Philip J. Smith to Be Honored at Theatre Development Fund Gala on 3/4; Bernadette Peters & More to Perform

TKTS TIMES SQUARE - When Theatre Development Fund opened TKTS on June 25, 1973 during the administration of Mayor John V. Lindsay, with the support of TDF's Anna E. Crouse, The Shubert Organization and the Ford Foundation, its supporters did not know that they were creating a phenomenon that would be replicated worldwide. After TKTS's amazing success during its first years, TDF advised other arts service agencies on the development of their own same-day discount ticket booths. Using TKTS as a model, TDF was responsible for helping to develop booths in many cities including Boston; Chicago; Denver; London; Philadelphia; Pittsburgh; San Francisco; Sydney; Toronto and Washington, DC. Now in its 40th year of service, TKTS Times Square has distributed over 57.5 million same-day discount tickets to Broadway, Off Broadway, music and dance events since it opened for business. These admissions represent over $1.8 billion in revenue returned by Theatre Development Fund to thousands of stage productions. The current TKTS Booth, "under the red steps" opened on October, 16, 2008 and has garnered multiple international design awards for its innovation and style and has become a gathering place for New Yorkers and visitors from all over the world.

Theatre Development Fund was created in the conviction that the live theatrical arts afford a unique expression of the human condition that must be sustained and nurtured. It is dedicated to developing diverse audiences for live theatre and dance, and strengthening the performing arts community in New York City. Since 1968, TDF's programs have provided over 83 million people with access to performances at affordable prices and have returned over $2.2 billion to thousands of productions. Best known for its TKTS Discount Booths, TDF's membership, outreach, access (including its newly formed Autism Theatre Initiative) and education programs - as well as its Costume Collection - have introduced thousands of people to the theatre and helped make the unique experience of theatre available to everyone, including students and people with disabilities. Recent TDF honors include a 2011 Mayor's Award for Arts and Culture, a 2012 Tony Honor for Excellence for its Open Doors Arts Education Program and a 2012 New York Innovative Theatre Award for its support of the off-Off Broadway community.

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