Purchase College to Honor Technical Theatre Legend Bill Gorlin

The event is  on Monday, April 29, 2024 at 7 p.m.

By: Feb. 29, 2024
Enter Your Email to Unlock This Article

Plus, get the best of BroadwayWorld delivered to your inbox, and unlimited access to our editorial content across the globe.

Existing user? Just click login.

Purchase College, State University of New York’s Broadway Technical Theatre History Project, will present the Tenth Broadway technical “Backstage Legends and Masters Award” to Bill Gorlin on Monday, April 29, 2024 at 7 p.m. at The Performing Arts Center on campus, located at 735 Anderson Hill Road in Purchase, NY. This free event is open to everyone and will be streamed live via Zoom Webinar (www.purchase.edu/btthp). It will also be recorded for future viewing. 

Gorlin started his Broadway career in the late 1980’s while working as a structural engineer at Thune Associates Consulting Engineers in New Canaan, CT.  When a commercial scene shop called Showtech called looking for help on a project they were working on, he was given the assignment due to his interest in unusual projects. 

This chance encounter would turn into a robust career that includes well over 200 Broadway productions and structural work on Broadway theatres themselves.  Gorlin joins previous Backstage Legends and Masters honorees Artie Siccardi (2012), Arnold Abramson (2013), Fred Gallo (2014), Gene O’Donovan (2015), Pete Feller, Sr. (2016), Joseph B. Forbes (2017), Alyce Gilbert (2018), David Rosenberg (2019), and William M. (Bill) Mensching (2023).

The list of Broadway productions Gorlin worked on includes Chicago, Will Rogers Follies, The Color Purple, Miss Saigon, King Kong, Merrily We Roll Along, A Bronx Tale, Tina the Musical, The Little Mermaid, A Strange Loop, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, The Lion King, and many more.  In addition to productions, Bill has consulted on architectural work in all 41 Broadway theatres.

“Bill is likely one the only people who has worked on every Broadway theatre,” said Dan Hanessian, associate professor at Purchase, who launched the Broadway Technical Theatre History Project in 2011. “If you consider just the work Bill has done in every Broadway theatre, not the productions, but the architectural part, that alone makes him unique.  When you combine that with all of the productions he has worked on, the standards for the industry he has helped shape, and countless other ways he has impacted Broadway practices, it’s hard to imagine anyone with a comparable portfolio of work,” Hanessian concluded.  

Currently the interim director of the Conservatory of Theatre Arts at Purchase College, Hanessian has been training up-and-coming technical directors and production managers in the Design/Technology Program of the Conservatory for over 30 years.