The Drama League, which has been at the forefront of the American theatre community, with initiatives to promote artistic development and audience engagement since 1916, has announced the 2017–2018 Board of Directors Executive Committee.
Longtime board members assuming new leadership roles are Stan Ponte, named President, along with Bonnie Comley, 1st Vice President, Kathy Henderson, 2nd Vice President, Susan Lang, 3rd Vice President, Anna May Feige, Secretary, and Ken Wirth, Treasurer.
"From its inception, The Drama League has brought together the best minds of the theater and the business community to strengthen the art form,” said Executive Artistic Director Gabriel Stelian-Shanks in a statement. “Our 2017–2018 board leadership team includes producers, theater journalists, and leaders from the finance and real estate sectors who have one common goal—to create opportunities for early-career artists as they build the theater of the future. I look forward to working with them on this most important task, and to ensuring that the next generation finds a New York theater community unparalleled in the world.”
“The Drama League, founded in 1916, is our country's oldest theater non-profit organization. I am excited and humbled to have the opportunity to collaborate with our Staff, Board of Directors and thousands of members to focus on our core mission to connect audiences to, and support, the creation of thoughtful and exciting theater!,” added Ponte. “Alumnae like Diane Paulus, Rachel Chavkin, Christopher Ashley, Mark Brokaw and Rebecca Taichman of The Drama League Directors Project are just a few of the artists who are shaping and informing the future of the theater with their award-winning work on and off-Broadway, regionally and internationally. The theater has always been one of the public forums that have the opportunity to inspire social advancement and engagement, and The Drama League will continue grow and evolve to meet the challenges of the day. Onward!”
Stan Ponte is a graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and is one of the top real estate brokers in the country at Sotheby’s International Realty. He serves on the board of The Bedford Playhouse and on the NYC Leadership Circle of the American Repertory Theater.
Bonnie Comley is a three-time Tony Award-winning producer of two dozen Broadway productions. Her honors include The Actors Fund Medal of Honor, The Drama League Special Contribution to the Theater Award, The Paul Newman Award from Arts Horizons, The Theater Museum Distinguished Service Award, among others. Comley is a longstanding member of The Broadway League and The Drama League.
Kathy Henderson has been a theatre journalist for more than 30 years, including stints as a columnist for Playbill, founding editor-in-chief of the weekly magazine InTheater, and senior editor at Broadway.com. She is currently a regular contributor of features and interviews for Broadway.com and BroadwayDirect.com.
Susan Lang is Director of the Center for the Study and Teaching of Writing at The Ohio State University, where she continues her research in hypertext theory, writing program administration, data and text mining, and technical editing. Lang became involved with the Drama League as a member in the mid-1990s and served as a technology consultant for the organization.
Anna May Feige is an experienced business leader with over 30 years in the financial services industry, the majority at Prudential. She left the for-profit arena to become Director of the Fund for Public Schools at the New York City Department of Education. She currently works as a volunteer at Good Shepherd Services.
Ken Wirth is CEO of First Financial Resources located in Greenwich, Connecticut. He has been a producer of five Broadway productions, and his productions have earned six Tony Awards. He has also been the business manager of the Midtown Men, who are the four original stars of Broadway’s Jersey Boys.
The new Executive Committee will be in attendance at the 34th Annual Benefit Gala: A Musical Celebration of Broadway. The black-tie evening honoring Steve Martin will take place November 6 at the The Plaza (768 Fifth Avenue).