Joey Parnes has been named the new coordinator of The Broadway Initiative, the coalition of theatrical producers, unions and theatre owners. Parnes will replace Anne Zimmerman, who is taking a job in Florence, Italy.
Parnes is the former executive producer of The Public Theater, where he supervised the Broadway transfers of the Patrick Stewart production of The Tempest and the Savion Glover tap musical Bring in 'Da Noise, Bring in 'Da Funk. Prior to that, he spent 13 years as general manager on such Marvin A. Krauss productions as Dreamgirls, Grand Hotel, and Passion. Parnes is member of the League of American Theatres and Producers, where he serves on committees such as the Tony management committee.
The Broadway Initiative is dedicated to the future health of the theatre industry and is the force behind such programs as a projected $10 million a year development fund designed to greatly increase, though grants and industry subsidy, the production of plays on Broadway.
In other Initiative news, the group is planning to move from its quarters at Actors' Equity to new digs at 1501 Broadway. It has also elected its first board of directors, with composer Stephen Sondheim as its chair. Sondheim has previously backed the Initiative, most recently at a hearing of the New York City Planning Commission.
Zimmerman will leave her post on June 19, but will return in July to assist Parnes with the transition. -- By Robert Simonson