EVENT

Thank you so much! That was a good audition experience. You guys were all awesome and helpful & kind.  Thanks so much! xo ~Jerilyn Sackler

You all were a great help today. Big thanks. Keep in touch. ~ Clifford Katskee

Thank you, all! It was much, much fun!! ~Tanya Gorlow and Kerry Kaz

Thank you for everything! ~Laura Wei

Thank you all for an amazing and smooth audition experience. ~Isabelle Stanton

I’d like to thank you for the thoughtfulness of your audition process. I appreciated the preparation, tips and personal attention - I learned useful techniques I’ll use in future. (And I do hope there is a Zoom Audition future - there are some advantages, along with the real disadvantages.) I joined TRU this year and I look forward to being a member. ~Therese McGinn

Thank you so much for the guidance and experience of auditioning for the TRU Universe via Zoom on Sunday. Thru the webinars and emails and day-of preparation, everyone was so very patient and friendly and informative. For things that usually feel like being shot out of a bullet, you made it work! Thanks again, and hopeful to see you in person next year! In the meantime, hope you got some rest. ~Sierra Rein

Just wanted to thank you for this weekend! It was such an amazing opportunity to get to network and get back to do what we love for a little bit! So, thank you so so so much! ~Ana Grethel Solis


GENERAL

Just wanted to say thanks again to you and TRU for an amazing two years. Discovering TRU has been a Godsend in so many ways. I thank you for the continued opportunity to grow and learn in a supportive environment. Having the opportunity to produce was a wonderful experience and I look forward for the opportunity to do it again whether as a self-producing artists or for another production. ~Melvina Douse-Manuel

I was displaced back to my home country from NYC because of the pandemic and I am still finding a way back. Through it, I have stayed on TRU's mailing list and this has helped me feel like I was still part of the community I so dearly miss, while also helping me find any opportunities such as virtual ones that may allow me to participate from across the world. In fact, a virtual production (Broken Dolls) I worked on during this time was an extension of a project I was part of, which was a direct result of a TRU audition back in 2018. And I am very grateful for it. ~Samyuktha Viswanathan

I don’t know how you do it! You have enough energy and devotion for the entire theater industry! Thank you so much for all that you do!! This Thanksgiving I’ll be raising a glass at our family table to salute you! I just finished sending my submission to the New Musical Initiative at San Diego State, and would not have known about it, except for you. Thank you so much!! ~Maureen Condon

It occurs to me that we never say it enough: "Thank you." Two words whose meaning defines a world of inclusion and a bounty of appreciation for the thoughtfulness and generosity of so many in our lives. So with Thanksgiving day fast approaching, I'd like to thank you for your continued generosity of spirit and wonderful work. ~Helen Noakes

I just wanted to send a note of thanks. Through what I learned at TRU, the speed dating, and the connections I've made... my show Dirty Legal Secrets is seeing some movement! I even got a little press! And on the other side, I'm close to investing in my first show. ~Sarah Feingold

I am so grateful for the work you do. TRUly grateful. ~Kathryn Keats 

Thank you very much for having me in the TRU family – I have benefited so much already! ~Ken Berry, writer/composer

It has been very helpful and encouraging for me to join the TRU orbit. ~Duncan Christy, writer

THANK YOU for all you do for me, and the theatre world in general. My 2021 has been so enriched by being part of TRU. ~Randall Huskinson, writer

I wanted to share the good news with you that The Path to Catherine has found producers (John Lant & Tamra Pica) as a result of the October Speed Date! Jan and I are thrilled. ~Patricia Zehentmayr


NEWSLETTER EDITORIAL

Your words ring with honesty, poignancy, and beauty. Thank you for this, Bob, and for all you do. And here's to a new year with moments of joy, here and there, in the midst of it all! ~Janet Murphy Robertson

