In an unusual act of showbiz synergy, RWS & Associates, known for producing shows on cruise ships and in theme parks, has acquired Broadway casting agency Binder Casting.
Variety said RWS made the move because it is “looking to make a name for itself in commercial theater.” A statement from RWS says that the company plans to “step up its activities in theatre, TV and film.”
“We are thrilled to have Jay and his team join the RWS family,” said RWS COO Bruston Manuel. “This acquisition is the first step of a long term strategic plan for RWS to expand into commercial theater production. This move will also position RWS to become a one-stop shop for development and production.”
Started by Jay Binder in the early 1980’s, the company has cast more than 70 Broadway shows, including Dames At Sea, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder, Lion King, Nice Work If You Can Get It, Born Yesterday, The Miracle Worker, Finian’s Rainbow, Brighton Beach Memoirs, A Chorus Line, Gypsy, 39 Steps, White Christmas, Is He Dead?, Inherit The Wind, Journey’s End, Sweet Charity, Wonderful Town, Movin’ Out, 42nd Street, The Music Man, Beauty and the Beast, Last Night of Ballyhoo, Chicago, The King and I, Damn Yankees, Lost in Yonkers, Jerome Robbins’ Broadway, The Goodbye Girl and every City Center Encores! production since its inception in 1994.
The company is a 12–time winner of the Artios Award for casting.
Effective immediately, Binder Casting becomes a wholly-owned subsidiary of RWS & Associates. It will continued to operate in its midtown office location and will “focus on ongoing and new clients in the theater industry.” RWS headquarters are in Long Island City, NY. Casting duties for RWS’s branded stage shows will continue to be handled by RWS’s casting team.
RWS clients include Hard Rock Resorts, Prada, Cedar Fair, Hershey Entertainment and Resorts, Westfield, Macy’s, Vera Wang and Mattel. In 2013, RWS was tapped by Holland America Line “to revolutionize the way live stage entertainment is presented on board their five-star cruise ships.” Now in the third year of the partnership, RWS has produced ten new and original, Broadway-caliber stage productions including Billboard Off The Charts in collaboration with Billboard Magazine. Additionally, in partnership with Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, it launched Lincoln Center Stage—a music experience featuring a resident ensemble aboard Holland America Line’s luxury ships.