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Theater Resources Unlimited returns to live: “Town Hall: What Producing Companies Need Now” In-Person at Polaris North Theatre & Online via Zoom

November 29, 2022, 6:30 pm9 pm.

A dependable haven for artists in isolation during shutdown, Theater Resources Unlimited (TRU) returns to live monthly panel discussions with a Town Hall, focusing on “What Producing Companies Need Now”. This highly anticipated event will take place on Tuesday, November 29, 2022 at Polaris North Theatre, 245 W. 29th Street, 4th Floor, NYC. Networking begins at 6:30pm, and the open forum begins at 7pm ET. The evening will be streamed simultaneously via Zoom. The event is free to TRU members and not-for-profit theater companies, $15 for non-members. For more information and to register, visit truonline.org/events/live-town-hall-what-companies-need. The virtual link will be sent to all registrants.

The Town Hall will be co-hosted by Rose-Marie Brandwein, president of Polaris North, a membership cooperative of Actors, Playwrights and Directors; Ariel Estrada, founder, producing artistic director of Leviathan Lab; Lorca Peress, founding artistic director of MultiStages; and Aimee Todoroff, managing director for the League of Independent Theater.

As part of a multi-tiered initiative to help restore the theater community in New York and beyond, TRU is inviting small-to-medium sized producing companies to join us in an honest conversation about the struggle to reopen. Last year’s virtual meeting generated some specific concerns from the community. Chief among these was the need to find out what audiences require to return to theater. Now that protocols are relaxed and policies are changing from venue to venue, have audiences returned? What are some successful strategies companies are using to rebuild their audiences? Are safety precautions increasing costs? How many performance spaces survived the shutdown, and are new spaces being created? Are the pre-pandemic contracts and agreements in effect going forward, and if not, what are the new agreements we are working with now? And are we taking the lessons of virtual into our future?

This will be a Q&A forum in which companies are encouraged to talk about the impact of shutdown and their plans for or experience with already reopening, with a particular focus on finding solutions to any obstacles holding them back. TRU offers this as an opportunity for companies to learn from and find ways to help each other while exploring programs that might better serve producing companies. Though the focus will be on not-for-profit and fiscally sponsored companies, all companies struggling to return to live performance are welcome to participate in this conversation.

About the Panelists

Rose-Marie Brandwein studied with playwrights Larry Carr, Jack Gelber, Walter Hadler, Dick Longchamps and David Scott Milton; with directors Andrew Leynse and Tyler Marchant at Primary Stages. She was a member of the long-defunct Roundabout Conservatory Theatre’s Playwriting Unit and HB Studio. Her one- act, Expiration Date, was featured in the Women at Work Festival (Stage Left Studio);The East to Edinburgh Festival (59E59 Theaters); and at the Edinburgh Fringe (Merchants’ Hall). Her short play, The Broken Teacup was featured at the AEA Diversity show, 21st Century Women. She earned an MFA in Professional Writing from the University of Southern California, and her MS in Strategic Communications from Columbia University. Member, HONOR ROLL! 

Aimee Todoroff is a director practicing theater in NYC. She has been a part of two Obie Award winning productions, as a performer and as a director. She loves directing in traditional and non-traditional, site specific spaces. Equally adept at classic and new work, Aimee has helmed classic plays by Ibsen and Chekhov, and premieres by Cusi Cram, Daisy Foote, and frequent collaborator Chris Harcum among others. Aimee received her MFA in Directing from Southampton Arts, studying with Marsha Norman, Nick Mangano, and Rinde Eckert, and was the Assistant Director for John Rando and the playwright David Ives for Classic Stage Company’s production of “The Heir Apparent.” She is the artistic director of the indie theater company Elephant Run District, and is passionate about collaborative dialog between artists, audience and communities. In addition to directing and teaching, Aimee created the LIT Anti-Harassment Toolkit and speaks on best practices to create safe creative spaces. aimeetodoroff.org elephantrundistrict.org

Lorca Peress is a theatre director specializing in new works Off and Off-Off Broadway (plays, musicals, operas, multimedia hybrids) and the founding Artistic Director of MultiStages (www.multistages.org), a multicultural multidisciplinary NYC Co. Her multicultural (Puerto Rican/Polish/Sephardic) and artistic (theatre/visual arts/dance/music/writing) backgrounds led her to create MultiStages in 1997 (45+ productions, readings, festivals, and New Works Contests). In 2021, she created and produced “SpeakOut Protests Plays & More,” a theatre, multimedia and modern dance festival online. She has directed productions at Joe’s Pub, NYMF at the Acorn Theatre on Theatre Row, Theatre for New City, HERE, La MaMa, NYU, Hudson Guild, Cherry Lane, TheaterLab, on tour; 24 hour plays at the Public, Lortel, Signature; operas at Queens College; readings with PRTT, Repertorio Español, Urban Stages, and more. Member: NTC, SDC, AEA, SAG-AFTRA, League of Professional Theatre Women (LPTW Co-President 2011-14), original member of the Creative Network for Federal Affairs Office for the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Awards include: Creative Engagement (2020, 2019), Institute of Puerto Rico Cultural Award, 2015 Taino Areito in Theatre, LaMaMa Inky Award, 2013/2014 National Opera Competition 2nd Prize, 2012 HOLA Gilberto Zaldivar Award for Outstanding Production, 2011 and 2013 Honorable Mention Collaboration Award from Women in Arts and Media Coalition, Four Manhattan Community Arts Grant (LMCC), La Mia Ink! playwriting awards. Faculty: NYU Strasberg Studio, Strasberg Institute. Graduate of Bennington College (BA Drama), National Theatre Institute, and studied the method at Strasberg.

Ariel Estrada is Webby Award-winning producer, actor, writer, and advocate for Asian American Pacific Islander performing artists. As an actor, he has performed on television, film, commercials, digital media, and Off-, and Off-Off-Broadway. As a producer, Ariel is the Founder and Producing Artistic Director for Leviathan Lab, a nonprofit creative studio for Asian American performing artists. As an arts administrator, he is the Associate Director of the Theatre Program at Fordham University, and the Marketing & Membership Director for the Consortium of Asian American Theaters and Artists. His leadership has been recognized by artEquity, New York Foundation for the Arts, and Theatre Communications Group. arielestrada.com | leviathanlab.com | LI: /arielestrada

Theater Resources Unlimited (TRU) is the leading network for developing theater professionals, a twenty-nine-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, opportunities and productions; presents 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, The Storyline Project and the Leibowitz Greenway Foundation. For more information about TRU membership and programs, visit truonline.org.