On February 3, 2017, Theatre Forward held its Fourteenth Annual Broadway Roundtable hosted by UBS.


The Broadway Roundtable is an exclusive discussion and luncheon event enjoyed by Theatre Forward board members, patrons and supporters.

2017 Broadway Roundtable Panelists included:

Betty Buckley, Tony Award winning actress (Cats, Carrie, M. Night Shyamalan’s Split)
Kathleen Marshall, Tony Award-winning director and choreographer (In Transit, Anything Goes, Nice Work If You Can Get It, The Pajama Game)
Nelle Nugent, Tony Award-winning producer (Stick Fly, Love Letters, The Trip to Bountiful)
Michael Ritchie, Artistic Director of Center Theatre Group in Los Angeles
Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Tony Award-winning actor, playwright and director (Jitney, Jelly’s Last Jam, The Piano Lesson, Seven Guitars)
Brian Stokes Mitchell, Tony Award-winning actor (Shuffle Along, Ragtime, Kiss Me, Kate, Man of La Mancha) 

Bruce E. Whitacre, Executive Director of Theatre Forward, led the discussion that concentrated on the American theatre’s response to the proliferation of different voices as the demographics of our country continue to change. 

The conversation complimented Theatre Forward’s Advancing Strong Theatre program, which supports Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) initiatives for targeted underserved and under-represented communities.  This inspired us to focus this year’s panel on how theatre is responding as our country’s demographics evolve.  Our audiences do not always reflect the communities where we live.  And the long term viability of theatres as community institutions calls for new approaches.

Questions centered around address Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) in institutional and artistic choices, connecting with young audiences, theatre’s impact on a community and the role of an actor in civic life. Whether talking about attracting young people to the theatre, of women facing career obstacles because of their gender, of people persecuted for their beliefs or of bringing current and important stories to Broadway, each panelist offered impressive, personal insights that resonated with the Theatre Forward patrons and guests attending the event. They shared thoughts on the importance of keeping theatre relevant, always bringing their very best to the their work, and the impact theatre can have on a community.

Check out photos from the event here!