American Theatre Wing's 2012 Gala Sets Record as Highest Grossing in Wing History

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Heather Hitchens, Executive Director of the American Theatre Wing, has announced that the Wing's 2012 Gala, held Monday, September 24 at The Plaza Hotel, was the most successful in the organization's history, raising just shy of $600,000.

All proceeds from the evening will benefit the education and outreach programs of the American Theatre Wing, which include SpringboardNYC, the Theatre Intern Group, the National Theatre Company Grants and the Jonathan Larson Grants, and will also support free access for students, aspiring professionals, and the general public to programming on AmericanTheatreWing.org, including "Working in the Theatre," "Downstage Center," and "In the Wings."

The black tie event marked the American Theatre Wing's 95th year of service, and was held in honor of The Redgrave Family's six generations of outstanding work and invaluable contributions to the theatrical community. Vanessa Redgrave, along with family members Daisy Bevan, Annabel Clark, Ben Clark, Liam Neeson, Daniel Neeson, Michael Neeson, Franco Nero, Carlo Nero, Gabriel Owen, Kika Markham, and Joely Richardson, all turned out for the occasion. This year's Gala also included a special tribute to Theodore S. Chapin, Executive Director of The Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization, for his exceptional service as Chair of the American Theatre Wing.

The evening's line-up of presenters and performers included Harold Prince, John Benjamin Hickey, Daryl Roth, Jordan Roth, Alan Cumming, Laura Osnes, Will Chase, Ron Raines, Andrew Keenan-Bolger, Celia Keenan-Bolger.

Among the approximate 350 attendees were Jessica Chastain, Judy Collins, Brian Dennehy, Joan Didion, Jesse Eisenberg, Star Jones, Laura Linney, Jo Sullivan Loesser, Debra Messing, Angelica Page, Patrick Page, Oliver Platt, Mary Rodgers, and Morley Safer.

The Redgrave family has been on the forefront of the creative arts for more than a century. Six generations of Redgraves and their spouses have included such celebrated artists as actors Michael Redgrave, Rachel Kempson, Vanessa Redgrave, Lynn Redgrave, Corin Redgrave, Natasha Richardson, Liam Neeson, Franco Nero, Joely Richardson, Jemma Redgrave, director Carlo Nero, and photographer Annabel Clark. Collectively, their talents have garnered an astonishing twelve Tony® Award nominations (including two wins) and ten Academy Award nominations (including one win).

Theodore S. Chapin is President and Executive Director of Rodgers & Hammerstein: An Imagem Company. He recently completed his term as Chair of the Board of Trustees for the American Theatre Wing and also previously served as Chairman of the Advisory Committee for New York City Center's Encores! series from its inception. He serves on several boards including Goodspeed Musicals, New Music USA, and New York City Center. He served as a Tony® Awards nominator for two seasons, and is currently a member of the Tony® Administration Committee. His career began as production or directorial assistant for the Broadway productions of Follies, The Rothchilds and The Unknown Soldier and His Wife, as well as Bernstein's Mass at the Kennedy Center, and Candide in San Francisco. As Associate to Alan Arkin, he worked on the original Broadway production of Neil Simon's The Sunshine Boys, Twigs starring Carol Burnett (CBS); and Neil Cuthbert's The Soft Touch. He was Musical Director for The National Theatre of the Deaf's production of Four Saints in Three Acts, and Producer of the Musical Theatre Lab. His book Everything Was Possible: The Birth of the Musical "Follies", was published by Alfred A. Knopf (fall 2003), and in paperback by Applause Books (spring 2005).

In 2012, the American Theatre Wing (William Ivey Long, Chairman, Board of Trustees; Heather Hitchens, Executive Director) is celebrating 95 years of service to the American Theatre. For nearly a century, the mission of the Wing has been to serve and support the theatre by celebrating excellence, nurturing the public's appreciation of theatre, and providing unique educational and access opportunities for both practitioners and audiences. Traditionally, ATW has done this by encouraging Members of The theatre community to share their off-stage time and talent directly with the theatre audience at large--whether it was singing for the troops in the Stage Door Canteen of the 1940's, or sharing their stories on a podcast today. Best known for creating The Antoinette Perry "Tony" Awards®, now presented with The Broadway League, ATW has developed the best-known national platform for the recognition of theatrical achievement on Broadway. Yet ATW's reach extends beyond Broadway and beyond New York, with educational and media work that offers the very best in theatre to people around the world. In addition to its various media programs and a host of other online resources, The Wing sponsors many activities, all dedicated to recognizing excellence and supporting education in theatre. These programs include the Theatre Intern Group, a career development program for young professionals; SpringboardNYC, a two-week college-to-career boot camp for young performers moving to NYC; and the Jonathan Larson® Grants, given annually to honor emerging composers, lyricists and book writers. Visitors to americantheatrewing.org can listen to, watch or download from ATW's extensive media collection, and learn more about all of its programming for students, aspiring and working professionals, and audiences who want to learn more about the making of theatre.

Follow ATW on Facebook.com/TheAmericanTheatreWing and Twitter.com/TheWing.

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