The Sunday Giveaway: A Free Pass to the Commercial Theater Institute 3 Day Weekend!

There aren’t many training grounds for people like you, who want to be a Producer.

That’s one of the reasons I started this blog, because I remember what it was like, sitting at home alone, staring at my computer, searching for information about how to produce Broadway shows.  But before me and my seminars, there was the one and only Commercial Theater Institute.

The flagship program of CTI is its 3 Day Intensive Weekend, which features all sorts of awesome guest speakers from Broadway industry leaders speaking on a rainbow-range of subjects, from budgeting, to contracts, to how to pick a project.

Oh, and this year, I’m honored to be one of those speakers!

Yep, I’ll be on a Panel talking about “How I Pick A Project.”

Not only is the weekend a wealth of information, but it’s a theater networking extravaganza.  Producers, writers, investors . . . you’ll find all kinds at the weekend.  In fact, the year Godspell was featured, I met someone who I invited on to my producing team for Macbeth.  

The cost for this weekend is $455.

But for one of you, it’ll be free.

Ready to enter?

Tell me why you want it.  That simple.  In the comments below, give me a reason why you want to attend the weekend, and I’ll pick one of you to go for free!

(Oh, and if you don’t win, or can’t make it, get the CTI book – not as good as being there, but it’s the bible for producers-to-be.  Get it here.)

Good luck!  And I hope to see you all there!


(Got a comment? I love ‘em, so comment below! Email Subscribers, click here then scroll down to say what’s on your mind!)

– – – –


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  • Allie says:

    I am about to graduate from college with my BA in Arts Management and ultimately, my goal is to work in either commercial or non profit theatre producing plays that are commercial and accessible but still push the boundaries and come from a strong artistic standpoint. My passion is for developing new plays and finding ways to make older plays accessible and relevant to today’s audiences. In order for a production like this to be successful, the artistic team must be willing to go back to the text and analyze the structure and meanings of the piece and must work diligently to create a vision for the piece that honors the playwright’s intentions while not simply recreating past productions. I want to be a part of that process and learn how I can best assist playwrights, directors, actors, and everybody involved to make sure that the work that is being done is servicing the same overall viewpoint and vision.

    I have learned so much during my four years in school and through my internships, but I know there is even more to learn, and the CTI 3 day program will help me put my ideas into practice. I want to learn from those who have been so successful in this industry and also from my peers who are hitting the ground running. This would be an incredible opportunity and I hope I get to attend!

  • John P. says:

    I’d like to go because I’ve written two short plays which were produced and staged at the Short Play Festival at the Players Theatre, and it would be great to network with others who produce theater. Thank you.



  • Ellen says:

    It’s been awhile… 5 or 6 years since I was at my last CTI intensive. It was there that I met Randall Wreghitt & where then he & I partnered up on a comedy farce I hold the option on.

    I feel awfully ready for a booster shot and CTI has always afforded me the insights and juice to press on. I would be so grateful given so many road blocks (opportunities to learn) to be the beneficiary of your guest pass. Thank you.

  • Because I want to know how you
    pick a project.

  • Ginger Dayle says:

    I NEED this seminar because a producer I’m working with is gong to the one in April and I’m a grad student at NYU and wrote an original musical and money is tight. My co-producer would really like me to attend at some point. It would eb grat of we could go togethr. We both work in non-for-profit theatre right now and have over 20 years of producing experience between us so we’re ready to work in for-profit theatre but we need the training to make that jump.

    Please, please PICK ME! I’m already an award-winning director and have worked so hard and like many of colleagues have invested thousands of my on dollars to make opportunities for myself. It’s been expensive but worth it. I have a commercially viable play in addition to my new musical hat I’d like to bring to the theatre capital of the world, New York City. Won’t you, as ABBA would say, take a chance on me?

    All my best,
    Ginger Dayle
    Playwright, actress, director

    Winner of the Philadelphia Broadway World Award for the professional premiere of “RFK” by Jack Holmes

  • Kevin Cannon says:

    After too many years in film I Need Theatre To Save My Creative Soul PERIOD!

