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“SIX GUN JUSTICE” WITH PAUL BISHOP PODCAST: ROBERT DWYER & AUSTIN WRIGHT ON THEIR BOOK: ‘THE SHERIFF’ (FROM TWODOT BOOKS) ·

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Hang out around the Six-Gun Justice water cooler for another Six-Gun Justice Conversation segment.  Co-host Paul Bishop talks with Western writers Austin Wright & Robert Dwyer, whose debut Western novel, The Sheriff, was released in April.

 

View The Sheriff on Amazon 

Reviews

I think that THE SHERIFF by Robert Dwyer and Austin Wright has a chance to be judged one of those rare modern Western fiction classics. The authors somehow manage to be both traditional and surprising on every page. … The town of Three Chop, grizzled Sheriff John Donovan, assorted outlaws radiating real menace, women just as desperate and cunning as any of the menfolk—there’s damned fine storytelling here.– Jeff Guinn, New York Times bestselling author of The Last Gunfight: The Real Story of the Shootout at the O.K. Corral―And How It Changed the American West

THE SHERIFF is the debut novel from authors Robert Dwyer and Austin Wright, and a strong debut it is. There are definite echoes of the traditional Western here but a more literary sensibility to the writing and plotting. It’s a bleak but impressive yarn and well worth reading if you’re looking for a Western that’s a bit offbeat while retaining a fondness for what’s gone before.– James Reasoner, New York Times bestselling author

About the Authors

Robert Dwyer is a history buff with an abiding interest in the West, which looms large in the American psyche–a canvas for big stories and big ideas. He lives with his wife and dog in Alexandria, Virginia.

Austin Wright started watching John Wayne movies with his dad before he was old enough to talk–and he’s been hooked on Westerns ever since. He lives with his wife, son, and daughter in Annandale, Virginia.

Read their interviews on Stage Voices:

Part 1 

Part 2  

 

THEATER RESOURCES UNLIMITED (TRU) PRESENTS WRITER-PRODUCER VIRTUAL SPEED DATE: THE ART OF THE PITCH SUNDAY, APRIL 25, 2021 AT 2:30PM ·

(via Michelle Tabnick.)

Theater Resources Unlimited

presents

Writer-Producer Virtual Speed Date: The Art of the Pitch

Sunday, April 25, 2021 at 2:30pm

Submission Deadline: Thursday, April 15, 2021

 

Theater Resources Unlimited (TRU) presents a Writer-Producer Virtual Speed Date: The Art of the Pitch, on Sunday, April 25, 2021. The popular event is now reformatted for Zoom, with more tech and less noise: each writer will be in an individual breakout room with each of the eleven producers. The submission deadline is Thursday, April 15, 2021. To apply, fill out the application here and email to TRUStaff1@gmail.com. The application fee is $65 for TRU members and $75 for non-members or observers. When naming the application document, please include your full name first.

“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we were forced to rethink all TRU programs for Zoom presentation. Turns out that what seemed at first to be a drastic inconvenience has paid off with surprising benefits,” said Bob Ost, executive director of TRU. “We now have extended our reach well beyond the New York area, throughout the US and as far away as England, Australia, Singapore and Malaysia. Now writers from all over the world can come meet and pitch to a lineup of New York producers.”

There will be two Zoom sessions:

Session 1

2:30pm ET: Coaching

One-hour break

4:30pm ET: Pitching

Session 2

3:30pm ET: Coaching

One-hour break

5:30pm ET: Pitching

You meet a producer at a party and have two minutes to interest them 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)

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:

Margot Astrachan, producer (The Prom, A Gentleman’s Guide…, Ghost the musical, Around the World in 80 Days, Nice Work If You Can Get It, On a Clear Day…)

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

Charlotte Cohn, producer (Church and State, Handle with Care, Rated P for Parenthood)

Sharon Fallon/Sharon Fallon Productions, general manager, theatrical consultant, producer (IndecentBeautiful Broadway, London & National Tour, Matilda The Musical, Lysistrata Jones)

William Franzblau, producer (Rocktopia, Tony Award-nominated Say Goodnight GracieAmerican Buffalo and Wonderland on Broadway; tour of Little House on the Prairie the Musical; off-Broadway Sistas, Jewtopia, Evil Dead the MusicalRespect, Illuminate)

Sue Gilad/In Fine Company, producer (Moulin Rouge, Angels in America, Jagged Little Pill, Company, Natasha, Pierre, & the Great Comet of 1812; M. Butterfly; Disaster! The Musical; Significant Other. Upcoming: The Outsiders. Off-Broadway: The Other Josh Cohen)

Jennifer Manocherian, producer (Meteor Shower, Dead Accounts, Nice Work If You Can Get It, The Mountaintop, War Horse, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, August: Osage County)

Tamra Pica, producer and casting director for WriteAct Repertory, and the new Park Performing Arts Center’s (PPAC) in Union City, NJ

Jonathan Pollard, producer (Broadway: All Shook Up; off-Broadway: Disenchanted!, Dai (enough), The Thing About Men, Over the River and Through the Woods, I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change)

Markus Potter, theatre director, Artistic Director of Kansas Repertory Theatre, Founding Producing Artistic Director of NewYorkRep, Co-Producer of the Velocity of Autumn on Broadway

One more producer to be announced

Coaches: Emileena Pedigo, Samantha Saltzman, Joanne Zippel

I really am impressed with the info and support from TRU. I’ve done several of these with [another] group. I quit last year. With you guys it’s like you’re setting us up for success, what a concept. ~Kurt Johns

