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American Theatre Wing raises over $550,000 at annual Gala; receives Mayoral proclaimation

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New York, NY – The American Theatre Wing (Theodore S. Chapin, Chairman of the Board of Directors; Heather Hitchens, Executive Director) raised more than $550,000 at their annual Gala last night. All of the proceeds will go towards The Wing’s education and outreach programs. The event was held at New York’s legendary Plaza Hotel in honor of Sir Howard Stringer (Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of Sony Corporation and longtime American Theatre Wing Board Member), and included a special tribute to Douglas B. Leeds (Former President and dear friend of The Wing).

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg was on hand to proclaim the date “American Theatre Wing Day in Honor of Sir Howard Stringer” in the City of New York. The Mayor’s official proclamation stated, “We applaud the exceptional efforts of the American Theatre Wing and Sir Howard Stringer for their crucial contributions to the performing arts in New York City, and look forward to seeing the performing arts community thrive on the Great White Way and stages across the five boroughs.”

Also taking the stage was a slew of celebrity performers and presenters, including Jennifer Hudson, Angela Lansbury, Kelli O’Hara, Elaine Paige, Marilu Henner, James Naughton, Brandon Victor Dixon, Colin Donnell and Erin Mackey.

Tom Hanks served as the evening's Honorary Chairman, and the Gala Co-Chairmen were Theodore S. Chapin and Marva A. Smalls. The Gala Committee included Susan Stevenson Brown, David Bruson, Susan Fales-Hill, Sondra Gilman, LaTanya Richardson & Samuel L. Jackson, Mrs. Ronald S. Konecky, Pia Lindström, Bruce Redditt, Malaak & Chris Rock, Jane & Morley Safer, Alan Siegel and Mark W. Smith.

The American Theatre Wing is best known as the creator of the Antoinette Perry “Tony” Awards®, which it presents annually with The Broadway League. The Wing operates a variety of programs, all dedicated to recognizing excellence and supporting education in theatre. These programs include “Downstage Center,” a podcast featuring in-depth interviews with the leading artists and professionals working on stage today; “Working in the Theatre,” a television program on CUNY TV which gathers panels of theater artists to discuss their crafts; “In the Wings,” a web series that spotlights theatre’s behind-the-scenes talents; a national theatre company grants program that supports 10 emerging theatres across the country each year; the Theatre Intern Group, a career development program for young professionals; SpringboardNYC, a two-week college-to-career boot camp for young performers moving to NYC; and the Jonathan Larson® Grants, given annually to honor emerging composers, lyricists and book writers. All ATW media is available on americantheatrewing.org and on iTunes.

For additional information about all American Theatre Wing programs, go to americantheatrewing.org. You can also find the American Theatre Wing on Twitter (www.twitter.com/TheWing) and on Facebook (www.Facebook.com/TheAmericanTheatreWing).


Sir Howard Stringer has been Chairman and CEO of Sony Corporation since June 2005. He added the responsibility of President in 2009. He is also a Representative Corporate Officer of Sony Corporation. Additionally, Sir Howard serves as Chairman and CEO of Sony Corporation of America, as well as corporate head of Sony Corporation's Entertainment Business Group. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Sony Corporation and of Sony Music Entertainment, and oversees Sony’s other music-related holdings in the U.S. Sir Howard is also Chairman of the Board of Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications, a 50/50 joint venture of Sony Corporation and Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson. Prior to joining Sony in 1997, Sir Howard had a distinguished 30-year career as a journalist, producer and executive at CBS Inc. As President of CBS from 1988 to 1995, he was responsible for all broadcast activities. Sir Howard held numerous positions at CBS News, including President, Executive Producer of the “CBS Evening News” with Dan Rather, and Executive Producer of the “CBS Reports” documentary unit, which won virtually every major honor in broadcasting. He earned nine individual Emmys as a writer, director and producer at CBS News from 1973 to 1983. A native of Cardiff, Wales, Sir Howard received the title of Knight Bachelor in the New Year Honours list of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on December 31, 1999. He holds a B.A. and an M.A. in modern history from Oxford University.

Douglas B. Leeds joined the American Theatre Wing in 1990 and was elected Secretary/Treasurer the following year. In 2003 became Vice-Chairman and chaired various Wing committees (Benefit, Finance, Grants and By-laws) before serving as the Wing’s President from 2004 – 2008. Doug also represented the Wing as a member of The Tony Administration Committee, Tony Marketing Committee and Tony Management Committee. He produced the Broadway show Street Heat in 1980 and co-produced Sleight of Hand in 1987. Doug was the Founder / CEO of StoreBoard Media, an indoor billboard company that dominates the front entrance of over 15,000 retail stores. Previous to that, he was the President/CEO of Thomson-Leeds Company, Inc., a POP advertising firm with clients such as American Express, Sony, Ford, and Microsoft. Under his guidance, the company won more awards for creative and effective merchandising than any company in the world. He served on the Board of the Whitney Museum of American Art, Guild Hall of East Hampton (museum & theatre), Checkerboard Foundation, Worcester Academy and Babson College and was on the Dream Team at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, The Council of The Frick Museum, and the Ronald McDonald Associates board.


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