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 Thank you for providing such an incredible opportunity!  I will admit I was completely terrified, but this was exactly what I needed.  In the process of preparing the pitch and materials I learned a lot about how to distill my play down to its essence.  Your guidance and comments were very helpful, as was the practice coaching before.  I learned a lot about how I can make my pitch better, and what questions I need to be better prepared to answer.  And the best part is, several producers expressed interest in my work!  I am so glad I was able to participate! ~Natalie Wilson, Sept '10

Speaking as an out-of-town playwright I have to tell you that TRU’s writer/producer speed date program accomplished as much for me in one evening as I accomplish in a year of blind script submissions. The quality of the people participating – playwrights and producers -- was impressive and the program’s format of structured four-minute sessions with each producer was a godsend for me. Frankly, I’m a hopeless klutz at parties and other social situations where meetings with producers might happen casually or spontaneously, so when you created this concept of a concentrated four minutes devoted exclusively to the play and the producer, you liberated me from all those social bonding rituals at which I’m so awful. And I came away with the sense that, however brief it was, my plays finally got the stage I’ve hoped they would receive. I hope that, if you have more writer/producer speed dates, I can participate again. ~Sean O’Leary, Feb '09

I thought the speed date was one of the best learning experiences I have ever had. ~ Toni Hart, Feb '09

CLICK HERE for more quotes from writers

Pitch your work to a roomful of serious producers ...
TRU Writer-Producer Speed Date
(The Art of the Pitch)

No, it's not really a "date." It's a quick way to meet over a dozen producers - from beginner to Broadway level - and practice your pitching skills.

Sunday October 14th, 5:30pm and 6:30pm
deadline to apply: Saturday, October 6th

The Players Theatre, 115 MacDougal Street, 3rd floor


Scheduled producers include:

Paul Adams - artistic director Emerging Artists Theatre
Margot Astrachan
- producer (Nice Work If You Can Get It, On a Clear Day... revival)
Patrick Blake
- producer (Play Dead, The Exonerated, In the Continuum)
Jane Dubin
- producer (Ann, Peter and the Starcatcher, The Norman Conquests, The 39 Steps)
Jacki Barlia Florin - producer (revivals of Jesus Christ Superstar, On a Clear Day..., How to Succeed...; plus The Mountaintop, Jerusalem, The Scottsboro Boys)
Jordan Scott Gilbert
- producer (Ghost the Musical)
Bruce Robert Harris - producer (Nice Work If You Can Get It, Clybourne Park, Bonnie & Clyde, The Scottsboro Boys)
Daryl Sledge
- indie producer (Fried Chicken and Latkes); and Jacqueline Wade, artistic director Women of Color Productions
Ken Waissman - producer (original Grease, Agnes of God, Torch Song Trilogy)
Stuart Wilk
- producer (Yank!, Meet Me in St. Louis at Irish Repertory)
Shela Xoregos
- producing artistic director Xoregos Performing Company

Click here for producer bios.
Click here
for the application in Word format.

Email application to TRUnltd@aol.com
Evening limited to 22 writers.

Cost: $75 if accepted ($65 for TRU members)*

You meet a producer at a party, and have two minutes to interest him in your work. Do you have the skill to sell yourself?

Here's a chance to practice your pitching with real producers who are open to and looking for new work. Okay, they probably won't option you on the spot, but you'll meet them and have the opportunity to start developing a relationship. And that's what this business is all about. Relationships.

We'll have eleven producers lined up, from both the commercial and not-for-profit worlds, all with an interest in new projects; we also may have eleven aspiring producers from our Producer Development program. So you'll be pitching to as many as 22 producers in total!

Come with a willingness to learn, because the real value is the chance to practice your pitching. And you'll be getting invaluable coaching from experts, as well. And did we mention the wine and cheese afterwards? Click here to meet the producers.

ABOUT SPEED DATING. How does it work? 11 writers will arrive at 5:30, and we have two coaches coming who will coach the writers on their presentations. Then at 6:30, they go into the Pitch Room to meet the producers - one at each of the stations. We ring a bell, writers have two minutes to pitch. We ring a second bell, producers have two minutes to respond and ask questions, or give feedback. Writers bring a packet with a synopsis, bio, cast breakdown and production requirements to leave with each of the producers. If the project interests the producer, he may request that you send a full script.

