EXCLUSIVE: CAA makes it a habit to rotate its rising agents into department head roles, and they’ve just appointed vet Joe Machota to take the reins of the Theatre Department. Heads rotate more regularly in areas like film and television, but the top job has belonged to George Lane since he moved over from WMA a decade ago to form CAA’s legit division. I’m told that Lane, free of the administrative duties that came with that job, will continue to rep his theater clients while working with the partners on initiatives that include generating funding for client-driven legit productions. That is a model that has made CAA’s independent film division a powerhouse, matching clients with financiers to get stuff made, with the agency packaging the films and making the domestic distribution deals. CAA has had a hand in such stage productions as the upcoming revival of Cabaret, the Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz-starrer Betrayal, the Ian McKellen/Billy Crudup-starrer No Man’s Land and Waiting For Godot, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Aladdin, Hedwig And The Angry Inch, Casa Valentina, Big Fish, and the upcoming Los Angeles production of the John Logan-penned Sue Mengers play I’ll Eat You Last, which stars Bette Midler.
Machota has been at CAA since 2005, and his stage clients include Scarlett Johansson, Ansel Elgort, Marisa Tomei, Chris Pine, Jim Parsons, Neil Patrick Harris, Zachary Quinto, Ricky Martin, Sutton Foster, Christian Borle, Casey Nicholaw, Joe Mantello, Michael Grandage, George C. Wolfe, David Leveaux and Rick Elice.