I was deeply moved by this dramatic account of your personal struggles that read like the artfully rendered plot of a gripping good novel. So glad you made it out the other side of these slow burning sorrows to lead such a great group as TRU! ... And yeah, Joe Manchin has a bad case of ODD (oppositional defiance disorder which is a genuine affliction!) and is a born obstructionist intent on starring in his own movie. Not a good collaborator in a democracy that depends on purity of intent, which to me means everyone on board for a shared and noble purpose. Sigh... ~Fengar Gael

Wow! What a movie this could be. God bless Gary for giving the story a wonderful ending. ~Arlene Corsano

Is this you? Whoever has written it has done so terrifically. And I should know, having spent three decades in magazine publishing, including 14 years editing the inflight magazine of Delta Air Lines, Sky. It's painfully funny and equally sad. And it has its own version of a happy, or at least happier, ending. Nice work! ~Duncan Christy

Beautifully written missive Bob!! ... More people need to be speaking out like you. So keep on singing it. It was so cathartic for me and so important! ~Romy Nordlinger

I just wanted to say thank you so much for sharing those personal stories and feelings. I think a lot of us have these difficult family stories and business stories but we've kind of been conditioned to keep them to ourselves. I know this has been such a difficult time for most people on the planet, but I think it is especially painful in a particular way for people who are creative and sensitive and most of all innately idealistic as I think we both are and as are most of our friends. ... If I haven't said it in a while I really appreciate receiving these email newsletters over the years and I appreciate the time and effort you put into TRU in general. ~Sue Bachner  

Great job. Awesome letter! ~David Stamps 

This, like all your editorials, is brilliant. I think you should do a small book, monologues from the theater front during the plague, or some such. ~Lee Roscoe

A great newsletter Bob and so well said. It should be printed in the NY Times. I so admire the work you do and the energy you give TRU to make NY and the theater world a better place. I'm so sorry to hear about Joe Beck, what a sad loss. ~Michael Shapiro

I just love your op-eds! Wonderful. Here's to the end of Manchin and Sinema) May they rot where the sun don't shine! ~Alexa Kelly

Thank you once again for your newsletter – amazing, insightful and beautifully personal as ever. ~Stephen Lloyd Helper

I give GREAT THANKS for your opening commentary Bob. Where is the sanity in what we are living through? God help us all if Arbery's murderers are also acquitted! Manchin? Obviously sold his soul to coal lobbyists. Sinema? Can only be a Republlican working from the inside to destroy! My heart aches, Biden is trying SO HARD to do good for the 98%! ~Alexa Kelly

Thank you for posting your thoughts on current events. We live in troubling times; everything is topsy-turvy. I am deeply disturbed and saddened by it all. ~Yvette Heyliger

I appreciate what you do for playwrights, directors and producers, but I'm sorry you aren't aware of what's really going on in the big picture. I mean that with sincerity, care and love. ~Karen Howes

This is brilliant! You have put into words what so many of us are feeling but could not articulate as thoughtfully and clearly as you have. If I may, I want to pass this along so that others can see it as well. Thank you for your clarity! ~Margot Astrachan

Though I'm new to TRU, and have been unable to attend Friday's in the main, I wanted to thank you for the thoughts you share in the emails I receive. I have found them a comfort in these dark post-Covid days and really enjoy reading them. It feels good to know that there are people out there who care enough and share enough. ~Madeleine Wynn, Astraea Productions (UK)

That was a wonderful editorial you did on the state of non-justice in this country. I hope and pray we can get through these insane times and save our democracy. I’ve got to believe we will. ~Maureen Condon

Excellent opening editorial! ~Laurie Eliscu

What a heartfelt and powerful message. I continue to be alarmed and disturbed by what is happening in our country. But beyond, underlying those feelings is a deep sense of mourning for those slaughtered, for the loved ones they left behind, and for our nation in general. ~Helen Noakes

Well felt, well said. Every word. Thank you. A good core of sentiment for a hero of one of your plays-to-be. ~Paul Smith

You're right Bob. It's disgusting. Thanks for your thoughts. ~Tom Crockett

Well said, Bob. Historians will look back on Jan. 6 and the Rittenhouse acquittal as the first shots in what I fear is a coming civil war. ~Lee Roscoe