Meanwhile, group two is in the Coaching Room getting coached for an hour starting at 6:30. Second group goes into the Pitch Room at 7:30. We estimate that pitches and turnaround should take about 50 minutes total for all eleven. We will have wine and cheese afterwards, so although the pitch sessions will end at around 8:20, we hope writers and producers will stay and chat informally until 9pm or so.

Yikes! Eleven writers pitching to eleven producers at one time? Think of it as the "cocktail party" pitch where you have to hold someone's interest with dozens of conversations going on around you. A little chaotic perhaps, but true to life.

WHAT YOU SHOULD BRING: A one-page (maximum) synopsis, a one-page writer/theater resume or bio, production history (including reviews), set and cast breakdown. You will need 22 sets, one for each of the producers. Make them nice - it's part of that all-important first impression.

ABOUT THE COACHES: we are bringing in two professional coaches to work with each writer on vocal technique, presentation skills and content. Click here to read about Michael Ian Cedar and Gillien Goll.

NOT EVERYONE WILL BE ACCEPTED. We will judge your application based on the viability of the project, your experience as a writer and the specific interests of the participating producers. If accepted into the program, the cost is $65 for TRU members and $75 for non-members (and yes, you can always join as a member to qualify for the discount).

Click here for the application in Word format.

Email application to TRUnltd@aol.com
Evening limited to 22 writers.

Click to return to top of page.
THE PRODUCERS
Paul Adams
PAUL ADAMS Artistic Director and Founder of Emerging Artists Theatre Company for 17 years. Directing credits for EAT are Real Danger, Layout, My Sister the Cow, Hard Hearted Hannah, and Counter Girls. Playwright credits - Two Minutes, Sleeping Beauty. Acting on and off for the past 15 years at numerous Theatre Row theatres. Serves as Founding board member for the New York Innovative Theatre Awards celebrating Off Off Broadway work and the Steering Committee for the newly founded League of Independent Theatre. He is currently working towards a permanent home for Emerging Artists who received its first Drama Desk nomination and was voted Best Off Off Broadway Theatre Company in NY by Backstage Magazine.
MARGOT ASTRACHAN is Chair of The American Friends of the London Philharmonic Orchestra and a Director of The League of Professional Theatre Women. She is a producer of the current Nice Work If You Can Get It on Broadway,  a producer of the musical Busker Alley and the revival of On a Clear Day You Can See Forever among others. She was the American Artistic Director of the Jermyn Street Theatre in Londonand has had over 30 years’ experience producing special events for Arts Organizations such as The York Theatre Company, The Theatre Museum, and BritArts of The St. George’s Society, which features British and American theatre professionals in readings and panels in New York. Ms. Astrachan is a member of The Association of Performing Arts Presenters, The Broadway League, The Dramatists Guild, the Advisory Board of TRU, British American Business, Inc. and BAFTA. She is a graduate of CTI (The Commercial Theatre Institute).

PATRICK BLAKE is a writer/producer based in New York and San Francisco. In New York theater, he was 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.

"I'm mostly looking for plays about serious subjects (the unfair legal system, AIDS, our feelings about death) that use non traditional ways of telling the story. Plays that will have an impact on society."

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. Productions: Peter and the Starcatcher (winner of 5 TONY Awards), unFRAMED by Iyaba Ibo Mandingo, Ann starring Holland Taylor (upcoming Broadway), 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 by Bill Nabel and Bob Christianson (Best Musical, MITF 2007), Count Down by Dominique Cieri, at the Bank Street Theatre and the one-woman show that started it all, MentalPause by Margaret Liston.

Ms. Dubin is a member of the Broadway League and the League of Professional Theatre Women. She is on the Board of Directors of Houses on the Moon Theater Company and co-curator of the Hudson Valley Writers’ Center New Play Reading Series.
Jacki Florin, producer
JACKI BARLIA FLORIN - Broadway: Jesus Christ Superstar revival, The Mountaintop, Jerusalem, How to Succeed... revival, The Scottsboro Boys (Tony nomination, Best Musical), All About Me, The Seagull, Passing Strange, Is He Dead? Regional: All About Us. Graduate, Emerson College; board member, AFRMC.

