Theater Resources Unlimited (TRU) – the 27-year-old leading network for developing theater professionals – has announced a multi-tiered initiative to serve small-to-medium-sized non-profit producing theater companies emerging from the pandemic shutdown. With the goal of helping to restore the theater community in NYC and beyond, TRU will host a Town Hall Open Discussion: What Producing Companies Need to Start Producing Again on Thursday August 26, beginning with a meet-and-greet at 5:30 pm, followed at 6 pm by an honest conversation about the struggle to reopen. All not-for-profit and fiscally sponsored companies in New York and beyond are welcome to participate free-of-charge. The Town Hall will be held virtually and registration is required in order to be sent the Zoom link.
Companies are encouraged to talk about their experiences with the closure and their plans for reopening, with a specific focus on finding solutions to any obstacles and challenges holding them back. This initiative will be an opportunity for companies to learn from, and to find ways to help, each other, while TRU begins to explore programs that might better serve the producing companies. Though the focus will be on not-for-profit and fiscally sponsored companies, all companies struggling to return to live performance are welcome to join in this critical conversation.
Some of the questions to be considered are: How can we plan productions with the COVID situation seesawing? How do we win the trust of our audiences so they will come back and support us and attend our shows? How many performance spaces survived the shutdown, and are new spaces being created? Are the pre-pandemic contracts and agreements going to be in effect going forward? Will safety precautions be required, and will they increase costs? As a result of these current issues, many companies will be bringing the lessons they’ve learned during the pandemic with them into the future, re-evaluating their “best practices” to determine what still works and what needs to change.
According to TRU Executive Director Bob Ost, “This is going back to our roots at Theater Resources Unlimited – we started 28 years ago serving mostly small theater companies. Over the years we have grown and expanded our community to include commercial producers and self-producing artists. I think this is a time to bring back a focus on the needs of emerging theater companies, and even established companies that might benefit from support during this period of possible reopening.”
The digital doors for the Town Hall open at 5:30 pm for networking and roundtable introductions of everyone in the room, so participants should come prepared with a 20-second summary of who they are and what they need. To register, go online, or call (833) 506-5550 at least a day in advance or sooner.
In addition to the conversation on August 26, TRU will continue to host its Community Gatherings every Friday at 4:30 pm via Zoom, to explore the creation of art and theater in the time of COVID-19 and going forward as theater reopens. Videos of past Community Gatherings are available for viewing on TRU’s YouTube channel.