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Theater Resources Unlimited March Panel Challenging Development: The Implications of NY State Labor Laws

Mar 31 | Tue |


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Theater Resources Unlimited (TRU) presents the March Panel, Challenging Development: The Implications of NY State Labor Laws, on Tuesday, March 31, 2020 at Polaris North Theatre, 245 W. 29th Street, 4thfloor, NYC. Doors open at 7pm for networking and the panel starts at 7:30pm.   Although we encourage artists to run their careers with good business sense, the truth is that work in early development doesn't always have a lot of money behind it. Of the thousand or more showcases produced each year, a large percent of them are self-produced by writers who use their limited resources to give their work a chance to be seen. Stage readings have always been an affordable early step, followed by the more expensive but doable showcases and festival productions. However NY State Labor laws may be pushing us to spend a lot more money that many of us don't have. Disabling this entry level aspect of the business is like kicking away the very foundation of theater. It is an incubator for art, a safe environment for nurturing new works, new writers and new theater artists in all aspects of production. Many artists have traditionally viewed themselves as independent contractors, a designation now viewed very narrowly by the labor department. And it is worth noting that politicians rarely mention support for the arts as an issue that that they think of addressing. Is advocacy our only hope, and how can we effectively persuade others, outside the arts, of the value of what we do?   Speakers to include director/writer Cheryl L. Davis, General Counsel for the Author's Guild, Larsen and Kleban Award winning writer; Emileena Pedigo of The Show Goes On Productions, indie producer and artist coach; David Prager, retired labor and employment attorney; and Dominique Sharpton,producer and activist.   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/ny-state-labor-laws/, or email or phone at least a day in advance (or much sooner): e-mail TRUStaff1@gmail.com / phone 833-506-5550.   Cheryl Davis received the Kleban Award as a librettist for her musical Barnstormer (written with Douglas J. Cohen) about Bessie Coleman, the first Black woman flyer. The show received a Jonathan Larson Award through the Lark Play Development Center. Her play Maid's Door received great reviews, won seven Audelco Awards, and was a finalist for the Francesca Primus Prize. Her play The Color of Justice (commissioned by Theatreworks/USA), received excellent reviews in the New York Times and Daily News, and tours regularly. Her musical Bridges, which was commissioned by the Berkeley Playhouse, received its world premiere in February 2016 to great reviews and three award nominations from the San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle. She received a Writers' Guild Award for her work on "As the World Turns", and was also nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award. Her work has been read and performed internationally, including at the Cleveland Play House, the Actors Theatre of Louisville, and the Kennedy Center.  She is the General Counsel of the Authors Guild.   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.    David Prager is a recently early-retired partner of the law firm Bond Schoeneck & King PLLC.  He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, and practiced Labor and Employment Law in New York City for 35 years, during which time i was repeatedly elected by my peers as among the Best Lawyers in New York in my field, as well as Super Lawyers, and Best Lawyers in America.  Also an amateur theater actor, and writer, he has handled numerous matters involving the intersection of employment laws and performing arts.

Dominique Sharpton has been an influential force in the National Action Network since she formally joined in 2008, as the membership director. She has not only led the organization in terms of expansion, but she has promoted activism with the rising youth, motivating real action. Dominique attended Temple University, studying theater, music, and communications, then went on to attend The American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA), in New York City where she graduated in 2007. Aside from her love for theater and children, she has also explored the realms of producing. For a year she co-produced her father's syndicated radio show "Keeping it Real" with Al Sharpton, co-produced a Broadway event at Birdland Jazz Club with Amy Birnbaum, celebrating Afro-American music on Broadway and is currently producing her father's live radio broadcast rally every Saturday morning from 9-11 a.m. on WLIB-1190 a.m. She has been diligently working on the forefront with her father, helping to organize marches and rallies around the country in pursuit of justice. She devotes a lot of time mentoring young people around the city, having recently co-founded a youth based organization with her sister Ashley called "Harlem INC" which has transformed into an entertainment Company called "Sharpton Entertainment LLC". They work to provide positive outlets for youth and showcase their many talents, as well as raising issues and hardships that young adults are facing and dealing with today. Dominique Sharpton is also the board president for Education for a Better America (EBA), which seeks to promote, fund, organize and conduct activities that will build an educational support system that serves the needs of students in urban communities. The mission of the corporation is to build bridges between policymakers and the classrooms by supporting innovations in the delivery of education; creating a dialogue between policymakers, community leaders, educators, parents, and students; and disseminating information that will positively impact our schools.     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.

Venue: Polaris North Theatre

245 W 29th St, New York, NY 10001 Map
646-765-4773