JORDAN SCOTT GILBERT is President of Gilbert Productions, a new independent production & casting company based in New York City representing Film, Television, & Theatrical productions worldwide. He is one of the youngest pro'ducers in Broadway theatrical history.   Jordan is Co-Producer of the 3-time Tony® Award nominated & Drama Desk Award winning Broadway production of Ghost The Musical with Paramount Pictures, for which he first received a Drama League award nomination, among other honors. Jordan also produced on Stephen Schwartz's London revival of Pippin, starring Tony® Award Winner Frances Ruffelle. Recent Gilbert Productions credits include Disney's They Spoke Out: American Voices Against The Holocaust, We Are Lights starring Tony® & Grammy® Award winner Melba Moore & Actor's Equity President Nick Wyman, PEACE AQUA starring Andrea McArdle, & SHOWBIZ TALK with numerous Academy®/Tony®/Grammy® Award winners. Jordan served as assistant to the lead producer on the Broadway musical A TALE OF TWO CITIES, directed by Warren Carlyle & designed by multiple Academy® & Tony® Award winner Tony Walton. As a performer, Jordan has appeared in several stage, film, & television projects. At 6 years old, Jordan became known professionally as "THE MIZ KID." 

For a musical, I'm interested in any genre of material as long as it has several memorable melodies and a wonderful story.”

BRUCE ROBERT HARRIS is a Tony Award-winning Broadway and West End producer. Since 2005 he has produced 25 plays and 13 musicals for Broadway, London’s West End, Off-Broadway, regional theatres and national and international festivals plus a series of major special events.  For Broadway he is currently producing the Pulitzer Prize-winning play Clybourne Park which won this year’s Tony Award for Best Play and the new Gershwin musical Nice Work If You Can Get It starring Matthew Broderick and Kelli O’Hara (10 Tony Award nominations).  Their other recent credits include the Broadway productions of Bonnie & Clyde (3 Tony Award nominations) and the Kander and Ebb musical The Scottsboro Boys, for which they received 12 Tony Award nominations; The Judy Show starring Judy Gold and Leslie Jordan's My Trip Down The Pink Carpet both Off Broadway; and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s By Jeeves and My Trip Down The Pink Carpet in London’s West End.

This year he is a named Producer on Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Glengary Glen Ross and the upcoming Pippin in the Spring.

DARYL SLEDGE, Brooklynite is a theatre producer as well as a film and television professional. Currently, he is the producer of the Off-Broadway solo project Fried Chicken and Latkes written by and starring Rain Pryor at the Actors Temple Theatre. Upon completion of the open-ended run of Fried Chicken and Latkes, Daryl has started talks about touring the production. His main objective is producing commercially whether it be Broadway, Off Broadway, Regionally/Touring and the West End. Daryl has completed reading the play Pound for Pound by Steven Alexander, which he found through TRU's Speed Date, and is in negotiations to present a professional staged reading of the work. Hel has been a member of Theater Resources Unlimited for 7 months and has and is taking courses and attending seminars at CTI. He would love to see more people of color and women get involve with these two great organizations.

"I want to produce works that relate to all walks of life. I feel very strongly that life is literature and art and that all forms of life should be presented in theatre. This is my aim and goal, to find a piece of art that someone can say, 'hey, that's me, I know that person.'"

JACQUELINE WADE has directed and produced many plays and is co-founder of Through Her Eyes Women of Color Film Festival and Women of Color Theatre Festival. She is also the founder and executive producer of the non-for-profit theatre, Women of Color Productions, Inc. which produces plays by or about Women of Color, (African American, Native American, Asian, Latina, Middle Eastern, African and so on) The various plays she produces are multi-cultural and deal with human rights issues. The two most recent projects she produced were Women of Color Human Rights Theatre Project. These were full productions that were developed out of the Women of Color Playwrights Project. They were Filipino, Rwandan, German, and African American Plays. She also recently produced a Summer Stage production at Riverbank State Park, “Black Orphe and Eurydice”, during the month of August.