I just wanted to relay a huge thanks to you and everyone at TRU for this experience, it was awesome! We really felt supported the whole way through, and we feel so much better prepared to market our show after getting the chance to practice pitching. If there’s anywhere we can write a review or something for this experience, please let us know. And thank you and the rest of the team for all the tech effort behind this. ~Daniel Rosen & Alara Magritte

Just wanted to say “thanks” for your Herculean efforts in making the event so worthwhile…. Honestly, I much preferred pitching via Zoom than in person with everyone else within earshot. ~Sam Affoumado

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. 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

About the Coaches

Emileena Pedigo’s work focuses on building sustainable careers #AnotherWay, using entrepreneurial strategies that prioritize the artist over their art. Her company, The Show Goes On Productions provides coaching and artist management, as well as produces workshops, showcases, and events. Before that Emileena was managing producer of the Midtown International Theater Festival. She helped expand the annual festival into seven venues, presenting up to 60 shows in one month during her seven-year tenure. Emileena also general-managed for several nonprofits, assisted Stewart F. Lane on four Broadway shows, including the Off-Broadway transfer of The 39 Steps, and worked on various film and music festivals. She toured theaters, music arenas, and schools across the country, working with artists from all artistic disciplines. Emileena has served on the board of Conscious Capitalism NYC, and is currently helping to build Arts programming within the Chelsea Greenwich Village Chelsea Chamber of Commerce. She is a graduate of the Commercial Theatre Institute, SUNY/Kaufmann’s Fasttrac program for entrepreneurs, and a Purdue University alum. 

Samantha Saltzman’s credits include: Current Directing Projects: Drama League Gala Honoring Steve Martin, and Bryant Park Christmas Skatetacular. Resident Director: Matilda the Musical (1st National Tour). Assistant Resident Director: Matilda the Musical (Broadway).  Additional Associate/Assistant Directing credits: Southern Comfort (The Public), Sarah Brightman’s Dreamchaser World TourOn the Town (Barrington Stage), An Iliad (National Tour), Academia Nuts, and multiple shows at NYMF and FringeNYC. Select Directing credits include: The Arkadina ProjectUrinetown210 Amlent Ave, and Madam Fury’s Traveling Show. Drama League Directing Fellow. www.samanthasaltzman.com

 

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.

About the Producers

Margot Astrachan is a Tony Award winning commercial theatrical producer based in New York. Broadway: Tony Award winning A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and MurderThe Realistic JonesesNice Work If You Can Get It, the revival of On a Clear Day You Can See ForeverBonnie & ClydeBusker AlleyGhost the Musical National Tour, and the only staging of Stephen Sondheim’s Evening Primrose. She also recently produced The Sting starring Harry Connick Jr. at The Papermill Playhouse. Upcoming: Diana, A New Musical (La Jolla, February 2019). Margot wrote, produced and performed five one-woman cabaret shows. New York: Danny’s Skylight Room, Judy’s, The Plaza Hotel, The Oak Room of The Algonquin Hotel, the Triad, The National Arts Club, and Don’t Tell Mama’s, among others. With dancer/choreographer Carmen de Lavallade, she wrote the book of a new Jazz musical, which has been read at Lincoln Center and at The York Theater.Margot was the American Artistic Director of the Jermyn Street Theatre in London and The Kings Head Theatre in London, and has had over 30 years’ experience producing special events for Arts Organizations such as The York Theatre Company, The Theatre Museum, and Brit-Arts of The St. George’s Society, which with Jim Dale, featured British and American theatre professionals in readings and panels in New York. She is the Vice Chair of The New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF), a board member of The Alumni & Friends of The LaGuardia High School for the Arts, The League of Professional Theater Women, and The Theater Board of The Kaufman Cultural Center. She is a graduate of CTI (The Commercial Theatre Institute) and is a member of The Association of Performing Arts Presenters, The National Alliance For Musical Theatre, The Broadway League, The Dramatists Guild, the Advisory Board of TRU, British American Business, Inc. and BAFTA East Coast. She is the past chair and current board member of The American Friends of the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Her latest project is Radio Galaxy by Michele Aldin Kushner (found in the TRU Voices series) and directed by Mark Waldrop, currently in development.

 

Patrick Blake is a writer/producer based in New York and San Francisco, and Founding Artistic Director of Rhymes Over Beats, a hip hop theater company. In New York theater, he is a producer of the off-Broadway revival of The 39 Steps, the off-Broadway transfer of Bedlam Theater Company’s dual productions of Hamlet and Saint Joan, and is currently producing My Life Is a Musical (from the TRU Voices series) which had a debut production at Bay Street Theatre. He was one of the producers of Play Dead! at The Players Theatre, he has produced In the Continuum at Perry Street Theatre, Noah’s ArchiveJoe FearlessThe Exonerated (Lucille Lortel, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Court TV’s Scales of Justice Award) and The Soap Myth at Southstreet Seaport. He also produced Dirty Works at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. He was Executive Producer for the short film, The Igloo, and the feature film Mr. Smith Gets a Hustler. Patrick is a proud board member of TRU.

