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A Timeline of TDF Achievements and Milestones

Created in 1968 to help an ailing New York theatre industry, TDF now provides support to more than 1,000 plays and musicals, returning upwards of $2 billion in revenue to thousands of Broadway, Off-Broadway and Off-Off Broadway music and dance productions. Here’s a timeline of significant moments and milestones in TDF history.

1968 1971 1972 1973 1974 1976 1978 1979 1980 1983 1988 1989 1991 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2006 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2016 2017 2018 2020 2021 2022 2023
1968
1968

1968

  • Theatre Development Fund, a not-for-profit service organization for the performing arts, is founded; opens temporary headquarters at Rockefeller Brothers Fund.
  • Theatre Subsidy program begins with student tickets to The Great White Hope.
1968
1968
1971
1971

1971

  • TDF Membership program starts.
1971
1971
1972
1972

1972

  • Voucher program for Off-Off Broadway theatre starts.
1972
1972
1973
1973

1973

  • Times Square TKTS Discount Booth opens in Father Duffy Square.
1973
1973
1974
1974

1974

  • Costume Collection opens.
  • Dance Voucher program starts.
  • Lower Manhattan TKTS Discount Booth opens on William Street.
1974
1974
1976
1976

1976

  • TDF offices move to 1501 Broadway.
1976
1976
1978
1978

1978

  • Music Voucher program starts.
1978
1978
1979
1979

1979

  • TDF Accessibility Programs (TAP) (originally called Theatre Access Project) launches.
1979
1979
1980
1980

1980

  • Dance Subsidy program starts.
  • TDF presents first American Sign Language-interpreted Broadway performance: The Elephant Man.
  • TDF consults with the Society of London Theatres to open TKTS London (originally called the Official Half Price Ticket Booth) in Leicester Square Gardens.
1980
1980
1983
1983

1983

  • Lower Manhattan TKTS Discount Booth moves to 2 World Trade Center.
1983
1983
1988
1988

1988

  • New expanded Times Square TKTS Discount Booth is installed in June, celebrating 15 years of TKTS.
1988
1988
1989
1989

1989

  • TDF Travel begins with first package tour to London.
1989
1989
1991
1991

1991

  • TDF and The Juilliard School partner to launch annual weeklong Interpreting for the Theatre Institute.
1991
1991
1993
1993

1993

  • On February 26, a bomb explosion at the World Trade Center temporarily closes the Lower Manhattan TKTS Discount Booth. By March 15, it is back up and running at Manhattan Savings Bank at 4 World Trade Center.
  • TDF Costume Collection launches the Irene Sharaff Awards
  • TDF and The Broadway League-sponsored Commercial Theater Institute presents first Robert Whitehead Award
1993
1993
1994
1994

1994

  • On June 6, New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani presents citation to TDF in honor of our 25th anniversary at Gracie Mansion reception for theatre.
1994
1994
1995
1995

1995

  • Introduction to Theatre (originally called Stage Doors) program launches in January with a grant from Lexus.
  • TDF Accessibility Program for Students launches with Talking Hands, which brings children with mild to severe hearing loss to American Sign Language-interpreted Broadway matinees.
  • Young Playwrights program (originally called Residency Arts Project) begins, creating playwriting residencies in NYC high schools.
1995
1995
1996
1996

1996

  • TDF website www.tdf.org launches.
1996
1996
1997
1997

1997

  • TDF presents first open captioned Broadway performance: Barrymore.
1997
1997
1998
1998

1998

  • TDF and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Wendy Wasserstein create the Wendy Wasserstein Project (originally called Open Doors), a one-of-a-kind arts mentorship program for high school students.
1998
1998
1999
1999

1999

  • TKTS2K competition to design a new Times Square TKTS Discount Booth launches and receives 683 entries from 31 countries.
1999
1999
2000
2000

2000

  • TDF organizes first London tour for people with hearing loss.
  • TDF presents the first open captioned performances in the UK at the Royal Shakespeare Company.
  • Australian designers John Choi and Tai Ropiha win the TKTS2K competition.
2000
2000
2001
2001

2001

  • Lower Manhattan TKTS Discount Booth destroyed on September 11; within one month, TDF opens temporary location at Bowling Green.
2001
2001
2002
2002

2002

  • Lower Manhattan TKTS Discount Booth relocates to South Street Seaport.
2002
2002
2003
2003

