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Hybrid TRU Town Hall Open Discussion: What Can We Do to Help Theater Artists of Color?

February 21, 2023

Theater Resources Unlimited (TRU) will host a live-plus-streamed Town Hall Open Discussion: What Can We Do to Help Theater Artists of Color? moderated by TRU co-founder and vice-president Cheryl Davis and TRU co-founder and executive director Bob Ost on Tuesday, February 21, with networking and roundtable introductions at 6:30pm ET and the Open Forum starting at 7:00pm ET at Polaris North Theatre, 245 West 29th Street, 4th Floor, NYC. The dialogue will also be streamed online to include artists outside the New York area in this relevant conversation. Admission is free to all attendees, donations are always appreciated. Please register at truonline.org/events/town-hall-artists-of-color in order to be sent the Zoom link. Please select either the live attendance or virtual option when you register.

Last fall, after a tumultuous year and a half of shutdown, we witnessed a surge of progress in BIPOC representation within the theater industry. Subsequently, several new plays that opened on Broadway were by African American playwrights, as well as the debut of the first Korean pop musical. Off-Broadway and LORT regional theaters were announcing their most diverse seasons ever. The Dramatists Guild forged a groundbreaking inclusion rider. Are things actually going in the right direction? How can the initial momentum be sustained? What triumphs still need to be amplified? What issues, institutional and individual, need to be addressed?

TRU Diversity is offering a series of town halls devoted to addressing the concerns of BIPOC members of the theater community. Our co-hosts for this evening will be Ariel Estrada, founder, producing artistic director of Leviathan Lab; Malini Singh McDonald of Theatre Beyond Broadway and Black Henna Productions, director and producer; Tara Moses, director, multi award-winning playwright, artistic director of Red Eagle Soaring, co-founder of Groundwater Arts, advisory board member of Broadway for Racial Justice; Janel C. Scarborough, producer/creative investor (Single Black Female, Thoughts of a Colored Man, Tony nominated revival of for colored girls…), co-founder TRU Diversity; and Ron Simons of SimonSays Entertainment, producer (Death of a Salesman, Thoughts of a Colored Man, Ain’t Too Proud, for colored girls… revival; 4-time Tony winner for A Gentleman’s Guide …, The Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess revival, Vanya & Sonia & Masha & Spike and Jitney).

The goal of these discussions is to elicit proactive conversations that can benefit artists, producers, administrators, and our industry. We invite all members of the diverse BIPOC theater community to join us and welcome allies to attend.

Theater Resources Unlimited (TRU) is the leading network for developing theater professionals, a twenty-nine-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; presents monthly panels as well as the COVID-generated weekly Community Gatherings; 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 Voices 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 of Theater Resources Unlimited are supported in part by the Montage Foundation, The Storyline Project and the Leibowitz Greenway Foundation. For more information about TRU membership and programs, visit www.truonline.org.


February 21, 2023


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