 

Charlotte Cohn was born in Denmark and raised in Israel where she served in the Israeli Army as a commanding officer. She was the lead producer of The NY Times critics’ pick Handle With Care and the critically acclaimed Church & State, both written by Jason Odell Williams. Directing highlights include Best Friends at JAZZ at Lincoln Center and Church & State at Berkshire Theatre Group. Acting highlights include La Boheme and Coram Boy on Broadway. Charlotte is an Ovation Award Winner and was nominated for the Bay Area Critics’ Circle Award for her performance as ‘Hallelujah Lil’ in Happy End at A.C.T. For more please visit:  www.charlottecohn.com

 

William Franzblau created and produced the recent Broadway Rocktopia, the Tony Nominated Best Play Say Goodnight Gracie, produced David Mamet’s American Buffalo on Broadway, and the tour of Little House on the Prairie the Musical starring Melissa Gilbert. He also served as the Executive and Lead Producer for Broadway’s Wonderland. He licensed and produced the off-Broadway shows, SISTAS the Musical (recently shot and broadcast on BET, now in its sixth year off Broadway), This One’s for the GirlsJewtopiaEvil Dead the Musicalthe male intellect: an oxymoronRespect and ILuminate (America’s Got Talent Finalist) while developing several Broadway shows including Paramount’s Crazy People and the new Rupert Holmes play, Kennedy/Reagan. He produced and Co-Directed Rocktopia for the 2016 PBS National Pledge Broadcast with a 2017 tour. As Chief Executive Officer of the high technology company, KATrix Inc. he created strategic alliances with the Walt Disney Company, Microsoft Corporation, MGM and the Intel Corporation. In the early nineties, Mr. Franzblau co-founded Interfilm Inc., a publicly traded company combining interactive technologies with cinematic art. He was the driving force in putting together an $18 million initial public offering underwritten by Smith Barney and subsequently facilitated the sale of the company via a reverse triangular merger with Palatin Technologies, Inc. From 1990 through 1992 Mr. Franzblau served as producer of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles touring show, a 21-month tour involving 500 appearances in 200 cities and 10 countries, for which he managed all aspects of the business development and operations. The tours grossed over $60 million in sponsorships, ticket sales and merchandising as well as spinning off a double platinum record and a national pay-per-view. Previous to the above Mr. Franzblau served as Executive Producer of three tours of the Moscow Circus on Broadway and North America and produced the touring productions of BEATLEMANIA.

Suzanne Gilad was the lead producer of the award-winning hit musical The Other Josh Cohen, at the Westside Theatre. Sue’s recent Broadway credits include Moulin Rouge!Jagged Little PillAngels in America (Tony Award winner for Best Revival of a Play), Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812M. ButterflyDisaster! and Significant Other. She is the co-founder of InFineCompany.com, BroadwayCustom.com, and CustomBroadway.com, which provides individualized, Broadway-level concerts and shows for theaters and Performing Arts centers around the world. Sue’s career started with voiceovers for TV, film, radio and Broadway. Sue is the Co-Chair on the Leadership Council of Broadway Cares / Equity Fights AIDS. Her favorite gig is playing the Voice of God for the Broadway Cares’ annual Broadway Backwards benefit. Before entering the world of producing, she was an entrepreneur. Sue is the co-author of The Real Estate Millionaire (McGraw-Hill) and author of Copyediting and Proofreading for Dummies (Wiley). She is the creator of PaidToProofread.com, which sells books and video programs. Sue is a mom of three very active kids who promise not to become performers.

Jennifer Manocherian’s credits include Meteor ShowerNice Work If You Can Get ItBloody Bloody Andrew JacksonDead AccountsThe MountaintopA Little Night MusicLa Cage aux FollesThe Norman ConquestsThe 39 StepsAugust: Osage CountySpring AwakeningThe Little Dog LaughedCaroline, or ChangeMa Rainey’s Black BottomThoroughly Modern MillieThe CrucibleJane EyreStomp.

Tamra Pica is producer and casting director for WriteAct Repertory, and the new Park Performing Arts Center’s (PPAC) in Union City, NJ. Tamra’s theater and television work spans 33 years and over 250 productions as a prop designer, AEA Stage Manager, producer and casting director of plays, musicals, dance and ice shows. She produces both Off Broadway, as well as, managing the Los Angeles theater presence for Write Act.  Recent credits include the long-running FrankensteinWicked City Blues, and Swing. Other credits include: Lili MarleneCaldwell’s Bomb for the New York Venus/Adonis Theater Festival, RenewalYour Name on My Lips at Theater for the New City and the long running musical Fabulous! Queen of the New Musicals where she served as a casting director and producer. Alongside theater, Tamra’s work production, casting, and development television work can be seen for companies such as Disney, Sony, Cartoon Network, NBC Studios, TBS, CBS, MTV, ABC and FOX.  She currently works on the animated Disney series Mira, Royal Detective.

Markus Potter is a theatre director, Producer, and Professor of Theatre at the University of Kansas, where he also serves as Artistic Director of the Kansas Repertory Theatre. He is the Founding Producing Artistic Director of NewYorkRep, and previously served as Interim Artistic Director of Theatre Aspen. Key directing projects include Stalking the Bogeyman off-Broadway at New World Stages (Outer Critics Circle Award nomination, NYTimes critics pick), London’s Southwark Playhouse (Off West End Award nomination for best production and direction), Red Speedo by Lucas Hnath at Center Rep, Lost Boy Found In Whole Foods by Tammy Ryan at The Portland Stage Company, Why You Beasting? (Time Out NY critic’s pick), As an actor: Guthrie Theatre, Long Wharf, Berkeley Rep, ACT, Denver Center, tour of Death of a Salesman with Christopher Lloyd. As Producer: The Velocity of Autumn on Broadway (Estelle Parsons’s Tony Award nomination). SDC and AEA member. MFA Columbia University. MarkusPotter.com

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; presents monthly panels as well as the new weekly Community Gatherings; 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 Voices 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 of Theater Resources Unlimited are supported in part by the Montage Foundation and the Leibowitz Greenway Foundation.

