Director and Producer Harold Prince and his many design collaborators have been awarded the 2007 Live Design Honor. Live Design magazine will pay tribute to “The Design Aesthetic of Hal Prince,” at a special benefit evening on Tuesday, May 15, at the Rosenthal Pavilion of the Kimmel Center at New York University. This event marks the 2nd annual Live Design Honors, in which the magazine pays tribute to a group of outstanding individuals and the collaborative spirit of the designers who work together to create memorable and innovative productions.
Hal Prince’s distinguished career as a director and producer has lasted for many decades, beginning with his theatrical apprenticeship in the late '40s and early '50s with the esteemed author, director, and producer George Abbott. Then in 1954, he presented his first musical, The Pajama Game, in collaboration with Robert E. Griffith and Frederick Brisson. Prince has directed the premiere productions of Cabaret, the original Sweeney Todd, A Little Night Music, The Phantom of the Opera, She Loves Me, Company, Follies, Candide, Pacific Overtures, Evita, Parade, and Bounce. Before becoming a director, Mr. Prince’s productions included Damn Yankees, West Side Story, Fiddler on the Roof, Fiorello!, and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. Among the plays he has directed are Hollywood Arms, The Visit, The Great God Brown, End of the World, Play Memory and his own play, Grandchild of Kings. Recently, he has prepared a new version of Phantom, which is running in Las Vegas at the Venetian Hotel. Currently his new musical LoveMusik, with a book by Alfred Uhry, dramatizing the often funny, always quixotic and unpredictable relationship of Lotte Lenya and Kurt Weill, is playing at Manhattan Theatre Club's Biltmore Theater on Broadway. His opera productions have been seen at Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Dallas Opera, Vienna Staatsoper, and the Theater Colon in Buenos Aires. Mr. Prince has served as a trustee for the New York Public Library and on the National Council of the Arts of the NEA. He is the recipient of a National Medal of Arts for the year 2000 from President Clinton for a career spanning more than 40 years, in which “he changed the nature of the American musical.” He is the recipient of 21 Tony Awards and he was a 1994 Kennedy Center Honoree.
In 2006 when Mr. Prince received a special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in Theatre, he remarked in his acceptance speech, “I've had decades of working with the most brilliant creative artists in the American theatre.” Prince has always been a collaborative artist both as director and producer, bringing together some of the best creative teams to create some of the most memorable and innovative design work in theatrical history. It is these collaborations that the Live Design Honor celebrates.
On Tuesday, May 15 Live Design will host an evening that brings together many of the designers from all the disciplines, who have collaborated with Mr. Prince over the years. A cocktail reception and the Live Design Honors panel discussion with Mr. Prince and a few of his design collaborators will be an opportunity to hear about some of their design challenges, as well as a few wonderful stories about the great theatre history they have made together.
Live Design is pleased to be hosting this event as a special benefit for The ESTA Foundation's Behind the Scenes charity. Behind the Scenes is an initiative that provides members of the entertainment technology industry with grants for emergency situations, such as serious illness, injury, or death. With this initiative, our industry makes sure our colleagues are cared for when tragedy strikes. As a part of the Live Design Honors evening, there will also be a silent auction to benefit the charity. There is no better way to honor the work of all these great designers than to support them and their colleagues should they find themselves in need. Behind the Scenes has already been able to help several of our colleagues and with the industries continued support they will be able to help many more today and tomorrow.
“We are extremely pleased to be able to honor the collaboration of Mr. Prince and the designers who have created so many memorable productions, while at the same time benefiting The ESTA Foundation's Behind the Scenes initiative,” says David Johnson, associate publisher and editorial director of Live Design. “The Live Design Honors applauds the spirit of working together for a common cause and we believe that is also the spirit of Behind the Scenes. It is an important cause for the entertainment technology community, and we are proud to help out.” The May 15 event takes place in conjunction with Live Design's annual Broadway Lighting Master Classes at The Skirball Center for the Performing Arts at New York University. For information about the Broadway Lighting Master Classes (BLMC), the Broadway Projection Master Classes (BPMC), and Broadway Sound Master Classes (BSMC): www.livedesignonline.com/broadwaymasterclasses.