UPDATE, Friday, to clarify 59E59 Theaters’ financial position: The management says, “59E59 provides a space for emerging and established not-for-profit theater companies to reach new audiences. We partner with these companies by giving them a highly-subsidized rental rate as well as production, marketing and press support. They also get to keep 100% of the box office net sales.”
EARLIER: Val Day, a former ICM Partners agent in the theatrical literary department, has been named artistic director of 59E59 Theaters, effective May 7. The highly regarded, three-theater off-Broadway complex opened in 2004 and has offered adventurous programming imported from across the U.S., the UK and other countries.
Announcing the change in leadership, the current AD, Elysabeth Kleinhans, and executive producer Peter Tear said they will be leaving the company’s day-to-day operations. Kleinhans will remain as president of the board of directors and take the title of Founding Artistic Director for the Elysabeth Kleinhans Theatrical Foundation. Tear “will guide the transition of artistic leadership at the theater through May 7,” according to the announcement, “when he will devote himself full time to consulting and commercial producing projects. His position will not be replaced.”
The Trump connection: Kleinhans built the complex after selling the adjacent property, the legendary Hotel Delmonico (which she had managed for a decade), to Donald Trump for $115 million in 2001. ”It’s been interesting,” Kleinhans told The New York Times after striking the deal, ”but I’ll be quite happy to get out of here. My mother loved the excitement of having a hotel. My dream is to have a theater complex, not a hotel.” When the lease of an a delicatessen next to the hotel ran out, she oversaw the construction of the theaters. The hotel is now known as the Trump Park Avenue.
Day joined ICM in 2011, after 12 years at WME. She left ICM in December 2015 and recently has served as a consultant to in Midtown East complex. She has represented the estate of Eugene O’Neill, and playwright Athol Fugard.
“With the selection of our new artistic director, 59E59 Theaters moves to a new phase as we complete the planned transition from the founding team to a traditional theater management structure, begun in 2012 with the appointment of Brian Beirne as managing director,” Kleinhans said.