The hiring of Gersh’s high profile but also high strung theater department head and partner John Buzzetti followed today’s 9AM-to-1PM WME board meeting where it was also announced that Dave Wirtschafter was relinquishing his co-CEO title. The agent will oversee WME’s theatre department and is expected to bring most of his client list, including those who’ve won the Pulitzer Prize, Tony Award, Drama Desk Award, the Kesserling Prize, and Outer Critics Circle Award. “With a stellar track record for developing young artists, and representation of groundbreaking musicals such as Avenue Q, In the Heights, and Next to Normal, John is responsible for some of today’s most celebrated talent. There is no one better to carry on WME’s commitment to the theatre than John,” stated the WME Board.
“I am incredibly excited to be a part of the legacy and tradition of WME’s theatre department,” said Buzzetti. I am proud to join this new and dynamic company, and look forward to our future success.”
Buzzetti represents clients such as Marsha Norman (‘night, Mother), David Lindsay-Abaire (Rabbit Hole), John Weidman (Contact), Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty (Ragtime), Jeanine Tesori (Caroline, or Change), Lin- Manuel Miranda (In the Heights), Robert Lopez (Avenue Q), Tom Kitt (Next to Normal), Brian Yorkey (Next to Normal), Warren Leight (Side Man), Adam Rapp (Red Light Winter), Stephen Adly Guirgis (The Little Flower of East Orange), Nicky Silver (Pterodactyls), Jeff Whitty (Avenue Q), Jason Moore (Avenue Q), Thomas Kail (In the Heights) and Andy Blankenbuehler (In the Heights), all of whom will be joining him at WME.
You may remember that Buzzetti was the hot head who at Gersh walked off the job in a huff from time to time. The agency would let him blow off steam and then welcome him back again and again. It was because the New York-based theatrical lit agent repped such quality musical theater and playwrighting talent. (Last September, he pitched a fit when the air conditioning system wasn’t working. “He throws up his hands and says, ‘I’m done,’ over a ridiculous thing,” one insider told me. This sounds like the start of a beautiful friendship between Buzzetti and Ari Emanuel.