Theater Resources Unlimited
Raising Money for Theater:
How, Who and When to Ask

Sunday January 29th, 10am to 6pm

Theater Resources Unlimited opens up the possibilities for tomorrow's productions with an all-day intensive workshop about many crucial aspects of raising money for theater.  Faculty this year will include legendary producers Ben Sprecher (Rebecca, Sly Fox, Three Tall Women, Fortune's Fool, Lisbon Traviata, The Shape of Things, Moon for the Misbegotten revival), Patrick Blake (The Exonerated, Play Dead), Charlotte Cohn (Rated P for Parenthood, Baltimore in Black and White); Jane Dubin (Peter and the Starcatcher, The 39 Steps, The Norman Conquests), Meredith Lucio (Porgy & Bess, The 39 Steps), Van Dean and Kenny Howard of The Broadway Consortium (Ching•lish, Bonnie & Clyde, Porgy & Bess, upcoming Evita); plus attorneys LisaRoxanne Walters and Erach Screwvala, international fundraising consultant Laura Fredricks; financial advisor Bailie Slevin; and accountant Walter Gowens, CFP, EA.

While we're waiting for the economy to heal, we need to find ways to go through our day to day business. For producers, that means finding the money and resources to bring your projects into production. We invite you to come acquire some basic tools and information that will help you to function effectively in these hard times and the better days that are surely ahead. From pitching techniques and presentation skills to legal requirements and effective business planning, plus a wealth of first-hand experience from more than a half dozen producers who are currently active in the Broadway and off-Broadway worlds, we promise you an informative, empowering and inspiring day.

Click here for Curriculum

Click here for Faculty Bios

Click here for Application as web page

Click here for Application as Word Document (preferred)

Sunday January 29th, 10am to 6pm
The Players Theatre, 3rd floor Loft,
115 MacDougal Street

Cost: $175
- $25 off for all current paid TRU members -
- EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT: additional $25 off before 1/21 -

Our curriculum and instructors are as follows
(subject to change due to availability of speakers):

Sunday January 29th

9am - registration and check-in, coffee and cake/bagels
9:45am - introduction of room (registrants)

10:00 to 10:45 - "Commercial and Not-for-Profit Asks: Defining the Differences" - with attorney LisaRoxanne Walters. We will define terms, then focus on the not-for-profit side: the legal paperwork and structure that is necessary in order to ask for donations, and the responsibilities to your donors, plus the ways in which not-for-profits and commercial companies can work together.
10:45 to 11:30 - "Commercial Financing: Formalizing Your Ask" - with entertainment attorney Erach Screwvala. The required paperwork and structures at every level of development, from front money agreements to private placement to Federal filings. And the limitations placed on asking.
NOTE: accountant Walter Gowens will be on hand to answer any tax related questions that come up duirng the legal presentations.

11:30-11:45 - BREAK

11:45 to 12:15pm - "Don't Invest in My Show. Invest in My Portfolio," with producer Van Dean (Rooms, Catch Me If You Can) and Kenny Howard of The Broadway Consortium (Ching•lish, Bonnie& Clyde, Porgy & Bess, Evita). Presenting an interesting new investment model for theater.
12:15 to 1:15 - "How to Make Your Best Pitch: Asking Anyone for Any Amount for Any Purpose" - with international fundraising consultant Laura Fredricks. GETTING the money is what it is all about but HOW you go about the process makes all the difference. It takes simplicity, focus, structure, organization, and follow through to make it happen. This section will concentrate on "winning language" and "successful steps" to get the support for your creative projects.

LUNCH - 1:15pm to 2:00pm

2:00 - 3:00 - "The Care and Feeding of Investors: Identifying, Cultivating, Maintaining Them" - producer Ben Sprecher
3:00 -3:45 - "How To Present Yourself to Investors"- with financial adviser Bailie Slevin. We will take a look at a basic money raising pitch both from your side and the investor’s side, learning how to speak the same financial language, exploring how to best communicate your proposal to your target audience.

3:45-4:00 - BREAK

4:00-4:30 - "Crowdsourcing and Social Media" - with Charlotte Cohn (Rated P for Parenthood, Baltimore in Black and White) and Meredith Lucio (Porgy & Bess, Rooms: a Rock Romance, The 39 Steps)
4:30-5:30 - "Taking the Leap: How I Raised Money for My First Broadway Show" with producers Patrick Blake (The Exonerated, In the Continuum, Play Dead); Charlotte Cohn; Jane Dubin (Peter & the Starcatcher, The 39 Steps, The Norman Conquests); Meredith Lucio.

