As we gear up for this weekend’s Tony Honors and Tony Awards, we wanted to share the article, “Freddie Gershon: Building the Broadway Audience by Empowering Young Performers” which appears on the American Theatre Wing’s website. It’s a must read for anyone passionate about arts education and is a fitting encapsulation of Freddie’s work with the MTI Broadway Junior Collection – the reason for his 2012 Tony Honors for Excellence in the Theatre. Here’s an excerpt from the piece, and you can read the full article here:
“I want to make every musical have the longest possible life and keep them as current as possible, as part of the culture of the world,” says Freddie Gershon, CEO of the theatrical licensing agency Music Theatre International. For his passionate commitment to the theatre arts, and in particular for creating MTI’s programs that help foster a new audience for Broadway, Gershon will receive a Tony Honor for Excellence in the Theatre on the day before the American Theatre Wing’s Tony Awards® ceremony in June.
Gershon says his own love for the theatre began at a very early age. “I had a mother who dragged me along to see High Button Shoes, and in 1949 I saw Mary Martin and Ezio Pinza do South Pacific at the Majestic Theatre.” He originally studied to be a pianist, but after graduating from law school in 1964 he began to practice entertainment law. An avid theatregoer in the mid-sixties, Gershon recalls being introduced to the downtown avant-garde experimental theatre world by young dramatist Tom Eyen, future lyricist/bookwriter of Dreamgirls, who he later represented. There he witnessed the New York professional of Bette Midler, another future client.