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The annual Broadway League Awards, honoring excellence and achievement for Touring Broadway, were announced today during the Broadway League’s 2017 Spring Road Conference. First presented in 1992, the Broadway League Awards recognize the contributions of those who have displayed exemplary service to the Broadway industry and are considered innovators of their craft.
DISTINGUISHED LIFETIME SERVICE AWARD
DAVID STONE is currently represented by Wicked and War Paint. He has also produced 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 NYU, Yale, Columbia and his alma mater, the University of Pennsylvania.
“David Stone’s influence on Touring Broadway has been undeniable and far-reaching. With iconic shows like Wicked, If/Then and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, among many others, he has produced live theatre that has drawn in audiences and catapulted season subscriptions in regional markets to new levels,” says Charlotte St. Martin, President of the Broadway League. “We are thrilled to present the Distinguished Lifetime Achievement award to someone like David who continues to draw fans to seats with new productions, like War Paint, currently on Broadway, and to inspire theatre-goers across the country and world.”
“Broadway is a vital national industry. League members worked tirelessly this season to bring Broadway shows to over 200 cities across the U.S. and Canada. Touring Broadway contributes $3.2 billion to local economies across the U.S. Coupled with the $12.6 billion dollar economic impact for New York City, it is clear that Broadway and Touring Broadway Series create real value to our country’s economy,” said Charlotte St. Martin, President of the Broadway League. “We couldn’t do it without the enormous support that our awardees, the donors and volunteers – both corporate and private - give to promote and enrich the Broadway Series in their hometowns.”
OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN PRESENTER MANAGEMENT
Samuel J. L’Hommedieu Award
JOAN SQUIRES is President of Omaha Performing Arts (OPA), Nebraska’s largest non-profit arts organization. OPA presents touring Broadway productions at the Orpheum Theater in partnership with Broadway Across America. In addition to the Orpheum, she also manages the Holland Performing Arts Center as well as a diverse presenting series and education and community engagement activities. Joan has worked in arts management for over thirty years, and currently serves on the League’s Intra-Industry Committee, Audience Engagement Committee, National High School Musical Theatre Awards Committee, and Legislative Council and has twice served as a member of the Spring Road Conference Committee. Omaha Performing Arts is a previous recipient of the League’s National Education Grants and board chairman John Gottschalk and director David Slosburg have both been recognized as a “Star of Touring Broadway.” Joan has received several local and state awards for her arts leadership, including the Governor’s Arts Award in Nebraska, has served on numerous National Endowment for the Arts grants panels and has spoken at various national conferences.
OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN ROAD MARKETING
KRISSI DIERS is Executive Director of Marketing for The Marketing Division at Broadway Across America based in the New York office, oversees six Midwest teams in addition to leading company-wide national marketing initiatives. Working with Appleton, Kansas City, Madison, Milwaukee, Minneapolis and Omaha, she advises on everything from season subscription strategy to single ticket marketing campaigns and from engagement settlements to office football pools. Krissi is currently The Broadway League’s Road Marketing Committee Co-Chair also participates on the Business Development Committee.
OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN EDUCATION AND ENGAGEMENT
LESLIE JOHNSON has served as Center Theatre Group’s Director of Education and Community Partnerships since 2008. Under Leslie’s leadership, CTG has grown its programming for students and young adults, including student-led and family events in conjunction with Broadway-touring and other productions, and expanded access to career opportunities through youth development and internships programs like the Broadway League’s ATPAM program. In 2017 Johnson was promoted to Director of Social Strategy, Innovation and Impact for Center Theatre Group. Before joining the theatre, Johnson served as the Director of School Programs for the Music Center, the Performing Arts Center of Los Angeles County and the Associate Director of the Los Angeles Arts and Business Council. Ms. Johnson has served as Chair of the Board of Directors for the California Alliance for Arts Education – the local affiliate of the John F. Kennedy Performing Arts Center’s National Alliance for Arts Education, and served on that body’s National Leadership Committee, chairing the National Advocacy Committee. Recipient of the Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Festival 2017 Rainbow Award, Johnson takes pride in being an active member of the professional theatre education community, including recent service with the Theatre Communications Group, the League of Resident Theatres, Theatre Forward, and as a member of the Broadway League’s 2016 Education and Engagement Forum Planning Committee.
GEORGE MACPHERSON ROAD AWARD
RINA L. SALTZMAN has been a Company Manager on the Road and on Broadway since 1986. After 6 seasons with American Ballet Theatre, she has managed tours of Cats, Sunset Boulevard, Ragtime, Fosse, Mamma Mia! and Billy Elliot, visiting over 150 cities around the USA and Canada. In 2015, she had the honor of managing An American In Paris, the first Broadway show to do a pre-Broadway tryout in Paris, France. Rina also served as Marketing Manager at the Orange County Performing Arts Center (Segerstrom Hall) from 1992 to 1994. Currently on tour with Beautiful, The Carole King Musical, Rina is a member of the Association of Theatrical Press Agents and Managers (ATPAM) and sits on its Board of Governors.
STAR OF TOURING BROADWAY AWARDS
The Star of Touring Broadway Awards were created to honor board members, government officials, donors and volunteers who have given support to promote and enrich the Broadway Series in their hometowns.
FRIENDS OF THE ORPHEUM (VOLUNTEER USHER ORGANIZATION) is made up of hundreds of volunteers that serve as ushers, ticket takers, greeters, and tour guides that support the nonprofit Orpheum Theatre Group in Memphis, Tennessee. The group celebrates 40 years of service this year, during which time they have logged as many as 12,000 hours annually assisting patrons. For over 25 years, FOTO members have prepared a home cooked meal for every Broadway show that has come through the Orpheum, feeding upwards of 18,000 total cast and crew members in that time. The group helps shape memories for the over 250,000 people that pass through the Orpheum and perform on its stages year after year.
KIMBERLE WARD serves as Superintendent of the Gates Chili Schools in Rochester, New York. Kimberle and the Gates Chili School District are reinvesting in arts education through a new partnership with the Rochester Broadway Theatre League, and a new program called A.R.T.S. Partners (Arts Reaching and Teaching in Schools). This year, to ensure that every child in her district had the opportunity to experience the arts, specifically Touring Broadway, Kimberle created the position of Arts Integration Teacher on Special Assignment, which was filled by RBTL’s Associate Director of Education, Holly Valentine. Kimberle committed significant financial resources towards the program to support her students and their families. The majority of students in the district will receive classroom instruction through RBTL, and throughout the year, the district will purchase close to 4,000 tickets to the RBTL Touring Broadway season.
RUSS WELSH, Chairman and CEO of Polsinelli, has been a major supporter of Kansas City’s Starlight Theatre for several years and served an unprecedented two terms as Starlight’s Chairman of the Board of Directors form 2011-2014. Russ’ firm has contributed significant amounts to Starlight Theatre for both gala sponsorship and a new sound system. Russ has also made several generous personal donations to Starlight Theatre and has continued to be a faithful Starlight supporter by attending Board meetings, making key asks to Gala prospects and holding season tickets with his family. In addition, Russ and his wife Debbie served as the chairs of Starlight’s 2014 Gala, raising $600,000 in sponsorship funding. Beyond Starlight, Russ continues to support the arts, and engages in philanthropic fundraising for other institutions throughout the Kansas City metro, such as the University of Kansas Medical Center, United Way, City Union Mission, and has served as Chairman for the Kansas City Chamber of Commerce.