Theater Resources Unlimited (TRU) announces the directors of the upcoming reading series 2010 TRU Voices New Plays Reading Series, which will celebrate women in theater with plays all written, produced and directed by women. Angels and Ministers of Grace Defend Us will be directed by Kim Weild, Leni will be guided on stage by off-Broadway and London West End director Ludovica Villar-Hauser, and Cheese will be helmed by SuzAnne Barabas, artistic director of New Jersey Repertory.
TRU executive director Bob Ost said, "It is all too familiar these days to hear how women playwrights are under-represented in commercial theater. After the finalist stack of blind-submitted scripts were selected and the dust settled, we realized we had not only moved three women writers into the series, but also three women producers." He added, "It is not surprising that the female teams selected female directors to represent their voice on stage. Still, I think it makes a strong statement that helps balance the frustration I hear from so many women in our business."
The selected plays will be read on Mondays, June 7, 14, and 21 at 7pm at The Players Theatre, 115 MacDougal Street (below W. 3rd Street), NYC. Admission is FREE but reservations are required at www.theplayerstheatre.com or by phone at 212-475-1449. Each reading will be followed by a reception and a "Dollars and Sense" panel on producing. In addition to the directors of the plays, TRU also announces the panelists who will share their knowledge and expertise on the "Dollars and Sense" talkbacks.
June 7, 2010 at 7pm - Angels and Ministers of Grace Defend Us by Elaine Smith. Following a tragic accident, two sisters realize they must rely on each other for the family to heal. The play has previously been read at the New Jersey Repertory starring Linda Hamilton (The Terminator), as well as in a recent presentation at the Berkshire Theatre Festival in Stockbridge MA, and an early reading at the Abingdon Theatre Company in New York in 2004.
"Dollars & Sense" talkback will feature Tom Smedes,producer (Next Fall, Naked Boys Singing, Ace the Musical, Musical of Musicals); Jack Thomas, Bulldog Productions (Desire Under the Elms, Life Science, Almost, Maine); and Lauren Yates, associate general manager Martian Entertainment, company manager (Glory Days, Riverdance, Play On!, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Forever Tango).
Elaine Smith (Writer) was a 2008-2009 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize nominee, 2nd prize winner in the Barter Theatre Appalachian Festival of Plays & Playwights and a 2007 Finalist in the Eudora Welty New Play Series. Elaine is a self-producing artist in TRU's Producer Mentorship Program.
Meredith Lucio (Producer) is currently a Co-Producer of The 39 Steps at New World Stages. She was an Associate Producer of Rooms a Rock Romance and is a writer for TheatreExaminer.com. Previous TRU readings have included the musicals Opa!, which went on to win 5 awards in the Midtown International Theatre Festival, and So Happy I Could Scream! Meredith is a member of TRU's Producer Mentorship Program.
Kim Weild (Director) is associate director to Michael Blakemore having worked with him on the Broadway revival of Blithe Spirit starring Angela Lansbury, Terrence McNally's Deuce (Lansbury/Seldes) and Mark Twain/David Ives' Is He Dead? Directing credits include Uncle Vanya (official selection Prague Quadrennial), Kaddish by Allen Ginsberg (NY International Fringe Festival), The Good Woman of Setzuan (w/2 Star Symphony), Charles Mee's Fêtes de la Nuit (Riverside Theater),Andrea Lepcio's A Peddler's Tale: Buttons, Guts and Bluetooth (The Women's Project) and So Happy I Could Scream! for the TRU Voices Musicals Reading Series in 2008.
June 14, 2010 at 7pm - Leni by Pam Tate.It is 1947 Germany, and Leni Riefenstahl, Hitler's notorious film director of Triumph of the Will, is being held against her will in a mental sanatorium. Leni attempts to justify her past actions to the psychiatrist and nurse who are treating her, in order to form alliances that will enable her to escape the hospital and regain her lost film, Tiefland. Was she a knowing Nazi collaborator or a self-absorbed artist with no political agenda?
"Dollars & Sense" talkback will feature Georgia Buchanan, managing director National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene, formerly with The Women's Project and Shakespeare Theatre of NJ; Bradley Reynolds, LAMS Productions (Ragtime, [title of show], West Side Story); and Ken Waissman, producer (Grease, And Miss Reardon Drinks a Little, Over Here, Torch Song Trilogy).
Pam Tate (Writer) is also a musician and performer. Her play, Leni, won the Famous Door National Women's Playwriting Award. Pam is currently adapting the novel Ship of Fools, by Katherine Anne Porter, for the musical stage.