5:30-7pm - RECEPTION

Cost: $175
- $25 off for all current paid TRU members -

CLICK HERE for Application
CLICK HERE for Faculty Bios

You may send a check to:
Theater Resources Unlimited, 309 W. 104th Street 1D, NYC NY 10025.

On-line payment (Paypal or credit card) at
You may pre-register and hold your spot by emailing

The Players Theatre 3rd floor Loft,
115 MacDougal Street (below West 3rd Street)

Click here for an on-line article about the 2011 Boot Camp at

Click here for a NY One on-line feature about 2009 workshop!

Here's what attendees had to say about the day:

Kudos…a great seminar! Very good to excellent speakers, moved well. ~Rod Gill, '11

It was a terrific educational experience. Great presentations by all. ~Chris Massimine, '11

It was fantastic! ~Lauren Class Schneider,'11

Great seminar! ~Bruce Lazarus, '11

Thank you for an absolutely wonderful Boot Camp . I thoroughly enjoyed it, took so much away, and look forward to staying involved with TRU. ~Megan Kolb, '11

It was a fun, informative day and a great opportunity to meet people! ~Laurence Holzman, '10

Yesterday was fantastic. I look forward to be more involved with TRU as I continue this journey of becoming a producer. ~Eric Ruben, '10

Yesterday was very intense (a good thing). I left very depressed. Then I got mad. And now I'm ready to just get going. I think it is all part of the process of hearing information and having questions answered you didn't even know you had! That in itself is helpful. It was very insightful. I'm very grateful for the opportunities that TRU provides. ~David Flora, '10

In addition to the informative and interesting program it was fun to be in the theatre with 55 people as obsessed with the theatre as I am. ~Sheila Steinberg, '09

The most valuable 8 hours I've spent in my theatre career. ~William Roetzheim, '09

TRU consistently delivers extremely useful insights and information to develop smarter producers. ~Lary Brandt, '09

TRU is always true to their word when they say their workshops are the best in town! Excellent information is always provided and I can put it to practical use the next day. ~Michael A. Pizzi, '09

We learned so much and left feeling uplifted, not only about what we were doing for our company at present, but about what we could do in the future. We felt honored to be part of such a wonderful community of artists and business people, and that will stay with us long into the new year; it was a perfect springboard for the work that awaits us all. ~Bob Combe, Annie Wolf; E Phoenix Idealis Theater, '09

What a fantastic workshop you put together last Saturday. Not only did I obtain valuable information but met a lot of wonderful people as well. ~Fred Rohan, '09

I thought the workshop was terrific! I had no idea how ignorant I was about raising money. So many thanks to you and all the terrific presenters - not to mention the lovely and talented attendees I met there. ~Pam Tate, '09

Your workshop was probably the most valuable one I've ever attended. ~Toni Wellman, '09

The speakers at TRU's Boot Camp for Producers offered such important information, so effectively, that my knowledge of how to raise money for both commerical and non-commercial projects was significantly enhanced. I want to thank TRU for its consistently excellent work in helping Producers and Theater Artists. ~Janet Conrad, '09

Thanks for yesterday - very informing and well put together. Keep up the good work - you are making a diffference - Frankel was great as were many of the others. ~Doug Claybourne, '09

I felt the Producers' Boot Camp was the single best TRU event you have opened up to individuals. ~Catherine Gropper, '09


PATRICK BLAKE is a writer/producer based in New York and San Francisco. In New York theater, he is one of the producers of Play Dead! at The Players Theatre, he has produced In the Continuum at Perry Street Theatre, Noah's Archive, Joe Fearless, The Exonerated (Lucille Lortel, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Court TV's Scales of Justice Award) and The Soap Myth at Southstreet Seaport. He also produced Dirty Works at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. He was Executive Producer for the short film, The Igloo, and the feature film Mr. Smith Gets a Hustler. He is the Director of New Play Development for Dog Run Repertory.

CHARLOTTE COHN - Producing: off-broadway – Rated P… For Parenthood, Baltimore in Black and White (by Jason Odell Williams). Founding producer: NYMF, Mainstreet Musicals. Directing: Insurgent…NYC, Emancipation, 1,934 Days. Performing: Broadway – La Boheme, Coram Boy. Regional favorites: Handle With Care, Happy End, Murder of Isaac, Marketplace. Ovation Award winner. Most proud of being Jason’s wife and Imogen’s mom.

