The Off Broadway League today announced the election of Casey York as its new President. The organization also announced two new officers, Evan O’Brient as 2nd VP, and Steven Chaikelson as Treasurer and four new board members: Emily Currie, Toni Davis, Teresa Gozzo, and Kyle Provost. York replaces Terry Byrne who served in the role of President for two years and was on the Board of directors since 1993. The leadership transition at the volunteer-led organization occurs six months into an unprecedented and historic shutdown that has resulted in the suspension or cancellation of countless Off-Broadway productions to date, with no reopening date established.
“Our industry has been decimated by the twin pandemics of COVID-19 and systemic racism and the pervasiveness and persistence of state-sanctioned violence against Black people. We know the industry will not be the same when we re-open after this pandemic, and we must take this opportunity to reimagine and lay the groundwork for the industry-wide changes that are necessary,” says Incumbent President York, adding “I recognize that we are a predominately white organization which doesn’t accurately reflect the broader Off-Broadway community, or our home city of NYC. We are committed to doing the work required to become a more equitable, just and inclusive organization and to holding ourselves accountable for meeting these goals.”
In the next six months the Off Broadway League will form a standing Board Committee on EDI, examine its by-laws and membership practices to remove obstacles and barriers to membership, enhance educational offerings for emerging managers and producers, and hold more open forums to increase transparency and participation among the broader membership.
The slate of board members for 2020-2021 is: Casey York – President, Ryan Conway – 1st Vice-President, Evan O’Brient – 2nd Vice-President, Steven Chaikelson – Treasurer, Pamela Adams – Secretary, Jeremy Adams, Dean Carpenter, Emily Currie, Toni Davis, Beth Dembrow, Teresa Gozzo, Carol Fishman, George Forbes, Roger Gindi, Gary Glaser (Council), Meghan Lantzy, Danielle Karliner Naish, Eva Price, Kyle Provost, Catherine Russell, and Lindsey Sag.
The Off-Broadway League was founded in 1959 to foster theatrical productions produced in Off-Broadway theatres (productions in Manhattan in venues with 100-499 seats), to assist in the voluntary exchange of information among its members, and to serve as a collective voice of its membership in pursuit of these goals. In the recent years the League has grown to represent an average of 150 individual members and theatres and 100 not-for-profit and commercial shows per season.
The League of Off-Broadway Theatres and Producers instituted the Lucille Lortel Awards to recognize excellence in the Off-Broadway arena and to honor Lucille Lortel’s devotion to Off-Broadway. Awarded annually since 1986, the Lortel Awards are produced by the League in association with the Lucille Lortel Foundation. Additional support is provided by Theatre Development Fund.