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MEMBER OF THE YEAR AWARD :
DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARD :
COVID LEADERSHIP AWARD :
COVID SERVICE AWARD HONOREES :
Sue Frost, Colleen Jennings-Roggensack, Anthony LaTorella, Aaron Lustbader, David Stone, Seth Stuhl, and Gina Vernaci
The Broadway League congratulates the recipients of the 2023 Broadway League Leadership Awards that were presented today at the League’s Biennial Leadership Conference in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. These inaugural awards were given to distinguished League members from across the board who have gone above and beyond offering their time and expertise throughout the unprecedented era of Broadway’s 18-month shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as their role in helping with Broadway’s reopening.
This year’s League Leadership Award honorees include: Jeff Daniel (Member of the Year Award), Maggie Brohn (Distinguished Service Award), Thomas Schumacher (COVID Leadership Award), Sue Frost, Colleen Jennings-Roggensack, Anthony LaTorella, Aaron Lustbader, David Stone, Seth Stuhl, and Gina Vernaci (COVID Service Awards).
The Broadway League’s 18th Biennial Leadership Conference welcomed 220 League members from more than 40 markets around the U.S., Canada, and from six different countries to join together in Looking Forward: Collaborating in the Face of Change, as the conference’s theme suggests. This conference provides a space for the industry’s key leadership to share best practices, receive insights from top-level speakers, and craft a strategic plan for the trade association to pursue in the years that follow.
“Congratulations to our members receiving the inaugural League Leadership Awards which will be given out annually. These awards are a testament to the ingenuity and commitment demonstrated by our remarkable members on behalf of our community of theatre. And this first year, we are recognizing those who have worked diligently to help ensure the safe and responsible reopening of Broadway both in New York and across North America,” said Charlotte St. Martin, President of The Broadway League. “Broadway is big business – it contributes $14.7 billion to the New York economy and is responsible for the employment of nearly 97,000 New Yorkers, while Touring Broadway contributes $3.8 billion to local economies across the nation – and Broadway is an incredible community of dedicated individuals who come together to help make it possible to share this art form to worldwide audiences. We cannot thank our members enough for all their efforts in bringing back Broadway!”
2023 LEAGUE LEADERSHIP AWARD RECIPIENTS
MEMBER OF THE YEAR AWARD
JEFF DANIEL is the Co-CEO of the John Gore Organization’s Theatre Division, where he oversees Broadway Across America in partnership with Rich Jaffe, with a specific focus on operations, business development, government relations, labor relations, and the company’s five historic theatres. He has held executive positions in public and private companies focused on commercial entertainment, media, and technology in the United States and abroad. Jeff rejoined the company in 2009 after having spent eight years earlier in his career for the John Gore Organization’s predecessor, Clear Channel Entertainment, working in various positions including COO of Entertainment Properties. Prior to re-joining the company, he founded a media investment and advisory firm where, in partnership with Lucasfilm, Ltd., he produced the Star Wars 30th Anniversary Celebration in Tokyo, Japan. He was also a partner in the largest online home service provider in the United States and developed partnerships with the nation’s largest service providers such as Verizon, JP Morgan Chase, Exelon, Sprint, and Perrier. Jeff was proud to lead the John Gore Organization’s Hurricane Maria relief effort as the Executive Producer of Our Town, starring Scarlett Johansson, which contributed over $500,000 to Puerto Rican communities in need. Jeff is an active member of The Broadway League where he serves on its Labor Committee and Government Relations Committee.
DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARD
MAGGIE BROHN is the Chief Operating Officer of Adventureland LLC where she also serves as the Executive Producer of Hamilton in New York, Chicago, on Tour, and the West End. Other recent productions include Derren Brown: Secret and The Cher Show. Previously, she was a partner at Bespoke Theatricals where she general managed over 20 productions on Broadway and on Tour, such as Motown the Musical, Hugh Jackman: Back on Broadway, After Midnight, A Behanding In Spokane, and Venus in Fur. Maggie is on the Board of Governors and Executive Committee for The Broadway League, and she serves on the Labor Committee, which represents producers in collective bargaining negotiations. Maggie resides with her husband and two children in New York City.
