Photo Flash: Snapple Theater Center's Anne L. Bernstein Theater Naming Dedication
On Thursday, December 13, the 199 seat proscenium theater on the fourth floor of the Snapple Theater Center was named in honor of Broadway, off-Broadway and film producer, Anne L. Bernstein. The Anne L. Bernstein Theater currently houses New York's longest running thriller Perfect Crime, upstairs from the Jerry Orbach Theater, home of The Fantasticks, the world's longest running musical, now in its 52nd year starring television and Broadway favorite John Davidson and pop sensation Aaron Carter. The Snapple Theater Center is located at 1627 Broadway at 50th St. in Times Square. Scroll below for photos from the dedication ceremony.
Speakers at the dedication included Catherine Russell, who originated the role of Margaret Brent in Perfect Crime and has played every performance but four since the play opened in April of 1987 - earning her a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records. Following Russell, Gerry Cornez, Director of Development and Communications of The Acting Company, Writer Frank Evans, Producing Director of Musical Mondays Theatre Lab, Pianist, classical singer and sister of Anne L. Bernstein, Elaine Bernstein and Jack Cummings, Artistic Director of the Transport Group, all spoke of Ms. Bernstein's dedication to the world of theatre. Ms. Bernstein spoke briefly at the end of the dedication ceremony.
Ms. Bernstein, who originally trained as a classical dancer, spent six seasons at Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School in Steamboat Springs, Colorado where she was promoted as a member of the staff. She became proficient in all theatrical crafts, both on and off-stage, working, running and designing lights, constructing and painting sets, stage managing, building, shopping and running props, writing the annual revue and directing.
Ms. Bernstein not only worked lights, but built, painted and constructed sets and when the show came down, she was part of the team that struck the set. She stage managed and directed, worked props, both running them during a show as well as shopping for or building them. She acted and of course, kept studying dance. At the end of her third season, she abandoned dreams of becoming a ballerina after being told that to be a professional dancer meant that she would have no life to herself, that her life would be dedicated to dance and that her career might be a short one.
But she knew that her future would be in the theater. Ms. Bernstein split herself in two theatrical directions. One as a Commercial Producer both on and off Broadway. The other direction was to make sure that worthy not-for-profits had her support. She serves on Boards of The Acting Company and the Transport Group, where she supported the composition of the score for Normal, a musical about eating disorders which has been performed nationwide for teen and tween audiences. She also serves on the Advisory Board of Musical Mondays Theatre Lab. Her generous support goes to The Lincoln Center Theater, Second Stage, Playwrights Horizons, The Roundabout Theatre, Manhattan Theatre Club, The Oregon Shakespeare Festival and The Public Theater.
She is the American Representative of The Peter Wolff Theatre Trust in London where she also lends support to The Donmar Warehouse and to The National Theatre, now finishing up a record run of War Horse at Lincoln Center.
As a commercial producer, some of the twenty shows she has helped bring to life include Amateur Night at the Big Heart (in association with The San Jose Stage Company) directed by David Ogden Stiers; Pirates of Penzance (South Street Seaport). She was also involved with producing Grace & Glorie starring Lucie Arnaz and Estelle Parsons; Marlene, with a superb interpretation of the cinema goddess by British actress, Sian Philips; Israel Horovitz's My Old Lady, again starring Sian Philips. Some of her other productions include: Oblivian Postponed; a revival of June Moon, the show business comedy by George S. Kaufman and Ring Lardner; Edward Albee's A Delicate Balance in London; The Party in Los Angeles; Kate Burton's New York portrayal of Ibsen's "Hedda Gabler"; Tea at Five, a one woman play about Katherine Hepburn, " starring Kate Mulgrew which started in New York and has toured not only with Ms. Mulgrew but also with Tovah Felshuh. Her other shows include Streakin'! a revue which took a look at the not so distant music of the 70's; Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, two plays by Douglas Carter Beane: And The Little Dog Laughed, and As Bees in Honey Drown. Many of her plays and musicals were co- produced with Mary Ellen Ashley under the banner of Ash-Bern productions. Ms. Bernstein's films include "A Tale of Two Pizzas," and "Broadway, The Golden Age." She continues to work with director Rick McKay on the highly anticipated sequels of this love letter to the Broadway, and in future volumes, West End theatre. Ms. Bernstein's connection to Sian Phillips enabled Rick McKay to interview so many of the great British theatrical performers in the upcoming volumes.
For more information, visit www.SnappleTheater.com.