On Saturday, October 12, 2019, LA STAGE Alliance partnered with Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas to produce Connect and Collab: Building Community Amongst Directors, Playwrights, Dramaturgs, and Literary Managers. This event was held at The Broadwater from 11 am to 2 pm and consisted of panels, networking, and community building.
From 11 am to noon, attendees participated in smaller, more career-specific panels that focused on Surprises in Building a Successful Career. The discussions covered career paths with tips and stories about what panelists didn’t expect along the way, networking and other skills they have had to develop, and advice to those whose careers are a bit less established than their own.
- The Playwrights panel was moderated by Robert Menna, with panelists Jami Brandli, Inda Craig-Galvan, Lisa Dring, and John Pollono.
- The Directors panel was moderated by Steve Apostolina, with panelists Jennifer Chang, Gregg Daniel, Jessica Kubzansky, and Jer Adrianne Lelliott.
- The Dramaturgs and Literary Managers panel was moderated by Cory Hinkle, with panelists Tom Bryant and Rachel Wiegardt-Egel.
At noon, we all came together to discuss Collaborative Relationships in Action. This panel was comprised of directors, dramaturgs, and playwrights talking specifically about networking and what their experience has been like finding directors, playwrights and dramaturgs to work with. The panel was moderated by Robert Menna, with panelists Tom Bryant, Gregg Daniel, Jennifer Chang, Kemp Powers, and Boni Alvarez.
To read more about our moderators and panelists, click here!
When it came to networking, panelists noted that it’s best when it comes from a genuine and authentic place. When you meet someone, don’t treat it as transactional. Avoid immediately wondering what they can do for you. Instead, focus on making real connections and nurturing those relationships. It’s easy to feel like you’re “not good at networking”, but try shifting your focus to building real relationships. Networking then starts to feel more like making friends and being part of a community and less like a chore.
Following the panels, attendees got a chance to put the panelists’ networking advice into action. Folks participated in guided networking activities and had the opportunity to connect with other directors, playwrights, dramaturgs, and literary managers. Robert and Michaela, our event coordinators, provided provocations that allowed attendees to more deeply discuss and connect over topics relevant to the LA theatre community. Connections and relationships were made; Business cards and Instagram handles were exchanged. Networking certainly requires a willingness to put one’s self out there, a task that can scare even the most extroverted of people. We’d like to thank everyone who attended Connect and Collab, our moderators, and our panelists for putting yourself out there and coming together to build community.
Click here for the full event schedule!
Thank you Boxed Water and The Broadwater for your generous donations of water and space! And thank you Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas for partnering with us. This event was created based on the responses to this Theatre Networking survey. The survey is still live, please submit your response today so that we can continue to produce events just for you!