  • Kelsey says:

    Hi Ken –
    I’m a teaching artist constantly striving to find the best material for my students. I’d love to help create an environment where going to the theater is a popular activity for young people and their families – which hopefully would continue as they get older! I want to attend the CTI intensive weekend so I can learn more about how to generate the best content for that kind of audience and for the young people I work with. If you choose me, I will bring you a Best Producer trophy hand-made by my musical theater students.

  • Tom Bair says:

    With many years of experience in the securities industry to bring to bear on project development, I am sure that your CTI would get me up to warp speed quickly. I have a current project coming to the stage this Fall and hope to share my experience and enthusiasm with a group of people who love to get it done.

  • Because I’m starting a Camp Tamimemt like group in the city

  • I came out of the womb ready to produce. Shows in my parent’s backyard. Concerts in High school. Actual productions in college. Then after winning Miss Ohio/runner up to Miss America, I made good on my platform issue of helping nonprofits fund raise and continued using myself and my Broadway friends in productions for nonprofits/charities to help them make money.

    Now as the Executive Director of The New Paradigm Theatre Company (a professional/nonprofit theatre in CT) with a new way of establishing themselves (Reaching out to help the community first. Creating a tribe first. Mentoring outreach to those who want to do what we do but more importantly, to create leaders through the arts) before we even have a space, we are at the stage where we want to produce our own shows.

    In the next few years we will not only do the tried and true shows, but will be an incubator, not far from NYC, for new shows. I want to understand how to chose the best ones, how to attract the producers to that show, how to encourage new writers, and how to help everyone network so that theatre, and new theatre works stay strong.
    We also have the right “players” on our team to incorporate TV and Film into our mix. I think that theatre needs to continue cross mediums to move into the next decade. I not only want to mingle and mix with theatre producers, I want to understand the TV and film producers as well.

  • Andrew says:

    I’m passionate about this industry and I’m driven to deliver high-quality work. Just because I lack the resources to attend, doesn’t mean I’m any less driven to succeed…I’m your guy!

  • Philip Haimm says:

    I’ve waited 30 years since taking a Producing Theater course with Don Farber at The New School…30 long, dry, mostly responsible and questionably productive years. And why, why you ask? Because life distracted me away from theater. And now, now finally, to overcome the existential phenomenon familiar to mostly 23 yr olds, but still thriving in my adolescent but aging spirit, that life is without meaning, void of all substance other than the mundane capitalist transaction and grown children that never text back nor acknowledge receipt of UPS delivered birthday care-packages, I need to produce theater, transformative theater, with many laughs, maybe some finger-snapping or minimally inspired happy humming, for the basic wellspring of life, life itself, particularly mine!

  • Brian Jones says:

    Since my grandma first introduced me to the theatre when I was about 10 years old, taking me on a weekend trip to Toronto to see The Phantom of the Opera, I have been addicted to the theatre. I don’t get to visit NYC often but when I do, it is a full immersion weekend filled with theatre and taking in the NYC theatre scene. As a young executive who is making choices about diversified investments for my future, I can’t think of a better way to learn about investment options that will help keep theatre alive and well while hopefully providing a return that will allow me to keep making investment in the one part of my life I’m most passionate about.

  • Jake McCoy says:

    Even when working with Broadway actors, directors and and venue production personnel everyday, as a Production Manager I do not feel like I am able to have the access I need to learn how to be a Broadway producer. When a friend told me about Ken and his email list this was the first type of education opportunity I heard of for Producers here in the city. I feel like this CTI event is would provide the access I need to continue pursuit of my dream to one day be a Broadway producer.. like everything it requires both the knowledge to do so AND access to amazing resources such as CTI and Ken. Problem is currently with my situation the missing component is also the funds to be able dream big!

  • Emily says:

    My husband and I are getting ready to start work on an arts-based community center on the southside of Indianapolis, where there is very little in the way of the arts. We met doing community theatre. I have directed every aspect of high school musical theater for years now, he has started a thriving drama club at his elementary school, and I run a successful summer musical theatre camp for elementary kids. But, all of that is in conjunction with our public school system: to go out on our own like this is very daunting. We are passionate, creative and persistent. We are also inexperienced and would love the opportunity to learn from the pros.

