Theater Resources Unlimited Announces Gala Cast

Theater Resources Unlimited (TRU) announces an all-star cast for TRUSpeak 2022: Hear Our Voices!, a virtual gala scheduled for Sunday, March 20, 2022 from 5-7 p.m. Presented with the generous sponsorship of RK Greene and The Storyline Project, Patrick Blake of Rhymes Over Beats, Merrie L. Davis of Next Act 2 Follow, Neal Rubinstein/Dangerous, Judith Estrine of Prism Stage Company, Stephanie Rosenberg/Financial Advisor at Wells Fargo Advisors and Judith Manocherian LLC, this is an evening of raising awareness of current social issues, as well as the work TRU has been doing for the theater community for over 28 years. Tickets and details are available at

Familiar faces in the cast will include Tony and Emmy nominee and Obie winner Veanne Cox (now appearing in the TV series The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel), Tony nominee Brenda Braxton (one of the TV series’ legal partners The Good Fight), Broadway veterans Terry Burrell (Thoroughly Modern Millie, Swinging On A Star, Into The Woods, Dreamgirls), Danny Bolero (upcoming Plaza Suite on Broadway), Bruce Sabath (Yiddish Fiddler on the Roof, revival of Company in 2006) and Todd Buonopane (…Spelling Bee, Grease, Chicago, Cinderella), as well as television, stage and film veterans Guy Whitlock, Daralyn Jay, Phil Chin, Jonathan Dauermann, Penelope Hsu, Jessica Luu Pelletier, Jacob Henrie-Naffaa and Patrick John O’Dea; with special appearances by spoken word artists Gha’il and rapper Masta Ace.

The evening will also include a remembrance of Van Dirk Fisher, the founding force of the Riant Theater in New York, the Strawberry Play and One-Act festivals and the Jocunda Music, Film and Theater Festival which provided online support for new works and new voices from the theatre. The tribute will be presented by Melvina Douse-Manuel, producer of two of the performances of this benefit evening. Her play A Woman’s Perspective was directed by Van to benefit last year. There will also be a special appearance by spoken word artist Gha’il Rhodes Benjamin, who will perform a poem dedicated to Van, as well as tributes from grateful artists. In the words of TRU’s Bob Ost: “Van put on a powerful piece at last year’s TRUSpeak Gala and has supported TRU over the years in many ways. We and an entire community mourn his untimely loss and we remember him with respect and gratitude.”

Each of the seven plays will be presented by a different honorary host, including producers Pat Addiss (2010 TRU Spirit of Theater Award recipient), Michael Alden (2014 TRU Spirit of Theater Award recipient), Rashad V. Chambers (Ain’t Too Proud, The Music Man, Caroline or Change revival, Tony winner for The Inheritance; opening soon: Little Girl Blue at New World Stages), Jim Kierstead, TRU Advisory Board Member (Hadestown, Six, Mrs. Doubtfire, Company) ; as well as TRU Vice-President and Co-Founder Cheryl Davis (General Counsel of the Authors Guild and Kleban, Larsen and Audelco award-winning lyricist and librettist) and two-time Tony Award-winning director and choreographer Jerry Mitchell (The Cage aux Folles revival, Kinky Boots; recipient of the 2012 TRU Humanitarian Award for his work with Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS). Special appearances will also be made by Robert Cuccioli (Tony nominee for Jekyll & Hyde; Les Miserables, Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark; And the World Goes ‘Round) and Chuck Cooper (Tony winner for The Life; Chicago; Caroline or change; and mental disorder).

The event is produced by TRU President and Co-Founder Bob Ost, along with Iben Cenholt and Janel Scarborough; Iben also acts as a technical coordinator, in addition Janel has functioned as a dramaturgical and creative consultant. Joe Nelms is marketing coordinator, with graphics by Gary Hughes. The technical team creating the video magic includes Scott Arundale, Jay Lucas Chacon, Maarten Cornelis, Henry Garrou, Jens Hauland, Brian Lawton, Joe Nelms, Sadah Espii Proctor and Carley Santori.

General admission tickets are $55 for the virtual show ($30 for TRU members) and VIP tickets are $90 ($75 for TRU), which include a post-show meet and greet with the creative teams and executive board. administration of TRU and past winners. Tickets to the Circle of Angels are $100, $250, and $500, and include the game and after-party above, plus thank you credit in the program, waiting room, credits opening and closing (must buy before 3/13 to appear in the credits). Tickets can be purchased at

The 7 TRUSpeak games and the creative teams of the evening are:

The first anti-vaccines by James McLindon, produced by Noel MacDuffie, directed by Cady Huffman (Tony winner for The Producers, Tony nominee The Will Rogers Follies), and starring Tony, Emmy nominee and Obie winner Veanne Cox (An American in Paris, Caroline or Change, A Free Man of Color, La Cage Aux Folles; Marvelous Mrs Maisel, Bull). Director of Photography Carley Santori, Editor Scott Arundale.

