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BIZ conference 2018 - RECAP

BIZ of the MUSICAL THEATRE BIZ Conference 2018

July 27, 28, 29

New Musicals Inc.
5628 Vineland Avenue
North Hollywood, CA 91601


NMI's seventh national conference for musical theatre bookwriters, lyricists, and composers was three jam-packed days of insiders' tips about finding and approaching producers. Held at NMI's newly-renovated facilities in North Hollywood July 27, 28 and 29.

A host of participants joined us in the musical theatre trenches, practicing, polishing and perfecting your pitch. We heard first-hand from writers and producers about epic fails and successes. Theer was fantastic networking as we were joined live and online by fellow writers as well as producers from all over the country, representing regional, commercial, and touring theatres of every size and taste.

Every conference registrant was eligible to have one musical included in our complete pitch catalogue which we sent to nearly 100 producers across the country two weeks after the conference.

We also offered an additional optional add-on: a personal five-session PITCH Boot Camp leading up to the conference in which NMI's Executive Director guided participants and made them hit deadlines for pitch materials; with a final follow-up session after the conference for individual advice on targeted marketing.

This Conference is now CLOSED.

Enjoy this RECAP of our 2018 BIZ Conference.

Friday, July 27

7:00 pm to 8:00 pm     Registration and Opening Schmooze

8:00 pm to 9:30 pm


Broadway and Hollywood writers and producers talk about disaster pitches, as well as ones which turned out to be triumphs. Hear directly from those who've done it.

Confirmed Moderator:
          Elise Dewsberry (Artistic Director, NMI)
Confirmed Panelists:
          Brian Graden (CEO, Brian Graden Media)
          Dana Iris Harrel (Disney Imagineering/Disney Parks Live Entertainment)
          Stuart Ross (Writer/Director/Producer (Forever Plaid, Fun with Dick and Jane))
          Cheri Steinkellner (Tony nominated bookwriter, Sister Act)

9:30 pm to 10:00 pm     Wine & Cheese Reception

NMI's newly renovated Main Hall all set up and ready for the 2018 BIZ Conference to begin.

Producer Marco Gomez chats with participants after the panel session.

The NMI lobby set up for a great meal!

Producers Heather Provost and Christopher Sepulveda after their panel.

A peek at the technology that makes everything work to bring us producers from across the country!

The cast of the staged reading of the new musical BRAVO!

Saturday, July 28

8:30 am to 9:00 am     Breakfast Networking

9:00 am to 10:30 am


Our savvy expensive lawyer tells you how to protect you, your idea, and your bank account. Followed by a lively Q&A in which you can ask anything (anything!).

Confirmed Panelists:
          Lisa A. Callif (Entertainment Lawyer, Donaldson + Callif, LLP)

10:30 am to 11:00 am     Mid-Morning Networking

11:00 am to 12:30 pm


Commercial and independent producers tell you how to approach them...and how NOT to. This panel will give you insight into what producers look for in a pitch.

Confirmed Moderator:
          Scott Guy (Executive Director, New Musicals Inc.)
Confirmed Panelists:
          Marco Gomez (Independent Producer)
          Cody Lassen (Producer, Cody Lassen & Associates)
          Heather Provost (Commercial Producer)
          Christopher Sepulveda (Producer)

12:30 pm to 1:30 pm     Network Lunch

1:30 pm to 2:30 pm


A relaxed round-robin in which you get a chance to tell everyone about you and your musicals...and NMI gets a chance to tell you about how we can help.

Confirmed Moderator:
          Elise Dewsberry (Artistic Director)
          Scott Guy (Executive Director, New Musicals Inc.)

2:30 pm to 3:00 pm     Mid-Afternoon Networking

3:00 pm to 4:00 pm


What's the right pathway for your musical? We'll show you a number of pathways to consider.