VAN DEAN is partners with Kenny Howard in The Broadway Consortium, producers of this season's Bonnie & Clyde, Ching*lish, Porgy & Bess and Evita. He was a producer of Catch Me If You Can.  In 2005, Van co-founded Van Hill Entertainment, a theatrical production company, with Hillary Cutter.  Recent Credits: cast album of Rooms: A Rock Romance with Leslie Kritzer and Doug Kreeger (music and lyrics by Paul Scott Goodman, book by Paul Scott Goodman and Miriam Gordon), DC, Rochester and New York (Off-Broadway) productions of Rooms (, Seattle area production of Saint Heaven, an all-star benefit concert of Paul Scott Goodman's Alive in the World featuring Adam Pascal, Lea Michele, Melissa Errico, Daniel Reichard, Toby Lightman and Greg Naughton as well as the NYMF '06 production of Alive in the World (directed by Kurt Deutsch) and featuring 3 time Tony® Award nominee Kelli O’Hara, Aaron Lohr, Marcy Harriell and Greg Naughton.

Van Hill's World Premiere June '06 production of Saint Heaven ( -- Saint Heaven was a Winner of the 2006 NMTN Directors’ Choice Award) was named one of the top theatrical events of '06 by The Norwalk Hour and Frank Rizzo (THE HARTFORD COURANT and critic for VARIETY) named Montego Glover's portrayal of Eshie Willington in Saint Heaven (dir. Matt Lenz) as one of the great performances of '06 and also featured Tony® Award Winner Chuck Cooper, Deborah Gibson, Cheryl Alexander, Darren Ritchie and Patrick Ryan Sullivan.

JANE DUBIN (Producer) 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 CTI 14-week (NYC) and O’Neill Center Intensive (CT) Producing Workshops and recent Director of TRU’s Producer Development Program. Productions: Peter and the Starcatcher (opening on Broadway April 15, 2012), unFRAMED, by Iyaba Ibo Mandingo (next up at the InterAct Theater, Philadelphia, March, 2012), The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (London), The 39 Steps (OB, Tour), The Norman Conquests (TONY, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards, Best Play Revival), Groundswell (the New Group); Beebo Brinker Chronicles (2008 GLAAD Media Award for Theatre).

Ms. Dubin is on the Board of Directors of Houses on the Moon Theater Company and the co-curator of the Hudson Valley Writers’ Center New Play Reading Series (now accepting submissions – She is a member of the Broadway League and the League of Professional Theatre Women. She holds an MS in Public Policy from the University of Rochester and an MBA in Finance from NYU.

Laura Fredricks

LAURA FREDRICKS operates Laura Fredricks, LLC, a boutique consulting company that provides hands-on expert fundraising and best practices to a select number of non-profit organizations, to raise significant money, efficiently and effectively from a variety of existing and new sources. Areas of expert consulting services include:

Increasing small gifts into major gifts without increasing overhead;
Identifying new major gift investors;
Assessing and training executive administration, boards, staff, donors, and volunteers on How to ASK for Money;
Strategic planning for organizational growth; crisis transition; management; financial resource allocation; and positioning for upcoming fundraising campaigns;
Executing and evaluating capital campaigns, including raising major gifts for capital and endowment campaigns.

In addition to consulting, Laura is a motivational speaker and best-selling author of The Ask: How to Ask for Support for Your Nonprofit Cause, Creative Project, or Business Venture, (2010), The Ask: How to Ask Anyone for Any Amount for Any Purpose, (2006) and Developing Major Gifts: Turning Small Donors into Big Contributors (2001).


WALTER GOWENS, CFP, EA, is the President and founder of Prudential Vanguard Financial Services, Inc.. He offers to you the benefits of more than 30 years of experience gained from positions in accounting, finance, budgeting and investments. He has worked in industry and Wall Street as well as for the Internal Revenue Service and in the non-profit sector. He received a Master of Business Administration degree in Finance from Indiana University and Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Arizona State University.

