The Annenberg Center Mourns The Loss Of Broadway Legend Harold Prince
The Annenberg Center mourns the passing of legendary Broadway director/producer Harold Prince, a revered member of its creative community since its founding in 1971. A University of Pennsylvania alumnus, Prince's generosity helped fund the construction of the Annenberg Center, and he animated its theatres, one of which bears his name. Prince was a member of the Annenberg Center's Board of Overseers from 1982 until 2018, when he was honored with emeritus status. In January 2019, he became Honorary Chair of the newly launched Director's Advisory Council.
"The Annenberg Center benefitted greatly from Hal Prince's generosity, on so many levels," said Executive and Artistic Director Christopher Gruits. "His early artistic involvement resulted in many notable theatrical productions taking place on our stages. From the outset, he brought pre-Broadway show runs to the Annenberg Center, including The Visit, Love for Love, Holiday, and The Great God Brown. Hal was a huge resource for us in the theatre world and took genuine pleasure in connecting the Annenberg Center to ground-breaking artists, directors, and companies."
As a student at Penn, Prince was involved with The Pennsylvania Players, Penn's student-run, professionally directed theatre group. Later, he gave back to the students of his alma mater by sending his protégé, Daniel Kutner, to direct a production of LoveMusik put on by the Penn Players. In conjunction with the opening of the show in 2015, Prince was honored with Penn's Creative Spirit Award. At the ceremony in his honor, President Amy Gutmann said, "...no one has done more to shape, recharge, and reinvent the American musical theater... Hal Prince is indisputably the theater's king, and for more than six decades we have all been his delighted subjects." When he accepted the award Prince remarked to the crowd, "It is great to be back at Penn. I love being here [and] love that you've been so generous in giving me this award. And that you are here is pretty swell."
"We will all miss Hal greatly," Gruits continues. "His incredible legacy will live on through the countless lives he touched at Penn, the productions he brought to Philadelphia, and through the Harold Prince Theatre at the Annenberg Center."