Ludovica Villar-Hauser (Director) has worked in London's West End: O'Neill's A Long Day's Journey into Night, The Countess (Gregory Murphy); at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival: Strindberg's The Stronger, With All My Love I Hate You by Lynda La Plante, and Mary Stuart by Dacia Maraini; Off Broadway: The Countess, Rona Munro's Bold Girls, Duet by Otho Eskin, and Philip Ridley's Leaves of Glass. She is a member of SDC, Equity UK and the League of Professional Theatre Women.
Sherry Eaker (Producer) is the former Editor in Chief of Back Stage (1977 to 2006). She is the producer of the Bistro Awards, now in its 25th year, and heads up the Bistro Awards Committee. She also produces and moderates industry panel discussions, including TRU's monthly panels as well as being on TRU's Advisory Board. Leni is her first theatrical producing venture. She is a member of TRU's Producer Mentorship Program.
Gina DeMayo (Associate Producer) has produced several plays, including Stage 13's world premiere Exposed! The Curious Case of Shiloh and Zahara, the Midtown International Theatre Festival winner for Best Play, Best Ensemble, and Best Set Design.
June 21, 2010 at 7pm - Cheese by Laurel Ollstein. A dark comic farce about secrets and family - and how to survive them both.
"Dollars & Sense" talkback will feature Gabor Barabas, executive producer of New Jersey Repertory; Peter Bogyo, general manager with the Sprecher Organization (A Moon for the Misbegotten w/Kevin Spacey, Sly Fox w/Richard Dreyfus, Fortune's Fool, Madame Melville, The Unexpected Man); Pam Koslow, producer (Jelly's Last Jam, Jane Eyre, Yank!); Matt Schicker of East of Doheny (Grey Gardens, The Full Monty, night, mother); and Cheryl Wiesenfeld, producer (A Steady Rain, Legally Blonde, Caroline or Change, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, The Exonerated, Elaine Stritch: At Liberty).
Laurel Ollstein (Writer) has worked in new play development as a playwright, actress, director and teacher for over twenty years. Her play Cheese was a 2009 finalist in the New Works of Merit Competition and will be published this year by Original Works Publishing. Laurel co-wrote the book for the musical Opa! which was a finalist in the TRU Voices New Musicals Reading Series in 2007.
Pat Flicker Addiss (Producer) is currently represented on Broadway with Promises, Promises and off-Broadway with The 39 Steps, The Fantasticks at the Snapple Theatre Center and The Housewives of Mannheim at 59e59 Theatres. She has been a producer on Spring Awakening, Passing Strange and Little Women, to name a few, as well as having produced two works for the TRU Voices Series: the play Spark in 2006 and the musical At the Back of the North Wind in 2007.
The TRU Voices New Play Reading Series encourages submissions from emerging and established producers who are interested in testing the waters with a new work, and offers an opportunity for them to forge relationships with writers. TRU also accepts submissions from writers and tries to match them with a sponsoring producer for the series. Shows that started in the series include Pied-à-Terre, which played off-Broadway at The Kirk, Theatre Row; The Great American Trailer Park Musical by Betsy Kelso and David Nehls, which enjoyed an off-Broadway run and is currently touring; Normal by Yvonne Adrian, Cheryl Stern and Tom Kochan, which played a limited run in fall '06 in the East Village starring Barbara Walsh and tours throughout the country; Saint Heaven by Martin Casella and Keith Gordon has had successful runs at the Stamford Center for the Performing Arts and the Village Theatre in Issaquah WA. A finalist in the 2006 series, Missives by Garret Jon Groenvald, had a production at 59E59 Street Theatres directed by Elysabeth Kleinhans, and was well received and well reviewed; TRU was a co-producer with Animated Theatreworks and PlayGround.
TRU was founded in 1992 to promote a spirit of cooperation and support within the general theater community by providing information and a variety of entertainment-related services and resources that strengthen the business capability of producing organizations, individual producers, self-producing artists and other theater professionals. The company holds monthly seminars on a wide range of subjects important to theatrical producers and artistic directors conducted by panels of experts from both the commercial and not-for-profit segments of the industry. TRU also publishes a monthly email community newsletter of services, goods and productions. In 2001, TRU began giving annual scholarships to The Commercial Theater Institute, to encourage the development of aspiring producers, and most recently created a Producer Mentoring Program whose mentors are among the most prominent producers and general managers in New York theater. In addition, TRU offers a series of Producer Boot Camp workshops to help refine the skills needed to produce effectively. TRU programs for actors include an Annual Audition Event, Resource Nights and "Speed Dating" as well as free monthly actor events, including workshops.
Programs of Theater Resources Unlimited are supported in part by public funds awarded through the New York State Council on the Arts and the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, as well as generous support from the Friar's National Foundation Association.
For more information, visit www.truonline.org.