Jed Bernstein Continues NYC's Commercial Theater Institute's 30-Year History of Training Producers

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08 Nov 2012

Jed Bernstein
Jed Bernstein

The Commercial Theater Institute, a New York City-based program committed to the development and training of emerging producers that is under the leadership of The Broadway League and Theatre Development Fund, was founded in 1982 by theatre business administrator and respected Broadway producer Frederic B. Vogel. Since then, the company has produced commercial producers from all walks of life.

"Originally the [intensive] program [at CTI] was very much targeted to professionals from other industries — doctors, lawyers, accountants — who might be inclined to invest in theatre if they knew a little more about how it worked," explained former Broadway League president Jed Bernstein, who took over as CTI's executive director in 2006. (Vogel administered CTI from its inception until his death in 2005.)

"The next group to join in were theatre professionals for whom there was no continuing theatre education," continued Bernstein. "Then came people from the non-profit world who started to embrace the idea that the skill sets [acquired at CTI] are very much transferrable… Finally — in the latest phase — we've seen a lot of directors, writers and actors who are motivated by the notion that knowledge is power, and the more they know about the industry in which they work, the better they can manage their own careers… They want to take matters into their own hands."

For those who are looking to get their feet wet in the production end, Bernstein suggests the annual three-day weekend intensive program — "a terrific overview" of producing, he said — which will be held next spring from April 19-21, 2013.

For someone more experienced with producing, CTI offers a 16-week intensive program — which has been expanded from its former 14-week schedule — that is limited to 25 participants who must be nominated by a working management member of the professional theatre community.

The sessions, which begin Jan. 7, 2013, are held on consecutive Monday nights and focus on topics such as budgeting, creative development, script analysis, marketing and publicity, among many others. Speakers include independent producers, various creatives and professional theatre administrators. Applications for the program are due by Dec. 3.


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