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Getting writers and directors on the same page ...

Theater Resources Unlimited


Writer-Director Communications Lab 2019

Saturday, April 13, 2019



Theater Resources Unlimited (TRU) presents a Writer-Director Communications Lab on Saturday, April 13, 2019 from 10:00am - 6:00pm at Shetler Studios, 244 W 54th Street PH1, New York, NY 10019. This Lab focuses on facilitating communication between writers and directors to ensure that collaborations run as smoothly as possible. For writers and directors, there is a $75 fee for TRU members and an $85 fee for non-members. Observers are also welcome to come watch and learn. Please reserve using the bright red reservation box at or e-mail


One of the most important - and most sensitive - relationships in theater is that between playwright and director. In some ways, the entire success of a show can hinge on the shared understanding, trust and mutual respect between these two artists. They need to see the show with the same eyes, otherwise their collaboration won't work. TRU has created a new, experimental program that will train theater artists in the crucial skills of communication. "It is led by commercial producers," explains TRU executive director Bob Ost, "since the producer is generally the real-world mediator in writer-director disagreements, and has the best overview of a production." 


Feedback will be given by commercial producers Jennifer Manocherian(Meteor Shower, Dead Accounts, Nice Work If You Can Get It, The Mountaintop, War Horse, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, August: Osage County) and Ric Wanetik producer (Tony nominated Twilight Los Angeles: 1992, Broadway's Marlene, Off-Broadway's Jolson and Company) and senior advisor for America to the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC); and entertainment attorney/mediator Eric Goldman. TRU executive director Bob Ost will co-facilitate the day.


Confirmed directors include Cate CammarataAndi Lee CarterDennis CorsiMiriam EusebioStephen Lloyd Helper (assistant to Jerome Robbins on Fiddler revival, conceiver of Smokey Joe's Café), Anthony Inneo, Katherine RayJames A. Rocco (former AD of Ordway Theatre), Laurie Rae Waugh


Writers can submit to the lab at before the deadline of Wednesday April 3rd. Download application and email to with "Writer Lab Submission" in your subject line. 


Directors may send an email to with their resume to inquire about availability. There are currently nine director slots filled, with room for one more. And we also welcome observers to come a watch the workshop interactions. 



Up to ten directors will be teamed up with up to ten writers prior to the Lab itself. Playwrights will email a synopsis, pitch and production history, plus 5-10 sample pages of a script; directors will select a project that interests them from those submitted, request and read the script and prepare for a preliminary director-writer discussion about the play, which will be guided by producers. The goals for writers and directors in this Lab include:

* Discovering their personal communication style
* Learning to identify the style of the person they are with, and adjust to it for maximum mutual understanding
* Exploring non-threatening ways of discussing text, communicating and listening
* Identifying their domain of authority, and determining protocols


Theater Resources Unlimited (TRU) is the leading network for developing theater professionals, atwenty-six year old 501c3 nonprofit organization created to help producers produce, emerging theatercompanies 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 works 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 byprominent 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, soon to be announced.


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, or email inquiries to


Open:   04/13/19
Close:   04/13/19

Saturday, April 13, 2019 10am-6pm:
Theater:   Shetler Studios
Address:   244 West 54th Street (12th Floor) B
New York, NY
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Cost:For writers and directors, there is a $75 fee for TRU members and an $85 fee for non-members.
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