For more information about TRU membership and programs, visit www.truonline.org.

 

 

TERESA DEEVY AND THE SECRETS OF THE GREEN SUITCASE ·

(Caoilfhionn Ni Bheachain’s article appeared in the Irish Times, 4/3; Photo:  Teresa Deevy: in recent years, critical attention has turned to her radio drama. The Irish Times.)

BEST KNOWN FOR HER PRODUCTIONS at the Abbey, the Waterford playwright also wrote for radio, and there’s a mystery surrounding the origins of unpublished work under a pseudonym

For more than four decades after her death in 1963, Teresa Deevy’s papers were stored in a large green suitcase under a bed in the family home, Landscape, in Waterford city. Since 2011, they have resided in the excellent archive at Maynooth University. In recent years, facilitated by New York-based Mint Theatre’s project to republish Deevy’s one-act plays, critical attention has turned to her radio drama. Such acts of recovery are interconnected and enabling. Notably, at a recent international conference on Deevy at Waterford Institute of Technology, the two keynote speakers focused on the radio play In the Cellar of My Friend. This reframing of Deevy’s oeuvre is welcome and necessary. Little known though she is, her reputation fossilised at the moment of her greatest critical success: as a popular Abbey playwright, with six plays produced in as many years. This emphasis on her Abbey career has unwittingly overshadowed her later life when she courageously embraced new media, and when she engaged with other theatrical spaces and communities.

Deevy was born in Waterford on January 21st, 1894, the youngest of 13 children in a successful merchant family. Her father died when she was three years old and she was raised by her mother in a supportive but conservative environment, aware of class distinctions and expected to adhere to religious and social orthodoxies. She attended the Ursuline Convent School in Waterford before studying first in UCD and then at UCC. While at university she was diagnosed with Meniere’s disease, an affliction which resulted in her complete deafness within a few years. She moved to London to study lip reading and while there became deeply immersed in theatre, deciding to become a playwright so that she “would put the sort of life we have in Ireland into a play”.

The unpublished script of Deevy’s first Abbey play, The Reapers, has never been recovered. Set in 1923 in the immediate aftermath of the Civil War, its subject matter and significance are only accessible through fragmented commentary and contemporary reviews. During its one-week run at the Abbey Theatre in 1930, the critic Con Leventhal compared it in a letter to a “Wagner melody”, while an unnamed Irish Times critic highlighted a powerful theme sentence uttered at the end of the play: “Life must be lived, not simply accepted.” Concluding with a marriage between the adult children of two warring families, The Reapers meditated on the legacy of internecine strife on subsequent generations. The loss of this script reveals much about the plight of women’s literary and creative work, and its occlusion within Irish cultural history.

Throughout the 1930s, Deevy’s profile remained high. Her third Abbey play, Temporal Powers, tied for first place with Paul Vincent Carroll’s Things that are Caesar’s in the 1932 Aonach Tailteann Dramatic Arts competition. An intellectual drama that explored issues such as emigration, the Land Annuities crisis and rural poverty, the panel noted that Deevy’s play was “strikingly original and of fine literary quality”. Her two subsequent plays, Katie Roche and The King of Spain’s Daughter, were hailed as theatrical triumphs although one critic ominously complained that Katie Roche “seems to be little more than a clever psychological study of an illegitimate girl”. In recent years, Deevy has been rightly recognised for such female protagonists, taking centre stage in the Abbey Theatre at a moment when women were being pushed to the margins of Irish society. Four of her six Abbey plays feature young women grappling with the scarcity of life paths available to them and Deevy often hints at shadow experiences beyond the frame of the stage, be it emigration under duress or the threat of Magdalene laundries.

Following the banning in 1936 of Seán Ó Faoláin’s novel Bird Alone, Deevy wrote to The Irish Times. Her words excoriate the culture of censorship that had taken hold: “If, in Ireland, we are not to be allowed to read of those whose faith differs from ours – if we are not to be allowed to read any criticism of priests or religious orders – let that be said. But let us have an end to insults – lowering to those who offer them and to the nation that tolerates such practices… Who are the censors? By what right do they hold office? And how, in case of proved incompetence, can they be removed?”

(Read more)

TRU (THEATER RESOURCES UNLIMITED) MARCH PANEL VIA ZOOM ·

(via Michelle Tabnick)

TRU (THEATER RESOURCES UNLIMITED)

MARCH PANEL VIA ZOOM

THEATER RESOURCES UNLIMITED

 

RETHINKING MARKETING STRATEGIES TO REACH THE WIDER VIRTUAL AUDIENCE

THURSDAY, MARCH 25, 2021 AT 5:30PM

 

Theater Resources Unlimited (TRU) presents the monthly Panel, Rethinking Marketing Strategies to Reach the Wider Virtual Audience on Thursday, March 25, 2021 via Zoom. The panel will be led by Roger Gonzalez of Alliance Media Theatricals & LocalTheatreUSA.comMonica Hammond of Big Leap Brands (former director of marketing for Davenport Theatrical Enterprises) and Toni Isreal of Realemn Productions (former managing director of Walker International Communications). Reserve a spot on the TRU event page at https://truonline.org/events/virtual-marketing-strategies/, or by emailing TRUStaff1@gmail.com – you will be put on a list to receive the Zoom link.

