Wednesday, June 2, 2010

NETWorks: The ABCs of Today's Creative Touring Partnerships

Network of Ensemble Theaters Presents
NETWorks: The ABCs of Today's Creative Touring Partnerships

The environment for touring has changed considerably in the last few years. Producing theaters are increasingly presenting and the rise of national and international performance festivals is creating greater opportunities to share the work. At the same time the sluggish economy is making many presenters risk-averse, looking for the “sure bets.”

In this shifting arena, what do ensembles and companies need to know as they prepare to tour—or re-think how they tour? Led by touring artists and “activist presenters,” this artist-centered workshop will map the touring landscape, build skills and share resources to prepare artists and companies to go out on the road.

This parallel pre-conference is presented in conjunction with the Theater Communications Group as part of the National Pre-Conference to their National Conference and is open to ALL National Conference registrants. Whether you’re touring to a theater across town or to a performing arts center across the country—(or just thinking about touring)—you won't want to miss this opportunity.

Registration Information:
This session is being offered as a pre-Conference of the Theatre Communications Group Annual Conference. The session will be Lookingglass Theater on Wednesday, June 16 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., lunch provided.

Registration fee is $100. If you register for the NET Pre-Conference and the TCG Conference, you will receive a 20% discount to the TCG Conference.

To register, please visit the TCG site:

Session Leaders:
MK Wegmann, President & CEO, National Performance Network, has 30 years experience in organizational development and artists' services. NPN supports the creation and touring of contemporary performing and visual arts, and in its home in New Orleans, serves as an intermediary and fiscal sponsor for artists and organizations working in recovery efforts. From 1978-1991 she was Associate Director for the Contemporary Arts Center in New Orleans, and from 1993-1999 as Managing Director of the theatre company Junebug Productions. Wegmann serves on Boards of Directors for National Performance Network, Junebug Productions, Performing Arts Alliance (PAA) and the Cultural Alliance of New Orleans. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Spring Hill College and a Master of Arts degree from Louisiana State University of New Orleans (now UNO).

Steven Sapp is a founding member of UNIVERSES, a National/International ensemble of multi-disciplined writers and performers who fuse Poetry, Theater, Jazz, Hip-Hop, Politics, Down Home Blues and Spanish Boleros to create moving, challenging and entertaining theatrical works. The group breaks the bounds of traditional theater to create their own brand, inviting old and new generations of theater crafters as well as the theater goers and new comers to reshape the face of American Theater.

Additional Speakers/Resources:
Sabrina Hamilton is the Artistic Director of the Ko Festival of Performance, (, a summer festival of original work now entering it's 19th season in Amherst, MA. In this capacity, she has been written about extensively in Lisa Mulcahy’s new book Theater Festivals: Best Worldwide Venues for New Works, published by Allworth Press 2005. Ko was originally created by a group of touring ensemble artists who thought that they could create a more artist-centered environment where work could be both created and presented. As Artistic Director, she curates the performances, rehearsal residencies, and 6-day intensive workshops. She also recruits and supervises the interns, serves as Resident Lighting Designer, and is heavily involved in the marketing aspects. One niche that Ko has begun to fill as part of our "value-added" and "artist-centered" approach to presenting is to help pieces that have not yet toured adapt themselves for touring - particularly in terms of design or technical re-conception.

Marc Masterson is the Artistic Director at the Actors Theatre of Louisville. In ten seasons of leadership at Actors Theatre, Mr. Masterson has produced more than 200 plays in Louisville, expanded and deepened arts education programs and spearheaded community-based projects, including commissions and site-specific productions of regional stories and artists. He is an award-winning director, with more than 100 professional productions to his credit, who enjoys working on new plays as well as innovative productions of the classics. As a producer, he has brought new artists to Louisville audiences, including playwrights August Wilson, Craig Wright, Theresa Rebeck and dozens of Humana Festival playwrights. He led the creation of Actors Theatre’s first Education department and numerous community outreach efforts. Mr. Masterson earned an M.F.A. from the University of Pittsburgh and a B.F.A. from Carnegie Mellon University, and subsequently taught at both universities. He currently serves on the Executive Committee of Theatre Communications Group.

Deirdre Valente is Vice President of Lisa Booth Management, Inc. Since 1984 Deirdre Valente and Lisa Booth have produced and managed contemporary performing arts projects by generative artists in more than 300 cities in 30 countries on six continents. In theater, LBMI works on an ongoing basis with Handspring Puppet Company (South Africa), the Hip Hop Theater Festival (NYC), Ping Chong and Company (NYC) and Teatro Hugo & Ines (Peru). Recent projects/companies also include producing Ratan Thiyam’s Chorus Repertory Theatre from Manipur, India, and organizing and general managing the tours of Grandchildren of the Buffalo Soldiers for Trinity Rep & Penumbra, and Major Bang for the Foundry Theatre.

Deirdre’s expertise includes non-­profit and commercial producing and tour management, fiscal management and analysis, board development and grantsmanship, strategic and contextual marketing and promotion, technical production and dramaturgy. A member of Actors’ Equity Association, prior to joining Lisa Booth Management in 1984, she stage managed Broadway shows and served as Company Manager for international touring productions in opera and theater.

Ensembles ABC is a program of the Network of Ensemble Theater (, supported through generous support from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

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