If you think it's daunting to produce yourself in a festival, take a moment to consider the complexity and challenge of running the festival itself. Here's a behind the scenes peek at the history and evolution of a range of these safe havens for developing new work ... why and how they came into being ... what their mission is (and whether it is in sync with your own goals) ... and how they may need to evolve and adapt to changes in our cultural and political environment. One of the major festivals just closed its doors, and others have gone on hiatus to regroup and redefine themselves. What changed? It isn't easy, and they need you to be a part of their producing community. So come and learn all the basics about the submission process, deadlines, what's expected of you and what you can expect from them.
With confirmed panelists Suzanna Bowling, producing manager for NYTheaterfest (Summerfest, Winterfest); Cate Cammarata, literary manager TRU Voices Reading Series; Gene Fisch, Jr., festival director New York New Works Theatre Festival; Lou Lopardi, executive director and Dennis Corsi, artistic director of Fresh Fruit Festival; Valerie Novakoff, producing artistic director Rave Theater Festival; Michael Scott-Price, curator Dream Up Festival at Theatre for the New City; Lenore Skomal, festival director Broadway Bound Theatre Festival.
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 30-second summary of who you are, and what you need. Free for TRU members; $13 for non-members in advance ($16 at door). Please use the bright red reservation box on our web page, https://truonline.org/events/what-it-takes-to-run-a-festival-and/, or email or phone at least a day in advance (or much sooner): e-mail TRUStaff1@gmail.com / phone 833-506-5550.
Suzanna Bowling is dedicated to helping the development of new works as producing manager of NYTheaterfest, which offers seasonal festivals in a creatively supportive environment: Winterfest and Summerfest. She also co-owns and publishes the newspaper Times Square Chronicles or T2C. At one point a working actress, she has performed in numerous productions in film, TV, cabaret and theatre. She has performed at The New Orleans Jazz festival, The United Nations and Carnegie Hall. She has a screenplay in the works, which she developed with her mentor and friend the late Arthur Herzog.
Cate Cammarata is a producer, director, dramaturg and writer in NYC and is the Associate Artistic Director for Rhymes Over Beats Hip Hop Theater Collective. Cate has produced The Assignment off-Broadway and
My Father's Daughter with Ursula Rucker at La Mama for Rhymes Over Beats. Regionally she produced My Life Is a Musical at Bay Street Theater and has directed many readings of new work in NYC. She is the Literary Manager for Theater Resources Unlimited (TRU) and is the Director of Creative Development for MusicalWriters.com. Cate holds a BFA in Acting/Directing from Syracuse University and an MFA in Dramaturgy at SUNY Stony Brook, and teaches Theatre Arts at Baruch College. Her latest book, "Contemporary Monologues for a New Theater," was listed as one of the Top Ten Books for theatre lovers by BroadwayDirect in 2018. catecammarata.com, createtheater.com
Dennis Corsi is the new Artistic Director of the Fresh Fruit Festival, and the Director of New Works at Live & In Color, a theatre company developing new plays and musicals celebrating diversity. He is the Creative Director of Script Match, a web app connecting playwrights and producers. Dennis is the video director at B * OUT, an LGBTQ media company, where he is directing the new television series In Pursuit. Dennis is a dramaturg for NYMF and is on their selection committee for new musicals. Select theatrical directing credits: The Commedia Cinderella (Theatre Row - winner of Off Broadway Alliance Award), The Phillie Trilogy (Fresh Fruit Festival - winner Outstanding Production 2018), The Fierce Urgency of Now (Fresh Fruit Festival - winner Outstanding Production 2017), Nell Dash (Winterfest - winner Best Director), The Turing Test (Gallery Players), Siren's Den (Gene Frankel), Junie B. Jones(Theatreworks USA), Dust and Ash (Samuel French OOB), and bare(Michigan State University). @corsidennis | www.denniscorsi.com
Gene Fisch, Jr has been a Broadway Producer and is the founder of the New York New Works Theatre Festival, helping over 1,000 artists by giving them a shot on a top tier stage (historically the Duke and Acorn Theaters). Submissions are free and NYNW outlays most all of the upfront costs with the hopes that the NYNW stage is only the first step of the project's journey (Numerous shows have moved forward). Every submission is reviewed by at least one Broadway producer. Gene has led a wonderfully diverse career outside of the arts and currently teaches Engineering Technogenesis at the Stevens Institute of Technology. "The bottom line is that theatre is awesome and if there is a way that we can help someone take their art to the next level while having a ton of fun, we're all in! nynwtheatrefestival.com
