Theater Resources Unlimited Announces September Panel WHO IS TRU?

Theater Resources Unlimited Announces September Panel WHO IS TRU?

Theater Resources Unlimited (TRU) presents its annual free introductory panel Thursday, September 20, 2018: WHO IS TRU? A Free Introduction to Our Community and Programs at 7:30pm (doors open for networking at7pm) at The Playroom Theatre, 151 W. 46th Street, 8th fl., NYC. This panel is free but please reserve using the bright red reservation box athttps://truonline.org/events/who-is-tru/, or call at least a day in advance (or much sooner) for reservations: 212-714-7628; or e-mail TRUStaff1@gmail.com.

Come to our free-for-everyone seasonal kickoff and networking meet-and-greet and meet the program directors and illustrious board members of Theater Resources Unlimited that make it possible to bring you the range of programming we offer to producers and artists. Our confirmed lineup includes TRU Vice-President and co-founder Cheryl Davis, award-winning playwright, attorney, General Counsel for The Authors Guild, and feedback panelist for our musical feedback lab; plus Board members Neal Rubinstein, producer (On the Town,The Velocity of Autumn, Hedwig and the Angry Inch revival) andCourtney Sweeting. Also meet TRU literary manager Cate Cammarata (TRU Voices and How to Write a Musical That Works) and assistant Literary Manager Jessie Shinberg; Emileena Pedigo of The Show Goes on Productions, who will be leading our "Essentials of Successful Self-Producing" workshop; Broadway producer and actress Jana Robbins (Ragtime revival, I Love You Because..., Roof of the World, Little Women), program director for our Producer Development & Mentorship Program; Skip Kennon, former Artistic Coordinator of the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop, who now helps facilitate TRU's How to Write a Musical That Works workshop; andKen Waissman, producer (Grease, Torch Song Trilogy, Agnes of God) who helps run our Director-Writer Communications Lab and is often a Speed Date producer. Plus three of the people who offer free consultations to new members: entertainment attorney Lee Feldshon, financial consultant Bailie Slevin of Entertaining Finance and career consultant Joanne Zippel of Zip Creative.

Learn about our programs, including our Producer Development & Mentorship Program, the TRU Voices Reading Series, Essentials of Successful Self-Producing and other Producer Boot Camps, Writer-Producer Speed Date, Director-Writer Communications Lab, How to Write a Musical That Works workshop and more. And let us know what we don't offer that you wish we did.

Doors open at 7:00pm for networking and refreshments, roundtable introductions of everyone in the room will start at 7:30pm - come prepared with your best half-minute summary of who you are, and what you need. Free for TRU members; usually $12.50 for non-members, but free for everyone for this season opener. Please use the bright red reservation box athttps://truonline.org/events/who-is-tru/, or call at least a day in advance (or much sooner) for reservations: 212/714-7628, or e-mail TRUStaff1@gmail.com.

PANELIST BIOS

Cate Cammarata is a New York-based producer, director and dramaturg. She most recently presented a workshop production of My Life Is a Musical at The Duke on 42nd Street, and directed a musical reading of Your Name On My Lips at Emerging Artists Theater; she also co-directed a multimedia devised performance of Antigone with her students at SUNY Stony Brook. She dramaturged the world premiere performance of Harold I Hate You at the HERE Arts Center for CakeFace Performance Company last December, and is currently the US Representative for Hamilton Dramaturgy. Cate's other credits include Famous: The Musical for the TRU Musical Reading Series 2011 (producer), Robeson a new play about the legendary Paul Robeson for Stony Brook Mainstage (director), Body Language for The Active Theater (dramaturg), searchers.com for the TRU Voices Play Series, among others. Cate is a graduate of the Commercial Theater Institute's 16 week Producing course, the CTI-O'Neill Summer Workshop, a member of TRU's Producer Mentorship Development Program and has worked with the HERE Arts Center as Associate Dramaturg and with the Broadway producers Jana Robbins and R. Erin Craig as Producing Associate. She holds an MFA in Dramaturgy from SUNY Stony Brook and a BFA in Acting/Directing from Syracuse University, and is currently the Literary Manager for TRU and an Adjunct Professor for SUNY Stony Brook Theatre Arts.

