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The Broadway League Announces Its 2022 League Awards Honoring Excellence and Achievement for Touring Broadway

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Alan N. Lichtenstein

Maria S. Van Laanen, Jeff Hovorka, Desiree Ong, Peggy Hughes,
and Jill Keyishian

Dr. Joseph G. Allen, Laurie & Chuck Goldstein, and Jackson National
Life Insurance Company

New York, NY – May 11, 2022 – The Broadway League congratulates the honorees of the League Awards, which were announced today during the League’s 2022 Spring Road Conference, celebrating industry professionals whose outstanding achievements contribute to the success of Broadway on the Road. Since 1992, the League Awards recognize those who have displayed exemplary service to the Touring Broadway industry and are considered innovators of their craft.

The Broadway League’s Spring Road Conference returned to New York City, following a two-year hiatus due to the COVID pandemic, bringing together more than 650 members and their staff who represent presenters, producers, general managers, marketing and press directors, education coordinators, and box office and group sales staff from more than 150 markets around the U.S. and Canada. The conference sets the stage for the community to gather and discuss the state of Broadway on the Road, celebrate recent accomplishments, and look towards the future.

“We are thrilled to welcome back our tremendously dedicated League members who have put forward great effort and care in reopening Broadway on the Road at this year’s Spring Road Conference,” saidCharlotte St. Martin, President of the Broadway League. “Since tours resumed last summer, Touring Broadway has presented 34 shows in more than 160 cities and welcomed more than nine million theatregoers to local venues. Celebrating The League Awards provides an incredible opportunity to come together and honor those who work so diligently on behalf of Touring Broadway.”



After attending Yale School of Drama, Alan’s theatrical career began in New York as a manager for the Murray Louis/Alwain Nikolais and Erick Hawkins dance companies before leading him to Detroit to assume the role of Artistic Director for Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts and Masonic Temple Theatre. In 1982, he was named Executive Director for both the Fisher Theatre and Masonic Temple Theatre, and subsequently in 1995 the Detroit Opera House, for the Nederlander Organization. In 2021, Alan continued to lead the Broadway In Detroit team not only through reopening but also transitioning from the Nederlander organization to Ambassador Theatre Group.

Alan has been a producer for the Broadway production of Wait Until Dar with Marisa Tomei and Quentin Tarantino, the touring production of Dial “M” for Murder starring Roddy McDowell, and a pre-Broadway try-out of Shot Thru The Heart. Under his leadership, Broadway In Detroit presented the U.S. national and world premiere tours of Movin’ Out, The Wiz, Big, EVITA, and Love Never Dies among others. He worked with the Nederlanders and Wayne State University to create the annual “Apple Award” named for Sarah Applebaum Nederlander which is presented annually to a nationally recognized theatre professional at a black-tie gala benefit event. Recipients receive $10,000 and a crystal apple signifying their clear vision and care for the performing arts. Past recipients have included Elaine Stritch, Neil Simon, Carol Channing, Stephen Schwartz, Mandy Patinkin, Patti LuPone, Marvin Hamlisch, Phylicia Rashad, Jeffrey Seller, William Ivey Long, and others.

In November, Alan received the 2021 Wayne State University Arts Advocacy Award for his decades of presenting Broadway shows in Detroit and his service to the Detroit arts community. He retires this year as a tremendously respected and beloved member of the Broadway Community after more than 51 years leading his team and the industry.

Samuel J. L’Hommedieu Award

MARIA S. VAN LAANEN draws on her passion for building compassionate and engaged communities through the arts in her role as President & CEO of the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center. The Fox Cities Performing Arts Center serves as a multicultural gathering place for the community and presents a variety of live performances from Touring Broadway, arts, culture, and education programs as well as popular musicians and comedians. In addition to being a Tony-voting member of The Broadway League, Maria’s work allows her to bring a variety of groups together in the Fox Valley region, the State of Wisconsin, and throughout the country to build programs based in live performing arts to explore the intersections of art and education, civic engagement, and community building.


JEFF HOVORKA is the Director of Sales and Marketing for the Denver Center for the Performing Arts’ Broadway and Cabaret Divisions. During his 28 years with the organization, Jeff has helped grow the profile and strength of Broadway in Denver by driving the local marketing and advertising campaigns for multiple successful tour engagements, leading to record sales and subscription numbers. Notable highlights include the tour launches ofDear Evan Hansen, If/Then starring Idina Menzel,The Book of Mormon, Pippin,Peter and the Starcatcher, August Osage County,A Chorus Line, as well as the pre-Broadway engagements of Disney’s The Little Mermaid and Frozen. Jeff has also served as General Manager for The Garner Galleria Theatre, producing and managing all press and marketing for Denver’s longest-running musicals includingAlways…Patsy Cline and I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change.


