10 Takeaways from The 5th Annual TheaterMakers Summit!

What a weekend.

Sometimes I don’t know how our Summit gets even more packed with inspiration and education every year.

Oh wait, yes I do, it’s because of the 100+ incredibly passionate speakers we had, who share my passion . . . encouraging others to make more theater, and better theater. 

And this year, we had quite the lineup of all lineups. I’ve got about 3 Google Docs of bullet-pointed takeaways that I’m working through myself. (My Tip:  I start by circling the action items that I believe will have the biggest impact on my life/career – and start with those.)

If you missed The Summit . . . I’m not talking to you anymore. 

Ok, ok, I’m not very good at not talking . . . so instead, let me give you 10 of the 147,000 takeaways from this year’s Summit . . . 

Here you go.

  1. Tony Award-winning Producer Tom Kirdahy: “I don’t need a slick package but an intelligent package. Spelling, grammar, knowing your audience makes a difference”. Take some care into what you’re presenting to show the level of care you will have for the project. 
  2. Stage Aurora Theatrical’s Artistic Director Darryl Reuben Hall: “Surround yourself with people who know what you’re doing so you can succeed. Use your connections to build yourself up in that niche space. Utilize what you have & who you know to keep creating.” 
  3. Broadway Playwright and Actor Douglas Lyons on the steps he took to get to the next level: “Hustle! When trying to get something to happen- don’t be afraid to reach out to the people you want to work with! The worst someone can do when you message a producer or collaborator – the worst they could do is not respond” 
  4. What Hal Prince said to Andrew Lloyd Webber: “You can’t listen to a musical if you can’t look at it.”
  5. Tony-nominated Costume Designer Dede Ayite: “In the failure is where new things emerge. Theatre can be anywhere.”
  6. Stage Manager and Producer Cody Renard Richard on self care: Prioritize what you enjoy: having time and space outside your job. Ask yourself in regards to the job/project: “If it’s not a hell yes- it’s a hell no!” 
  7. Tony-nominated Producer Jacob Stuckelman on making theater outside of the theater: “Don’t ask for permission. The only person you need permission from is yourself.” 
  8. Composer, Lyricist, and Music Director Georgia Stitt: “You have to be brave to put yourself out there.”
  9. Producer and Investor Laura Barket: When I’m in a production I have to believe in it in order to put my money into it.” 
  10. Social Media Strategist Micayla Brewster: “When things go viral [on social media] it’s because it’s so intrinsically connected to the brand.” 

Oh, and here’s a takeaway from me . . . 

11.  Ken Davenport on NEXT YEAR’S SUMMIT.  “Come. It’s gonna be in person. Which means 147,000 more action items on how to get to your theatrical goals, in-person inspiration . . . and FINALLY, THE FACE-TO-FACE NETWORKING WITH THE SPEAKERS AND YOUR PEERS you’ve been waiting for.”  Click here to get an early bird rate that is only valid until MONDAY.  And remember, in-person means a serious limit on the amount of people who can attend.  Grab your seat here.

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Ken created one of the first Broadway podcasts, recording over 250 episodes over 7 years. It features interviews with A-listers in the theater about how they “made it”, including 2 Pulitzer Prize Winners, 7 Academy Award Winners and 76 Tony Award winners. Notable guests include Pasek & Paul, Kenny Leon, Lynn Ahrens and more.