David Hyde Pierce & Mary Testa to Host Playwrights Horizons' Annual Gala Honoring Bob Moss this May
Acclaimed Off-Broadway theater company Playwrights Horizons will hold its annual Spring Gala on Monday evening, May 5 at the event space 583 Park Avenue.
Titled "IN THE BEGINNING", the evening will honor the theater company's Founding Artistic Director Bob Moss. An artistic director, stage director and teacher for thirty-seven years, Bob founded Playwrights Horizons in 1971 and gave the theater its unique and enduring mission. Three years later, Bob moved the theater to then-derelict West 42nd Street. He founded the 42nd Street Gang, which, with the 42nd Street Development Corporation, envisioned and spearheaded the renovation and creation of 42nd Street's Theatre Row, and gave Playwrights a permanent home. He served as the company's Artistic Director for ten years through 1981. He was also the director of the Playwrights Horizons Theater School, an affiliate of New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. He continues to direct and teach at theaters and colleges across the country, and has mentored hundreds of young theater actors, writers and directors.
The evening will be co-hosted by two of the company's alumni actors: two-time Tony Award winner David Hyde Pierce (at PH in Richard Greenberg's The Maderati in 1987) and two-time Tony Award nominee, two-time Obie Award winner and 2012 Special Drama Desk Award winner Mary Testa (at PH in William Finn's In Trousers in 1979, Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty's Lucky Stiff in 1988, Tom Donaghy's From Above in 1998/Obie Award and Kathleen Tolan's The Wax in 2000).
The evening's celebration will feature performances and testimonials from some of the many Playwrights Horizons alumni nurtured by Bob Moss. Participating artists will be announced in the coming weeks.
Board Chair Judith O. Rubin and Board member Rachel Wilder will serve as Gala Board Co-Chairs; Carol & Tom Creel and James W. & Virginia M. Giddens will serve as Gala Patron Co-Chairs and Scott Slobodnyak will serve as Gala Generation PH Chair. The Tribute Committee includes theater artists Edward Albee, Walter Bobbie, Kathleen Chalfant, William Finn and Rosemary Harris.
The Spring Gala is the organization's largest fundraising event of the year, with donations earmarked to support six annual productions, the development of new plays and musicals, ticket subsidies and programs for students and early-career professionals. The programs cultivate the next generation of artists, arts managers and theatergoers.
For forty-three years, Playwrights Horizons has been the only major Off-Broadway theater dedicated solely to producing new American work. It's a mission that's always timely, always crucial, and it sets the organization apart from every other theater in the country. Six annual productions are the public face of the organization. Writers are also served by the New Works Lab, which includes script evaluations, readings, workshops and commissions. Playwrights Horizons operates Ticket Central, a box office service, as well as affordable rehearsal and performance spaces at 440 Studios. The next generation of artists, arts managers and theatergoers are cultivated through a Theatrical Residency Program, the Playwrights Horizons Theater School at NYU and audience development initiatives.
With the participation of subscribers and supporters, Playwrights Horizons continue to be a vibrant leader in the development of new American plays and musicals and a standard-bearer for excellence in the theater world. As a not-for-profit organization, charitable donations account for nearly 40% of the annual budget. Each year an average of 84% is spent on productions and programs, with only 16% spent on administrative overhead and fundraising.