DESIREE ONG is a passionate educator dedicated to connecting communities and instilling a life-long love of the arts. She spent 15 years teaching middle school English before transitioning to arts administration. Currently, she oversees the education programs at ASU Gammage theatre in Tempe, AZ. She co-leads The Broadway League BIPOC Affinity Group for education and engagement staff. She has presented on panels for Kennedy Center Partners in Education and Arizona Presenters Alliance. As a graduate of Stanford and Columbia, Desiree lived on both coasts before returning to her hometown of Phoenix, where she lives with her family. @desireelovesbway


PEGGY HUGHES is the Senior Group Sales Manager for Broadway in Cincinnati and Broadway in Louisville and has been with Broadway Across America since 1998. Peggy was born and raised in Cincinnati. Previously she worked in the group sales and catering business for BB Riverboats in Newport, Kentucky for seven years. Peggy graduated in 1991 with a degree in Criminal Justice from Wilmington College of Ohio. She is a life-long Broadway fan. The first show that she attended was Annie at the Taft Theatre when she was eight years old and was bitten by the theatre bug then. She has fond memories listening to Broadway albums and watching movie musicals with her parents. Peggy lives in Bellevue, KY with her handsome beagle-basset mix, Bobby. Peggy loves traveling to Florida and Las Vegas and spending time with her large extended family.


JILL KEYISHIAN is the Vice President of Programming for the John Gore Organization which owns and operates Broadway Across America (BAA), a leading producer and presenter of first-class touring theatre in North America. Jill oversees all Broadway programming in more than 40 cities across North America, working closely with booking agents, local partners, and marketing teams to develop and implement tactical and strategic long-term planning of the Broadway series across North America. She is proud to have been with the company for over 20 years, first as a programming assistant at PACE. She then began her steady assent up the ranks of the programming department while under the ownership of SFX, Clear Channel Entertainment, and Live Nation before being named Vice President of Programming in 2010. Jill began her career as a stage manager and worked on numerous live industrial and business entertainment productions as well as Off-Broadway shows. She is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association and The Broadway League.


The Star of Touring Broadway Awards honor board members, government officials, donors, and volunteers who have provided support to promote and enrich the Broadway Series in their hometowns.

DR. JOSEPH G. ALLEN is Director of the Healthy Buildings program and an Associate Professor at Harvard’s T. H. Chan School of Public Health. Dr. Allen is also a Commissioner of The Lancet COVID-19 Commission, Chair of The Lancet COVID-19 Commission Task Force on Safe Work, Safe Schools, and Safe Travel and the Deputy Director, Harvard Education and Research Center for Occupational Safety & Health. Dr. Allen provided invaluable COVID-19 venue and public health guidance to Broadway Across America (BAA), BAA’s performing arts center partners in cities across the U.S., entire companies of traveling Broadway shows, and The Broadway League. Dr. Allen’s calm demeanor and scientific advice informed and educated our industry’s leaders as they responded to an ever-changing pandemic landscape. His advice was impactful and informed how our industry managed their employees, upgraded their theatres HVAC, developed patron policies, interpreted CDC guidance, and eventually planned for reopening.

LAURIE & CHUCK GOLDSTEIN have been model leaders of philanthropy to the arts at ASU Gammage and in the Valley of the Sun for 15 years. Through their civic work, generosity, and leadership, they have spearheaded fundraising efforts which will enable ASU Gammage to present the best of Broadway for generations to come. When the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the theatre world, Laurie and Chuck led a Return to the Stage Campaign Advisory Board. Their contributions helped make way for raising new gifts to help ASU Gamage keep its commitments to artists and keep 100% of the staff employed. They are avid theatregoers and are devoted to growing their state’s arts and culture movement.

JACKSON NATIONAL LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY is a leader in corporate philanthropy, including annual support for Wharton Center’s Broadway season. Jackson National has provided close to $800,000 in corporate support since their initial involvement with Wharton Center in 1998. They continue to support Wharton Center in multiple ways, including being one of their largest corporate sponsors with a commitment averaging $40,000 on an annual basis. Throughout the pandemic, Jackson National encouraged Wharton Center to be creative with their virtual programming and shifted their traditional show sponsorships to support virtual concerts, virtual education masterclasses, and other non-traditional programming. When Wharton Center launched a facility campaign in 2007, Jackson National stepped forward with a gift of $500,000 to support an important renovation to the front and back of house. They recognize the critical role Wharton Center plays in hosting the community and providing a high-quality experience for artists. Jackson National’s support for Broadway does not stop with outright gifts. Jackson National maximizes their financial support by welcoming Wharton Center to make presentations to their staff about young professional ticket packages, how to become a Broadway subscriber, and showcasing their K-12 arts education programs. It is their goal to expose their employees to community assets and have them involved in the neighborhoods where they work and live.