Cheryl Davis received the Kleban Award as a librettist for her musicalBarnstormer, (written with Douglas J. Cohen) about Bessie Coleman, the first Black woman flyer. The show received a Jonathan Larson Award through the Lark Play Development Center. Her play Maid's Door received great reviews, won seven Audelco Awards, and was a finalist for the Francesca Primus Prize. Her play The Color of Justice (commissioned by Theatreworks/USA), received excellent reviews in the New York Times and Daily News, and tours regularly. Her musical Bridges, which was commissioned by the Berkeley Playhouse, received its world premiere in February 2016 to great reviews and three award nominations from the San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle. She received a Writers' Guild Award for her work on As the World Turns and was also nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award. Her work has been read and performed internationally, including at the Cleveland Play House, The Actors Theatre of Louisville, and the Kennedy Center. She is the General Counsel of the Authors Guild.

LEE A. G. FELDSHON has over 23 years of experience in entertainment and corporate law. He recently formed Feldshon Law PLLC to launch his private practice, after having partnered with David Schwartz in Feldshon & Schwartz, LLP for the last 10 years. He represents producers, co-producers, composers, bookwriters, lyricists, directors, and other creatives in the live theatrical industry. He has represented the New York Musical Theatre Festival since its 2004 founding. He was production counsel for the Broadway revival of Pump Boys & Dinettes and represented stars (including a Tony-award winning actor) in connection with the Tony-award winning Broadway musical The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. He did legal work for Desperate Measures (2018 Drama Desk Award for original music and lyrics), Who's Your Baghdaddy, Money Talks, Bloody, Bloody, Jessica Fletcher, Liberty, Emojiland,Rooms, and other Off Broadway shows. He represents co-producers on the Broadway productions of Moulin Rouge, King Kong, and Chasing Rainbows. He negotiates screenplay option/purchase agreements and financing documents for film producers, and has worked as film production counsel for Good Girls Gone, Fly Away (SXSW Official Selection), and the documentary Darkon: An American Fantasy (2006 SXSW Audience Award). While Director of Legal Affairs and Business Development of the Radio City Entertainment division of Madison Square Garden, L.P., he worked on The Radio City Christmas Spectacular, A Christmas Carol, and Rockettes performances. As a Levine Plotkin & Menin associate, he worked on Rent (Broadway, touring), The Wild Party (Broadway), De La Guarda (Off Broadway), and other shows. He started his career as a corporate associate at White & Case. He received a B.A. from Columbia College in 1991 (magna cum laude, Rhodes Scholar State Finalist) and a J.D. from Columbia Law School in 1994 (Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar). Bar Admissions: New York.

Skip Kennon was the overall Artistic Coordinator of the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop and the teacher of the first year there for two decades. He wrote the music for the one-man musical Herringbone(Playwrights Horizons - starring David Rounds, Hartford Stage - starring Joel Grey, Edinburgh Festival, Philadelphia's Prince Music Theater, Chicago's St. Nicholas Theater, 2007 season opener at Williamstown Theater Festival - starring B.D. Wong), the music for Here's Our Girl (workshopped at the New York Shakespeare Festival/Public Theater), and the music and lyrics for the musical version of The Last Starfighter (Storm Theatre, Village Theatre Festival of New Musicals - summer 2006, New York Musical Theatre Festival readings - fall 2006), Blanco (Goodspeed Opera House at Chester, National Alliance for Musical Theatre, National Music Theater Network), Feathertop(WPA Theater, Pennsylvania Stage Co.), and Time and Again (Manhattan Theatre Club, San Diego's Old Globe Theater, Eugene O'Neill Center National Music Theater Conference). Kennon also wrote the music and lyrics for the one-act musical Plaisir d'Amour (book by Terrence McNally), which was produced at New York's Triangle Theater and seen in workshop at Circle Rep, as well as the music for the one-act musical Afternoon Tea (book & lyrics by Eduardo Machado), which was performed at Theater Row Theaters in 2005 by Ed Harris and Amy Madigan. He was a classical music critic at the Hollywood Reporter for five years.