COVID LEADERSHIP AWARD
THOMAS SCHUMACHER serves as President & Producer of Disney Theatrical Productions, overseeing the development, creation, and execution of Disney’s legitimate stage entertainment worldwide. The division’s Broadway, West End, Touring, and international production credits include Beauty and the Beast, King David, The Lion King, Der Glöckner von Notre Dame, Elton John and Tim Rice’sAida, Mary Poppins, On the Record, TARZAN®, High School Musical, The Little Mermaid, Peter and the Starcatcher, Newsies, Aladdin, Shakespeare in Love, and Frozen. The company has collaborated with the nation’s preeminent theatres to develop new stage titles including The Jungle Book, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Freaky Friday, and Hercules. As a part of the recent acquisition of 21st Century Fox, Schumacher also heads the Buena Vista Theatrical banner which licenses Fox titles for stage adaptations including Anastasia; Moulin Rouge! The Musical; Mrs. Doubtfire; and The Devil Wears Prada. Recently he served as Executive Producer for the 2019 remake of “The Lion King,” the live-action “Beauty and the Beast,” and the Disney Channel Original Movie “Freaky Friday.”
As President of Walt Disney Feature Animation, he oversaw some 21 animated features, including “The Lion King,” “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” “Pocahontas,” “Mulan,” “Tarzan,” “Hercules,” and “Lilo & Stitch,” and worked closely with Pixar on their first five films.
Mr. Schumacher is the author of “How Does the Show Go On? An Introduction to the Theater,” and is a member of numerous boards including currently serving as Immediate Past Chairman of The Broadway League. He is a former mentor for the TDF Open Doors program and serves as an adjunct professor at Columbia University.
COVID SERVICE AWARDS
SUE FROST is a founding member of Junkyard Dog Productions, which is dedicated to developing and producing new musicals. Shows include Come From Away (Best Musical 2019 Olivier Award, 2017 Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle Awards); 2010 Tony®, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle Award-winning Best Musical Memphis (Broadway, National Tour, and West End); First Date; Doctor Zhivago (Executive Producers). Prior to founding Junkyard, Sue was Associate Producer at Goodspeed Musicals for 20 years, where she produced more than 50 new musicals at both the Goodspeed Opera House and the Norma Terris Theatre. Before that she was a Broadway company manager. A graduate of Smith College, Sue is a member of the adjunct faculty at Columbia University School of the Arts, and currently serves on The Broadway League’s Board of Governors, the Executive, Tony Administration, Audience Engagement, Intra-Industry, EDI, and Business Development Committees.
COLLEEN JENNINGS-ROGGENSACK is ASU Vice President for Cultural Affairs and Executive Director of ASU Gammage including responsibility for ASU Kerr Cultural Center, Desert Financial Arena, and ASU 365 Community Union, which is an initiative to transform Sun Devil Stadium into a year-round hub of cultural activity. She serves as co-advisor to ASU President Michael Crow on the Advisory Council on African American Affairs and is Arizona’s only Tony Voter. Colleen serves on the Creative Capital Board as Vice-Chair and is a founding member. She serves on Black Theatre United Summit and the 7G Committee. Colleen was nominated by President Clinton and confirmed by the U.S. Senate to serve on the National Council on the Arts from 1994-1997. She also served three years as the President of the Association of Performing Arts Professionals. She is an arts and culture consultant to several universities, colleges, and international governments and a featured speaker at conferences. Colleen has been the recipient of numerous awards including 2021 Arizona’s 48 Most Intriguing Women, 2021 City of Tempe Arts & Culture Community Impactor, 2019 Valley Leadership Woman of the Year, 2019 ASU West Pioneer Award, National Society of Arts and Letters Medallion of Merit, Valle del Sol’s Mom of the Year, Arts Presenters’ Fan Taylor Award, Black Philanthropy Initiative Honor, The Broadway League's Outstanding Achievement in Presenter Management, and Arizona's Governor’s Arts Award.
ANTHONY LATORELLA has been with the Nederlander Producing Company of America, Inc. since 2014. Currently, as Vice President of Labor Relations, he leads Nederlander’s nine Broadway theatres in all operational matters concerning theatrical personnel and Labor Relations. Anthony is a proud member of The Broadway League’s Board of Governors and Executive Committee and has just completed three years as Co-Chair of the League’s Labor Committee, where he participated in negotiating multiple, simultaneous collective bargaining agreements and COVID return to work protocols. He also sits on several labor-related taskforces and sub-committees aimed at improving our industry operations, including Creative Connections in partnership with SDC, an employee-focused COVID Safety committee, and he is participating in the development of a potential industry-wide Unconscious Bias training module with Black Theatre United. Prior to finding a home at Nederlander, Anthony was on staff for more than six years at Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, where he was the Associate Producing Director, mounting the organization’s annual, signature theatrical fundraising events: Broadway Bares, The Easter Bonnet Competition, The Red Bucket Follies (originally Gypsy of the Year), and The Broadway Flea Market. Anthony also spent several years as an Associate Company Manager on the North American tour of Riverdance (with a travelling company of 105), and at Lincoln Center Theatre on shows such as Contact by Susan Stroman and John Weidman, Old Money by Wendy Wasserstein, and The Invention of Love by Tom Stoppard, to name a few. Pre-theatre, Anthony worked in News & Specials at MTV, and in Music Licensing at EMI Music Publishing Ltd.