  • Diana Bartak Lipkus says:

    I am the Associate Dramaturg for “The Mapmaker’s Opera”( )and WE ARE HEADING TO OFF-BROADWAY WITH A COVETED SLOT IN THE New York Musical Theatre Festival( NEXT LINK staging this July 2014. My job was to find a theatre festival for this wonderful new Australian team Musical. I have been told several times, in the many works that I do, that I am acting in the capacity of a producer. I HAVE A LIFETIME BACKGROUND IN BUSINESS AND HAVE DECIDED THAT I WANT TO SPEND THE REST OF MY LIFE WORKING IN VARIOUS ASPECTS OF THEATRE. WHICH ASPECTS OF THEATRE I WORK IN ARE TO BE REVEALED IN TIME THROUGH TRAINING AND SKILLS DEVELOPMENT LEADING TO MORE OPPORTUNITIES.THIS IS WHY I AM INTERESTED IN ATTENDING THIS CTI PROGRAM.I am a singer,conceptualizer for musical theatre, writer ,and performer. I hope you will select me, Ken. To all of you who read this ,take a look at for 10 exciting songs and videos by Kevin Purcell, composer and Victor Kazan lyricist. Please plan to come to see the show in July ( show dates will be posted on the site soon).
    Thank you,
    Diana Bartak Lipkus

  • Terry Holzman says:

    The reason I want to go is, simply, the reason you posited: “There aren’t many training grounds for people (like me)who want to be a producer.”

    I will throwy hat in the ring with my first producing story. Eighth grade. St. Louis. Catholic School field trip to see “Godspell”. I loved it. It inspired me, quite naively, thatI could “do that.” (Put on a show!)

    So inspired by “Godspell”,I created, wrote and produced a rock musical puppet show based on
    “The Prodigal Son” from the Bible. I wrote the script and songs and had a gang of friends build the puppets and sets.

    We toured all the Catholic Schools in Norther Virginia and got a glowing review from tbe diocese newsletter! I was hooked.

    Studying theater in high school and college and workingi behind the scenes. I just want to learm more about “how to do it all”. How everyting works now that I am developing a work for the off-Broadway.

    I am a ready, able and enthusiastic student of the commercial theater. As Audrey II might’ve said in “Little Shop of Horrors” (if circumstances ( or sequel) were different):
    TEACH ME!!!

    • Terry Holzman says:

      Forgive my typos!! My tiny screen is hard to see and autocorrect does its thing and makes me look like a person sho doesn’t proofread which is no tru! I see all the typos now on review by no way to make edits. “AM NOT MY TYPOS!” (A song for a musical about office temps?)

  • Debbie Saville says:

    I can certainly relate to sitting at my computer, looking for direction as a new producer. I have lived parallel lives, corporate and artistic for over 25 years, choosing the corporate as my “paid” job and the theatre as my “passion”, until recently…

    Almost three years ago, while attending an afternoon of great music and wine, I saw a lead musician on the stage who drew my attention. He went past being a great musician. He had a stage presence, a unique personality, that sent my mind in a direction I never imagined possible.

    The audience was doing what audiences do in that type of venue, they were having conversations with each other while the band played as background music. And that’s when it happened.

    I decided I wanted to take creative musicians to the theatre stage as part of a new musical featuring their original music or creating a show around their music style.

    With many trials and tribulations, with doors opening when needed and with alot of intuition, my 1st premiere is set for this summer.

    I can see two, three, no four more musicals to create with talented musicians in this area, all different music styles, gospel, swing, American standards, classic rock and roll.

    During this journey, I soon realized another missing piece in our area and that is the pre-production/rehearsal space for creative artists that are not directly involved with a community/regional theatre. So as I look for ways to build revenue for this new company, rental space to help others create, will also be a direction I will follow.

    As I get up every week day morning and get ready for my corporate job, as I sometimes feel overwhelmed with how much more has been put into my day, I glance over at my new business card “Studio Saville Productions, LLC” and I realize the opportunity I am creating to help showcase creative musicians and to help others create their artistic dreams.

