Tony-winning producer Mike Isaacson will be presented The Commercial Theater Institute’s Robert Whitehead Award for “outstanding achievement in commercial theatre producing” May 10 at a reception at Sardi’s in Manhattan. The ceremony was originally scheduled for March 14 but was postponed due to winter storm Stella.
Since 2000, Isaacson has co-headed Fox Theatricals with Kristin Caskey and has produced more than 21 Broadway musicals and plays, national tours, Off-Broadway plays, and London productions. In June 2015, he received the Tony Award for Best Musical for Fun Home by Lisa Kron and Jeanine Tesori, based on the graphic novel by Alison Bechdel. Other producing highlights include The Humans (2016 Tony Award, Best Play), Bring It On The Musical (2013 Tony nomination for Best Musical); Red (2010 Tony Award, Best Play); Legally Blonde the Musical (2011 Olivier Award, Best Musical); Thoroughly Modern Millie (2002 Tony Award, Best Musical); You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown; If/Then by Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey and starring Idina Menzel; The Seagull, starring Kristin Scott Thomas; Caroline, or Change by Tony Kushner and Jeanine Tesori; One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, starring Gary Sinise; Death of a Salesman (1999 Tony Award); Traces (Off-Broadway and national tour); and Grace, starring Paul Rudd and Michael Shannon. For the Independent Presenters Network, he served as producer for the Broadway productions of Spamalot (2005 Tony Award, Best Musical), Ragtime (revival), and The Color Purple. Isaacson is also the third executive producer in The Muny’s 99-year history. He has produced 35 shows there, and The Muny will celebrate 100 years in its 2018 season.
The award is inspired by the five-decade-long career of Tony-winning producer Robert Whitehead, who died in 2002. CTI, which is the nation’s only formal program that professionally trains commercial theatre producers, honors a graduate of CTI for outstanding achievement in commercial theatre producing. CTI presented the first Robert Whitehead Award in 1993 to Benjamin Mordecai and Susan Quint Gallin.
“What I love about Mike is that he's very brave in his producing decisions but deeply concerned about the people who he works with and the people who work for him,” said Tom Viertel, executive director of CTI, in an earlier statement. “As both a presenter and producer he's created organizations filled with professionals who love what they do and love him for leading them. He's just what every producer should aspire to.”
“In the tradition of the legendary producer, Robert Whitehead, for whom this award is named, Mike Isaacson is a passionate and prolific producer,” added Victoria Bailey, executive director of Theatre Development Fund. “From St. Louis to Broadway, Mike’s list of producing credits include some of the most popular shows in recent memory.”
“Mike Isaacson is the ideal recipient of the Robert Whitehead Award because he displays an unwavering passion and commitment to every project. He truly puts his heart on Broadway,” stated Charlotte St. Martin, president of the Broadway League. “Combining his talents as both a producer and a presenter, he has consistently enriched the industry by bringing important, innovative and fun work to the stage.”
A joint project of The Broadway League and Theatre Development Fund, CTI was founded in 1981 by the late Frederic B. Vogel. The current executive director, Viertel, took on leadership of the program in 2013.
(Updated March 29, 2017)