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BIZ conference 2012 - RECAP

BIZ of the MUSICAL THEATRE BIZ Conference 2012

July 20, 21, 22

The NoHo Arts Center
11136 Magnolia Blvd.
North Hollywood, CA

Every other year, NMI (formerly the Academy for New Musical Theatre) hosts a prestigious conference on the BUSINESS side of the musical theatre business. The fourth biennial conference included award-winning writers, artistic directors, commercial producers, entertainment lawyers, agents, union reps, and social media marketing experts.

This Conference is now CLOSED.

Enjoy this RECAP of our 2012 BIZ Conference.

Friday, July 20

7:30 pm to 8:00 pm     Opening Schmooze

8:00 pm to 10:00 pm


Anecdotes and insiders-only stories, tips (and possibly gossip) directly from produced writers who've been there and lived to tell the tale.

  • Cheri Steinkellner (Tony nominated co-bookwriter of Sister Act)
  • Paul Gordon (Tony nominated for score of Jane Eyre)

  • Participants enjoy the opening spread.

    MEET THE WRITERS: Cheri Steinkellner and Paul Gordon

    Keynote speaker Scott Wittman

    Conference participants pitch their shows to each other.

    Some schmooze time for the participants.

    MEET THE FESTIVALS: Jonathan May, Jordan Beck, Bob Klein, and Erik Przytulski

    A networking lunch break in the lobby.

    MEET THE LAWYERS: Michael Blaha and Gordon Firemark.

    Participants returning to the theatre after a break.

    MEET THE ARTISTIC DIRECTORS: John Michael Beck, Tim Dang, Daniel Henning, and Terence McFarland.

    Saturday, July 21

    9:00 am to 9:30 am     Networking Coffee Break

    9:30 am to 10:15 am


    Meet the staff of the Academy for New Musical Theatre, followed by the conference Keynote Address by Scott Wittman (Smash, Hairspray), laying the framework for the weekend and contemplating the future of the American Musical. (Mr. Wittman will be joining us by pre-recorded video Skype from his studio in New York City.)

    10:15 am to 10:45 am


    An aggressive, fast-paced thirty-minutes of pitching your show, career, and ambitions to dozens of like-minded artists. Opportunities to sell your show, link up with new collaborators, or find networking opportunities for your next project.

    10:45 am to 11:15 am     Coffee Break Schmooze

    11:15 am to 1:00 pm


    How do you get your musical noticed? A discussion of the pros and cons of various different festivals, workshops, and fringes for new musicals: Featuring insider information from writers and producers who have taken part in the New York Musical Theatre Festival, the National Alliance for Musical Theatre, the Village Theatre Festival, Stages Musical Theatre Festival, the Finger Lakes Festival, Edinburgh, the Los Angeles Festival of New American Musicals, the ASCAP/Dreamworks Workshops, the UC Irvine Festival of New Musicals, and more.
    Moderator: Elise Dewsberry (Artistic Director, NMI/ANMT)

  • Dr. Gary Busby (Associate Professor, Musical Theater; UC Irvine)
  • Erik Przytulski (Princesses/ASCAP Musical Theatre Workshop 2012)
  • Jordan Beck (Peter Pan - ASCAP/DreamWorks 2012, Creator of The Sunset Players web series, LA Festival 2010)
  • Jonathan May (Peter Pan - ASCAP/DreamWorks 2012)
  • Lindsay Lefler (Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre)

  • 1:00 pm to 2:15 pm     Lunch Schmooze

    2:15 pm to 4:00 pm


    Always one of the highlights of the Conference: a free-wheeling exchange between writers and entertainment attorneys, on whatever topic you'd like to ask them. Copyright questions? How do you acquire rights to a movie? How do you get out of a disasterous collaboration? Do you need permission to write a musical about [you fill in the blank]....no question is off-limits. It's like a free hour-and-three-quarters of attorney time (you do that math -- this panel alone is worth the price of the conference!) Featuring Entertainment Lawyers Michael R. Blaha and Gordon P. Firemark.

    4:00 pm to 4:30 pm     Coffee Break Schmooze

    4:30 pm to 6:00 pm


    A powerful panel, packed with the people who greenlight musicals for production. They're ready to take your questions: What are they looking for at their theatre? How should you approach them? How should you NOT approach them? What's coming up next season for them? What do they want to see two years from now?
    Moderator: Terence McFarland (CEO, LA Stage Alliance)

  • Tim Dang (Producing Artistic Director, East West Players)
  • Steven Glaudini (Musical Theatre West)
  • Kevin Bailey (Producer, NoHo Arts Center)
  • Daniel Henning (Founding Artistic Director/Producer, The Blank Theatre Company)
  • Michael Michetti (Co-Artistic Director, The Theatre @ Boston Court)
  • Karyl Lynn Burns (Producing Artistic Director, The Rubicon Theatre)
  • John Michael Beck (Artistic Director, Celebration Theatre)

  • 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm     Dinner on your own: followed by SONDHEIM UNSCRIPTED (Theatre Impro)