    Being able to attend additional training in NYC to help continue to bring my dreams into reality…priceless!

  • I would very much love to have this opportunity. My background for the first 20 years after college was in the financial services world. I started at the bottom and worked my way through all the operations areas before moving into the outside world with responsibility for bringing in business, creating supply channels, delivery channels and support channels for my products or for products developed from listening to the clients and coming back with what they wanted. I went as high up as President of an Asset Management company but something was always missing.

    20 years or so into my career, I took an acting class and everything started coming back to me. My love for acting which for years had been sated by attending as much theatre as I could suddenly took center stage for me. I left the investment world and started down the path to where I am now. My acting teacher/coach and friend Mary Boyer encouraged me to go west, build up some tv and film credits and learn all sides of the business. I produced an indie film, I cast, I acted and then I left for Hollywood with the dreams of becoming an actor in a tv series or in bigger budget films. One night I decided to go to this small theatre to see a play put on by people I didn’t know, actors I never heard of and a theatre that held 64 seats and yet I knew that night that I had found a home. I wanted to be where people were so dedicated to what they were doing that they did it for free almost.

    Winding this up, I ended up not on the acting side but on the producing side and it’s where my best talents could be put to use. I became the managing director of that same small non-profit theatre and I’m now the Executive Director. I run an amazing company that has been rewarded with some great shows on our stage, the best awards you can get in L.A. and the recognition from many of my peers that I was doing the right things. I’m now on the Executive Committee of the new Theatrical Producers League of Los Angeles and we are working to bring the producers together, develop some standards that say we are a professional group and are dedicated to delivering the best experience for our audiences from the moment they see an ad, through ordering tickets, entering the theatre and then once they’re home following up with them to say thank you and ask what we could do better.

    I need to come to this weekend. I may live in L.A. but my heart is in theatre and I want to produce. I want to be a part of a team that takes projects we believe in and make them come alive. I want those projects to come alive on the L.A. stage and I want those projects to go on to bigger stages, larger audiences and I want those projects to go to New York and deliver on those promises we made to the small original group of believers.

    That’s why I need to come to this weekend. To meet other people who dream like I do and who have already done what I’m only now really starting to see in my head. I want to come, soak it in, learn and take it all back to L.A. where I can share it with my colleagues and we can all go along for the ride that producing theatre puts us on.

    I hope you’ll give me that chance.


  • Charles duChateau says:

    My short answer: I want to create the next great, American, socially-conscious musical.

    Longer answer:

    After spending 20+ years in musical theater, I’ve been fortunate to have toured (a LOT) with a couple of last century’s mega-musicals, and since 2000 have been involved with 10 B’way (or off B’way) shows, either as a musician, conductor, or arranger. I’ve had a ring-side seat (sometimes in the ring!) to observe the creative paths of many different projects, from workshops that went nowhere, to wonderful revivals like South Pacific, and most recently, a lesser-known project about a certain web-slinging leading man.

    The one thing I have yet to do: write my own show. I am bursting with ideas (good ones, IMHO), but somehow working, fatherhood, etc. keep me from taking the next step, to the role of composer. All of my combined experiences have recently led to the feeling that I could be well placed to help shepherd in one of the next great musicals, not as composer, but producer. I have seen shows that at the outset, seemed like terrible ideas, turn into wonderful pieces. And conversely, have watched projects with amazing potential not quite make the grade.

    With all that I have witnessed on the creative side of things, I am painfully aware of all that I don’t know on the business side. I have read, and greatly enjoyed the CTI book, and keep looking at the CTI sign-up note on my to-do list. As I am currently “at liberty” (ie. unemployed), now would be the perfect time to re-direct my career in the direction of producing. But unemployment is also what keeps me from booking a spot in the workshop (raising kids in NYC is expensive!). I’m a fan of yours and would love the opportunity to learn from you (and all the others) about all that I don’t know. Sending me to the CTI would be a tuition well spent. Thanks Ken!