AARON LUSTBADER is a Partner & General Manager in Foresight Theatrical. He has worked at Foresight (previously AWA) for over 20 years and currently oversees The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway, Moulin Rouge! The Musical (also Co-Producer) on Broadway and on Tour and will serve as Executive Producer & General Manager for the forthcoming Broadway production of Life of Pi and the North American tour of Girl From the North Country. Aaron managed the Tony-Award winning musical Kinky Boots (as well as nine international companies of the show) and has consulted on international productions in the U.K., Japan, Korea, Australia, and South Africa as well as for various arts organizations. He proudly serves on the Executive Committee for The Broadway League as well as many standing League committees each year.
DAVID STONE is currently represented on Broadway by Kimberly Akimbo andWicked. He has also produced Topdog/Underdog, The Boys in the Band, War Paint, If/Then, Next to Normal, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Three Days of Rain, Man of La Mancha, The Vagina Monologues, Fully Committed, Lifegame, The Diary of Anne Frank, Full Gallop, The Santaland Diaries, and Family Secrets. David serves on the boards of The Broadway League and Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. He also serves on the advisory boards of V-Day and Second Stage Theatre. David has lectured on theatre at Yale, Princeton, Columbia, and his alma mater, the University of Pennsylvania.
SETH STUHL is Vice President, Business Affairs & Legal Counsel, at Disney Theatrical Productions (DTG), the live stage play division of The Walt Disney Company. In that role Seth is involved in most facets of DTG’s business, which around the world currently includes nine companies of The Lion King, five companies each of Aladdin and Frozen, a reimagined United Kingdom touring production of Beauty and the Beast and international productions of Aida, Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Little Mermaid, and Mary Poppins.
Seth began his legal career in 1997 as a litigation & restructuring associate at the New York City office of Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, where his pro bono work included LGBTQ+ civil rights matters and death penalty defense casework. In 2004, Seth left Cleary Gottlieb to join the business and legal affairs department at Disney Theatrical Group, the business unit of the Walt Disney Company responsible for the company’s Broadway, domestic, and international live stage play business.
As Vice-President, Business Affairs & Legal Counsel, Seth’s work is extremely varied, and includes structuring and negotiating deals, and drafting resulting contracts, for talent such as composers, lyricists, book writers, directors, choreographers, and designers; working with international producer licensees on contractual arrangements and all legal aspects of such productions; working with outside and Disney counsel on immigration, intellectual property, litigation, and assorted other business and legal matters; and partnering with finance, tax, and accounting teams on financial aspects of business.
Government affairs regarding both New York and the stage play industry is also part of Seth’s scope of work, and he serves as Vice Chair of the Government Relations Committee of The Broadway League, the trade union for the Broadway industry. In that capacity, he was very active in the industry’s lobbying for federal and state relief for the performing arts, including the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program and the New York City Musical and Theatrical Production Tax Credit.
Seth is a 1997 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He is Northeast Chair of Disney Legal’s Pro Bono program, a Full Member of The Broadway League (in which capacity he is a Tony Award voter) and on the Board of Directors of the Ali Forney Center, the nation’s largest organization serving LGBTQ+ homeless youth. A native of Queens, Seth lives with his husband in Downtown Brooklyn.
GINA VERNACI recently completed her tenure as President and Chief Executive Officer of Playhouse Square, where she was responsible for all operations of the not-for-profit performing arts center, including more than 1,000 annual performances with gross sales of $48 million, and supervising a full- and part-time staff of 300 as well as the much loved “RedCoats” volunteer corps of 1,500. She has led initiatives that have helped to position Playhouse Square as the region’s premier cultural, tourist, and entertainment destination and the country’s largest performing arts center, second only to New York City’s Lincoln Center. Gina secured and built a Broadway series for E.J. Thomas Hall at the University of Akron and continues to champion programming collaborations with libraries, colleges, resident companies, and area non-profit theatres. In recognition of her contributions to the community, Baldwin Wallace University presented her with an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters in May 2021. Nationally, Gina is a Tony voter and has a long history of service on The Broadway League’s Board of Governors.