Music Theatre International Celebrates 70 Years

MTI now serves a catalog of over 600 shows and over 100,000 organizations worldwide.

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Theatrical licensor Music Theatre International (MTI) announced the celebration of its 70th anniversary. Officially recognized on May 29th, the date former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg declared "Music Theatre International Day" in 2012, MTI is celebrating this milestone throughout the next year by showcasing the incredible talents of theatrical organizations around the world.

In 1952, legendary composer/lyricist Frank Loesser and celebrated orchestrator Don Walker transformed a fledgling business into what is now known throughout the world as MTI. For the past 70 years, MTI has been bringing theatre to the world by encouraging, nurturing, and sustaining the licensing, production, and performance of musical theatre.

From its humble beginnings representing the rights to approximately 40 shows in the US and in a handful of countries around the world, MTI quickly became a driving force in cultivating and licensing new works, offering solutions to common challenges through a host of innovative resources, and expanding the theatre audience for generations to come.

MTI began by representing a small but important roster of authors and shows including The Boy Friend (Sandy Wilson), The Fantasticks (Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt), Guys and Dolls (Frank Loesser, Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows), The Music Man (Meredith Willson), The Pajama Game (George Abbott, Richard Bissell, Richard Adler and Jerry Ross) and West Side Story (Arthur Laurents, Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim).

Still independently owned after 70 years, MTI is honored to represent over 600 shows and 300 award-winning composers, bookwriters, and lyricists including Lynn Ahrens, Howard Ashman, Sara Bareilles, Jerry Bock, Jason Robert Brown, Anthony Drewe, Stephen Flaherty, Green Day, Sheldon Harnick, James Lapine, Jonathan Larson, Alan Jay Lerner, Andrew Lippa, Frederick Loewe, Robert Lopez, Thomas Meehan, Alan Menken, Lin Manuel-Miranda, Benj Pasek, Justin Paul, Stephen Schwartz, Richard M. Sherman, Robert B. Sherman, George Stiles, Stephen Sondheim, Jeanine Tesori, Frank Wildhorn, David Yazbek and many more.

In addition to exclusively representing the musicals of Disney Theatricals for licensing, the MTI catalog features properties from all the major motion picture studios including DreamWorks, MGM, New Line, Sony Pictures, Universal and Warner Brothers.

MTI is particularly dedicated to educational theatre and supporting underserved communities and has created special collections to meet the needs of various types of performers and audiences. In 1996, MTI launched the Broadway Junior® collection of musicals which are 30- and 60-minute musicals for performance by elementary and middle school-aged students. In 2003, MTI's School Editions™ (shows annotated for performance by high school students) were brought to the market. All of these educational versions come with a host of helpful materials and resources designed to increase access to the arts.

MTI currently serves over 100,000 professional, community and school theatres in the US and in over 150 countries worldwide, with over 100 foreign language translations of the shows it represents.

"Over the 30 years I have been involved with MTI, it has always been the mission of Freddie Gershon and me that MTI would be equally the home for the talented up-and-coming authors as well as the established and even legendary," shared Cameron Mackintosh, Chairman of MTI. "Over the years of our stewardship, including the two decades since Drew Cohen joined MTI, many of our fledgling talents have now become leading lights of the entertainment industry. We hope our status as the largest independently owned secondary rights library in the world, serving many of the best writers in musical theatre through our highly experienced, dedicated, and passionate teams in our offices in New York, London, and Melbourne, ensure that Music Theatre is truly International in its reach. MTI is already looking forward to the next 70 years being busier than the last and we intend to stay on the front line of innovation and the natural home of all artists that want to retain ownership of their own destiny."

Freddie Gershon, Co-Chairman of MTI pointed out some of the ways in which MTI has brought traditionally underserved populations into the world of musical theater, "MTI has distinguished itself by providing bespoke materials to serve all groups and performers, from special needs children to seniors to other underserved communities around the country. Our adapted musicals provide joy and excitement to those immersing themselves in preparing and performing a musical, which in turn nurtures their love for the art form and insinuates musical theater into their entire community's culture. MTI is committed to broadening the fan and audience base throughout the United States and elsewhere around the world for all musical theater. This is the greatest single accomplishment of MTI and the one which I am most proud to see continue beyond MTI's first 70 years."

Drew Cohen, President and CEO of MTI added, "70 years is quite a milestone and one we could only have achieved thanks to the dedication of our incredibly talented team. The MTI staff are unmatched in their passion for serving our authors' work and the customers who license them. We are grateful for the trust placed in MTI and look forward to continuing to earn it every day."

More information about MTI's 70th anniversary, including a timeline of the company's history can be found here.

About Music Theatre International

Music Theatre International (MTI) is one of the world's leading theatrical licensing agencies, granting theatres from around the world the rights to perform the greatest selection of musicals from Broadway and beyond. Founded in 1952 by composer Frank Loesser and orchestrator Don Walker, MTI is a driving force in advancing musical theatre as a vibrant and engaging art form.

MTI works directly with the composers, lyricists and bookwriters of these musicals to provide official scripts, musical materials and dynamic theatrical resources to over 100,000 professional, community and school theatres in the US and in over 150 countries worldwide.

MTI maintains its global headquarters in New York City with additional offices in London (MTI Europe) and Melbourne (MTI Australasia).



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