2003

  • TDF expands its open captioning program to include Off-Broadway productions
2003
2003
2004
2004

2004

  • TDF starts a National Open Caption Training Program, consulting with arts organizations throughout the country.
2004
2004
2006
2006

2006

  • Father Duffy Square renovation breaks ground. Times Square TKTS Discount Booth moves to temporary location outside the New York Marriott Marquis.
2006
2006
2008
2008

2008

  • Times Square TKTS Discount Booth returns to Father Duffy Square in its new location "under the red steps."
  • TKTS offices move to 520 Eighth Avenue.
  • TDF presents first audio described Broadway performance of Grease for people who have low vision or are blind.
2008
2008
2009
2009

2009

  • The new Times Square TKTS Discount Booth and revitalized Father Duffy Square are honored with 10 domestic and international design awards.
  • TDF publishes its first book: Outrageous Fortune: The Life and Times of the New American Play.
  • Voucher programs are consolidated into Go Off-Off and Beyond (originally called Off-Off@$9).
  • New Audiences for New York begins, the genesis of TDF’s Create New York program.
2009
2009
2010
2010

2010

  • TKTS iPhone app launches.
  • TKTS Patron Services program begins.
  • TDF Stages, TDF's online culture blog, debuts.
2010
2010
2011
2011

2011

  • Autism Friendly Performances (originally called the Autism Theatre Initiative) begin with a performance of The Lion King on Broadway.
  • TDF receives the Mayor's Award for Arts and Culture.
  • TDF Costume Collection moves to new space in Kaufman Astoria Studios in Queens.
2011
2011
2012
2012

2012

  • TDF's Wendy Wasserstein Project (then known as Open Doors) becomes the first arts education program to receive a Tony Honor for Excellence in Theatre.
  • TDF receives a New York Innovative Theatre Award for our support of the Off-Off Broadway community.
2012
2012
2013
2013

2013

  • TDF receives the Lucille Lortel Awards: Outstanding Body of Work for our support of the Off-Broadway community.
2013
2013
2014
2014

2014

  • TDF starts a National Autism Friendly Training Program to help theatres across the country launch their own Autism Friendly Performances.
  • TDF and Theatre Bay Area launch the Triple Play research project to investigate the relationship between audiences and new plays.
2014
2014
2016
2016

2016

  • Introduction to Dance program launches.
  • TDF and The Broadway League launch Theatre Access NYC, a website highlighting accessibility information for Broadway shows.
  • TKTS opens a TKTS Discount Booth at Lincoln Center.
2016
2016
2017
2017

2017

  • TDF releases the results of the three-year Triple Play research project.
  • TDF and New York City Councilman Eric Ulrich (Chairman of the Committee on Veterans) launch the TDF Veterans Theatregoing Program.
2017
2017
2018
2018

2018

  • TDF reaches goal of serving 10,000 students annually in our Introduction to Theatre program.
2018
2018
2020
2020

2020

  • In response to the shutdown of in-person performances due to the pandemic, TDF reinvents many programs for virtual consumption, including Introduction to Theatre, the Wendy Wasserstein Project, Autism Friendly Performances and the Veterans Theatregoing Program.
  • Community Connection Program launches in June, providing curated online arts programming in Mandarin, Cantonese, Spanish and English for older adults in NYC.
  • TDF Costume Collection reopens on August 4 after a five-month shutdown—the first TDF program to reopen for in-person business.
2020
2020
2021
2021

2021

  • As theatres across NYC resume performances, TDF reopens the Times Square TKTS Discount Booth on September 14 after an unprecedented 18-month shutdown.
  • To help the theatre industry recover and build new audiences, TDF launches the Broadway Passport Series, offering members of 60 nonprofit organizations discount tickets to shows.
  • Veterans Theatregoing Program returns to in-person performances with an outing to Broadway's Lackawanna Blues on October 10.
2021
2021
2022
2022

2022

  • Autism Friendly Performances hosts its first in-person performance in two years: Broadway's Come From Away on January 30.
  • Introduction to Theatre brings more than 1,000 students to The Lion King on March 2, the first full house from one program for any Broadway show since the pandemic began.
2022
2022
2023
2023

2023

  • Times Square TKTS celebrates its 50th anniversary.
2023
2023