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The Commercial Theater Institute's 2019 Robert Whitehead Award To Be Presented To Tom Kirdahy

New York, NY – March 13, 2019 – Multiple Tony Award®-nominated Broadway producer Tom Kirdahy will be presented The Commercial Theater Institute’s Robert Whitehead Award for “Outstanding Achievement In Commercial Theater Producing” at a reception at Sardi’s on Wednesday, May 22, 2019.

The award is inspired by the five-decade-long career of Tony Award-winning Broadway producer Robert Whitehead, who died in 2002. The Commercial Theater Institute (CTI) is the nation’s only formal program that professionally trains commercial theatre producers. The award honors a graduate of CTI for Outstanding Achievement in Commercial Theater Producing.

“Tom Kirdahy is just what a producer should be.  Passionate, smart, considerate and persistent.  His professionalism and kindness put him squarely in the footsteps of the legendary Robert Whitehead,” said Tom Viertel, Executive Director of CTI. “Tom’s explosive output in the last few years speaks to his vision and energy and make him a particularly worthy recipient of the Robert Whitehead Award.”

“Tom Kirdahy, like TDF’s founders, has a great interest in the production of new plays. He has a proven track record of first-rate productions of new plays and revivals,” said Victoria Bailey, TDF’s Executive Director.  “Like Bob Whitehead, he is a gentleman with great taste, intelligence and empathy, not to mention that he possesses a keen business sense.”

“Tom Kirdahy is a dedicated and passionate producer who brings works to the stage that can move, entertain and connect with audiences. His ability to push the boundaries of live theatre in all its forms and produce plays and musicals that really have an impact on people makes him so deserving of the Robert Whitehead Award,” said Charlotte St. Martin, President of the Broadway League. “Beyond the stage, too, he is also a vital member of the theatre community and brings his insight and tireless commitment to ensuring the future success of the industry.”

Tom Kirdahy is currently producing Anastasia and the upcoming productions of Hadestown and Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune on Broadway. In 2018 he produced The Jungle and The Inheritance in the West End. In 2017, Kirdahy produced Edward Albee’s The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia? in the West End. He was the lead producer of the 2015 Broadway hit It’s Only a Play starring Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick and the Tony Award nominated Kander and Ebb musical The Visit starring Chita Rivera. Off-Broadway he produced the NY Times Critic’s Pick White Rabbit Red Rabbit. Additional Tony nominations: Mothers and Sons, After Midnight, Ragtime and Master Class. He is a founding director of Berwin Lee London New York Playwrights, Inc.

As an attorney, Kirdahy spent nearly two decades providing free legal services to people living with HIV/AIDS and served for many years on the Executive Committee of the NYC LGBT Center. He currently serves as the Chairperson of the Broadway League Government Relations Committee. Upcoming Projects: The White Chip and Hood.

A joint project of The Broadway League and Theatre Development Fund, CTI was founded in 1981 by the late Frederic B. Vogel. The current executive director, Tom Viertel, took on leadership of the program in 2013.

The Commercial Theater Institute presented the first Robert Whitehead Award in 1993 to Benjamin Mordecai (seven August Wilson plays on Broadway) and Susan Quint Gallin (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Monty Python's Spamalot).

Subsequent honorees include:

1994 - Dennis Grimaldi (The Heidi Chronicles, On the Town)

1995 - Kevin McCollum (The Play That Goes Wrong, Avenue Q)

1996 - Randall L. Wreghitt (The Miracle Worker, Grey Gardens)

1997 - Marc Routh (Hairspray, The Producers)

1998 - Liz Oliver (Wait Until Dark, Last Night of Ballyhoo)

1999 - Eric Krebs (The Dinner Party, Electra)

2000 - Anne Strickland Squadron (Bill Maher: Victory Begins at Home, The Herbal Bed)

2004 - David Binder (Burn This, Network)

2008 - Nick Scandalios (Executive. VP, Nederlander Organization: Wicked, Moulin Rouge)

2009 - Dori Berinstein (The Prom, Legally Blonde: The Musical)

2010 - Stuart Thompson (King Charles III, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time)

2011 - Jill Furman (Hamilton, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella)

2012 - Jon B. Platt (Angels in America, Sweat)

2013 - Jeffrey Finn (An Act of God, Elephant Man)

2015 - Robert Cole (Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, Angels in America, Once)

2016 - Stacey Mindich (Dear Evan Hansen, Hedwig and the Angry Inch)

2017 - Mike Isaacson (The Prom, Fun Home)