The shutdown of live theater threw many into a tailspin, but some rebounded and embraced the new medium of virtual performance to keep their projects moving ahead, and their passion alive. Bravo! Now how do you reach audiences? And are they even the same people who support live theater? While production possibilities may be limited, audience bases have actually widened now that we can easily tap into markets beyond our geographic location. With little money to spend on traditional ad campaigns during these tough times, the emphasis on reaching new audiences has also shifted. A digital world needs a digital marketing strategy, of course. And we will look at Facebook ad strategies, email marketing, adwords, partnerships with Goldstar/Groupon, etc. – all the tools we used before the shutdown. But how we use them now may be different.

Zoom session will open at 5:30pm eastern time for roundtable introductions of attendees; program will start at 6:00pm – come prepared with your best 20-second summary of who you are, and what you need. Free for TRU members, pay-what-you-can for non-members. Please use the bright red reservation box on our web page, or email or phone at least a day in advance (or much sooner): e-mail TRUStaff1@gmail.com or phone 833-506-5550.

“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we were forced to rethink all TRU programs for Zoom presentation. Turns out that what seemed at first to be a drastic inconvenience has paid off with surprising benefits,” said Bob Ost, executive director of TRU. “We now have extended our reach well beyond the New York area, throughout the US and as far away as England, Australia, Singapore and Malaysia. This panel will talk about the value of marketing to the ever-growing online audience that the pandemic has created.”

About the Panelists

Roger Gonzalez is owner of Alliance Media & Communications, a media and live entertainment, integrated marketing and PR firm that works with media companies, small to mid-sized businesses, and with the independent theatre industry to promote theatre and live entertainment. Alliance Media & Communications publishes LocalTheatreUSA.com, a live entertainment site dedicated to theatre/live entertainment in the New York Tri-state area and across the country. Launched as a blog in 2006 it has become a premier site for independent producers, local venues, performing arts centers and theatre production in the New York Tri-State area, covering and promoting all NY Theatre and live entertainment. As of 2016, they began also to work with playwrights and help realize new theatrical works, with the goal to bring them to the stage, typically helping them create everything from online presence (websites, social media, press), to realizing their fundraising potential, developing a budget, and finding the right venue.

Monica Hammond is a serial entrepreneur and the founder of Big Leap Brands LLC, working with clients to understand their business as well as we know our own, because small opportunities can be found in the most granular aspects of any business that will make a huge impact. We’ve found opportunities for our clients in their marketing, systems and processes, expenses, and more. As a marketing professional, Monica has worked on numerous Broadway shows, including the Tony Award-winning Broadway revival of Once On This Island, Deaf West’s Spring AwakeningIts Only A PlayGettin’ The Band Back Together, as well as the National Tour of A Night With Janis Joplin. Off Broadway: That Bachelorette Show, The Awesome 80s Prom, Daddy Long Legs, A Better Place. She is also the Founder and Chief Coloring Officer of Curious Custom Coloring Books, and Founder of Broadway Murder Mysteries.

Toni Isreal is admired for her expertise in multi-cultural marketing, strategic implementation, and her signature ability inspire, develop, and lead innovative creative thinking. In addition to being a proud member of New York Women in Film & Television, Isreal is the CEO and Founder of REALEMN Productions LLC, Broadway’s leading multicultural marketing and PR support team. Just a few REALEMN clients include 2019 Tony Award Winning HADESTOWN, Broadway Bound – MJ The Musical, and New York Theatre Workshop and the upcoming HADESTOWN Tour 2021. REALEMN is excited to work with NC Black Repertory Company (NC Black Rep) for their Black History Month Production of “Freedom Summer”. Isreal is also a consultant with New York’s World-Famous Apollo Theater, where she has secured over a million dollars in sales. And she was formally the Diversity Consultant at McCarter Theater in Princeton and now re-joining the McCarter Theatre Family with The Real Team – REALEMN Productions, Community Outreach and Press. Previously, Isreal was the Managing Director of Walker International Communications Group (WICG). In that role, she led a team providing all aspects of marketing consultation to arts organizations including audience development, media support, and socially & technology driven initiatives. As a sincere advocate for BIPOC, Isreal further enjoys promoting the arts and entertainment to multicultural communities and delivering engaging experiences that encourage audiences to secure their seats and tune in. Added to her arsenal, COVID-19 Theatre Think-Tank (CTT Member) https://www.covidtheatrethinktank.org/ NEW client, George Street Playhouse – New Brunswick. And Proud to be a Founding Member of The Industry Standard Group (TISG) https://www.theindustrystandardgroup.com/

 

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; presents monthly panels as well as the new weekly Community Gatherings; 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 Voices 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 of Theater Resources Unlimited are supported in part by the Montage Foundation and the Leibowitz Greenway Foundation.

For more information about TRU membership and programs, visit www.truonline.org.

 

WHEN EUROPE’S THEATERS REOPEN, WILL FANS RETURN? ·

(Thomas Rogers’s article appeared in The New York Times, 3/5; via Pam Green; Photo: La Scala in Milan in July  2020. Credit…Antonio Calanni/Associated Press.)

People from across the continent told us about the ups and downs — mostly downs — of loving and streaming theater during a pandemic.

With most European countries lurching between lockdowns and reopenings over the last year, it has been a disruptive time for the continent’s many theater fans.