He is an Enrolled Agent, Certified Financial Planner, listed in Who's Who In America and a member of the National Society of Accountants and National Society of Tax Professionals. Additionally, he has spoken on topics concerning financial and tax issues before numerous groups and has been interviewed for television, radio, newspaper and magazine

  MEREDITH LUCIO is the executive producer of Wild Bird Productions, Inc. In addition to being the Program Director of the Producer Development and Mentorship Program for Theater Resources Unlimited she also has produced both on and off Broadway with Rooms:a rock romance, The 39 Steps and currently Broadway's Porgy and Bess. Meredith also writes a theater blog at Follow Meredith @TheaterZen (twitter) and
Erach Screwvala

ERACH SCREWVALA, ESQ. is the founder of Screwvala LLC and has over ten years of experience in Entertainment Law, Intellectual Property, and Litigation.  In his Entertainment practice, he works with clients engaged in the legit theater, book publishing, motion picture, and music industries.  He regularly counsels clients on production financing, locating and clearing rights, and copyright issues.  He negotiates and drafts contracts on a wide range of issues, including financing documents, acquisition agreements, talent agreements, collaboration agreements, publishing and recording contracts.  His Litigation practice emphasizes complex litigation matters in Federal and State courts in a diverse range of areas, including Constitutional issues, copyright infringement, and securities fraud.

Erach’s articles on copyright law have appeared in the Journal of the Association of Recorded Sound Collections and he has spoken on or moderated panels at the CMJ Music Marathon, PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature, and TRU.

Bailie Slevin

BAILIE SLEVIN is currently a financial advisor with Forest Hills Financial Group on a mission to bring fiscal health and responsibility to the entertainment community. Member of AEA, League of Professional Theatre Women and The New York Coalition of Women in Arts and Media.  Bailie has stage managed, general managed and produced shows and events off-off Broadway, Off Broadway and Broadway that have won IT Awards, OBIE Awards, Drama Desk and Tony Awards. 

BEN SPRECHER is currently bringing the musical version of Daphne DuMaurier's classic Rebecca to Broadway. Other Broadway productions include: David Mamet’s American Buffalo directed by Robert Falls starring John Leguizamo; Eugene O’Neil’s Moon For The Misbegotten starring Eve Best and Kevin Spacey; James Kirkwood’s comedy Legends! starring Joan Collins and Linda Evans, the Broadway revival of Neil Simon’s The Odd Couple starring Nathan Lane and Mathew Broderick; the Tony award-winning Broadway production of Fortune’s Fool starring Alan Bates and Frank Langella; Larry Gelbart’s hit Broadway comedy Sly Fox starring Richard Dreyfuss and Eric Stoltz; the Tony award winning production of Hal Holbrook’s Mark Twain Tonight and the Broadway thriller Voices In The Dark starring Judith Ivey.

Earlier in his career, Mr. Sprecher was at the center of Off-Broadway. He reconstructed and operated the Theatre de Lys (now known as the Lucille Lortel Theatre) from 1981 until 1999. In 1982, he built the Promenade Theatre which was in continuous operation until 2006. In 1992, he built the Variety Arts Theatre which was in continuous operation until 2005. With the Shubert Organization, he was integral in construction of the Little Shubert Theatre which opened in 2004. During this period, productions Mr. Sprecher was responsible for include: the Pulitzer prize winning production of Edward Albee’s Three Tall Women; Steve Martin’s Picasso At Lapin Agile; Terrence McNalley’s Lisbon Traviata; Stephen Sondheim’s Pacific Overtures; and many more. As an independent, Mr. Sprecher productions include the original New York productions of: the musical Annie Warbucks; Elaine May’s Adult Entertainment starring Danny Aiello; Yazmina Reza’s Unexpected Man starring Alan Bates and Dame Eileen Atkinson; Neil LaBute’s The Shape Of Things starring Rachel Weitz and Paul Rudd. His shows have received two Tony awards, two Pulitzer prizes, eleven New York Drama Critics awards, fourteen Outer Critic Circle Awards, five Lucille Lortel Awards and numerous Obie Awards.

Mr. Sprecher is a member of the League of American Theatres and Producers. He served as Vice President of the League of Off Broadway Theatres and Producers for fifteen years.

LisaRoxanne Walters

LISAROXANNE WALTERS, ESQ. (Commercial/Not-for-Profit/Fiscal Sponsorship) enjoys her "day jobs" of corporate attorney, tax preparer, as well as business and law professor. When this seasoned actor is not on stage or a set, she is often starting up and advising small for- and non-profit businesses, drafting contracts, or preparing taxes. Before starting her private practice in 2004, she worked for six years in the corporate departments of leading firms such as Skadden Arps, Phillips Nizer, and others. LisaRoxanne was a legal specialist for non-profits and enjoyed a ten-year appointment to New York City's Neighborhood Advisory Board. This bi-coastal actor is a member of Actors Equity Association and Screen Actors Guild. LisaRoxanne's acting resume, "day job" curriculum vitae, and pix can all be found at

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