Two seasons back, Anne Strickland Squadron produced Alexander H. Cohen's autobiographical, Off-Broadway solo show, Star Billing, so it's only fitting that on a night when Squadron herself will get star billing, Cohen will be there with his congratulations.
On Feb. 15, producer Squadron will receive the 8th annual Robert Whitehead Award for Outstanding Achievement in Commercial Theatre Producing, in a ceremony to be held at Manhattan's Tavern on the Green restaurant. Squadron's big credit this past season has been It Ain't Nothin' But the Blues, which began with a Broadway run at Lincoln Center and recently finished a second run at the Ambassador Theatre. Her other credits include The Herbal Bed and Paul Robeson, as well as such Off-Broadway mountings as Trudy Blue (which is eyeing a Broadway move), Papa with Len Cariou, and the Capitol Steps troupe. Cohen, himself a legendary producer (Waiting in the Wings), will present the award to Squadron.
The Whitehead award for "outstanding commercial producing" goes to a CTI graduate every year. CTI was founded in New York City in 1981 as the nation's only formal training program for commercial theatre producers, providing a 14-week seminar in which hopeful producers meet industry leaders in a lecture-discussion setting. It is a joint project of The League of American Theatres and Producers and Theatre Development Fund.
Frederic B. Vogel, founding executive director of CTI, said of Squadron, "She is devoted to developing new non-musical works and has made a long range commitment to her career as a theatrical producer."
The Whitehead Award, named for longtime producer Robert Whitehead, who produced Master Class, has previously been given to Eric Krebs (Electra), Benjamin Mordecai (The Piano Lesson), Susan Quint Gallin (Other People's Money), Dennis Grimaldi (Annie Warbucks), Kevin McCollum (Rent), Randall L. Wreghitt (The Food Chain, Beauty Queen of Leenane), Marc Routh (The Mystery of Irma Vep) and Liz Oliver (Last Night of Ballyhoo). -- By David Lefkowitz