When theaters open up across Europe, likely in the coming months, they will do so in an increasingly digital world (theaters in a few countries, like Spain, are already open). Deutsches Theater in Berlin, La Scala in Milan and the Schauspielhaus Zürich, among others, have streamed performances during the pandemic, and fans have had access to virtual theater from all over the world. Some venues have expanded their audiences far beyond what’s possible in their physical spaces. Around 160,000 viewers watched a streamed performance of “Carmen” last year by the Berlin State Opera, whose auditorium seats 1,300.

The shift has raised questions about whether audiences will return to theaters in the same numbers as before, and whether a blend of online and in-person viewing will become the new norm. The answers could have broad repercussions for the European cultural landscape. As the critic George Hunka once put it in The Guardian, “theater, as an art form, is not as deeply embedded in the history of America’s modern culture as it is in Europe’s.”

To find out how the pandemic might affect Europe’s theater scenes, both large and small, we spoke with theatergoers in seven different countries. These are edited excerpts from those conversations.

<hr size=2 width=600 style=’width:6.25in’ align=center>

Nadia Busato, 41

Recently, there was a symbolic event where theaters were open and lights were on and you could walk to the foyer of the Teatro Sociale, and I cried. Some of the most important moments in my life are linked to shows I’ve seen — when I was pregnant, when I had my second child. I spent the first lockdown at my parents’ house with my kids, and every morning, the telephone would ring, it was news that someone we knew was dead. The important thing was to keep it all together.

The ministry asked all of the theaters in the public theater system to put their archives online, so once a week at least, after everyone had gone to bed, I would watch a performance I had never seen before. I love theater so much, but it was hard to watch and listen because it was not a quality experience. In Italy, we are not used to thinking about theater existing outside of the theater, in other media.

I’ve subscribed to the National Theatre’s streaming platform, the Soho Theatre platform, so maybe in the future instead of Netflix I will watch international theater online, and I hope that Italian theater goes online with similar products.

My whole life when I wanted to see a show, I took a plane and went to the place and watched the show there, but now I can see them online.

(Read more)

TRU (THEATER RESOURCEES UNLIMITED) ANNOUNCES MARCH COMMUNITY GATHERINGS VIA ZOOM ·

(via Michelle Tabnick.)

Theater Resources Unlimited

announces upcoming

TRU Community Gatherings via Zoom 

 

Thinking in Zoom (2): Producers and Technologists

Friday, March 5, 2021 at 4:30pm

 

How Literary Agents Are Navigating This Virtual New World

Friday, March 12, 2021 at 4:30pm

 

Thinking in Zoom (3): TRUSpeak Writers Share What They Have Learned

Friday, March 19, 2021 at 4:30pm

Theater Resources Unlimited (TRU) hosts weekly Community Gatherings every Friday at 4:30pm via Zoom, to explore the creation of art and theater in the time of COVID-19. Ask questions, bring answers, be part of a community – it’s an opportunity to network with theater professionals and talk about keeping theater alive during these challenging times. To reserve a spot and receive the Zoom invitation, email TRUnltd@aol.com with “Zoom Me” in the subject line. Check the upcoming schedule at truonline.org/tru-community-gathering.

Thinking in Zoom (2): Producers and Technologists

Friday, March 5, 2021 at 4:30pm

Producers Maureen CondonJonathan HogueStephanie Pope Lofgren and Claudia Zahn; and technologists Iben Cenholt of RuneFilms and Carley Santori. A conversation with producers and technicians of the TRUSpeak … Hear Our Voices! benefit. A look at the newly defined relationships, and dynamics, in this new working environment, and the stumbling blocks and solutions along the way.

How Literary Agents Are Navigating This Virtual New World

Friday, March 12, 2021 at 4:30pm

Beth Blickers of APA (Agency for the Performing Arts), Susan Gurman of Gurman Agency LLC, Samara Harris of Samara Harris Literary Agency and Michael Moore of Michael Moore Agency. The effect of the shutdown on the role of literary agents: how contracts have changed, and the way of doing business in general has shifted. With a look at how the shutdown has affected the development of new works, and whether the role of an agent has shifted in any way. Are there still opportunities for new works to flourish, and how do agents play an active role?

Thinking in Zoom (3): TRUSpeak Writers Share What They Have Learned

Friday, March 19, 2021 at 4:30pm

Playwrights Melissa BellRichard CastleT Cat FordMelvina Douse ManuelMichele Miller and Joe Nelms talk about the whole virtual process: how they came to submit, and why … what their expectations were and what the reality turned out to be … how well they navigated the learning curve and how the experience has changed them as a writer.

From Bob Ost, executive director of TRU: “Last year I didn’t think we could do it successfully, but TRU has embraced the reality of where we are now and reinvented ourselves for a virtual new world. One by one our programs are being rethought and offered in virtual format. The weekly Community Gathering was the program that launched us into a new way of doing things so we can continue to serve our community, offering ongoing information and a little less isolation.” 

Videos of past Community Gatherings can also be viewed on TRU’s YouTube channel: youtube.com/channel/UC43rsChi4fA23dNLeloaF_A/

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; presents monthly panels as well as the new weekly Community Gatherings; 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 Voices 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 of Theater Resources Unlimited are supported in part by the Montage Foundation and the Leibowitz Greenway Foundation.

For more information about TRU membership and programs, visit www.truonline.org.

 

 

BROADWAY’S DARK YEAR ·

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Erik Pendzich/Shutterstock (10581536w)
New York’s governor ordered all Broadway theaters to shut their doors in the face of ongoing coronavirus concerns.
Coronavirus outbreak, New York, USA – 12 Mar 2020

(Judith Miller’s article appeared in City Journal, 2/22.)

Live theater has been devastated by the pandemic, and its return remains uncertain.

No industry in New York City has been hit as hard by Covid-19 as theater, and no industry is said to be as vital to the city’s recovery. But the much-heralded, long-awaited reopening of Broadway remains largely aspirational. When the pandemic shuttered New York’s theaters on March 12, 2020, performing-arts professionals hoped for a summer revival. As the virus spread, prospects for a reopening in the fall gave way to hope for non-virtual theater by January 2021, and then for summer 2021. Last October, the Broadway League predicted that New York theaters would finally reopen in fall 2021. In January, Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious-disease expert, made the target date vaguer by telling performing-arts professionals at a virtual conference that he thought that theaters could safely reopen “sometime in the fall of 2021,” with patrons still wearing masks and social distancing, “if everything goes right.”

But things have not gone right. The vaccine rollout has been thus far slow and problem-plagued, and more contagious Covid strains that may require vaccine boosters have emerged. Fauci’s goal of herd immunity, defined most recently as requiring 75–85 percent of the population to be either immunized or recovered from the disease, seems increasingly elusive.

For live theater in New York, this has meant even greater uncertainty in an already anxious, financially fraught time. “No one knows what lies ahead,” says Robert Marx, director of the New York–based Samuels Foundation, which supports quality work in the performing arts. “We’re in totally unknown territory when theaters and other performing arts venues will have had no earned income for over a year and a high percentage of staff will have been furloughed.”

Since March 12, 2020, according to a study by the National Endowment for the Arts, 52 percent of actors have been unemployed, among the highest rates of any sector. An industry estimated to sustain roughly 97,000 jobs in its 2018–19 season and contribute an annual $14.8 billion to the city’s coffers has never been so challenged. 

Few want to predict, for instance, how many of Broadway’s 31 shows that were running, and eight that were in preview, will reopen—or when. So far, four shows have fallen victim to the pandemic, among them Mean Girls, a hit that, since its opening in 2018, had not only recouped its $17 million capitalization costs but also grossed $124 million in more than 834 performances, its producers said.

Many of the 40-plus Broadway theaters deemed so vital to New York’s recovery may have difficulty financing the sweeping changes that will be required to reopen—including replacing air-filtration systems, reconfiguring seating, modifying lobbies and access to restrooms, and other changes that safety protocols may demand and that will likely be needed to lure back virus-wary patrons. Some of the oldest, least financially secure, theaters may not be able to reopen, given the devastating plunge in their revenues, which totaled some $1.8 billion from audiences of 15 million the year before Covid-19, the Broadway League reports, but tumbled to some $300 million in ticket sales before theaters closed last year. Even pre-pandemic, Broadway theaters had to sell most of the seats in their small spaces to make ends meet.

“On Broadway, we won’t be able to pay our bills with social distancing,” warned Barry Weissler, who, with his wife, Fran, is among the most successful producers on the Great White Way. “The changes required for 100-year-old Broadway theaters will cost millions and millions.” Some of the wealthier organizations—the Shubert, for instance, which owns 17 Broadway theaters and made millions staging popular musicals like A Chorus LineBye Bye Birdie, and Monty Python’s Spamalot—can afford to make the changes, but many others cannot. “So if you’re counting on Broadway to help revive the city, don’t,” Weissler said. “It will be the last to reopen.”

Some nonprofit theaters may turn out to be relatively better positioned to reopen than their commercial counterparts. Many occupy newer venues, are relatively less dependent on ticket sales, and can raise money from foundations, private donors, and the government. A coalition of select nonprofit venues spent the winter lobbying Albany for permission to sell tickets to events featuring limited live audiences. With their flexible designs, high ceilings, and open floor plans, theaters like the Park Avenue Armory, which can seat 1,500, and the Shed, which opened last year in the new Hudson Yards complex on Manhattan’s West Side and can hold 2,300, argued that they could offer live performances safely. Unlike traditional Broadway theaters—with their cramped orchestra pits and small backstages, lobbies, and restrooms—these newer venues more closely resemble the bowling alleys, gyms, churches, casinos, and museums that have been permitted to reopen, provided that patrons wear masks and maintain social distance.

When Broadway and other performance venues do reopen, ticket prices, which were steadily rising before the pandemic, could fall, at least temporarily, to lure theatergoers back into closed, even renovated, spaces. But that, too, is likely to jeopardize the commercial viability of some theaters. And given the reduction in seats available for sale, even higher prices might not compensate theater owners.

(Read more)

 

‘AFTER THE REHEARSAL’: BERGMAN’S BRILLIANT SPOTLIGHT ON MAKING AND WATCHING THEATRE ·

(Chris Wiegand’s artciel appeared in the Guardian, 2/23;  Lena Olin and Erland Josephson with the Hedda Gabler sofa in After the Rehearsal. Photograph: Everett Collection/Alamy.)

Ingmar Bergman’s movie unpacks, like no other, the intimate emotional processes of staging and seeing a play

In the opening scene of Fanny and Alexander, a boy is alone in an empty house, playing with a toy theatre lit by candles. The 1982 film is an appealing portrait of the artist as a young man and, two years later, Ingmar Bergman presented a similar image in his next film, After the Rehearsal. The theatre director Henrik (portrayed by Erland Josephson) remembers creating his own makeshift stage as a child with a box and some bricks. It is a telling contrast to the ornate model playhouse that belongs to the young Alexander, played by Bertil Guve, who appears briefly in the later film, too, in a cutaway as the 12-year-old Henrik. Fanny and Alexander is a sweeping family drama told with an ensemble of actors; After the Rehearsal is less than half its length, with just a trio of characters. If the former is the crowd-pleasing main-house production, the latter is an experiment in that theatre’s studio space.

In the films’ opening scenes, both the young Alexander and the ageing Henrik are half-dreaming, heads rested on their arms. Fanny and Alexander, which revolves around a theatrical business and alludes to Hamlet, ends with the characters preparing a new production of Strindberg’s A Dream Play.

In After the Rehearsal, Henrik is preparing for the same drama, which Bergman himself directed several times on stage and for a 1963 TV film. Henrik wakes from his sleep when one of his actors, the twentysomething Anna (Lena Olin), pays a visit. The pair discuss the play and their relationship: many years earlier Henrik had an affair with Anna’s mother, Rakel (Ingrid Thulin). Rakel proceeds to enter the scene, too, and Henrik’s conversations with each woman, observed by the other, drift between past, present and imagined worlds in much the same manner as Strindberg’s play, with which it also shares similar imagery.

For Strindberg, objects become charged with meaning. As a seashell contains the sounds of the ocean, so the old woman’s shawl in A Dream Play has absorbed decades of sorrow, both from her own life and from others. This is how Henrik sees the props and furniture that are used in his productions.

He and Anna are sitting on the sofa that was previously seen in a revival of Hedda Gabler. The armchair, he tells her, was used in Strindberg’s The Father. That table? He cast it in Tartuffe. These objects are in effect their own rep company and bring their own connections with other plays, just as the “angels, demons and ghosts” of those productions still hover around the stage. They are all old acquaintances, which is how Henrik feels about the characters in A Dream Play. He still remembers seeing Strindberg’s drama for the first time as a child; he is now mounting his fifth production of the play and there’ll probably be a sixth or seventh, he suggests.

Each of these shows leaves a sort of spiritual energy on the stage, says Henrik, so that every performance at the theatre has the resonance of past productions. For Anna, it is intimidating to be acting in the footsteps of others who have played the same role. But this sense of theatre history is part of the pleasure for audiences – even if it’s just the romantic nostalgia of imagining the bygone productions whose fading posters hang in the theatre bar.

(Read more)

ON CONTACT: THE POWER OF CLASSICS ·

(from RT, 2/21.)

On the show this week, Chris Hedges discusses with Emily Allen-Hornblower and Marquis McCray the power of the classics, such as Sophocles’ play Philoctetes, to elucidate mass incarceration.

Emily Allen-Hornblower is a professor of Classics at Rutgers University and is the recipient of a Whiting Foundation grant to foster dialogues about the classics with incarcerated and formerly incarcerated men and women. 

Marquis McCray is a social justice advocate. He spent 28 years in prison, during which time he studied the classics through the prison college program offered by Rutgers University.

 

BOOK: TOM STOPPARD’S DOUBLE LIFE ·

GB. ENGLAND. Buckinghamshire. British playwright Tom STOPPARD. 1977.

(Gaby Wood’s article appeared in the March 2021 issue of  the Atlantic; via Pam Green.)

For Britain’s leading postwar playwright, virtuosity and uncertainty go hand in hand.

Tom Stoppard: A Life BY HERMIONE LEE KNOPF

Updated at 11:33 a.m. ET on February 8, 2021.

This article was published online on February 7, 2021.

In a short book about biography, Hermione Lee, literary life-writer par excellence, offered two metaphors for the art at which she excels. One was an autopsy. The other was a portrait. “Whereas autopsy suggests clinical investigation and, even, violation,” she wrote, “portrait suggests empathy, bringing to life, capturing the character.” She argued that these contrasting approaches had something in common. They “both make an investigation of the subject which will shape how posterity views them.”

Lee is clearly no coroner, even when writing about the dead. Tom Stoppard is her first living biographical subject—on a roster that includes Edith Wharton, Willa Cather, Virginia Woolf, and, most recently, Penelope Fitzgerald—and she concludes her portrait by lobbying posterity on his behalf. Stoppard “matters,” she writes; “he will be remembered.” His significance seems a strange thing to feel in need of proving. Surely if Stoppard’s reputation in postwar British theater weren’t secure, this giant biography—nearly twice the length of Lee’s last—would never have been undertaken.

Stoppard is the alchemist who turned Shakespeare into Beckett; he has held audiences rapt at that feat for half a century, and riveted by the work that has followed. “What’s it about?” an audience member once asked him of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, to which he allegedly replied: “It’s about to make me very rich.” Since that play premiered, in 1966, Stoppard’s linguistic hijinks and relish for experimenting have seemed too clever to some and thrillingly ambitious to others. The dichotomy was perhaps inevitable, given the scope of his intellectual appetite: He has fused philosophers with acrobats (Jumpers) and dissidents with footballers (Professional Foul), devised poetic plots from the laws of physics (Arcadia), and rewritten 19th- and 20th-century history until it was antic or aslant (Travesties, The Coast of Utopia). But his virtuosity has been more than gymnastics. The restless author of more than 20 plays for the stage, as many for radio and TV, and several Hollywood screenplays, he has spun more serious ideas into silly jokes than Charlie Chaplin and Richard Feynman combined. He has also said as much about literature and love as Ivan Turgenev.

(Read more)