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Earl D. Weiner succeeds David D. Holbrook as chairman of Theatre Development Fund (TDF)

Date: Nov 12, 2008


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The Board of Trustees of Theatre Development Fund (TDF), the country's largest not-for-profit service organization for the performing arts,  founded in 1968, has announced the election of Earl D. Weiner to the position of chairman of the Board of Trustees. The announcement was made by TDF's current chairman, David D. Holbrook, who just completed a second tenure as chairman which began in November, 2005.  Mr. Holbrook's first tenure as chairman was  from November 1990 through November 1997.

Earl D.  Weiner joined TDF's Board in 2005 and has served as chairman of the Executive Committee and member of the Finance, Program Policy and Audit Committees. In announcing Mr. Weiner's election, Mr. Holbrook stated: "I know that Earl Weiner's expertise and passion for TDF will serve him well as TDF's chairman. Earl has a lifelong commitment to the arts and voluntary service, and through his association with TDF, Earl has shown his deep commitment to TDF's goal of advancing theatre and dance by supporting productions of artistic merit and making theatre and dance accessible for all. Among other activities, Earl has been the Chairman of the Acting Company since 2003 and brings a deep understanding of the issues facing arts organizations in New York City. I have been a TDF Trustee since 1981, and I look forward to continuing my work with TDF with Earl Weiner at the helm, and with TDF's Board and staff, led by executive director, Victoria Bailey."

"I'm honored to be named chairman of TDF and lead one of the most respected organizations in the country, which is responsible for making live theatre, dance and music accessible to millions of people each year", said Mr. Weiner. "Under David Holbrook's leadership, TDF has grown in every arena. Our number of constituents continues to increase. TDF's membership is now more than 80,000. We've expanded all of our arts education programs, including Open Doors and Stage Doors and introduced 'audio description,' for theatregoers who are blind or have low vision. David Holbrook has guided TDF back to Brooklyn with a new TKTS Booth and has been instrumental in the revitalization of Duffy Square, home of our new TKTS Booth which just opened to international acclaim."

 "It's been a wonderful experience for me to work with Earl Weiner here at TDF since he joined the Board," said Victoria Bailey, TDF's executive director. "He has developed a keen appreciation for all our programs and has a commitment to TDF's mission and to strengthening our capacity to serve our many constituents in these challenging times. Earl is a truly energizing presence, and I look forward to continuing to work with him in his new capacity as chair. It's very good news for TDF that David Holbrook will continue to serve as a valued Trustee, as he has for the past 27 years."

Earl D. Weiner was a partner of Sullivan & Cromwell from 1976 through 2006, where he specialized in corporate finance, corporate governance and investment management law.  He currently is of-counsel to the firm.  Among his public service activities, he currently serves as chairman of The Acting Company, as a board member of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, for which he was chairman from 1998-2007, and as a board member and general counsel of the Municipal Art Society.  He is an independent director of the AllianceBernstein mutual funds and serves on the advisory board of Sustainable Forestry Management Limited.  Mr. Weiner holds a B.A. degree from Dickinson College and an LL.B degree from Yale Law School.  He served as an officer in the U.S. Navy from 1961 to 1965.

Theatre Development Fund, the largest not-for-profit service organization for the performing arts in the United States, was established in 1968 to foster works of artistic merit by supporting new productions and to broaden the audience for live theatre and dance. For the past 40 years, TDF has played a unique role in strengthening the performing arts in New York City. TDF's programs have filled nearly 72 million theatre seats; provided subsidy support to over 900 plays, including 30 Pulitzer Prize honorees; and returned over 1.6 billion dollars in revenue to thousands of productions.

On October 16, 2008, TDF opened their new TKTS Discount Booth in Father Duffy Square, the centerpiece of the newly designed and expanded plaza, operating under a glowing red glass staircase. They also operate satellite TKTS booths in Downtown Brooklyn and at South Street Seaport.

TDF's membership and voucher programs touch the lives of tens of thousands of New Yorkers who might not otherwise be able to afford the unique experience of theatre. TDF's award-winning education programs, Open Doors, Stage Doors and Residency Arts Project (RAP), involve thousands of New York City public school students each year, most of whom have never attended a live theatre performance.  TDF's also produces the theatre magazine, Play by Play, which is written by and for high school students.

TDF's Accessibility Programs (TAP) make the theatre experience a reality for people with physical disabilities. They also present highly regarded open captioned and sign language interpreted performances for theatre goers with mild to severe hearing loss, and audio described performances for those who are blind or with low vision. Additionally, TDF sponsors comprehensive training courses for future producers and maintains a 70,000-item Costume Collection which rents professional costumes at low cost to hundreds of not-for-profit organizations across the United States each year. For more information about TDF and its programs, go to