Robert Greenblatt, the NBC Entertainment Chairman who has made live broadcasts of classic musicals an annual event on his network, has joined the board of directors at Center Theater Group, the 50-year-old L.A. theater company that is now laying the groundwork for its next 50 years.
The addition is part of a broader push on the part of CTG and artistic director Michael Ritchie to integrate members of the broader entertainment industry onto the company’s board. Producer Gail Berman, YouTube’s head of global content Susanne Daniels and Chernin Entertainment exec Dante Di Loreto are among other relatively recent additions to the approximately 50-member board of CTG.
Greenblatt has long been a vocal supporter of theater, backing theater-related TV projects including “Smash,” “The Sound of Music” and “Hairspray,” while also signing on as a producer on stage fare including “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder,” “Something Rotten!” and this season’s hot ticket “Dear Evan Hansen.” In 2014, he also took a formal leadership role in Universal Stage Productions.
The umbrella company that runs the Ahmanson Theater, the Mark Taper Forum and the Kirk Douglas Theater, CTG is in the midst of a 50th anniversary season that has included the pre-Broadway run of musical “Amelie” and a revival of “Zoot Suit.” The organization has worked to establish deeper ties with the broader entertainment industry as theater becomes an increasing part of the pop culture conversation, with “Hamilton” exploding in the zeitgeist, “La La Land” nabbing Oscars and musical-theater titles getting regular showcases on network TV. On the talent side, more and more film and TV stars have shown up on Broadway in recent seasons, while playwrights have become increasingly in-demand as the writers of original television.
“One of the things CTG is building is a relationship with an industry that is already our partner, in a sense,” Ritchie said.