Writers often meet producers at a party and have two minutes to interest them in their work. Theater Resources Unlimited (TRU) offers twenty-two writers a chance to practice their pitching skills with real producers who are looking for new work. TRU's next WRITER-PRODUCER SPEED DATE will take place on Sunday, October 3, 2010 at 5:30pm and 6:30pm at The Players Theatre, 115 MacDougal Street (below W. 3rd Street), NYC. Commercial Broadway producers already scheduled to listen and respond to writer pitches include Pam Koslow (Jane Eyre, Jelly's Last Jam, Yank!), Ken Waissman (Grease, Torch Song Trilogy), Jane Dubin (The Norman Conquests revival, 39 Steps), Cheryl Wiesenfeld (Legally Blonde, A Steady Rain, The Exonerated) and Apples and Oranges Productions (Memphis, Hair), with six more to be announced.
"The producers probably won't offer options on the spot, but it's an opportunity to start developing relationships," said TRU president Bob Ost. "Eleven producers sign on, from both the commercial and not-for-profit worlds, as well as eleven aspiring producers from TRU's mentorship program. And writers receive invaluable coaching from experts, as well. And did we mention the wine and cheese?"
More than 60 aspiring playwrights have taken part in past Speed Dates and many strong relationships have been formed, with developmental readings as a result. Broadway producer Randall Wreghitt was intrigued enough by the work of West Virginia playwright Sean O'Leary that he went on to request and read every play that Sean has written. Producer Lary Brandt is developing for production a play by Michele Aldin-Kushner he found in the first Speed Date. Paul Adams of Emerging Artists Theatre found five of the eight musicals that were presented in his Notes from a Page Series of readings of new musicals last spring.
"Speaking as an out-of-town playwright I have to tell you that TRU's speed date accomplished as much for me in one evening as I accomplish in a year of blind script submissions. The quality of the people participating - playwrights and producers -- was impressive and the program's format of structured four-minute sessions with each producer was a godsend for me. When you created this concept of a concentrated four minutes devoted exclusively to the play and the producer, you liberated me from all those social bonding rituals at which I'm so awful. And I came away with the sense that my plays finally got the stage I've hoped they would receive," said playwright Sean O'Leary.
"We writers spend so much in our own little think tanks and the opportunity to meet so many interesting people - not even to mention the chance of having our work read, exposing ourselves to not just one but 22 producers is just invaluable! Everyone was kind, friendly and very positive - what a great energy in that building! In short - what you've done is awesome," said playwright Michele Aldin-Kushner.
Applications are available at www.truonline.org/WriterSpeedDateApp.pdf, or download application as a Word document from www.truonline.org/WriterSpeedDateMay10.htm. Admission is $50 for members of TRU; $75 for non-members. To apply or to become a member of TRU, please call 212-714-7628 or e-mail TRUnltd@aol.com. This is a competitive application process, limited to 22 writers. Applications must be received by Wednesday, May 5, 2010. Email applications are preferred.
Sunday, October 3 at 5:30pm and 6:30pm
Theater: Players Theatre
Address: 115 MacDougal Street
New York, NY
Cost:$50 for TRU members; $75 for non-members
Buy Tickets Online or Call: Theater Resources Unlimited at 212-714-7628