    Sunday, July 22

    11:00 am to 12:30 pm


    This panel is comprised of folks who are on YOUR side in the biz: We've invited representatives from ASCAP, Dramatists Guild, Theatrical Rights Worldwide, etc. Find out what your rights are, and what kind of treatment to expect from producers, theatres and publishers. Also - reps from the unions you might need to deal with if you are involved in producing a show including Actors' Equity and the Musician's Union and Theatre Musicians' Assocation.
    Moderator: Dan Berkowitz (Co-Chair of The Alliance of Los Angeles Playwrights)

  • Larry Dean Harris (Dramatists Guild)
  • Michael Kerker ( ASCAP Director of Musical Theatre)
  • Michael Ankney (Business Representative Live Performance/Referral Service Professional Musicians Local 47, AFM)
  • Michael Van Duzer (Actors' Equity Association)
  • Paul Castillo (Theater Musicians Association/AFofM)

  • 12:30 pm to 1:00 pm     Lunch Schmooze

    1:00 pm to 2:30 pm


    Frank, eye-opening discussion about the logistics and politics of raising money for theatre production. From small productions to million-dollar funds, get the inside scoop from the people who do this for a living.
    Moderator: Gordon Firemark (Entertainment Lawyer)

  • Rick Culbertson (Producer, Divorce, the Musical)
  • Michael Shapiro (Kensington Entertainment)
  • Murphy Cross (Tony Award and Ovation Award-winning Producer, Wetrock Entertainment, Inc. - Jay Johnson: The Two and Only!)
  • Peach Reasoner (Producer, Hoboken to Hollywood)
  • Heather Provost (Broadway, film, and television producer)
  • Schoen Smith (Venture Hill Entertainment)
  • Marco Gomez (Venture Hill Entertainment, DOMA Theatre Company)

  • 2:30 pm to 3:00 pm     Coffee Break Schmooze

    3:00 pm to 4:30 pm


    Should you produce your own show? Should you raise your own money? Find out directly from the people who work in the trenches of self-production and self-promotion. Get tips on promoting your show from marketing and publicity gurus. Evaluate your own risk/reward scenario, and prepare yourself for what lies ahead if you want to produce or finance your own work.

  • Ken Werther (Public Relations)
  • David Elzer (Producer, Writer, Demand PR)
  • Debbie Kasper (Writer-Producer, Boomermania)
  • Pat Sierchio (Writer-Producer, Boomermania)
  • Michael Antin (Writer, Sophia)
  • Peter Colley (Writer, Cagney, I'll Be Back Before Midnight)
  • Stefany Northcutt (Associate Director of Artistic Development, Write Act Repertory)
  • Anne Tamanaha Mesa (Producer, Director, Senior Staff at Write Act Repertory)

  • 4:30 pm to 5:00 pm     Coffee Break Schmooze

    5:00 pm to 6:30 pm


    We're assembling a powerful panel of producers who actually want to hear about YOUR musical. You'll be given an opportunity to submit a written pitch of your musical and/or a sample sound file, and they will be frank-but-supportive about what's appealing to them about your pitch. We'll also take their temperature about the future of the American Musical, and ask their advice for writers of the next few seasons of new musical theatre in America.
    All registrants will be given the opportunity to submit a one-page pitch about your project and/or a single mp3 file. All written pitches will be handed directly to the producers for them to discuss during the panel; all sound clips will be sampled live in the room (up to 1 minute per entry).
    Moderator: Scott Guy (Executive Director, ANMT/NMI)

  • Brian McDonald (Resident Director, Rubicon Theatre Company)
  • Michael Jung (Vice President, Theatrical Development, Walt Disney Imagineering Creative Entertainment)
  • Oanh Nguyen (Artistic Director, Chance Theatre, Anaheim)
  • Gregg Maday (Warner Entertainment)
  • Schoen Smith (Venture Hill Entertainment)

  • 6:30 pm to 7:00 pm     Final Schmooze

    MEET THE REPS: Michael Van Duzer, Dan Berkowitz, Larry Dean Harris, Michael Kerker

    MEET THE MONEY: Marco Gomez, Schoen Smith, Michael Shapiro, Murphy Cross

    MEET THE MONEY: Marco Gomez, Schoen Smith, Michael Shapiro, Murphy Cross, Heather Provost, Rick Culbertson, Peach Reasoner, Gordon Firemark

    More networking time.

    MEET THE ENTREPRENEURS: Pat Siercho and Debbie Kasper

    MEET THE ENTREPRENEURS: Stefany Northcutt and Anne Tamanaha Mesa

    MEET THE PRODUCERS: Michael Jung, Brian McDonald, Oanh Nguyen, and Scott Guy

    MEET THE PRODUCERS: Gregg Maday and Michael Jung

    The NoHo Arts Center
    11136 Magnolia Blvd.
    North Hollywood, CA

    The 2012 BIZ Conference took place at the elegant NoHo Arts Center in the heart of the North Hollywood Arts District.