  • ECP says:

    Invest $455.00 in my determination to produce a project before year-end, and I will sponsor another attendee in 2015.

  • Lydia Lilli says:

    What I wouldn’t give to win the chance of attending the 3 Day Intensive Weekend, seeing and hearing all those guest speakers including you Ken and continuing my lifelong dream of getting into theater as a producer and director. I have worked for many years on the fringes of theater and music including behind-the-scenes as an assistant stage manager and publicist but at the same time, always had to work another job full-time to pay the bills. Now it’s time to really throw myself into the dream and put my shoulder to the grindstone, while learning and absorbing as much as I can from all of you!

  • Ryan says:

    To be brief: I work in arts admin for a NYC nonprofit theatre, so my focus and interest in CTI has much to do with the relationships that can be forged with the commercial theatre community and the nonprofit community. Many amazing shows have grown out of nonprofits, and I believe these relationships are going to be growing increasingly more important as the costs to produce theatre continue to rise for commercial producers (and nonprofits), while the funding for nonprofits becomes strained. Enhancements and co-productions are just the beginning. But it’s all about growing the relationships, and I believe the opportunity to involve nonprofit administrators in CTI’s 3-day intensive is a great way to start. (And of course, working in nonprofits is sometimes about explaining the picture of need: We don’t always have the budgets to support staff development like the corporate world, and many of us make less than would be NYC ideal, so being given a chance to attend without taking a chunk out of our personal and professional coffers, would be amazing)!

  • Alex Kip says:

    Hey Ken,

    We met at TEDxBway where I was one of the “young professionals,” I was astounded by the event and inspired to take theatre to new levels. I’m gearing up to produce a show I wrote called “My Other Voice” in NYC ( I produced the show this summer at the Arthur Miller Theatre, so I’ve been through the ringer, utilizing a lot of your tips from the blog. We got great coverage, including a story on PBS. Now, as I’m gearing up for a bigger stage I understand the phrase “knowledge is power” more than ever. I want to learn from the best so I can give my show the best it deserves. Also, I’m teaming up with Jeff Poulin in the next phases who was also a “Young Professional.” I would love to continue learning from you, as would he through osmosis! Thanks for the consideration and best of luck to everyone!


  • JM says:

    I have frequent flyer miles burning a hole in my pocket, to learn valuable tips for Good People Theater Company and further the Barrymore Project, and it would enable me to take that meeting with you! (AND I am on Spring Break from my Professorial Duties.)

  • Adam Shaff says:

    To paraphrase a successful arts manager:

    “The best arts managers experience the work from every level. They know what it’s like to sweep the floor, balance the budget, and direct the players and they respect each position.”

    For the past 3 years, I’ve made it my goal to make it as a performer. It’s my passion. However, if my degree in Arts Management taught me anything it is that the arts are in need of educated and well-trained managers to keep the arts alive.

    This is so important to me. It’s why I volunteer to help with marketing at theaters for which I work. It’s why I read blogs like this one.

    I need and want to continue sharpening my tools to prepare myself for a career in the Arts, but perhaps not on the stage. I hope you will consider me for this opportunity to network with and learn from the best in the business.


    • Vicky says:

      (probably loud enough for ernoyvee to hear) at the end of the production last night as Mary walked down the aisle . WOW ! The way Charlie flowed from innocent young man to hardened soldier was astounding and Mary was flawless throughout, too. I am encouraging all my friends to go my wife and I were almost speechless on the way home. The live music was perfect he was outstanding. A very nice comeback after the atrocious Holes.

