Richard Akins, former producer and executive director of the Jupiter Theater in Palm Beach County, Fla., died March 31, from a rare form of pancreatic cancer. He was 62.
Akins was a major force in equity theater, bringing Broadway, television and film stars to audiences in New York, Pennsylvania, Florida and South Carolina.
He also produced theatre for the Westbury and Valley Forge Music Fairs in New York and Pennsylvania, and The Palace Theater in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
Earlier in his career, he was proprietor of the Playhouse Inn in New Hope, Penn., created the murder mystery dinner theater concept at Peddler’s Village in Lahaska, Penn., operated the Genetti Dinner Playhouse in Hazleton, Penn., and the Shepherd Hills Playhouse in Allentown, Penn.
During his 10-year tenure, the Jupiter Theater won numerous Carbonnell Awards in South Florida and produced the world premiere tour of “Gates & Mills” starring Tom Poston and Tim Conway. He brought the Bolshoi Ballet to the Palace Theater, where he also produced The Radio City Christmas Spectacular. He also produced Broadway musicals at Harrah’s in Atlantic City for many years.
He is survived by his wife Janina, a daughter and two sons.