Eugene O’Neill Theater Center CEO/Producer Preston Whiteway will receive the institution’s Monte Cristo Award April 19 at the Edison Ballroom in NYC—just four months before the theatre executive shifts his career sights to the film industry. The executive recently joined Tribeca Productions (The Irishman, When They See Us) as a creative development consultant, a role in which he will continue after departing the organization in August.
Whiteway has worked at the Waterford, Connecticut–based performing arts development center for over 15 years, working his way up to his current leadership post that oversees six artistic directors and a dozen programs. The institution promoted Whiteway in December 2019 to the title of CEO/Producer. He has been with the O'Neill since 2004, first as general manager, and then as executive director beginning in 2007. Under his leadership, the O’Neill Center was awarded both the National Medal of Arts by President Barack Obama in 2016 and the 2010 Regional Theatre Tony Award. Among the many shows he helped develop were In the Heights, Tales of the City, and Slave Play.
“I have only known one job in my life and it is with incredible mixed emotions that I announce my departure,” said Whiteway. “The O’Neill truly launched my career, as it has launched and supported so many artists, and a piece of my heart will always be in Waterford.”
“He leaves behind a strong organization both artistically and financially,” said Chairman of the Board of Trustees Tom Viertel. “The American theatre is stronger as a result of his dedication, creativity, and fortitude. We are proud to have launched his career.”
The Monte Cristo Award is given to a prominent artist whose work has had an impact on American theatre in the same vein as O’Neill. The gala event supports the center’s commitment to developing new work and new artists for the stage. Last year's recipient was Tony-winning playwright and screenwriter John Logan (Moulin Rouge!, Red).