Former Hartman Group Exec Leslie Baden Papa to Launch New PR Agency
Veteran press agent Leslie Baden Papa will launch Vivacity Media Group, an entertainment public relations agency on January 6, 2014. Publicist Whitney Holden Gore will join the firm as Vice President.
Both Papa and Gore are former executives of the Broadway publicity firm The Hartman Group. The five-time Tony Award-nominated smash hit Rock of Ages, which Papa has represented since its Broadway premiere in 2009, will continue with the team in their new venture as Vivacity. The firm will also lead the publicity campaign for the highly anticipated March 2014 New York debut of Heathers: The Musical, in addition to other projects soon to be announced.
"Working as a press agent for over a decade and having learned from an incredible group of publicists, producers and industry colleagues, it is a thrilling next step for me to open Vivacity Media Group," said Leslie Papa. "Vivacity embodies the drive, passion, innovation and enthusiasm that our team has always brought and will continue to bring to the work we do. I love theater and this industry and look forward to years of singing (and, when necessary, speaking) its praises."
A graduate of Columbia University, Papa has worked as a Senior Account Executive at The Hartman Group from its inception in 2009, and before that at Barlow Hartman since the early 2000s. She headed the PR campaigns and media strategies for a variety of Broadway, Off-Broadway and national tour productions including the recent Tony Award Nominated revival of Evita, and the Tony nominated new musicals American Idiot, Bring It On and Legally Blonde: The Musical. Outside the scope of traditional theatre PR, Papa has developed the publicity campaigns for television shows & specials, notable performers, philanthropic enterprises and production companies. Additional theater credits include Jekyll & Hyde, Catch Me If You Can, On A Clear Day You Can See Forever, Wintuk by Cirque du Soleil, 13, Cyrano de Bergerac starring Kevin Kline and Jennifer Garner, Company, Movin' Out, the 2007 revival of Grease, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Billy Crystal's 700 Sundays, Sweeney Todd starring Patti LuPone and Michael Cerveris, Gem of the Ocean, the Off-Broadway productions Secrets of a Soccer Mom and Family Secrets and the launch of Just For Laughs Theatricals. TV credits include the NBC television series "SMASH," the Legally Blonde MTV special, the reality show "Legally Blonde - The Musical: The Search for Elle Woods" and the NBC TV reality series "Grease: You're the One That I Want." Papa began her career in theater at Carol Fineman Publicity, the public relations firm for The Public Theater as well as various other Off-Broadway productions including the multi-award winning production of The Exonerated, Modern Orthodox, and Hank Williams: Lost Highway.
Joining Vivacity as Vice President is press agent Whitney Holden Gore, who has worked for six years as a publicist within the theater, music and performing arts industries. In addition to representing Rock of Ages and Heathers: The Musical, her past work on Broadway includes spearheading the publicity campaign for Romeo & Juliet starring Orlando Bloom and Condola Rashad, the recent productions of Evita starring Ricky Martin and Elena Roger, Jekyll & Hyde, Bring It On: The Musical, and On A Clear Day You Can See Forever starring Harry Connick, Jr., as well as NBC's "SMASH". Whitney has a B.A. in Public Relations from Miami University, and prior to joining The Hartman Group worked as a publicist at Cohn Dutcher Associates, representing music and performing arts clients such as The New York Pops at Carnegie Hall and Chicago's acclaimed Ravinia Festival.