Film and theater Producer Marc Platt and wife Julie have made a $1 million gift to MCC Theater, one of Off Broadway’s leading not-for-profit companies, for the development and production of new musicals, MCC announced today.
Named for Marc Platt’s late, theater-loving uncle, The Gary Platt Musical Initiative will begin its intended mission immediately for the 2019-20 season. The initiative will support new musicals over the course of five programming seasons.
“Beyond being my beloved uncle, Gary introduced generations of nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews to the world of musical theatre,” said Marc Platt, speaking on behalf of himself, his wife and their family (the couple’s sons include actors Ben Platt and Jonah Platt). “He had a remarkable gift for encouraging people to embrace their unique talents and pursue their dreams. An initiative that encourages new playwrights and songwriters to reach their potential is a legacy he would be so proud of and a beautiful reflection of his life.”
The $1M gift arrives at an opportune time for the theater: In January, MCC opened its first, permanent home – the Robert W. Wilson MCC Theater Space on Manhattan’s West 52nd. The Gary Platt Musical Initiative and the new venue are expected to allow for an expansion of programming and productions.
“Gary Platt’s love for musical theater lives on with multiple generations of the Platt family,” said Bernie Telsey, Co-Artistic Director of MCC Theater, in a statement speaking on behalf of the company’s artistic leadership, “and we are honored to build upon that legacy through this initiative and the opportunity it gives us to inspire and support new voices who have important things to say through this uniquely powerful storytelling art form.”
Blake West, Executive Director of MCC Theater, said the new initiative “will propel MCC’s work in developing and producing new musicals in our new home, new Robert W. Wilson MCC Theater Space.” He added that the impact of the Platts’ gift “will be felt at MCC and within the American musical canon for years to come.”
Among MCC Theater’s many celebrated productions are Robert Askins’ Hand to God, which transferred to Broadway and was nominated for five 2015 Tony Awards; Sharr White’s The Other Place (also a Broadway transfer); various Neil LaBute plays including reasons to be pretty, nominated for three 2009 Tonys following a Broadway transfer; Margaret Edson’s 1999 Pulitzer Prize winner Wit; and the musicals Coraline, Carrie, and Ride the Cyclone. Current or shortly upcoming shows include the Ross Golan musical The Wrong Man and Theresa Rebeck’s Seared.
Among Platt’s theatrical producing credits are the long-running Wicked, 2017’s musical War Paint and play Indecent. His many film credits include 2014’s Into the Woods, 2016’s La La Land and 2018’s NBC special Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert.