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Theater Resources Unlimited December Panel What It Means to Be a Producer (and Why I Do It)

Theater Resources Unlimited December Panel What It Means to Be a Producer (and Why I Do It)
Theater Resources Unlimited (TRU) presents the December Panel: What It Means to Be a Producer (and Why I Do It) on Thursday, December 13, 2018 at 7:30pm (networking at 7pm) at Thursday, December 13, 2018 at Polaris North, 245 W. 29th St. 4th floor, NYC, 10001. This panel is free for TRU members;$12.50 for non-members in advance ($15 at door). Please reserve using the bright red reservation box at https://truonline.org/events/what-it-means-to-be-a-producer/ or e-mail TRUStaff1@gmail.com.

Guest speakers include commercial producers Margot Astrachan (The Prom, A Gentleman’s Guide…, Nice Work If You Can Get It, On a Clear Day...), RK Greene (Peter and the Starcatcher, Terms of Endearment, Cougar), Cody Lassen (Indecent, Spring Awakening revival), Ron Simons (Porgy and Bess, A Streetcar Named Desire, Vanya & Sonia & Masha & Spike, A Gentleman’s Guide…) and Ken Waissman (original Grease, Torch Song Trilogy, Agnes of God).
Producing is hard, and commercial theater productions have a notoriously low rate of return on investment. So why do people do it? Five dedicated producers will talk about why they invest time and money (their own and other people’s) in order to bring works to the stage. How do they pick their projects? And what is the secret to raising money for such a high-risk ventures? What mistakes have they made along the way, and what was their proudest moment? Most importantly, we will also consider the qualities that make for a “successful” producer, and how each speaker defines success.
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 half-minute summary of who you are, and what you need. Free for TRU members;$12.50 for non-members in advance ($15 at door). Please use the bright red reservation box at https://truonline.org/events/what-it-means-to-be-a-producer/, or email at least a day in advance to TRUStaff1@gmail.com.
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.
Cody Lassen is a Tony-nominated theatre producer and live entertainment consultant. Broadway productions include The Band’s Visit, the Deaf West Theatre revival of Spring Awakening, Macbeth starring Alan Cumming, Paula Vogel’s Indecent and Joshua Harmon’s Significant Other. Upcoming: Untitled #4 off-Broadway and in LA Holding the Man, with The Australian Theatre Company and a revival of Merrily We Roll Along directed by Michael Arden. In addition to producing his own projects, Cody consults for producers, theaters and agencies to help them discover how they should market their shows for the best chance of financial and critical success. Previously, he oversaw marketing efforts for Los Angeles’ Center Theatre Group and its three theaters: the Ahmanson Theatre, Mark Taper Forum and Kirk Douglas Theatre. He is an active member of the Broadway League, the National Association of Musical Theatre, and serves on the Board of NY’s Vineyard Theatre. More info at codylassen.com.
RK Greene is a producer of the Broadway and off-Broadway hit Peter & the Starcatcher as well as Terms of Endearment and Cougar The Musical. As an entrepreneur, R.K. has started several businesses over the years. A theatre professional since 1978, he was a founding member of the Seattle Group Theatre, a multi-cultural ensemble that produced its own work. As an actor, he appeared in numerous productions Off-off Broadway, on tour and in regional theater, producing several projects including a multi-state tour of Mass Appeal. In 2000, he founded The StoryLine Project, LLC, a commercial theater production company, to develop new plays and musicals.  SLP made its debut as an above line producer for the Off Broadway hit, Room Service, and went on to produce Love Child and A Time to Kill.  In the non-profit world, R.K. is the Marketing Director at The Directors Company and helped to transfer Irena’s Vow to Broadway and produce several shows at 59E59 Theaters. His most recent production was Farinelli and the King at the Belasco.
Ron Simons is a three-time Tony Award-winning producer, four-time Sundance Film Festival selected producer and actor of stage, film and television. Ron is also the Founder and CEO of SimonSays Entertainment – A Film & Theatre production company with a mission to Tell Every Story™. SimonSays tells stories that examine the unheard voices of the American Tapestry. Broadway projects include the 2012 Tony-winning Broadway production of The Gershwins’ Porgy & Bess and the all-black Broadway production of A Streetcar Named Desire. Additionally, Ron produced the Tony Award winning BEST PLAY and BEST MUSICAL winners Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike and A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder. Off-Broadway: Turn Me Loose with Joe Morton, and Bedlam Theatre’s Hamlet/St. Joan. His film credits include Night Catches Us which premiered as a Grand Jury Nominee at Sundance and won both the FIPRESCI Award for Best American Feature and the 2010 African-American Film Critics Association Award for Best Picture. Blue Caprice(Sundance premier) was sold to Sundance Selects/IFC, nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for Best Picture and nominated for the NAACP Image Awards’ Outstanding Independent Motion Picture. Mother of George was a Grand Jury nominee in Sundance’s U.S. Dramatic Competition earning Bradford Young an award for Best Cinematography. Mother of George was given the Best World Cinema honor by the African American Film Critics Association. Gun Hill Roadpremiered at Sundance as a Grand Jury nominee and was the winner of the IMAGEN Award for Best Film. It was released theatrically in the U.S. and abroad.
Ken Waissman is one of only two producers in the history of Broadway to have a musical run over 3000 performances and a play run over 1000. (The other producer he shares this distinction with is the legendary David Merrick.) Waissman developed and produced the original Broadway production of Grease as well as two of Broadway’s longest running plays, Agnes of God by John Pielmeier and Torch Song Trilogy by Harvey Fierstein.Waissman’s first Broadway credit was the 1971 Paul Zindel play And Miss Reardon Drinks a Little with Estelle Parsons and Julie Harris, and his prolific Broadway efforts have resulted in four motion picture features, a PBS TV special, 25 Tony Award® nominations, and 5 Tony Awards® including a Tony Award® as ‘Best Play Producer.’ His new musical, Josephine, inspired by Josephine Baker, had its World Premiere in April at the Asolo Theatre in Sarasota, Florida. Deborah Cox played the title role and Joey McKneely directed and choreographed.
Theater Resources Unlimited(TRU) is the leading network for developing theater professionals, a twenty-six year old 501c3 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 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 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 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.
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.

Broadway

Suzanna, 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. Currently she has a screenplay in the works, which she developed with her mentor and friend the late Arthur Herzog. She was the Broadway Informer on the all access cable TV Show “The New Yorkers,” soon to be “The Tourist Channel.” email: suzanna@t2conline.com

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