Louis Lopardi is executive director of the Fresh Fruit Festival, and also Artistic Director of the 30-year-old A Company Of Players. He has directed such staples as Equus, Wozzeck, Three-penny Opera, Die Fledermaus, Don Giovanni, considerable Shakespeare, Brecht, and Dutch, German, and Russian theatre & opera, both here and in Europe. At the Chekhov Theatre he has directed Fassbinder's Petra von Kant, Bad Evidence, Lysistrata, Cyrano de Bergerac, and his own plays The Frankenstein Journals and Visiting Grishka. Louis has received awards for Lighting, Sound Design, Original Music, Playwriting, Direction, and has been awarded by the AFM Musicians' Union for "promoting live music for the dance." Better known as a Director, Louis is a published poet and author whose other stage works include The Strange Case of Rudolph Hess, The Greatest Show On Earth, Aliens in Maspeth, a new translation and performing edition of Buchner's Woyzeck, and the nationally acclaimed Purgatory Project, in which the audience examines current mores by visiting great figures of the past in purgatories of their own creation.
Valerie Novakoff is the Associate Producer at Davenport Theatrical Enterprises, Ken Davenport's theatrical and media producing company. As Associate Producer, Valerie is engaged in all aspects of developing, producing, and managing major Broadway productions and tours, including the critically acclaimed revival of Once On This Island and Gettin' the Band Back Together, as well as developmental readings and workshops. Valerie was previously the Assistant Producer at Jeffrey Finn Productions, Broadway productions included An Act of God starring Sean Hayes and Sunday in the Park with George starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Annaleigh Ashford and oversaw the corporate events division Hot on Broadway. As part of general management office 321 Theatrical Management, select productions include Wicked, Fun Home, If/Then, and SpongeBob SquarePants. Valerie worked for director Des McAnuff (dramaturgy work on Dr. Zhivago and several projects in development) and in the events department of The Drama League. Independently, Valerie is the Associate Producer of the first-ever app-enabled theatrical event Blank! The Musical, a fully improvised Off-Broadway musical currently running at the Broadway Comedy Club. As a creative producer, Valerie champions innovative and insightful storytelling. Valerie studied Dramatic Literature and Producing at New York University.
Michael Scott-Price is the Director of New Projects at Theater for the New City. Michael still maintains his role as Literary Manager at TNC. You are welcome to send your new stage projects for full or co-production consideration to him at email@example.com He is a director/creator and artistic director of the Asteroid B612 Theatre Company. Michael has written and directed productions presented nationally as well as in Canada, Ireland, and England. As a playwright, Michael's play
Lynch Play was selected for a performance residency at Antioch College (2006). He has studied at the School of Physical Theatre in London, England and the Odin Teatret in Hostelbro, Denmark. Scott-Price is a member of Lincoln Center Theater Director's Lab. He also serves as curator of TNC's New City, New Blood Readings Series, Scratch Night at TNC (works-in-progress) and of its summer Dream Up Festival.
Lenore Skomal is a theatre producer and career writer. An author of 17 books, including three bestsellers, she is the sole proprietor of Lenore M Skomal Productions, LLC, which produces her plays and Broadway Bound Theatre Festival. In addition to BBTF, she produced The Exes (Theatre Row, 2019) for a 9-week run and Bluff at Hudson Guild (2016), both licensed plays with 2020 productions in community and regional theatres. The Lighthouse Keeper's Daughter, her first book, is being made into a movie by AmframEntertainment with a release date of spring 2022. A proud member of the Dramatists Guild, Commercial Theatre Institute, Theater Resources Unlimited, Off Broadway Alliance, Theater Communications Group, the National Newspaper Columnists Association, Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), and the American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA), Lenore is dedicated to empowering artists. www.lenoreskomal.org
Theater Resources Unlimited (TRU) is the leading network for developing theater professionals, a twenty-seven-year-old 501(c)(3) 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; 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 the TRU Vices Play Reading Series, 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.
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.