American Theatre Wing Gala Raises Nearly $700,000
The American Theatre Wing (William Ivey Long, Chair; Heather Hitchens, Executive Director) announced today that its annual gala, held last night at the Plaza Hotel, was the most successful in the organization's history, raising nearly $700,000 (besting the previous record, which was set in 2012, by approximately $100,000). 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 the long running television show "Working in the Theatre."
The sold-out, black-tie event was held at The Plaza Hotel and honored legendary director and producer Harold Prince for his lifelong dedication and invaluable contributions to the theatrical community. The evening's program featured a selection of numbers from Harold Prince-affiliated shows, performed by a glittering array of Broadway stars, including Glenn Close, Santino Fontana, Sierra Boggess, Emily Skinner, Richard Kind, Jim Wann, and LaChanze. Angela Lansbury presented Mr. Prince with his honor.
"What a wonderful outpouring of support from our community for Hal Prince and the American Theatre Wing," enthused Ms. Hitchens about the gala. "It was a magical evening, and this funding will be a giant boon in furthering the Wing's mission to serve and support the theater. We are so grateful to Mr. Prince and all of our presenters and performers."
Among the approximately 450 guests in attendance were Patrick Stewart, Alan Cumming, Kim Cattrall, Star Jones, Tyne Daly, Oliver Platt, John Benjamin Hickey, Shuler Hensley, Judy Kaye, Liz Claman, Pia Lindstrom, and Jo Sullivan Loesser.
Anki Leeds and CeCe Black served as Gala co-chairs.
This year's Gala was sponsored by Applause Theatre & Cinema Books: an imprint of the Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publishing Group.
Director and producer Harold Prince has won 21 Tony awards (more than any other individual) and received the National Medal of Arts in 2000 from President Clinton for a career spanning more than 40 years, in which "he changed the nature of the American musical." Prince attended the University of Pennsylvania and graduated in 1948. He first emerged as a producer in New York in 1954 at the age of 24 with a production of The Pajama Game at the St. James Theater on Broadway. He produced Damn Yankees the following year and won Tony awards for both productions. Among others, Prince also produced West Side Story, Fiddler on the Roof, Fiorello! and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. As a director, he has worked on the premiere productions of She Loves Me, Cabaret, Company, Follies, Candide, Pacific Overtures, A Little Night Music, Sweeney Todd, Evita, The Phantom of the Opera, Parade and Bounce. Among the plays he has directed are Hollywood Arms, The Visit, The Great God Brown, End of the World, Play Memory and his own play, Grandchild of Kings. His opera productions have been staged at The Chicago Lyric, The Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Dallas Opera, Vienna Staatsoper and the Theater Colon in Buenos Aires. His film credits include movie adaptations of The Pajama Game, Damn Yankees and A Little Night Music, starring Elizabeth Taylor. He also directed the original screenplay Something for Everyone made for National General. Prince has also directed several notable teleVision Productions, including Candide as a part of "Live from Lincoln Center" and a RKO-Nederlander production of Sweeney Todd. In addition to his work in the theater, Prince has served as a trustee for the New York Public Library and on the National Council of the Arts of the NEA. He was a 1994 Kennedy Center Honoree.
In 2012, the American Theatre Wing (William Ivey Long, Chair, 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.