Based on a historical event. In 1760, a drunken and loudly eloquent Ethan Allen, in desperate need of a hot bath, attempts to illegally receive a smallpox inoculation from a doctor in colonial Connecticut. A passionate crowd of 2 watch.

cold bread by Aladrian C. Wetzel, produced by Melvina Douse-Manuel, directed by director-actress-comedian and TV regular Rain Pryor (Fried Chicken and Latkes off-Broadway and on tour), starring Daralyn Jay. Director of photography/editor Sadah Espii Proctor.

It’s both a physical and psychological struggle trying to bring a black child into a world that can kill them based on the color of their skin. This is a play about motherhood, IVF, and being Black in America and knowing that it’s never too early to prepare a Black child for how to navigate racism. Even if it’s an embryo in the freezer.

only black by Kristy Thomas, produced by Melvina Douse-Manuel, directed by Ben Harney (Tony winner for Dreamgirls) and starring Guy Whitlock (TV: FBI: Most Wanted, Law and Order SVU, Bull). Publisher Maarten Cornelis.

When Dr. Kevin Watkins is called in to speak to the media about race relations issues within the school district, he realizes he will always be a black man in a world that only sees him as a token. An honest look at how people of color are used as the face of many organizations when approaching conversations about race.

Slave trade by Ian Patrick Williams, produced by Merrie L. Davis, directed by Andrea Andresakis (off-Broadway world premieres of Spandex, A New Musical for all Sizes and My Purple Wig), and starring Bruce Sabath (Yiddish Fiddler on the Roof, Company 2006 Tony-winning Revival, off-Broadway Cagney) and Brenda Braxton (Tony-nominated for Smokey Joe’s Cafe, current co-star of TV’s The Good Fight). Director of Photography Carley Santori, Editor Joe Nelms.

Abusive businessman takes advantage of his streaming device.

She is blown away by Vince Gatton, produced by Claudia Zahn, directed by Robert Cuccioli (Tony nominated for Jekyll and Hyde; And the World Goes ‘Round, Spiderman: Turn off the Dark) and starring newcomers Jacob Henrie-Naffaa, Patrick John O’ Dea and Jessica Luu Pelletier. Cinematographer/editor Brian Lawton.

An impatient high school student enlists the help of his friends to find the perfect “grand gesture” to win the heart of the girl he loves. A play about romance, boundaries, consent, and the busy and dangerous world that young people – especially young women – are meant to navigate.

Obstacle by John Busser, produced by Maureen Condon, directed by multi-award winning Audelco Glynn Borders (The Dark Star from Harlem), and starring Danny Bolero (Joseph revival, In the Heights, upcoming Plaza Suite; TV: Blue Bloods, Law and SVU order). Publisher Jens Haulund.

The aftermath of a tragedy for which a teacher at Drivers Ed High School finds himself responsible. A chilling examination of the price we pay for trying to provide security in a world where so many obstacles stand in the way.

Every creeping thing by David Beardsley, produced by Jesica Garrou, directed by Sharifa Williams (The Quarantine, Players Theatre; Interventions, The Navigators Lift-Off Festival; Magpie, T. Schreiber Studio), and starring Terry Burrell (Broadway: Thoroughly Modern Millie, Swinging On A Star, Into The Woods, Dreamgirls, Honky Tonk Nights, Eubie, The World Goes Round), Todd Buonopane (Broadway: Spelling Bee, Grease, Chicago, Cinderella; TV: The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and 30 Rock), Jonathan Dauermann (Crazy Meshugga Hurricane Earthquake with New Yiddish Rep, Untold Genius web series), Penelope Hsu (The Jeff Dunham Show on Comedy Central) and Phil Chin. Director of photography/editor Henry Garrou.

Four dinosaurs and a cockroach debate what to do in the face of an impending asteroid impact, but don’t worry; It’s the good old days, when politicians knew how to get things done and always put the interest of the greater good before their own. Really. Do not worry.

Van Dirk Fisher has served as CEO/Artistic Director of the Riant Theatre/Black Experimental Theatre, the Strawberry Play and One-Act Festivals and the Jocunda Music, Film and Theater Festival.

Theater Resources Unlimited (TRU) is the premier development network for theater professionals, a twenty-eight-year-old 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization established to help producers produce, emerging theater companies emerge healthily and all theater professionals to understand and navigate the world of the arts. Membership includes self-producing artists as well as career producers and theater companies.

TRU publishes a community email newsletter on services, goods and productions; features monthly panels as well as new weekly community gatherings; offers a producer development and mentorship program taught by prominent New York theater producers and general managers, 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 hands-on playwriting workshop, How to Write a Musical That Works, and a Director-Writer Communication Lab.

Theater Resources Unlimited programs 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

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