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Sony Names Lia Vollack President of Columbia Live Stage (EXCLUSIVE)

Longtime Sony executive Lia Vollack has been named president of Columbia Live Stage, the new live theatrical productions division of Sony Pictures Entertainment.

In her new post, Vollack, previously president of worldwide music for Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group as well as exec vice president of theatrical for SPE, will develop and produce original theater productions and work with the Sony catalog to create stage properties for Broadway and beyond. She’ll report to Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton.

Columbia Live Stage already has a strong player in the Broadway game with the just-announced New York transfer of “Groundhog Day,” the new musical based on the 1993 Columbia Pictures comedy. With a creative team led by “Matilda” collaborators Matthew Warchus (director) and Tim Minchin (songwriter), “Groundhog Day” earned rave reviews in its world premiere at London’s Old Vic, and has just locked in a Broadway run opening in April and produced by Warchus and Andre Ptaszynski for Whistle Pig Productions and Vollack for Columbia Live Stage.

Although the 2016-17 Broadway season is barely underway, “Groundhog Day” looks poised to become a major part of the 2017 Tony Awards conversation, given the strength of the response across the Atlantic.

Sony’s appointment of Vollack to her new post suggests the studio sees live theater as a market with significant growth potential. Hollywood studios at large have taken a growing interest in the stage over the last several years, as studio-affiliated productions like “The Lion King” and “Wicked” have become enduring generators of blockbuster revenue.

In her prior position, Vollack, a former Broadway and Off Broadway sound designer, was integral in launching Columbia Live Stage, which had its first Broadway outing earlier this year as a co-producer of “Shuffle Along.”  She’s also worked on the music for a long list of films, including James Bond titles “Spectre” and “Skyfall” as well as “The Social Network” and the “Spider-Man” movies.

Spring Aspers, the exec vice president of music creative affairs at Sony Pictures, will take over Vollack’s duties at the motion picture group during the transition.

 

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