The actors, if they’re lucky, get all the glory. Who wouldn’t want to share the stage with Alan Cumming and Kristin Chenoweth at this year’s ceremony? But it takes a lot of dedicated theater lovers to support an industry that stretches far beyond the Great white Way. The annual Broadway League Awards, honoring excellence and achievement for Touring Broadway, were announced this week during the Broadway League’s 2015 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
JOHN KANDER, the multiple Tony Awardâ-winning and often nominated composer, writer, lyricist, arranger, and musical director was bestowed with the Broadway League’s Distinguished Lifetime Service Award. Mr. Kander is the composer half of the legendary songwriting team Kander and Ebb, with the late lyricist Fred Ebb.
For nearly five decades, Kander and Ebb have been one of Broadway’s preeminent songwriting teams, and the shows of Kander and Ebb have toured around the world, bringing happiness to so many with their breathtaking scores, brilliant lyrics and challenging subjects. In addition to The Visit, now playing at the Lyceum and nominated for five 2015 Tony Awards, Chicago is currently playing on Broadway and on tour, and Cabaret is about to go on tour again.
“John Kander is a celebrated composer who has created award-winning work for theater, film, and television,” said Charlotte St. Martin, Executive Director of the Broadway League. “Currently a 2015 Tony Award nominee for The Visit, Mr. Kander has given the world some of the great creations of the American musical stage, many of which have toured the country and the world.”
“Broadway is a vital national industry in so many ways. 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 nearly $12 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, Executive Director 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
MIKE BRAND, Executive Director of Wharton Center for Performing Arts in East Lansing, Michigan, supervises a dedicated staff and oversees planning a diverse season of entertainment in four venues: the Cobb Great Hall, Pasant Theatre, MSU Concert Auditorium and Fairchild Theatre. The Samuel J. L’Hommedieu Award was given to Michael Brand for demonstrating excellence in management and leadership.
OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN ROAD MARKETING
PAULETTE HOPKINS, the Director of Marketing at Dallas Summer Musicals, received the Outstanding Achievement in Road Marketing. Under her leadership, Dallas Summer Musicals, which has been entertaining North Texas audiences with live, musical theater entertainment since 1941, continues its long history of successful marketing initiatives. Hopkins is an energetic leader who strategizes unique concepts for each show and works to attract new audiences. Hopkins welcomes and embraces joint marketing efforts and is open to new ideas. Her collaborative spirit has proven beneficial to many organizations, and a new era of collaboration now exists in Dallas-Fort Worth.
OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN EDUCATION AND ENGAGEMENT
DANA BRAZIL, Director of Education of the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts in Orlando, Florida, is the recipient of the award for Outstanding Achievement in Education and Engagement. She has been instrumental in the successful launch of The Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts with her far-reaching education and engagement programs. Not only is she pioneering related programming at a new venue, but she is also teaching others and has continued to be a leading force in League engagement activities and initiatives.
GEORGE MACPHERSON ROAD AWARD
TEMAH HIGGINS, Executive Vice President, Broadway Booking Office NYC, was honored with the George MacPherson Road Award. The BBO team provides booking, marketing, logistical and revenue management oversight for multiple theatrical productions. Higgins has been an active member of the League’s Spring Road Conference for many years and her enthusiastic support and commitment is unprecedented and appreciated.
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.
PROCTER & GAMBLE – Procter & Gamble’s support of Walton Arts Center’s Broadway Series has contributed to the ability for the theater to grow and develop into a presenter that is participating in Broadway at the national level. Together, Procter & Gamble and Walton Arts Center successfully partnered to create a new market that was non-existent twenty years ago and brought highly popular and Tony Award-winning plays to Northwest Arkansas.
HOLLY REEVES – Long-time dedicated member of the board and a diligent fundraiser, Holly Reeves is a proactive and strong supporter of Dallas Summer Musicals, its touring shows and is a vital part of the DSM nonprofit organization. Her crucial and sustaining work has benefited Dallas Summer Musicals in literally all aspects of development, community outreach and marketing.
GREG AND REBECCA REID – The Reids’ Vincent Legacy Foundation has awarded 22 Vincent Legacy Scholarships to date. The Reids created the scholarship endowment in order to provide youth who demonstrate performing arts promise, strong academic achievement and good citizenship the opportunity to further refine and improve their creative skills through professional instruction.
A program initiated in partnerships with Kansas City Starlight Theatre, the winners have used their scholarship dollars for all types of performance training – from improv classes at Kansas City Young Audiences to master classes at the Coterie, professional voice lessons, hip-hop classes at Kristi’s Academy of Dance, Team Shakespeare courses, and six-week Alvin Ailey Summer Intensive Program in New York City.