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SUMMIT 2021: Pitch-A-Little, Talk-A-Little!

Written By Melvin Tunstall III

Greetings TheaterMakers! I send you hump day greetings from my big return trip to Midland, MI to begin research for the new musical I accidentally pitched over the summer. I’m still in awe of how quickly life can change when someone knocks your pitch out of the park! Today marked the beginning of the journey that will end with a full production of a new Holiday Musical, all because of that accidental pitch.

Accidents can indeed be happy, but isn’t it better when you can see an opportunity coming from a mile away? 

Well, look no further Theatermakers, the 2021 THEATERMAKERS SUMMIT is right around the corner!

When Ken announced that the 2021 Summit would include a virtual PITCHING BOOTH, I called pretty much every friend I knew with a new show looking for a producer and told them about my favorite NEW FEATURE of this year’s summit.

Based on the ol’ carney concept of a “Kissing Booth,” these 10-minute opportunities to pitch your show (or your resume) are the perfect chance to expand that Elevator Pitch you practiced all pandemic with some of the more tantalizing bits from your Pitch Deck.

Today we have a certified PRO TIP from theatermaking legend-in-the-making Mary Dina, creator and host of the Page To Stage: A Conversation with Theatre Makers podcast and Davenport Theatrical Enterprise’s Special Events Producer and Content Manager.

“One of the biggest things to consider is leaving enough time for the Producer or Investor to ask questions. Don’t use the full ten minutes of the pitch giving details that can be answered during follow up questions. Stick to the when, where, what, and how and leave room for mystery.”

The key here is to always keep in mind your pitch’s goal is to pique the interest enough to start a conversation. As Waitress sings so sweetly, “It only takes a taste.” You will get the chance to truly shine and share your vision once the lines of communication are open. Remember, you are not just pitching a show, you are pitching yourself. 

SO WHO’S CATCHING? 

No booth would be complete without someone to catch what you’re pitching! We are thrilled to announce the following PRODUCERS and INVESTORS will be joining us for our Virtual Pitching Booth:

Cynthia J. Tong – Producer

Cynthia is an Asian-American creative producer working across commercial (Broadway and off-Broadway), non-profit, and regional theatre. Her familial roots originate in Taiwan and Hong Kong, and her artistic roots are in dance, having spent the first 22 years of her life in the studio. Rich collaborations with artists feed her soul, where process matters as much as product.

Kate Maguire – Artistic Director

In 2010, Maguire oversaw the merger of two historic organizations: Berkshire Theatre Festival in Stockbridge, where she began in 1995, and The Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, resulting in the creation of Berkshire Theatre Group.

Larry Rogowsky – Producer

​​Larry is a Tony and Grammy Award winning theatre producer whose credits include Moulin Rouge!, Jagged Little Pill, Company, Angels in America, Natasha, Pierre, & the Great Comet of 1812, M. Butterfly, and this season’s Off Broadway hit A Commercial Jingle For Regina Comet.

Judy Manocherian – Investor

After years of being a devoted theatregoer and investor in numerous plays, Judith made her producing debut with The Prom.

Neil Gooding – Investor/Producer

Neil Gooding is an international theatre director, producer, and writer. He was the originating Chairman and one of the founding members of Hayes Theatre Co in Sydney and is the head of New Musicals Australia (Australia’s peak body for the development of original Australian Musicals).

Megan Ann Rasmussen – Investor/Producer

For 20+ years, Megan Ann Rasmussen has served as an Award-Winning Producer, Director, and Educator, impacting multigenerational audiences. As President of MAR Productions, she is committed to creating theatre that uplifts and strengthens each of us, building engaged communities.

Dan Stone – Producer

Dan is a Tony Award-winner for Dear Evan Hansen. He also helped to produce shows such as Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Standing on Ceremony, Tuck Everlasting, and Catch Me If You Can under his previous company Fakston Productions. Dan is extremely particular with which shows he chooses to back, opting for ones that will help to implement change.

Ron Simons – Producer

Ron Simons is a four-time Tony Award-winning producer, making him the highest African-American Tony Award-winning producer of all time. As a four-time Sundance Film Festival selected producer and actor of stage, film and television, Ron is the leading Broadway producer working today bringing diversity to the stage, with his work being screened at prestigious festivals all over the world, including Sundance, New Directors/New Films, the MoMA (Museum of Modern Arts) and many others.

Elliott Masie – Investor/Producer

Elliott Masie is the CEO and lead investor in MASIE Productions. MASIE Productions started out as a conference and events company in the 1990s. Its most well known conference is ‘Learning’ an annual conference focusing on utilizing technology within corporate training. MASIE Productions has also been involved in the production of Broadway theatre. They have been involved with a variety of productions, including The Prom, The Cher Show, American Son, Spongebob Squarepants, Kinky Boots, Allegiance, and Trip to Bountiful among others.

Dean Roth – Investor

Everything that oh-so-rightly went wrong with The Play That Goes Wrong was in large part to the producing prowess of Dean Roth!

TheaterMakers, step up to the plate! Make sure you use the code “PITCH” when buying your ticket to get a spot in the Pitching Booth and keep your eye on this blog for more exciting updates on the 2021 TheaterMakers Summit.

Get your ticket here.


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