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Henry Christensen III Retires as Chairman of TFANA's Board


Henry Christensen III Retires as Chairman of TFANA's Board

Theatre for a New Audience has announced the retirement of Henry Christensen III as Chairman of the Theatre's Board, a position he has held since 2012, due to health reasons. Theodore C. Rogers and Robert Buckholz will succeed Mr. Christensen as TFANA's Chairman and Vice Chairman, respectively. Mr. Christensen will continue as a member of the Board of Directors.

As the fourth Chairman of TFANA's Board, Henry Christensen III has led a period of remarkable artistic and fiscal growth at TFANA: The Theatre grew to serve 154,000 patrons during its first four years at Polonsky Shakespeare Center, nearly twice as many in the same number of years before TFANA moved to Brooklyn; TFANA's annual budget doubled from just over $3 million to nearly $7 million; and annual contributions for operations grew from $1.8 million to $3.2 million. TFANA completed a $69.1 million capital campaign and opened Polonsky Shakespeare Center (PSC), Theatre for a New Audience's first permanent home in the Brooklyn Cultural District.

PSC is the first theatre built for classic drama in New York City since the Vivian Beaumont Theater at Lincoln Center in 1965. Designed by Hugh Hardy, H3 Collaboration Architecture, it was built from the ground up by TFANA in partnership with The City of New York (Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Commissioner of Cultural Affairs Kate Levin, and Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz).

Under Mr. Christensen's leadership, PSC opened with A Midsummer Night's Dream, starring Kathryn Hunter as Puck, directed by Julie Taymor, with original music by Elliot Goldenthal (October 2013 - January 2014), on the Samuel H. Scripps Mainstage.

Other significaNT Productions on the Scripps under Mr. Christensen's tenure include King Lear, starring Michael Pennington, directed by Arin Arbus; Ionesco's The Killer, starring Michael Shannon, directed by Darkjo Tresnjak; Marlowe's Tamburlaine the Great, starring John Douglas Thompson, directed by Michael Boyd; Soho Rep's An Octoroon, by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, directed by Sarah Benson; The Valley of Astonishment, written and directed by Peter Brook and Marie-Hélène Estienne; Pericles, starring Christian Camargo, directed by Trevor Nunn; Thornton Wilder's The Skin of Our Teeth, directed by Arin Arbus; Yale Repertory Theatre's Happy Days, by Samuel Beckett, starring Dianne Wiest, directed by James Bundy; and Measure for Measure, directed by Simon Godwin.

In addition to Theatre for a New Audience, Henry Christensen is engaged in other non-profit organizations. He partnered with Tupper Thomas more than 25 years ago in founding the Prospect Park Alliance, a public-private partnership modeled on the Central Park Conservancy, and also serves on the Board of the Brooklyn Academy Of Music (BAM). He serves on many charitable boards in New York and London.

Henry Christensen III, a Trusts and Estates lawyer with more than 35 years of experience, joined McDermott, Will and Emery in 2007. He heads the Firm's Private Client Practice in New York, as well as the International Private Client Practice (which opened a London practice in 2009 and a Washington, DC practice in 2015). He is the author of the treatise International Estate Planning and was, until 2014, an adjunct professor at the NYU School of Law and the University of Miami Law School, where he taught international estate planning. He regularly lectures throughout the United States and internationally and is a member of the board of editors of Trust and Trustees, published by the Oxford University Press.

Theodore C. Rogers served as Chairman of Theatre for a New Audience from 1993-2012, leading the Theatre through a period of extraordinary institutional development, including completion of the first two phases of the Theatre's three-phase Capital Campaign. He also serves on the Boards of The New York City Ballet, The Film Forum, The New York Society Library and the Santa Fe Institute.

A founder and former Chairman of American Industrial Partners, MR. Rogers also served as President, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operating Officer of NL Petroleum. A graduate of Miami University in Ohio, MR. Rogers was awarded his M.B.A., summa cum laude, from Marquette University. He also served as an officer in the United States Navy. His civic and artistic contributions have been recognized by the Century Association Archives Foundation, the American Alliance of Arts and Business, the Municipal Arts Society of New York, and Miami University's Bishop Award.

MR. Rogers and his wife, Betsy, an award-winning author and founder of The Central Park Conservancy, live in New York City and Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Bob Buckholz is a partner in the international law firm Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, where he is co-head of the firm's Securities Practice Group, with a practice focused on capital markets transactions. He is a past Chair of the Subcommittee on Securities Law Opinions of the ABA's Federal Regulation of Securities Committee, and of the Securities Regulation Committee of The New York City Bar Association, and co-author (with two of his partners) of the Public Company Deskbook, published by the Practicing Law Institute. Mr. Buckholz is Vice Chairman and a long-term member of the Board of Trustees of The Brooklyn Historical Society, and a Trustee of the Brooklyn Chamber Music Society.

Founded in 1979 by Jeffrey Horowitz, Theatre for a New Audience (TFANA) is a modern classic theatre. It produces Shakespeare alongside other major authors such as Harley Granville Barker, Edward Bond, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Adrienne Kennedy, Richard Maxwell, Richard Nelson and Wallace Shawn. TFANA has played Off- and on Broadway and toured nationally and internationally.

In 2001, Theatre for a New Audience became the first American theatre invited to bring a production of Shakespeare to the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC), Stratford-upon-Avon. Cymbeline, directed by Bartlett Sher, premiered at the RSC; in 2007, TFANA was invited to return to the RSC with The Merchant of Venice, directed by Darko Tresnjak and starring F. Murray Abraham. In 2011, Mr. Abraham reprised his role as Shylock for a national tour.

After 34 years of being itinerant and playing mostly in Manhattan, Theatre for a New Audience moved to Brooklyn and opened its first permanent home, Polonsky Shakespeare Center, in October 2013. Built by The City of New York in partnership with Theatre for a New Audience, and located in the Brooklyn Cultural District, Polonsky Shakespeare Center was designed by Hugh Hardy and H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture with theatre consultants Akustiks, Milton Glaser, Jean-Guy Lecat, and Theatre Projects. Housed inside the building are the Samuel H. Scripps Mainstage (299 seats)-the first stage built for Shakespeare and classical drama in New York City since Lincoln Center's 1965 Vivian Beaumont-and the Theodore C. Rogers Studio (50 seats).

TFANA's productions have been honored with Tony, Obie, Drama Desk, Drama League, Callaway, Lortel and Audelco awards and nominations and reach an audience diverse in age, economics and cultural background.

Theatre for a New Audience created and runs the largest in-depth program in The New York City Public Schools to introduce students to Shakespeare, and has served nearly 129,000 students since the program began in 1984. TFANA's New Deal ticket program is one of the lowest reserved ticket prices for youth in the city: $20 for any show, any time for those 30 years old and under or for full-time students of any age.

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