MCC THEATER ANNOUNCES A $1 MILLION DOLLAR GIFT TO SUPPORT DEVELOPMENT OF MUSICALS
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, PLEASE
ANNOUNCES $1 MILLION GIFT TO SUPPORT DEVELOPMENT OF MUSICALS
THE GARY PLATT MUSICAL INITIATIVE WILL SUPPORT NEW MUSICALS OVER FIVE PROGRAMMING SEASONS
New York, NY (September 17, 2019) – MCC Theater announced today a $1 million gift to enhance and support the development and production of new musicals. The Gary Platt Musical Initiative was formed in 2019 by Julie and Marc Platt and their family to honor the memory of their uncle and great-uncle, Gary, whose lifelong love of musical theater instilled in them a passion for this unique storytelling art form, and will begin supporting the production of new musicals during the 2019-20 season.
The gift establishing the Initiative comes as part of the opening of MCC’s first, permanent home, The Robert W. Wilson MCC Theater Space, which allows the company the opportunity to increase the number of annual productions, expand its programming initiatives, and deepen MCC’s commitment to provoking conversations and the exchange of ideas between artists, audiences, and young people.
“Beyond being my beloved uncle, Gary introduced generations of nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews to the world of musical theatre,” said Marc Platt, speaking on behalf of wife, Julie, and their family. “He had a remarkable gift for encouraging people to embrace their unique talents and pursue their dreams. An initiative that encourages new playwrights and songwriters to reach their potential is a legacy he would be so proud of and a beautiful reflection of his life.”
“We are truly grateful to Marc and Julie for launching The Gary Platt Musical Theater Initiative,” said Bernie Telsey, Co-Artistic Director of MCC Theater, speaking on behalf of the company’s artistic leadership. “Gary Platt’s love for musical theater lives on with multiple generations of the Platt family, and we are honored to build upon that legacy through this initiative and the opportunity it gives us to inspire and support new voices who have important things to say through this uniquely powerful storytelling art form.”
“The Gary Platt Initiative for New Musicals is a forward looking partnership that will propel MCC’s work in developing and producing new musicals in our new home, new Robert W. Wilson MCC Theater Space. We’re grateful to the Platt family for this generous gift. Its impact will be felt at MCC and within the American musical canon for years to come,” said Blake West, Executive Director of MCC Theater.
ABOUT MCC THEATER
MCC Theater is one of New York’s leading nonprofit Off-Broadway companies, driven by a mission to provoke conversations that have never happened and otherwise never would. Founded in 1986 as a collective of artists leading peer-based classes to support their own development as actors, writers and directors, the tenets of collaboration, education, and community are at the core of MCC Theater’s programming. One of the only theaters in the country led continuously by its founders, Artistic Directors Robert LuPone, Bernard Telsey, and William Cantler, MCC fulfills its mission through the production of world, American, and New York premiere plays and musicals that challenge artists and audiences to confront contemporary personal and social issues, and robust playwright development and education initiatives that foster the next generation of theater artists and students.
MCC Theater’s celebrated productions include Jocelyn Bioh’s School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play; Penelope Skinner’s The Village Bike; Robert Askins’ Hand to God (Broadway transfer; five 2015 Tony Award® nominations including Best Play); John Pollono’s Small Engine Repair; Paul Downs Colaizzo’s Really Really; Sharr White’s The Other Place (Broadway transfer); Jeff Talbott’s The Submission (Laurents/Hatcher Award); Neil LaBute’s Reasons to Be Happy, reasons to be pretty (Broadway transfer, three 2009 Tony Award® nominations, including Best Play), Some Girl(s), Fat Pig, The Mercy Seat, and All The Ways To Say I Love You; Michael Weller’s Fifty Words; Alexi Kaye Campbell’s The Pride; Bryony Lavery’s Frozen (Broadway transfer; four 2004 Tony Award® nominations including Best Play, Tony Award® for Best Featured Actor); Tim Blake Nelson’s The Grey Zone; Rebecca Gilman’s The Glory of Living (2002 Pulitzer Prize finalist); Margaret Edson’s Wit (1999 Pulitzer Prize); and the musicals Coraline, Carrie, and Ride the Cyclone. Many plays developed and produced by MCC have gone on to productions throughout the country and around the world.
Blake West joined the company in 2006 as Executive Director. MCC opened the doors to its new home in Manhattan’s Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood, The Robert W. Wilson MCC Theater Space, on January 9, 2019, unifying the company’s activities under one roof for the first time and expanding its producing, artist development, and education programming.
ABOUT THE ROBERT W. WILSON CHARITABLE TRUST
A successful investor from the 1960s through the 1980s, Robert W. Wilson devoted his life to philanthropy after his retirement, focusing on supporting organizations on preservation and conservation initiatives worldwide. An avid New Yorker, Wilson was also deeply engaged with a number of New York’s cultural institutions. He was a major supporter of, and held leadership roles with, the Whitney Museum and the Metropolitan Opera, where he was a board member for many years. In addition, the Trust continues to support the New York Public Library, Central Park Conservancy, BAM, Wildlife Conservation Society, EDF, Nature Conservancy, WMF, and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, organizations he championed during his lifetime. He played a leading role in transforming many of these institutions.
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