Producer Tom Viertel Succeeds Jed Bernstein as Executive Director of Commercial Theater Institute

By Michael Gioia
12 Nov 2013

Tom Viertel
Tom Viertel

Producer, arts executive, educator and entrepreneur Tom Viertel, who is also a co-owner of the Manhattan nightspot 54 Below, has been appointed executive director of the Commercial Theater Institute, effective immediately, Charlotte St. Martin (executive director of The Broadway League) and Victoria Bailey (executive director of Theatre Development Fund) announced Nov. 12.

Viertel, who has been enlisted to lead the training program for commercial theatrical producers, follows Jed Bernstein and CTI founder Frederic B. Vogel as executive director.

"We're confident that Tom Viertel will guide CTI as its programs designed to train a new generation of theatre producers continue to evolve," said Bailey, executive director of TDF, in a statement.

Martin, executive director of The Broadway League, added, "We look forward to seeing the programs that will be developed under Tom Viertel's leadership, based on his years of experience and network of distinguished colleagues. CTI represents the theatre industry's commitment to prepare qualified future producers, and Tom Viertel is the ideal person to run the show."



"I am very excited to take on the leadership of the Commercial Theater Institute," said Viertel. "Over the years it has become a pivotal educational opportunity for early-career producers. Helping to inspire the next generation of Broadway producers and giving them a solid foundation for the work they will do is important to Broadway’s health and to the whole world of theatre."

The Commercial Theater Institute (CTI), according to press notes, "is the nation's only formal program that professionally trains commercial theater producers. A joint project of The Broadway League and Theatre Development Fund, CTI was founded in 1981. As the theater industry's leading training and professional development program for producers, CTI covers a wide range of topics in multiple cities throughout the year and features hundreds of the most accomplished industry professionals as lecturers and panelists. Since 1993, CTI has bestowed The Robert Whitehead Award for outstanding achievement in commercial theatre producing."

Read the Playbill feature with former executive director Jed Bernstein to learn more about CTI.

Viertel has produced more than 70 plays and musicals on and Off-Broadway, in London, and on tour for over 28 years, winning six Tony Awards. His credits include Hairspray, The Producers, A Little Night Music, Young Frankenstein, Leap of Faith, The Norman Conquests, Gypsy, Sweeney Todd, Company, Little Shop of Horrors, The Weir, The Sound of Music, Smokey Joe's Café, Angels in America, Oleanna, Love Letters, Driving Miss Daisy, Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune, Penn and Teller and more. His most recent productions are Flashdance the Musical, currently on tour, and Old Jews Telling Jokes, now playing in Chicago. With his partners, Richard Frankel, Steven Baruch and Marc Routh, he is a co-owner of 54 Below. He has taught multiple aspects of producing regularly at CTI.

Viertel is a member of the executive committee and the board of governors of The Broadway League, chairman of the League's government relations committee and a member of the Tony Awards management committee. He is chairman of the board of The Eugene O'Neill Theater Center, America's foremost development center for new theatrical work, in Waterford, CT. He is a graduate of Harvard University and a member of the board of trustees of The Choate Rosemary Hall School.

For details and schedules of all CTI programs, call (212) 586-1109 or visit CommercialTheaterInstitute.com.