Theatre Development Fund (TDF), the not-for-profit service organization for the performing arts, has named Daniel Renner to the position of Director of Education. Mr. Renner, who is one of the country’s leading theatre arts educators, is currently the Dean of the National Theatre Conservatory and Director of Education for the Denver Center of the Performing Arts. He will begin his duties full-time with TDF this May, and will consult with the organization until then.
“I am delighted that Daniel will be joining us,” said Victoria Bailey, TDF’s executive director. “At TDF, we are committed to developing programs that will build and strengthen audiences, deepening the connection between individuals and the theatre. The work begins with young people and continues with programs for people of all ages. Daniel’s depth of knowledge, experience, commitment and perhaps most importantly, passion for the theatre and its proper place in people’s lives, make him a perfect fit for TDF. He has demonstrated a keen understanding of what we aspire to do as well as an appreciation for our existing programs. We can’t wait to get to work!”
“I am deeply impressed by the commitment of TDF Board’s to opening theatrical doors for all children in NYC,” said Daniel Renner. “Tory Bailey has an exciting vision for what TDF can and must do in the years ahead to engage the next generation. I relish this opportunity to work with her and the TDF staff, as well as many old friends and colleagues in NY theatres, to provide new avenues for people (of all ages) to connect in conversation, dynamic inquiry and life-long participation as part of a larger community, where seeing a play is just the beginning rather than the end result -- where the arts are embraced as an essential tool of daily life. TDF has big dreams. I am honored to be part of them.”
As TDF’s Director of Education, Mr. Renner will be charged with the mission of building current and future generations of theatre audiences through the development and oversight of programs and services that promote engagement, education and conversation. The population served by these programs will be first and foremost New York City middle and high school students. He will additionally be involved TDF’s partnership with the City University of New York (BEAT – Bridging Education and Theatre) and its other audience development programs with adults throughout the City. Currently, the core programs of TDF’s Education Department are: Stage Doors, Residency Arts Project (RAP), Open Doors, Youth Theatre Initiative (YTI) and the student theatre magazine Play by Play, as well as professional development workshops and partnership with CUNY, the NYC Department of Education and the Broadway League.
DANIEL RENNER is the Dean of the National Theatre Conservatory and Director of Education for the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. He is a founder of the national Spring Hill Conference for education directors, was cited by the Kennedy Center and US Congress for his contributions to the field, received a TCG Grant for work in diversity programming and new theatre education models, and honored by PBS for innovation in arts education. Mr. Renner has worked in the Middle East, North Africa, Europe and US regional theatres, including The Oregon Shakespeare Festival, American Conservatory Theatre, Shakespeare Theatre Company. He was an actor, director, dramaturge and Associate Director with Intiman Theatre in Seattle for ten years. He was part of the producing team for the world premiere of The Kentucky Cycle and a producer of the Moscow Sovramennick Theatre’s productions of Into the Whirlwind and The Three Sisters for the Goodwill Arts Festival in the United States.
Mr. Renner has been on numerous arts panels and advisory boards, was appointed by the Governor to the Washington State Commission on Student Learning, and a graduate of Leadership Tomorrow and Shannon Institute. As a consultant, he has worked with a variety of organizations, including Huntington Theatre, Mark Taper Forum, Philadelphia Theatre Company, Prince George’s County, Alliance Theatre, Tacoma Art Museum, Pew Charitable Trust, Children’s Theatre Company and Woodruff Art Center. He has guest lectured at Stanford, Harvard, Lahore University, University of Cairo, Cornish College of the Arts, and University of Washington. He has been an onsite reporter and panelist for the NEA since 1992. Mr. Renner, a past board member of TCG, moderated their first national education teleconferences, continues to serve on the TEAM project and to curate Education Centerpieces. He serves on the Executive Board of American National Theatre and Academy (ANTA) and the editorial boards of The Teaching Artist Journal and TYA Today.
THEATRE DEVELOPMENT FUND, which just received a 2011 Mayor’s Award for Arts and Culture, is the largest nonprofit performing arts service organization in the United States, returning over $130 million to hundreds of productions annually through a variety of programs. It is dedicated to developing diverse audiences for live theatre and dance, and strengthening the performing arts community in New York City. Created in 1968, TDF’s programs have provided over 80 million people with access to performances at affordable prices. Best known for its TKTS Discount Booths, TDF’s membership, outreach, access and education programs – as well as its Costume Collection – help to make the unique experience of theatre available to everyone.
TDF’s education programs introduce theatre to over 6,000 New York City high school students each year through a variety of curriculum based programs, and their “New Audiences for New York” program is in its third year of building sustainable audiences for Broadway among diverse and underrepresented New Yorkers. Outreach efforts for theatregoers with disabilities include special discounts and seating accommodations, as well as open captioned and American Sign Language interpreted performances for theatregoers with mild to severe hearing loss, and audio described performances for theatregoers who are blind or have low vision. In addition, their recent Autism Theatre Initiative offered the first autism-friendly performance of a Broadway show, presenting The Lion King to an entire audience of families with children on the autism spectrum.