Created in 1968 to help an ailing New York theatre industry, TDF now provides support to more than 900 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:
- 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 purchased to The Great White Hope.
- TDF Membership Program started.
- Voucher Program for Off-Off Broadway theatre.
- TKTS Discount Booth opens in Father Duffy Square.
- Costume Collection opens.
- Dance Voucher Program.
- Lower Manhattan TKTS opens on William Street.
- TDF offices move to 1501 Broadway.
- Theatre Access Project (TAP) formed.
- TDF begins National Services to consult with arts organizations.
- Dance Subsidy Program.
- TAP presents first Broadway sign-language interpreted performance (The Elephant Man).
- Society of London Theatres consults with TDF to help them open their "Half-Price Ticket Booth" in Leicester Square.
- Lower Manhattan TKTS moves to 2 World Trade Center.
- tdfsightlines, a quarterly newsletter, begins.
- NYC/ONSTAGE performing arts phone hotline launched.
- New enlarged Times Square TKTS booth installed in June, celebrating 15 years of TKTS.
- TDF Travel begins with first package tour to London.
- TDF begins administration of The Astaire Awards.
- Spanish language information becomes available on NYC/ONSTAGE.
- TDF and Juilliard join to launch annual week-long "Interpreting for the Theatre" Institute.
- A bomb explosion at World Trade Center Feb. 23 closes TKTS Lower Manhattan booth.
By March 15, it is operating in temporary quarters at Manhattan Savings Bank at 4 W.T.C.
- TDF Costume Collection launches Irene Sharaff Awards.
- TDF/Broadway League-sponsored Commercial Theater Institute presents first Robert Whitehead Award.
- Mayor Giuliani presents citation to TDF honoring 25th anniversary at June 6 Gracie Mansion reception for theatre.
- Stage Doors Program launched in January as TDF- Lexus Project for Student Audiences.
- TAP launches Talking Hands Program sending children with mild to severe hearing loss to sign-language interpreted Broadway matinees.
- TDF creates Residency Arts Project (RAP), a playwriting residency in NYC high schools.
- TDF website www.tdf.org launches.
- Play by Play, a theatre magazine for and by NYC high school students, is first published.
- TAP presents first open-captioned Broadway performance (Barrymore).
- TKTS2K Competition to design a new TKTS booth is announced.
- TDF and Wendy Wasserstein develop Open Doors Program.
- First London tour for people with hearing loss.
- TAP open captions performances at the Royal Shakespeare Company in England.
- Lower Manhattan TKTS destroyed on 9/11, moves to temporary location at Bowling Green Plaza.
- Lower Manhattan TKTS reopens at South Street Seaport.
- TAP begins open captioning Off Broadway productions.
- TDF Costume Collection moves to new space.
- TAP begins National Open Captioning Initiative.
- Duffy Square renovation breaks ground.
- TKTS moves to temporary location outside New York Marriott Marquis.
- TKTS Downtown Brooklyn opens in MetroTech Center.
- TKTS returns to Duffy Square in its new permanent location "under the red steps".
- TKTS offices move to 520 Eighth Avenue.
- TAP presents audio-described Broadway performance for people with low vision.
- The new TKTS Booth and revitalized 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.
- TDF Membership Program launches Off-Off@$9.
- TDF founds New Audiences for New York Program.
- TDF and CUNY pilot "BEAT" Program (Bridging Education and Theatre) on four CUNY campuses.
- Official TKTS iPhone app is launched.
- TKTS Patron Services Program begins.
- The Autism Theatre Initiative, a program of TAP, is launched.
- TDF receives the Mayor's Award for Arts and Culture
- TDF's Open Doors program becomes the first arts education program to every receive a Tony honor for "excellence in the theatre."
- TDF is awarded a New York Innovative Theatre Award for its support of the off-Off Broadway community.
- TDF received the Lucille Lortel Awards honor for "Outstanding Body of Work" in support of the Off Broadway community.
- TDF consults with theatres around the country to help them present their first autism-friendly performances.