Ms. Wade was also awarded the Walt Disney Pride Rock Grant. She was also awarded the Ethel Surgent grant for $15,000 which helped to fund the touring of her plays to over 30 culturally deprived schools and institutions in Pennsylvania. She was also honored by Delta Zeta Chapter in Philadelphia for teaching cultural literacy through drama. Ms. Wade was recently awarded a writing residency at Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and awarded residencies through Poets and Writers.

KEN WAISSMAN, a Tony Award winning producer, is one of only two producers in the history of Broadway to have a musical run over 3000 performances and a play run over 1000. (The other producer with this distinction is the infamous David Merrick.)  Waissman developed and produced the original Broadway production of Grease as well as two of Broadway’s longest running plays, Agnes of God by John Pielmeier and Torch Song Trilogy by Harvey Fierstein.  He is currently developing Josephine, an original musical inspired by the legendary star of the Folies Bergère in Paris, Josephine Baker.  Other Broadway credits include: Pulitzer Prize winner Paul Zindel’s play, And Miss Reardon Drinks A Little with Julie Harris and Estelle Parsons; the Sherman brothers musical, Over Here!, which starred the Andrew Sisters and featured Ann Reinking, John Travolta, Marilu Henner and Treat Williams. Waissman made his producing debut with the John Herbert play Fortune and Men’s Eyes, which was directed by Sal Mineo and featured Tommy Lee Jones.

STUART WILK came to New York from Dallas in 2006 and quickly made the transition from longtime newspaper editor to theatrical producer. His first production, in tandem with The Irish Repertory Theatre, was an acclaimed revival of “Meet Me in St. Louis.” He went on to become one of the lead producers of "Yank!" which had a sold-out run at the York Theatre in 2010 and was further developed through two workshop productions directed by David Cromer. Wilk had a decades-long career as a journalist, working variously as a theater critic, investigative reporter and for many years as vice president/managing editor of The Dallas Morning News. He was a two-time juror for the Pulitzer Prize and also worked as a political consultant and free-lance writer. His production company is More TK Productions Inc. – newspaper lingo for “more to come.”

"What am I looking for? Musical theater that's transformative -- a show that hits you in the heart, makes you feel different on the way out than you did on the way in. (Is that so much to ask?)"

SHELA XOREGOS has produced arcane original and classical plays, poetry, dance and music. Playwrights she's produced and/or commissioned include Dave DeChristopher, Ade Ademola, Adam Kraar, Grace Cavalieri and Rick Foster. She has discovered and premiered plays by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Oscar Wilde, Sarah Bernardt, Rene Magritte and others. She is Producing Artistic Director of Manhattan based Xoregos Performing Company (a non-profit) as well as a free-lance director and choreographer. She looks for the bizarre; can be non-linear, heightened use of language, rarely dis-functional family or kitchen sink plays. Visit xoregos.com

"My interests as a producing artistic director are1. bizarre plays  2. plays with heightened language 3. plays which combine music, dance, text. 4. plays which are set in past or future times. Most would qualify as non-commercial."

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THE COACHES

GILLIEN GOLL has been teaching Public Speaking and Presentation techniques for over ten years. From her background as an actor, writer, director, and acting teacher, she has  derived a method for teaching others to present themselves powerfully and authentically.  Her clients hold a range of professions from soup (Campbell’s Soup) to nuts (discretion prevents identifying these!). Clients have appeared on such television programs as Oprah, Court TV, MTV, and The CBS Early Show.

As an acting teacher, she currently teaches both privately and at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA). She has also taught at Fordham University among other institutions. Acting students have appeared on Broadway, tour, film, television, and commercials. She was recently brought up to Halifax, Nova Scotia, by ACTRA (the Canadian film, television, and radio union) to teach acting there. www.gilliengoll.com

MICHAEL IAN CEDAR Producing teams of: Arthur Live - The Tour, She Loves You Beatles Tribute, NYMF: The Cure (2009) and Pandora's Box (2010) featuring Kerry Butler and Deidre Goodwin. He was on the company management team for the national bus and truck tours of Fiddler on the Roof, Throughly Modern Millie, and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolored Dreamcoat. Michael is the Associate producer of StarQuest International, a 45 city dance competition tour that hosts over 24,000 young dancers per-season. He is the leader of the StarQuest concierge sales teams resulting in revenues exceeding 4 million dollar annually. Michael is founder of Ask Yourself Productions and hosts "Culture Soup" seminars in which he shares with people how to increase closing rates and brand awareness through remarkable relationships. Michael's blog www.AskYourselfInEntertainment.com passionately covers the topics of productivity, corporate culture, and customer service in the entertainment field.

