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Theater Resources Unlimited Presents Virtual Writer-Producer Speed Date

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Theater Resources Unlimited announces the first virtual edition of its writer-producer Speed Dates, to occur on Sunday, July 19, 2020.

This unique networking and educational opportunity for writers will now have more tech and less noise: each writer will be in an individual breakout room with each of our eleven producers. And since we have no venue costs, we've lowered the application fee by $10 (to $75 for non-members of TRU). The submission deadline is Wednesday, July 8, 2020. Session 1 offers coaching at 2:30pm, pitching at 5:30pm; Session 2 offers coaching at 5:30pm, pitching at 6:30pm. All times EDT. Tickets are $65 for TRU members, $75 for non-members, and $25 for each additional collaborator. Your spot in the lineup can be purchased upon acceptance starting July 11th, upon acceptance at https://truonline.org/events/virtual-speed-date/.

Sunday, July 19, 2020
Submission Deadline: Wednesday, July 8, 2020
Session 1: coaching at 2:30pm, pitching at 4:30pm
Session 2: coaching at 3:30pm, pitching at 5:30pm

You meet a producer at a party and have two minutes to interest him in your work. Do you have the skill to sell yourself? Here's a chance to practice your pitching with real producers who are open to and interested in meeting you. Okay, they probably won't option you on the spot, but they'll give you valuable feedback about your work and your ability to talk about it. And you'll have the opportunity to start developing a relationship. And that's what this business is all about: Relationships.

The Speed Date is the only event I know of that gives writers the chance to meet high level producers one-on-one in a room. To me, that's what makes the Speed Dates so valuable. And you do it with kindness, which I value in life. ~Vincent Amelio (How Alfo Learned to Love)

Access the application here. Please fill out and email to TRUStaff1@gmail.com (PLEASE - add your name to the document name, and put it first when you "save as").

We'll have eleven producers lined up, from both the commercial and not-for-profit worlds, all with an interest in new projects; we also may have eleven aspiring producers from our Producer Development program. So you'll be pitching to as many as 22 producers in total! Come with a willingness to learn, because the real value is the chance to practice your pitching. And you'll be getting invaluable coaching from experts, as well.

Confirmed producers include:

  • Patrick Blake, producer (The 39 Steps, Bedlam Theatre's Hamlet/St. Joan, My Life Is a Musical, Play Dead, The Exonerated), founding artistic director of Rhymes Over Beats Hip Hop Theater Collective;
  • Cate Cammarata, dramaturg, director, producer (My Life Is a Musical, The Assignment, My Father's Daughter), Associate Artistic Director for Rhymes Over Beats Hip Hop Theater Collective;
  • Merrie L. Davis, producer (Company London revival, Dear Evan Hansen, Eclipsed, Gigi; off-Broadway Himself and Nora, Party Face, The Two-Character Play, Shear Madness; Broadway Elling, La Cage Aux Folles revival);
  • Jim Kierstead, producer (Hadestown, The Inheritance, Ain't Too Proud, Mrs. Doubtfire, Tony Award winner Pippin revival, M, Butterfly, Indecent, Natasha Pierre..., Sunset Boulevard, Kinky Boots, Waitress; off-Broadway Thrill Me, Yank!) and founder of Broadway Virtual;
  • John Lant, indie producer (Fabulous, Frankenstein the musical, Wicked City Blues), artistic director Write Act Repertory, producer The Park Theatre in Union City NJ;
  • Cody Lassen, producer (Tootsie, What the Constitution Means to Me, Indecent, Significant Other, Spring Awakening revival; upcoming Titanic, How I Learned to Drive);
  • Neal Rubenstein, producer (On the Town, The Velocity of Autumn, Hedwig and the Angry Inch revival; upcoming Dangerous the musical);
  • Cheryl Wiesenfeld producer (Ain't Too Proud, The Great Society, 4-time Tony winner for All the Way, Vanya & Sonia & Masha & Spike, The Gershwin's Porgy & Bess, Elaine Stritch: At Liberty);
  • Plus three more to be announced

Coaches: Diana Calderazzo, Samantha Salzman, Emileena Pedigo

Trailing Producers: To be announced
[*members and alumni of TRU's Producer Development program]

I participated in TRU's Writer's Speed Date Pitch session last year and got a LOT out of it! I found it so motivating to have a deadline to create production assets and prepare myself for meeting producers. My partner and I worked tirelessly for days before the event to make sure we were in top form before presenting (as writers) to the "producers" on hand. My experience was one of the rare occasions where several producers expressed real interest in my work. Later, one attended my reading, and followed up with a coffee meeting to talk financing. We're still in touch. Again, this is never promised, but it does happen for some of us. In my opinion, the price of $85 for all that value is a BARGAIN! ~Ed Zareh (Long Lost John)

I've had follow-up meetings with two people I met from the event. and provided scripts to three others. I also met some fellow playwrights, and through a chain of introductions coming out of that, I'm now working on a possible film deal in Los Angeles. If you have a project where you'd like to practice and receive feedback on your pitch; potentially make some connections that would be useful for script development or early production; and meet some other playwrights - this is an ideal opportunity. ~William Roetzheim


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