2017 Robert Whitehead Award Winner Announced!





New York, NY – January 12, 2017 – Tony Award®-winning Broadway producer Mike Isaacson will be presented The Commercial Theater Institute’s Robert Whitehead Award for “outstanding achievement in commercial theatre producing” at a reception at Sardi’s on Tuesday, March 14, 2017.

The award is inspired by the five-decade-long career of Tony Award-winning Broadway producer Robert Whitehead, who died in 2002. 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 theatre producing. CTI presented the first Robert Whitehead Award in 1993 to Benjamin Mordecai and Susan Quint Gallin.

“What I love about Mike is that he’s very brave in his producing decisions but deeply concerned about the people who he works with and the people who work for him. As both a presenter and producer he’s created organizations filled with professionals who love what they do and love him for leading them. He’s just what every producer should aspire to,” said Tom Viertel, Executive Director of CTI.

“In the tradition of the legendary producer, Robert Whitehead, for whom this award is named, Mike Isaacson is a passionate and prolific producer,” said Victoria Bailey, Executive Director of Theatre Development Fund. “From St. Louis to Broadway, Mike’s list of producing credits include some of the most popular shows in recent memory.”

“Mike Isaacson is the ideal recipient of the Robert Whitehead Award because he displays an unwavering passion and commitment to every project. He truly puts his heart on Broadway,” said Charlotte St. Martin, President of the Broadway League. “Combining his talents as both a producer and a presenter, he has consistently enriched the industry by bringing important, innovative and fun work to the stage.”

Since 2000, Mike Isaacson co-headed Fox Theatricals with Kristin Caskey and has produced more than 21 Broadway musicals and plays, national tours, off-Broadway plays, and London productions. In June of 2015, he received the Tony® Award for Best Musical for Fun Home by Lisa Kron and Jeanine Tesori based on the graphic novel by Alison Bechdel. Fun Home won five 2015 Tony® Awards and was also a finalist for the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. It also received The Obie, The New York Drama Critics Award and The Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Musical. A national tour opened at Cleveland’s Playhouse Square in October of this year and will tour the U.S. throughout 2017. Other producing highlights include The Humans (2016 Tony Award, Best Play); Bring It On The Musical (2013 Tony® nomination for Best Musical); Red(2010 Tony® Award, Best Play); Legally Blonde the Musical (2011 Olivier Award, Best Musical); Thoroughly Modern Millie (2002 Tony® Award, Best Musical); You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown; If/Then by Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey and starring Idina Menzel; The Seagull starring Kristin Scott Thomas; Caroline, or Change by Tony Kushner and Jeanine Tesori; One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest starring Gary Sinise, and Death of a Salesman (1999 Tony® Award); Traces (Off-Broadway and national tour); Grace, starring Paul Rudd and Michael Shannon. For the Independent Presenters Network, he served as producer for the Broadway productions of Spamalot (2005 Tony® Award, Best Musical), Ragtime (revival) and The Color Purple. With his IPN colleagues Tom Gabbard and John Breckenridge, he also produced and supervised the revised national tour of 9 to 5 The Musical, which played throughout the U.S. and the U.K. All told, his productions have received more than 96 Tony® Award Nominations, and 29 Tony® Awards.

Mike Isaacson is also the third Executive Producer in The Muny’s 99 year history. He has produced 35 shows there, and The Muny will celebrate 100 years in its 2018 season.

For 14 years, Isaacson supervised the U.S. Bank Broadway Series, bringing more than 100 Broadway productions to St. Louis’s Fabulous Fox theatre. In 2010, he received the Broadway League’s Samuel J. L’Hommedieu Award for Outstanding Achievement in Presenter Management. Isaacson has also served on the Board of Governors, the Executive Committee and the Governance Committee of The Broadway League. He was most recently honored for “Excellence in the Arts” by the Arts and Education Council in St Louis.

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: Dennis Grimaldi (The Heidi Chronicles, On The Town) in 1994; Kevin McCollum (Something Rotten, In the Heights) in 1995; Randall L. Wreghitt (The Miracle Worker, Grey Gardens) in 1996; Marc Routh (Penn & Teller on Broadway, A Little Night Music) in 1997; Liz Oliver (Wait Until Dark, Last Night of Ballyhoo) in 1998; Eric Krebs (The Dinner Party, Electra) in 1999; Anne Strickland Squadron (Bill Maher: Victory Begins at Home, The Herbal Bed) in 2000; David Binder (Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Of Mice and Men) in 2004; Nick Scandalios (Executive VP of the Nederlander Organization: Wicked, In the Heights) in 2008; Dori Berinstein (Legally Blonde: The Musical, Thoroughly Modern Millie) in 2009;  Stuart Thompson (King Charles III, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time) in 2010; Jill Furman (Hamilton, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella) in 2011; Jon B. Platt (Fish in the Dark, The Audience) in 2012; Jeffrey Finn (An Act of God, Elephant Man) in 2013; and Robert Cole (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Angels in America, Once) in 2015; and Stacey Mindich (Dear Evan Hansen, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, The Bridges of Madison County, Lucky Guy) in 2016.

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