EMILEENA PEDIGO was managing producer of the Midtown International Theatre Festival for seven years before leaving in 2011. She helped structure the annual festival, building it up to 60 shows in seven venues. Since then she general managed and produced multiple NYC showcases and launched The Show Goes On Productions. TSGO's theatrical concert series Rock Tonic and Rock Musical Reading Series have introduced progressive commercial acts to the theatre and music industries. Before that, she assisted Tony winning producer Stewart F. Lane on 4 Broadway productions and assisted in operations for Broadway's Palace Theatre for 2 years. Emileena managed 8 rehearsal studios and 2 small theaters for 4 years, during which time she co-produced Oberon Theatre Ensemble's 9th and 10th seasons on Theatre Row and Six Figures Theatre Company's 14th and 15th seasons at the West End Theatre. She has taught seminars on producing theatre for TRU and the Kansas City Fringe Festival. With a theater degree from Purdue University, she has also completed the Commercial Theatre Institute's 14-week program and SUNY/Kaufmann's Fasttrac program for entrepreneurs.

Jana Robbins is the recipient of the 2017 TRU "Spirit of Theater Award" and is both a Broadway actor and producer having played leading roles on Broadway in Good News, I Love My Wife, Crimes of the Heart, Gypsy (playing the "bump it" with the trumpet stripper Mazzeppa while covering Tyne Daly as Mama Rose) and The Tale of the Allergist's Wife (covering both Linda Lavin and Michele Lee and starring opposite Valerie Harper in the National Tour). Jana founded Better World Productions in order to "present theater that not only entertains, but also educates; and inspires us to create a Better World. She made her Broadway producing debut with Little Women. Other Broadway producing credits include the revival of Ragtime and a financial stake in War Horse and Something Rotten (currently on National Tour). Off-Broadway productions includes I Love You Because, Through The Night and White's Lies. She's also a producer on Marianne Elliot's Heisenbergand the upcoming Company in London this season. Shows in development include: Roof of the World (World Premiere at KC Rep), The Astonishing Times of Timothy Cratchit (developed at The Workshop Theater) and The Jazz Age (World Premiere at 59/E59th) slated for a London production spring of 2019. For more info: www.janarobbins.com

Neal Rubinstein is a three-time Emmy winner & five-time nominee, receiving that coveted award while working as Editor & Producer for NBC Nightly News & The Today Show. He is also a TONY nominee (On The Town) and two-time BOLI winner. He's been represented on Broadway as Producer of On the Town, Velocity of Autumn, and was also involved with: Hedwig & the Angry Inch, Of Mice & Men, The Cripple of Inishmaan, Co-Lead for the upcoming Broadway revival of 39 Steps, and Lead Producer for a Broadway-bound original new musical Dangerous. Off-B'way: Tail Spin, Clinton the Musical, Associate Producer Handle With Care, and he's currently developing the quintessential Broadway musical of Aristophanes' comic farce, Trojanz Not Required - the real story of Lysistrata. Film: Exec. Prod., Ron & Laura Take Back America. Neal is currently a member on the Board, of AMAS Musical Theater, & Theater Resources Unlimited. He has served on the Board of Governors for the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS), New York Chapter (four terms) as well as chairing the Membership Committee for six years, guiding the chapter to record increased growth while implementing innovative benefits for its members. Additionally, he served for sixteen years on the NATAS Awards (EMMY) Committee. Neal was the Associate Producer for the NY EMMY Awards, as well as Stage Manager for the National EMMY Awards and the International Film & Television Festival Awards.

