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TRU Announces Lineup Of 'DOLLARS AND SENSE' Panels 12/8 & 12/15

Theater Resources Unlimited (TRU) is pleased to announce that an exciting lineup of prominent Broadway producers and general managers has joined the Dollars and Sense panels to follow readings of the winning selections of the 2008 TRU Voices New Musicals Series.

The series is unique because it develops new producers as well as new musicals, and in keeping true to its mission, the TRU talkbacks focus on producer concerns regarding the development of these works beyond the series.

The panels will follow readings of the works on Mondays, December 8 and 15, 2008 at 7:30pm at the Players Theatre, located at 115 MacDougal Street, NYC.

The musicals chosen for the series are: Once Upon a Wind, a musical about love, magic and lies by Tom Diggs and Jay D'Amico, produced by Sheila McDevitt; and So Happy I Could Scream!, a musical celebration of motherhood, with book by Judy Freed, music by Sari Miller, lyrics by Randi Wolfe and additional lyrics by Sari Miller, produced by Meredith Lucio/Wild Bird Productions.

The Dollars and Sense panel following the reading of Once Upon a Wind on December 8 will include panelists Stewart Lane (producer, La Cage Aux Folles, Woman of the Year, Legally Blonde, Sunday in the Park with George revival, 39 Steps); Jennifer Manocherian (producer, Spring Awakening, August: Osage County, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Caroline or Change, Sunday in the Park with George revival, 39 Steps); Brian Swasey, development consultant at Queens Theatre on the Park; Cheryl Wiesenfeld (producer, Legally Blonde, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Caroline or Change, Elaine Stritch: At Liberty).

The Dollars and Sense panel following the reading of So Happy I Could Scream! on December 15 will include Peter Bogyo, general manager of the Sprecher Organization (A Moon for the Misbegotten revival, Sly Fox, Fortune's Fool, upcoming musicals Prairie and Rebecca); Pat Addiss (producer, Spring Awakening, 39 Step, Passing Strange); Pam Koslow (producer, Jelly's Last Jam, Jane Eyre, Captain Louie, upcoming Yanks!).

Dollars and Sense panels focus on producer concerns such as marketing, budgets, appropriate venues and the general developmental trajectory for the show that is being read. "I always remind our audiences that there are three basic human instincts: food, sex and rewriting other people's work," says TRU president Bob Ost. "Although we provide food at our receptions, the other two instincts do not come into play in our reading series. We do not talk about creative aspects, and discourage audience rewrites. We focus on the business of bringing the show that has been read into a next stage production." Prominent Broadway producers and general managers, as well as artistic directors from the not-for-profit and regional theater worlds, are invited to watch the readings and discuss the play afterwards. The producer for the evening, and sometimes the director, answers questions while the playwright sits anonymously in the audience.

Once Upon a Wind, with book and lyrics by Tom Diggs, music by Jay D'Amico, will be read on December 8, 2008 at 7:30pm, produced by Sheila McDevitt and directed by Jeremy Dobrish,

In war torn England, two teens attempt to make sense of their lives as they come of age through the lens of love, magic ... and lies. Based on the Cottingley Fairy Hoax, Once Upon a Wind is the story of the two teenagers who faked fairy photos during World War One and briefly fooled a grieving nation. As a straight play titled Yorkshire Tales, it won The Aurand Harris Prize, was a Princess Grace finalist, and was the ATHE Playworks selection for 2007 before it received an Off-Off Broadway workshop produced by On the Leesh Productions at The Michael Weller Theatre in October 2007.

So Happy I Could Scream! will be read on December 15, 2008 at 7:30pm. Book by Judy Freed, music by Sari Miller, lyrics by Randi Wolfe and additional lyrics by Sari Miller, produced by Meredith Lucio, Wild Bird Productions. The show was developed at Theatre Building Chicago.

So Happy I Could Scream! is a musical revue celebrating the challenges and rewards of motherhood. Touching, humorous, and thought-provoking, it transports the audience to a bewildering world of love, relationships, discipline, gender roles, career paths, sex, family planning, and facing the empty nest. Featuring an upbeat mix of contemporary song styles, monologues, and scenes, So Happy I Could Scream! will appeal to anyone who is a mother - or has one. So Happy I Could Scream! began at a kitchen table in the Chicago suburbs and was developed at Theatre Building Chicago, where it was seen in the Monday Night Musicals series and at Stages 2007, a festival of new musicals-in-progress. It recently received a concert reading at the Paramount Theatre in Aurora, Illinois.

The TRU Voices Series' track record is impressive. Among the shows that began in the series are The Great American Trailer Park Musical by Betsy Kelso and David Nehls, which went on to a popular off-Broadway two seasons ago and is currently touring; Nor'mal by Yvonne Adrian, Cheryl Stern and Tom Kochan, which went on to win a Larsen Award and played a limited in the East Village starring Barbara Walsh; and last year's Opa! by Mari Carras and Laurel Ollstein, which was a recent sell-out hit of the Midtown International Theatre Festival. For the 2001 Series, TRU President Bob Ost cast the perfect actress for the one-woman musical The Ambition Bird by Matthew Sheridan, Victoria Clark (who won a Tony for Light in the Piazza). The show went on to be a selection at the Cardiff Wales International Festival, as was About Face by David Arthur, which played this past summer in the New York Musical Festival (NYMF). And in the 2005 Series, TRU found a producer for Saint Heaven, a writer submission from Martin Casella and Keith Gordon; TRU put the show in the hands of Van Dean and Hillary Cutter of Van Hill Entertainment, and also matched Van and Hillary with mentor Broadway producer Cheryl Wiesenfeld (Legally Blonde, Elaine Stritch: At Liberty, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, In the Continuum). As a result of this successful partnership, Saint Heaven moved from a reading in December ‘05 into a full production in June ‘06 at the Stamford Center for the Performing Arts starring Deborah Gibson and Tony winner Chuck Cooper and it is scheduled this fall at The Village Theatre in Issaqua, Washington.

TRU was founded in 1992 to promote a spirit of cooperation and support within the general theater community by providing information and a variety of entertainment-related services and resources that strengthen the business capabilities of producing organizations, individual producers, self-producing artists and other theater professionals. The company holds monthly seminars on a wide range of subjects important to theatrical producers conducted by panels of experts from both the commercial and not-for-profit worlds. TRU also publishes a print newsletter and a monthly email community newsletter. In addition, TRU served as the umbrella organization for a co-production by several of its member companies as a part of the first annual New York Fringe Festival. From that experience, the organization has expanded its production efforts by creating the TRU VOICES New Play Reading Series and the TRU VOICES New Musicals Reading Series. In 2001, TRU began giving annual scholarships to The Commercial Theater Institute, to encourage the development of aspiring producers, and most recently created a Producer Mentoring Program whose mentors are among the most prominent producers and general managers in New York theater.

This series is made possible in part through the generous support of the New York State Council on the Arts, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and the Friars National Association Foundation.

The 2008 TRU Voices Series will take place at the Players Theatre, 115 MacDougal Street, NYC.

Schedule of readings:
Monday, December 8 at 7:30pm - Once Upon a Wind
Monday, December 15 at 7:30pm - So Happy I Could Scream!

Admission is FREE but reservations are required. Online ticketing is available at www.theplayerstheatre.com or phone 212-475-1449. For more information, visit www.truonline.org.

 


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