MORE QUOTES FROM WRITERS WHO HAVE SPEED DATED WITH US

"The educational value of the Speed Date was truly helpful. I worked with Samantha, who was great. With her help, TRU helped me refine and polish my synopsis along with my pitch." ~ John Doble 

"The Speed Date was a terrific experience and once I relaxed into the rhythm and sense of it, I enjoyed myself a lot, which was a surprise. I will recommend this to other of my writing friends - I think they will really benefit from it." ~ Rebecca Ortese

"I wanted to say thank you for a terrific experience. I learned a lot and enjoyed meeting the producers. They were lovely, patient, and interested. The best thing for me was I learned what I didn't know. I was able to practice pitching, which was great. So, thank you. I just wrote all the writers in my theatre company and told them they should do it. And the reception was lovely, too." ~Pamela Scott

"You did a magnificent job on the speed date. It was an awesome experience and I really appreciate being part of it.." ~ Dorothy Marcic

"I just wanted to let you know once again how much I enjoyed the speed date Sunday night. As you promised, I really had my pitch down pat by the end of the evening. I can now pitch to anyone at anytime." ~Kathy Kafer

"Thank you so much for the great Speed Date evening. It was a blast and such a great opportunity to meet with the producers. They were incredibly open and gracious and it meant a lot to all of us nervous first-time "daters." The experience of pitching in that format was really helpful in getting across what our story was in a short, concise manner, finding a way to convey it passionately, and making sure our intentions were clear. Thanks, also, to our coach Karen. She was amazing and cut and slashed away at our long, drawn out speeches.... Your efforts on behalf of writers and producers are greatly appreciated." ~Marylee Martin, writer

"Thank you so much for this experience. As you well know we writers spend so much in our own little think tanks and the opportunity to meet so many interesting people - not even to mention the chance of having our work read, exposing ourselves to not just one but 22 producers is just invaluable! Everyone was kind, friendly and very positive - what a great energy in that building! On a personal note, I've always been intimidated by the verbal pitch (my brain freezes - now what was my play about?) so last night for me was a personal triumph. In short - what you've done is awesome." ~Michele Aldin-Kushner, Feb '09

"Thank you for making tonight happen and giving me an opportunity to meet so many accomplished producers. A special tip of the hat to Jane whose coaching session was so helpful. I think my pitch was strong - so much stronger than it would have been - and that's the important thing." ~John Doble

"Thanks for a fabulous "Speed Dating" event. I think the most helpful part of it was to get my collaborator, Wayne Barker, and I on the same page about exactly how to pitch our show and what to highlight when we talk about it together. Jane, our coach, was amazingly helpful and calming. By the end of the pitching hour, I was exhausted but enthused by the response to our pitch. You organized a great event and both Wayne and I look forward to participating in more TRU events in the future." ~Donna Kaz and Wayne Barker

"The producers were all engaging and supportive, and asked very concrete questions about cast and orchestra size, marketing opportunities, who's the audience, what other shows are like our show. As we worked our away around the circle, the pitch got more and more clear and concrete. Great fun - do it if you can!" ~Mark Sutton-Smith

"It was quite an amazing experience and quite helpful to the playwright. It is wonderful that there is an organization like TRU seeking to forward the interests of creative artists and the producers who bring their work to the stage." ~Marshall Tarley

"Speed Dating was very powerful for me. My learning and the powerful engagement with the producers helped me a great deal. While I would have loved sending the full script off to one of the producers, their excellent questions (each producer different by the way!) were so helpful. And their 'getting it' right away was also encouraging. And when something catches someone, then I will be less an outsider for having met these amazing people. Thank you thank you!" ~Mickey Bolmer

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