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TRU Kicks Off Fall 2012 Panels with 'Can the American Theater Afford to Develop New Work?' Tonight, 9/19

Theater Resources Unlimited (TRU) opens its fall season of monthly networking panels with Can the American Theater Afford to Develop New Work? (Can It Afford Not to?), tonight, September 19, 2012 at 7:30pm at The Players Theatre's Steve & Marie Sgouros Theatre, 3rd floor, 115 MacDougal Street, NYC. Doors open at 7:00pm for networking and refreshments, panel starts promptly at 7:30pm.

Revivals and classics are important to our culture. They give us context and history, but we need new voices in theater to guarantee our future. Given the financial pressures and expense of producing at the commercial level, unbranded works and unknown writers pose a great risk. Is commercial theater an appropriate venue to develop new work? Off-Broadway was once the domain of the new, edgy and experimental, but now even the finances of off-Broadway are prohibitive. The one safe place left for theater artists to stretch their artistic wings may be indie theater, and this panel will examine the reasons to do so, as well as attempt to define the differences between off-Broadway and "indie" theater. We will also look at the distinctions between commercial and non-commercial works, and the importance of both for a healthy culture.

Panelists will include some of the leaders of the "indie" theater movement: Martin Denton, editor of; Darren Lee Cole, owner of the Soho Playhouse; Heidi Grumelot, artistic director for Horse Trade Theatre; Chris Harcum, managing director and Aimee Todoroff, membership committee chair, League of Independent Theater (LIT); Stephen Speights, founding member of Blue Coyote Theater Group.

Admission is $12 (free for TRU members).Please RSVP by email to or by phone at (212) 714-7628 at least a day in advance.

Theater Resources Unlimited (TRU) is a twenty-year-old 501c3 nonprofit organization created to help producers produce, emerging theater companies to emerge healthily and all theater professionals to understand and navigate the business of theater. Membership includes self-Producing Artists as well as career producers and theater companies.

TRU publishes an email community newsletter of services, goods and productions; presents the TRU VOICES Annual New Play Reading Series and Annual New Musicals Reading Series, two new works series in which TRU underwrites developmental readings to nurture new shows as well as new producers for theater; TRU offers a Producer Development & Mentorship Program whose mentors are among the most prominent producers and general managers in New York Theater, and also presents Producer Boot Camp workshops to help aspirants develop the business skills they need. TRU serves writers through a Writer-Producer Speed Date, a Practical Playwriting Workshop and a Director-Writer Communications Lab; programs for actors include an Annual Combined Audition and quarterly Resource Nights and "Speed Dating" as well as free monthly actor workshops, in partnership with Weist-Barron Studios.

TRU's monthly panels have been a core program of TRU since its inception, and in recent years executive director Ost has partnered with Back Stage to generate topics of interest to both TRU members and Back Stage readers. Founded in 1960, Back Stage is the world's most trusted name in casting, auditions, and entertainment-industry opportunities. "Through TRU, Back Stage is able to reach beyond its actor base to a wider theater community," said Ost, "and we get more visibility through the Back Stage connection." For information about Back Stage, visit

Built in 1907 and converted into a theatre in the late 1940's, The Players Theatre, host of the monthly TRU panels, has been a jewel in the midst of beautiful Greenwich Village, serving as a magnet for performing artists and their audiences. The mainstage theatre has been home to such long run productions as An Evening with Quentin Crisp, Psycho Beach Party and Ruthless starring an 8 year old Brittany Spears, Natalie Portman and Legally Blonde the Musical's Laura Bell Bundy. The Steve & Marie Sgouros Theatre, a 60-seat loft space on the 3rd floor offers an intimate home for TRU's panels, as well as a range of new works. For more information, visit

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 and programs, visit or call (212) 714-7628.

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