Music Theatre International is delighted to announce that Deborah Hartnett has joined the company as the new Director of Business and Legal Affairs.
Ms. Hartnett brings to MTI her many years of legal experience in the entertainment industry, particularly in the area of theater. As counsel and co-head of the Entertainment Department at Paul Weiss, the New York law firm, she has represented authors and rightsholders such as Stephen Sondheim, Alfred Uhry, Jerry Herman the Cole Porter Trusts and DreamWorks Theatricals. Ms. Hartnett has also taught theatre law at Columbia University School of the Arts and is a trustee for the Theatre Development Fund (TDF). Prior to joining MTI, she was the General Management Consultant at Manhattan Theatre Club (MTC).
Ms. Hartnett has advised clients in the acquisition and licensing of intellectual property rights for use on stage, in print, films, games, theme parks, online and for merchandise. She also has significant experience in advising cultural and educational institutions such as TDF, MTC, Roundabout Theatre Company and The Public Theatre.
“We are delighted to welcome Deb to Music Theatre International,” stated Drew Cohen, President of MTI. “Her extensive experience in addressing a wide variety of matters in the area of theater law as well as her impeccable reputation within the industry made her uniquely qualified for this role at MTI. I have worked with Deb on many projects and her creative approach and ability to recognize new and innovative avenues for maximizing the potential in authors’ work made her the one person we wanted for this position. Happily, she felt the same way.”
Ms. Hartnett said, “Having seen what the MTI team has done to maximize the audience for their musicals and having admired their proactive approach in pioneering the educational market, I am genuinely excited to join the MTI family and work to create new opportunities by which the shows and their authors will benefit. Within the secondary rights market, MTI is the leader and I look forward to helping build upon that tradition.”
According to company Chairman and CEO, Freddie Gershon, “Deb’s unique expertise provides MTI with additional depth at the executive level. We have carefully assembled a team whose strengths not only complement each other but ideally suit the needs of our authors and their representatives, as well as our customers. Deb is part of MTI’s development of new areas of business that will amplify our authors income and produce new income streams for authors and rightsholders well into the future, across multiple generations, and will insure that MTI will meet all business, creative and technological challenges.”