Confirmed Moderator:
          Michael A. Kerker (ASCAP Director of Musical Theatre)
Confirmed Panelists:
          Roger Bean (President, Steele Spring Stage Rights)
          Beth Blickers (Literary Agent, Agency for the Performing Arts (APA))
          Sean Cercone (President, Broadway Licensing)
          Stuart Ross (Writer/Director/Producer (Forever Plaid, Fun with Dick and Jane))

4:00 pm to 4:30 pm     Coffee Networking

4:30 pm to 6:00 pm


What other ways can you get your musical/music out there? Our panelists will talk about pitching to internet platforms; cabarets; showcases; and other opportunities for getting yourself into the limelight!

Confirmed Moderator:
          Denise Acosta (Producer/Director)
Confirmed Panelists:
          Hillary D Rollins (Producer, Hillary Rollins Presents)
          Mychal Simka (CEO, SuperDopeTV)
          Nicholas Tana (Freelance Writer, Director, and Musician)
          Peter Welkin (Producer, A Little New Music)

6:00 pm to 8:00 pm     Dinner on Your Own

8:00 pm to 10:00 pm


A concert reading of the new musical BRAVO! - the winner of NMI's 2017 Search for New Musicals - written by Cristian Guerero, Andrew Moorhead, and Steven Schmidt.

Sunday, July 29

9:30 am to 11:00 am


NMI'S Scott Guy says: "For twenty years of presentations and pitches, I've seen musicals make the same five mistakes. I'll point them out so you can avoid making them." (A light breakfast will be available DURING this panel.)

Confirmed Moderator:
          Scott Guy (NMI Executive Director)

11:00 am to 12:30 pm


How to interest an artistic director in your musical...and how to make sure your approach doesn't backfire. What are Artistic Directors looking for...and how do you find that out?

Confirmed Moderator:
          Daniel Henning (Artistic Director, The Blank Theatre)
Confirmed Panelists:
          T.J. Dawson (Artistic Director, 3-D Theatricals)
          Kent Nicholson (Director of Musical Theatre, Playwrights Horizon)
          Ann-Carol Pence (Co-Founder/Associate Producer, Aurora Theatre)

12:30 pm to 1:30 pm     Network Lunch

1:30 pm to 3:00 pm


The good news is you don't have to PITCH to festivals. We'll tell you how to submit to festivals, and how to know which ones are right for you.

Confirmed Moderator:
          Elise Dewsberry (Artistic Director, NMI)
Confirmed Panelists:
          Anika Chapin (Artistic Associate, Goodspeed Musicals)
          Mark Fleischer (Producing Director, Pittsburgh CLO)
          Ciera Iveson (New Works Director and Producer of the Festival of New Musicals, National Alliance for Musical Theatre)
          Joshua Katzker (PiTCH Coordinator/Artistic Associate, Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival)
          Matt Quinn (Executive Producer/Owner, Combined Artform/Theatre Asylum)
          Rachel Sussman (Producing Artistic Director, New York Musical Festival)

3:00 pm to 3:30 pm     Coffee Networking

3:30 pm to 4:30 pm


A chance - just before the final big PITCH panel - for us to summarize the weekend, and make sure you know everything you need to prepare your submission to our list of nearly 100 producers

4:30 pm to 6:30 pm


Finally it's your turn. Producers in the room (and online) will have YOUR Pitch in their hands to discuss what catches their eye and why.

Confirmed Panelists:
          Michael Alden (Producer, Michael Alden Productions, Come From Away, Bat Boy)
          Scott Guy (Executive Director, New Musicals Inc.)
          Tim Kashani (CEO, Apples and Oranges Productions)
          John Mitchell (Independent Producer)

6:30 pm to 7:30 pm     Closing Schmooze

2018 participants schmoozing during a networking break.

Artistic Director Daniel Henning at NMI - interacting with Kent Nicholson video conferencing from New York.

Networking during yummy snack breaks!

And more schmoozing!

New Musicals Inc.
5628 Vineland Avenue
North Hollywood, CA 91601

The 2018 Conference took place at NMI in North Hollywood - taking advantage of our newly updated Main Hall.