Preston Whiteway (Photo: Isaak Berliner/Eugene O’Neill Theater Center)
The Eugene O’Neill Theater Center has announced that, after 16 years with the organization, CEO/Producer Preston Whiteway will depart in August 2020. Whiteway oversees six artistic directors and a dozen nationally-acclaimed programs. The O’Neill has been recognized with a second Tony Award and the National Medal of Arts under his leadership. He recently joined Tribeca Productions (The Irishman, When They See Us) as a Creative Development Consultant, and will continue in that role after departing the O’Neill.
Preston Whiteway will be the 20th recipient of the prestigious Monte Cristo Award. A gala evening in celebration of his achievements will be held at New York City’s Edison Ballroom on Sunday, April 19, 2020.
“The impact that Preston Whiteway has had on the O’Neill over the last 16 years is immeasurable. He leaves behind a strong organization, both artistically and financially. The American theater is stronger as a result of his dedication, creativity, and fortitude,” said Chairman of the Board of Trustees Tom Viertel. “We are proud to have launched his career, and it is with sincere admiration for his many achievements that we celebrate him with the 20th annual Monte Cristo Award this spring.”
“I have only known one job in my life — the O’Neill — and it is with incredibly mixed emotions that I announce my departure,” shared Whiteway. “The O’Neill truly launched me and my career, as it has launched and supported so many artists, and a piece of my heart will always be in Waterford. As one of the most special places in the American theater, I am so lucky to serve here with the staff, artists, students, and trustees: the people at the O’Neill make it special, and I thank each of them. ”
The O’Neill annually bestows its Monte Cristo Award on a prominent artist whose work has had an extraordinary impact on American theater, in memory of its namesake. The gala event supports the Center’s commitment to developing new work and new artists for the stage.
Among the hundreds of plays and musicals developed and premiered at the O’Neill are such notable works as Brian Crawley and Jeanine Tesori’s Violet; Avenue Q by Robert Lopez, Jeff Marx, and Jeff Whitty; In the Heights by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Quiara Alegría Hudes; [title of show] by Jeff Bowen and Hunter Bell; and, most recently, Slave Play by Jeremy O. Harris.