  • Megan says:

    I would love the opportunity to come back to NYC in a couple of weeks to attend CTI’s workshop. As a Managing Director of a small but mighty non-profit theater company in Chicago, I have a few shows that may be of interest to other attendees. We’ve had recent out of town engagements at American Rep Theater in Cambridge and Actors Theater of Louisville in Kentucky with many more regional theaters “in the works.” I run the business solo to allow for maximum funding for the art so naturally my budget for professional development is pretty tiny. But I have learned a lot and gotten many ideas both from your blog and CTI workshops I’ve attended in the past. My interests lie in becoming a producer full-time and I know how to put in the hard work for little financial incentive. I know a handful of projects that have commercial appeal, relatively cheap capital buy-in that New York has quite seen yet. Think Kneehigh theater from the UK with more universal appeal. Thanks for considering me

  • Jamie says:

    Recently one of your posts had a huge impact on me; specifically, it was the one about how if you want to be a producer, you simply need to start producing anything that you can. I was considering grad school because of career frustrations, but sort of knew that it was the wrong decision. I read your post at exactly the right time and it helped me realize that I needed to focus the next year on creating opportunities and bringing projects that I loved to life with a little elbow grease. (Thank you for that!) So, in short, that’s where I am now – at the beginning of that exciting, albeit very intimidating journey as a producer. CTI sounds like a fantastic opportunity to begin that and to better serve projects as a producer.

  • Colt Chambers says:

    I’d really love the opportunity to be apart of this workshop to help broaden my knowledge for commercial theatre production. I am currently developing a new show in NYC and I think the Commercial Theater Institute’s workshop would be a great learning and networking opportunity.

  • Connor D says:

    To learn how to produce great commercial theater productions which will inspire the next generation of theater goers to fall in love with our industry.

  • Josh Blackburn says:

    Producing theatre has been a dream and is quickly becoming a reality for me. I am 3 years out of undergrad, have been company managing for 2 of those years, and co-produced my first small show in NYC last summer. I have already seen some good, bad and ugly producers and would love to learn more from the great. I need to learn the next steps in for-profit producing to move my career forward and take on projects Off-Broadway. My producing partner has taken the course and highly recommends I take it but our company cannot afford the cost at this time. Thank you for your consideration

  • Alexandra B. says:

    I want to attend the 3-day CTI course because I am a 24 year old Chemical Engineer who wants to be a Broadway producer. I love theater with all my heart and I can’t imagine a more rewarding career than finding the next life-changing show and making it happen. I know I have the drive and passion — I just need the skill set. I’ve read the CTI book and it’s incredible. I would love the opportunity to hear these stories and advice in person and get a change to build relationships with important people in the industry.

    This is a goal for my life. I don’t know how long it’ll take or what the journey will be like, but I will get there. My first step is doing a full-time internship this fall. And someday you’ll ask who produced that Tony-winning production, and it’ll be me!

  • I doubt if I could have produced in London and Florida without having had the knowledge I got in the CTI 3-Day and the CTI 14 Week Program. I still feel linked with my 14 week compatriots. I also realize that it’s always good to keep on top of things and I know that things change every few years. The 3 Day would update my brain so that I could be clear about my choices and be truly helpful to projects I’m interested in now.

  • My goal is to assist my Church with producing shows that will revive its theater and outreach initiatives targeting inner-city youth and the surrounding Harlem community.

  • Bob Degus says:

    At the center of it all is producing. Years of producing film has taught me that producing is the matrix of how any show comes together. While I have read CTI’s Guide To Producing several times, the opportunity to attend their three-day intensive would be life changing for me. It would give me the best set of tools to understand how to translate my film producing skills into theatre and best contribute to the vibrant theatre community for years to come. If TEDx is about the best Broadway can be in the future, CTI is about how to make it so now.

  • Lisa Brownstein says:

    I want a chance.

  • Jenna Rich says:

    Hi Ken,
    I’m only 17, but I know that I want to work in theatre someday. Attending this event would help me get some of the groundwork I need in order to learn more about all aspects of the field and enrich my knowledge of all things Broadway. I started following you and your blog after I auditioned at the Godspell 2032 open call. I’ve always considered producing as a path, but your blog has really helped me understand the important role of a producer with a production. This CTI workshop could help me become more involved with theatre and it would be an incredible opportunity to attend and find out more about what I’d like to pursue.

  • Ken says:

    Knowledge into Courage into Action.
    Connection into Synergy into Mutually Beneficial Door-Opening.
    Investor$ waiting for the call to become passionately involved in the inexplicable joy of supporting and making Theater.
    Caller on the verge seeking Knowledge & Connection, Support & Encouragement, to put Truth into Action.

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