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Theater Resources Unlimited Announces Honorees for 2012 Benefit; Jerry Mitchell, Van Dean Honored


Theater Resources Unlimited (TRU) will celebrate its 21st year as a not-for-profit service organization with their annual TRU Love Benefit, Making the Impossible Possible! honoring producer Van Dean of the Broadway Consortium; director-choreographer Jerry Mitchell and Broadway Bares; and legendary downtown entrepreneur Edith O'Hara and the 13th Street Repertory. The event will take place Sunday November 11th at the brand new midtown Lucky Cheng's at 240 W. 52nd Street. It will begin at noon with wine, drinks and appetizers, followed by a luncheon at 1pm and the awards ceremony and performances at 2pm.

This year TRU is proud to recognize one of their own by presenting the 2012 TRU Spirit of Theater Award to Van Dean in recognition of his remarkable rise from first-time producer in the TRU reading series in 2005 (Saint Heaven) to a current Tony Award winner (Porgy & Bess), prolific Broadway producer, and creator of The Broadway Consortium, a new investment model that has helped bring Bonnie & Clyde, Ching-lish, revivals of Evita and The Best Man and more to the Broadway stage; as well as for his ongoing generosity as an active contributor to TRU's programs and his avid outreach on TRU's behalf.

TRU will also present their annual TRU Humanitarian Award to Broadway director-choreographer Jerry Mitchell (Hairspray, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Legally Blonde and the upcoming Cyndi Lauper musical Kinky Boots) for his selfless work and passionate, generous spirit as the creator of Broadway Bares, raising money for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

This year's TRU Entrepreneur Award will be given to Edith O'Hara in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the 13th Street Repertory, which for four decades has provided a valuable first home for so many people who move to New York to pursue theater.

The Honorary Benefit Committee lending their names and support to this year's event include writers Nell Benjamin and Laurence O'Keefe (Legally Blonde); producer Corey Brunish (The Gershwin's Porgy and Bess, Bonnie and Clyde, Peter and the Starcatcher); Kristin Caskey, president of Fox Theatricals (Bring It On, Red, Legally Blonde, Thoroughly Modern Millie); producer/investor Will Dombrowski (The Gershwin's Porgy and Bess, The Addams Family, Hairspray); producer Sue Frost of Junkyard Dog Productions (Memphis, Vanities); writer Heather Hach (Legally Blonde); playwright Israel Horovitz (Line, The Indian Wants the Bronx); producer-presenter Mike Isaacson, former vice president of Fox Theatricals, current executive producer of the Muny in St. Louis; producer Hal Luftig (Kinky Boots, Catch Me If You Can, Evita revival, Legally Blonde); 3-time Tony Award winning director Jack O'Brien (The Coast of Utopia, Hairspray, Henry I, The Full Monty); writers Marc Shaiman & Scott Wittman (Hairspray, Catch Me If You Can); producer Brisa Trinchero (The Gershwin's Porgy and Bess, Bonnie and Clyde, Peter and the Starcatcher); producer Cheryl Wiesenfeld (The Gershwin's Porgy and Bess, A Steady Rain, Legally Blonde, Elaine Stritch: At Liberty); and writer Frank Wildhorn (Jekyll and Hyde, Bonnie and Clyde).

The proceeds from this event directly benefit the programs of Theater Resources Unlimited, a not-for-profit service organization that educates people in the business of the arts, with a focus on producers, emerging theater companies and self-Producing Artists. Programs include monthly panels, workshops, a Producer Development and Mentorship Program, a new plays and new musicals reading series and a community e-newsletter of jobs, services, resources and theater events.

Tickets for the event will be $175 Premium Patron Level reserved seating on the first tier near the stage and $150 for Patron Level reserved seating on the first tier sides and second tier. Non-reserved General Admission tickets may be purchased for $100. Tickets are available through the TRU Store at

For more information about TRU membership and programs, visit or call (212) 714-7628.

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

Photo Credit: Walter McBride / Retna Ltd.

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