The seminar, titled “What I Learned From My Oops!” will feature ROBERT AHRENS (Xanadu, Evita, Kathy Griffin Wants A Tony and the upcoming Disaster), SHARON FALLON (NYMF, Beautiful, Matilda the Musical and the upcoming Gotta Dance), MARTIN PLATT (Dames at Sea, My Life as a Musical, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, Bedlam’s Sense & Sensibility) and TOM SMEDES (The Visit, Peter and the Starcatcher, Naked Boys Singing, and the upcoming Bandstand). HUGH HYSELL (Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, Peter and the Starcatcher and North American Arts and Theater lead for Groupon) will moderate the discussion.
The seminar will discuss what lessons they have learned when things didn’t go quite as well as planned. These industry insiders will share stories about what one does when faced with certain unforeseen challenges.
“What I Learned From My Oops!” will be held on the 4th floor of The Theater Center in the Anne L Bernstein Theater, 210 West 50th Street (at Broadway). Doors will open at 11:30am for complimentary coffee and bagels. The panel will take place from Noon – 1:30pm with additional time allotted afterward for conversation with fellow attendees.
Admission for the seminar is free, however reservations are a must. Attendees are encouraged to pre-submit questions for the panelists when they submit their reservations. These questions will be asked live at the seminar.
About The Panelists:
ROBERT AHRENS is producing a new musical comedy called Disaster! written by Seth Rudetsky and Jack Plotnick that will open at the Nederlander Theatre on Broadway in March 2016. The show will star Roger Bart, Kerry Butler, Kevin Chamberlin, Adam Pascal, Faith Prince, and Rachel York. Robert presented The Temptations and The Four Tops on Broadway in 2014, Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons on Broadway in 2012, and Kathy Griffin Wants a Tony on Broadway in 2011. All three concerts were critical and commercial successes, receiving strong reviews and selling at over 90%. Robert co-produced the Broadway revival of Evita, directed by Michael Grandage and starring Ricky Martin. The show was nominated for three Tony Awards including Best Musical Revival, and five Drama Desk Awards including Outstanding Revival of a Musical. Robert executive produced the UK version of Finding Neverland for Harvey Weinstein at the Leicester Curve Theatre in 2012. The musical was directed by Rob Ashford with a book by Allan Knee, music by Scott Frankel and lyrics by Michael Korie. Robert developed the musical Xanadu with a book by Douglas Carter Beane and direction by Christopher Ashley. Robert lead-produced the show on Broadway where it won the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Musical and the Drama Desk Award for Best Book of a Musical. The show was also nominated for four Tony Awards including Best Musical. Robert also produced Xanadu on U.S. national tour, as a sit-down production in Chicago, and in Japan. He subsequently licensed first class productions in Germany, Brazil, South Korea, and Australia, and stock & amateur rights to Music Theatre International.Robert also produced the feature film, Book of Love, written and directed by Alan Brown. The film debuted in dramatic competition at the Sundance Film Festival in 2004. Robert currently teaches a graduate level course on producing commercial theatre at the Tisch School for the Arts at NYU. He began his career at the Chase Manhattan Bank and graduated from Cornell.
SHARON FALLON (Sharon Fallon Productions/Practical Producing) is an independent Theatre Producer, General Manager and Consultant. Her consulting practice, Practical Producing, specializes in bridging the gap between art and business. She works with early career and emerging producers to help them create productions that are both financially viable and artistically satisfying. She has worked in the theatre for over 20 years as an actress, director and producer both in the commercial and not for profit sector, and began her commercial producing career as the producing associate of Lewis Allen, (Associate Producer of the Broadway revival of I’m Not Rappaport, starring Judd Hirsch and Ben Vereen. Associate Producer/General Manager of the development productions of Tru, Mr. Goldwyn, Wildwood and Carnival Knowledge, among others).In addition to producing, Sharon was the Associate General Manager of both the Helen Hayes Theatre and Lyric Theatre in New York. An advocate for new work and development, Sharon began working with the New York Musical Theatre Festival during its inception years, where she produced a early version of NERDS (opening on Broadway in April). She joined the Board of Directors of the NYMF in 2005 and served as board Chair for 6 years. Sharon is also an active member of the Broadway League and is very involved with the League’s Mentoring Program. She is currently involved with Beautiful (Broadway, London & National Tour), Matilda The Musical and the Broadway bound Gotta Dance, and has a number of projects in development. She is also the Executive Producer of two new works that are in development, Pope! An Epic Musical and The Bench, a Journey into Love.
MARTIN PLATT has produced on London’s West End, Broadway, Off-Broadway; US and UK tours, as well as European Tours. His productions have won the Tony (Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike), the Obie (In The Continuum and The Oak Tree), Drama Desk, Drama League, and all other NY theatre awards. Several of his West End productions have been Olivier Award nominated. This season he was a lead producer on the Broadway production of Dames at Sea. As a GM (Perry Street Theatricals) he has worked off Broadway and is currently represented with BEDLAM’s Sense & Sensibility (Gym At Judson), Royal Family’s Rock And Roll Refugee and Date of A Lifetime (upcoming Off Broadway). Mr. Platt was also the founding Artistic Director of the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, and General Director of Birmingham Opera Theatre. As a director he has worked throughout the U.S., as well as in England, Austria, and Spain. More info at www.pstheatricals.com
TOM SMEDES’ producer credits include the Broadway productions of Kander and Ebb’s The Visit, Mothers and Sons, by Terrence McNally and starring Tyne Daly; Pippin (Tony Award); Peter and the Starcatcher – Broadway, Tour & Off-Broadway (Tony Nomination) and Next Fall (Tony Nomination) and [title of show]. In London, he produced The Musical of Musicals (The Musical) and Side By Side By Sondheim. Off-Broadway credits include The Judy Show, Naked Boys Singing!, Dog Sees God, The Women Of Lockerbie. Tom General Managed the Off-Broadway productions of SILENCE! The Musical, Desperate Writers, [title of show], Altar Boyz (Off-Broadway & Tour), Love Janis. UPCOMING BROADWAY: Bandstand. Please visit www.TomSmedes.com.
HUGH HYSELL is a Tony Award ® winning Broadway producer and award winning marketer. His Broadway producing projects include Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike (Tony Award ® and Off Broadway Alliance Award for Best Play), Peter and the Starcatcher (winner of 5 Tony Awards), and Impressionism. Hugh served as Director of Marketing and Development for NYU Skirball and ran HHC Marketing where he has served as marketing director of over 200 Broadway and Off Broadway shows including Monty Python’s Spamalot, Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables, The History Boys, Altar Boyz and Naked Boys Singing. He won the Globes Award for “Best Small Budget in the World” for creating Spamalot’s Guinness World Record setting promotion: “The Largest Coconut Orchestra Ever.” He serves on the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Multicultural Diversity Action Committee and is an Associate Professor at Columbia University. He currently performs as a cross dressing, crazed psychiatry patient in the Off Broadway production of Perfect Crime, and leads the National Broadway and Live Arts division for Groupon. He has provided pro bono services to Broadway Cares Equity Fights Aids, HRC, GLAAD and The Commercial Theatre Institute. He is a founding member of The Off Broadway Alliance and currently serves as a nominator for the Off Broadway Alliance Awards.