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Exclusive: Broadway League announces recipients of 2024 touring awards

The citations acknowledge achievement across the touring Broadway industry.

(Top, L-R) Anne Francis, Anne McNiff-Gaeta, Thomas Schumacher and Lisa Mitchell; (Bottom, L-R) Warren Adams of Black Theatre Coalition, DJ Martin, T. Oliver Reid of Black Theatre Coalition and Norma Deull of Clark Transfer Inc. (Credit: Jeremy Daniel)

The Broadway League, the national trade association for the Broadway industry, has revealed the winners of its 2024 League Awards. Announced at the League’s annual Spring Road Conference, the accolades recognize achievement in and contribution to the Broadway touring industry.

Disney Theatrical Group’s (DTG) chief creative officer Thomas Schumacher received the Distinguished Lifetime Service Award. During his three-decade tenure with DTG, Schumacher has overseen the development, creation and production of DTG’s Broadway, touring and international theatrical presentations, including “Beauty and the Beast,” “Aida,” “Tarzan,” “The Little Mermaid,” “Newsies” and “Frozen,” as well as “The Lion King” and “Aladdin,” both of which are the currently running on the Main Stem. A former chair of the Broadway League, Schumacher announced in 2023 that he would transition from his role as DTG’s president to chief creative officer. 

Anne McNiff-Gaeta was awarded the Outstanding Achievement in Road Group Sales honor. McNiff-Gaeta serves as the director of group services at Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Orange County, California, where she has overseen all group sales and service since 2010. She joined Segerstrom in 1985 as subscription manager and worked at Los Angeles’ Center Theatre Group and the Mighty Ducks Hockey Club. She rejoined Segerstrom in 2002.

DJ Martin received the Outstanding Achievement in Road Marketing and Press Award. Martin is a founding partner of Bond Theatrical, where he currently oversees the organization’s integrated marketing and communications efforts. He has held previous tenures with Type A Marketing and Keith Sherman & Associates. He serves as the marketing director for the Broadway musical “Water for Elephants.”

The award for Outstanding Achievement in Education and Engagement went to Lisa Mitchell, director of education and audience engagement at DTG. Mitchell created Disney Musicals in Schools, which develops sustainable theater programs in under-resourced public elementary schools.

The Outstanding Achievement in Presenter Manager Award (also known as the Samuel J. L’Hommedieu Award) was given to Anne Francis, who is the west coast vice president for Broadway Across America (BAA). The founder of the marketing agency Schedule A Consultancy, Francis previously served as general manager for BAA’s west coast markets as well as senior marketing director of PACE Theatrical. 

Clark Transfer Inc. was cited with the George MacPherson Road Award. Clark Transfer is a full-service theatrical transportation and logistics company. Founded in 1949, Clark Transfer revolutionized how touring productions travel from city to city.

The League’s inaugural Impact Award was given to Black Theatre Coalition, which aims to develop sustainable strategies to increase employment opportunities for Black professionals in the Broadway industry across all disciplines (creative, production and managerial). This honor celebrates a partner of the League who has made an outstanding contribution to the field or community. Unlike other League Awards, this distinction recognizes an organization or individual, rather than League members or their staff.

The Star of Touring Broadway Awards recognize board members, government officials, donors and volunteers who support and champion the touring Broadway series offered in their hometowns. The 2024 honorees are the Peabody Hotel in Memphis, Tennessee, and Ora Reynolds, the president and CEO of Hunt Midwest in Kansas City.

“Touring Broadway productions allow audiences to experience Broadway in their own cities and their incredible local theaters across the country — whether as an introduction for new theatergoers or a tradition for those who have been before,” said League interim president Jason Laks in a statement. “In the 2023-2024 season, touring Broadway recorded approximately 15.5 million attendances, and we are enormously grateful to our members and partners whose efforts are pivotal to the success of Broadway across North America, none more so than today’s amazing award recipients.”