What often holds playwrights back is that they rarely consider the person who will buy and produce their product: the producer. With all the work, hope and sweat they invest in considering character, theme and plot, playwrights rarely take into account produceability. PRACTICAL PLAYWRITING: HOW TO WRITE FOR COMMERCIAL PRODUCTION, A One-Day Intensive for Writers will be taught by Diana Amsterdam of The Drama Centre, TRU's new Program Director for Playwrights. The workshop takes place on Saturday, October 16, 2010 from 10am-4pm at The Players Theatre, Room 3C, 115 MacDougal Street (below W. 3rd Street), NYC. Workshop fee is $150 ($25 off for members of TRU). Early bird registrants save $25 and pay $125 if they sign up by 10/9.

This one-day intensive will be taught by Diana Amsterdam of The Drama Centre, TRU's Program Director for Playwrights. With segments of the workshop taught by presentation coach Gillien Goll who will help writers capture the essence of their piece in an effective synopsis, and learn how to present themselves successfully; and a panel of commercial producers will offer feedback on writers' pitches as well as suggest appropriate markets for the works. Panel will include Margot Astrachan (Busker Alley) and Jeremy Handelman of Off the Leash Productions (White's Lies, F#@king Up Everything at NYMF).

"We believe that there is an audience for good theater even in a bad economy, and that the theater community needs to hold on to its passion and vision and push forward with conviction. We've created a series of workshops to develop various skill sets we feel are necessary for both artistic and commercial success. This one was designed to help people find what is true and important about their ideas, and to present them clearly and convincingly," said Bob Ost, executive director of TRU.

Other upcoming TRU workshops include a new Director-Writer Communications Lab on Saturday, October 23. In addition, TRU offers a unique Writer-Producer "Speed Date" where writers pitch to eleven or more commercial producers, many with Broadway credits; the next one will be held on Sunday, October 3. Details about all TRU programs can be found online at


10:00am-11:30 How to Write a Play that a Producer Wants to Produce - taught by Diana Amsterdam

11:30-12:00pm When and How to Submit Your Work - practical guidelines - taught by Diana Amsterdam

12:30 -1:15 How to Network - taught by Gillien Goll, Bob Ost and Gary Hughes

1:15-2:45 Getting to the Essence: A Good Synopsis and How to Pitch It - taught by Gillien Goll, Bob Ost and Gary Hughes

3:00-4:00 Identifying Your Market - an inter-active "pitch" session with feedback from Margot Astrachan and Jeremy Handelman (others tba).

Participants receive the Practical Playwright's Guide--A Take-Home Handout -- including exercises in Play Structure and Story Truths, Examples of Query Letters, Loglines, and Synopses; Costs of Various Components of a Production including Actors' Fees, Costumes, Sets and More; a list of great New York theaters for rent; Invaluable Websites for Playwrights, and a list of Playwright Workshops.

Admission is $150 ($25 off for members of TRU). With early bird registration by 10/9, admission is $125. Workshop limited to 20 participants. Pre-registration is available by emailing To have us save a spot for you, make your subject header "P&P RSVP." Go to for links to word document and pdf applications. Payment by check may be mailed to Theater Resources Unlimited, 309 W. 104th Street 1D, NYC NY 10025 (please include an application). On-line payment by Paypal or by credit card is available at

DIANA AMSTERDAM is the CEO and Artistic Director of The Drama Center which originated at the Writers' Voice at the West Side YMCA, where she taught playwriting for four years, and founded the Master Playwrights Class. She also taught an original and highly popular dialogue-writing class. TDC's reading series was standing-room; and the development of the play The Prophet of Borough Park culminated in a showcase production. Diana continues to coach playwrights through The Drama Center; and she is intensively developing plays with three outstanding student playwrights. Diana is the author of 8 plays published by Samuel French and Playscripts. Her work is produced worldwide and has been translated into French, German and Portuguese. Her play Fast Girls has just been optioned to be made into a feature film. She is anthologized by St. Martins Press and Smith & Krause. She is the recipient of a New York State Council on the Arts award; winner of the BBC American Radio Plays Contest; winner of a Masque Award in Montreal, and a former member of the MCC playwrights group. She has been commissioned to write original plays by MCC, Shake-a-Leg Foundation and the BBC. Diana's Carpentry of Writing Series is an ongoing seminar & workshop in her hometown of Brooklyn, New York. She is the originator of the Story Construction method which will soon go live at The School of Story Construction.

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.

JEREMY HANDELMAN (Off the Leash Productions) was producer of White's Lies at New World Stages. He has produced and managed many New York productions including the award-winning F#@king Up Everything (NYMF), Assholes & Aureoles, The Bronx Balmers, CYCLE: A Vaudeville Comedy, The Aspern Papers, Scapin, Five by Tenn, Fritz & Froyim, and The ARTC Spring Reading Series. He is the author of The Bronx Balmers, Tic-Tac-Toe and numerous short plays. Jeremy is the founder of Off The Leash Productions, where he also produces and edits video commercials, promos, events and actor reels. He is a proud board member of TRU, in the TRU Producer Mentorship Program, and a member of the American Renaissance Theater Company, where he also serves as Outreach Coordinator. In a previous life as a television executive he was Vice President, Programming for CBS Sports. Current development: F#@king Up Everything and Seriously Trivial People. Upcoming: White's Lies at New World Stages this spring.

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 capability 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 and artistic directors conducted by panels of experts from both the commercial and not-for-profit segments of Broadway, Off-Broadway and the motion picture industry. TRU also publishes a monthly email community newsletter of services, goods and productions. In addition, TRU created the TRU VOICES Annual New Play Reading Series and the TRU VOICES Annual New Musicals Reading Series in which TRU underwrites developmental readings of new works for theater. In 2001, TRU began giving annual scholarships to The Commercial Theater Institute, to encourage the development of aspiring producers, created a Producer Mentoring Program whose mentors are among the most prominent producers and general managers in New York theater, and presents Producer Boot Camp workshops to help aspirants develop the business skills they need. In March '08, TRU was associate producer of its first Equity showcase, Missives at 59E59 Theatre, a play that was developed in the 2006 TRU reading series. TRU programs for actors include an Annual Audition Event, Resource Nights and "Speed Dating" as well as free monthly actor events, including workshops.

Programs of Theater Resources Unlimited are supported in part by public funds awarded through the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) and the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, as well as generous support from the Friar's National Foundation Association.

For more information about TRU membership, visit or call 212-714-7628.


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