JESSIE SHINBERG is a recent graduate of Brandeis University. She earned her degree in American Studies and Theater Arts and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa. She has served as a dramaturg on a number of Brandeis Theater Company productions and a member of the new play submissions reading committee at Company One Theatre in Boston. Currently, Jessie works for TADA! Youth Theater in both administrative and teaching positions. Her passions include new play development, theater activism, and improv comedy.

Bailie Slevin is the founder of Entertaining Finance, a financial consulting and consulting firm geared specifically towards freelancers, specifically those in arts and entertainment. With 13 years of experience as a financial adviser and a hefty resume in theater, she is redefining planning for artists and entrepreneurs. She's worked with Certified Financial Services and Forest Hills Financial Group in finance and teaches Financial Literacy and Well-being workshops and speaks throughout the region on the specifics of Financial Management for Artists. As a stage manager, general manager, and producer on Broadway, Off Broadway and Off-Off Broadway, Tony Awards, Drama Desk, OBIE Awards, and IT Awards pepper Bailie's resume. Some of her favorite projects include The Norman Conquests, Altar Boyz, Naked Boys Singing!, Pursuit of Persephone, A Very Merry Unauthorized Children's Scientology Pageant, and Popesical in Concert at Joe's Pub. She currently serves as a board member for The PATH Fund and "Rockers on Broadway, a non-profit Arts organization committed to bringing arts education to all. Visit www.EntertainingFinance.com to learn more

Ken Waissman 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 he shares this distinction with is the legendary 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.Waissman's first Broadway credit was the 1971 Paul Zindel play And Miss Reardon Drinks a Little with Estelle Parsons and Julie Harris, and his prolific Broadway efforts have resulted in four motion picture features, a PBS TV special, 25 Tony Award® nominations, and 5 Tony Awards® including a Tony Award® as 'Best Play Producer.' His new musical, Josephine, inspired by Josephine Baker, had its World Premiere in April at the Asolo Theatre in Sarasota, Florida. Deborah Cox played the title role and Joey McKneely directed and choreographed.

JOANNE ZIPPEL is a collaborator and communicator who has an extensive network of relationships in both the creative and corporate worlds. She has over 25 years of experience as an entrepreneur, working in theatre and live event production, promotion, sponsorship, B2B and B2C sales and marketing, creative development, literary management and creative coaching in the entertainment business. Joanne 's creative coaching business evolved out of her work as a manager of playwrights and screenwriters - guiding their careers and helping them to pursue their passions in what is well known as an often difficult, changeable and sometimes arbitrary business. Through her company Zip Creative, she works with clients helping them to open themselves up to their creative capacity, build a solid foundation from which to make authentic work and life decisions and take practical action on them. For more information go to www.zipcreative.net. Joanne graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and did graduate work at NYU's Gallatin School of Individualized Study. She is a graduate of the Hoffman Institute.


Theater Resources Unlimited (TRU) is the leading network for developing theater professionals, a twenty-six 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 the arts. 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 work series in which TRU underwrites developmental readings to nurture new shows as well as new producers for theater; offers a Producer Development & Mentorship Program taught by prominent producers and general managers in New York Theater, and also presents Producer Boot Camp workshops to help aspirants develop business skills. TRU serves writers through a Writer-Producer Speed Date, a Practical Playwriting Workshop, How to Write a Musical That Works and a Director-Writer Communications Lab; programs for actors include the Annual Combined Audition, Resource Nights and "Speed Dating" as well as actor workshops.

Programs of Theater Resources Unlimited are supported in part by public funds awarded through the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, as well as the Montage Foundation and the Leibowitz Greenway Foundation.

For more information about TRU membership and programs, visit www.truonline.org or call 212-714-7628.

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