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Manhattan Theatre Club’s Barry Grove extends parting advice to Broadway

The former MTC executive producer exited the nonprofit in June.

(L-R) Barry Grove and Lynne Meadow on the red carpet of the 2023 Tony Awards (Credit: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty)

In 1975, Barry Grove signed on as managing director of Manhattan Theatre Club (MTC) — a position, he says, he’d anticipated holding for two years. Forty-eight years later, Grove has stepped down from his expanded role as executive producer.

During his tenure, Grove spearheaded the business of the nonprofit theater in line with the vision of artistic director Lynne Meadow. Grove grew the nonprofit from an annual budget of $172,000 to $27 million. He successfully moved the company Off-Broadway to New York City Center (with 300-seat and a 150-seat venues) in 1983 and renovated and reopened the Biltmore Theatre (now the Samuel J. Friedman) as MTC’s permanent Broadway home in 2003; Meadow called it “the theater of our dreams.”

Meadow and Grove have been two halves of one whole. “I’ve loved every minute of working with Lynne,” Grove said of his longtime business partner. “I think that [48 years] says a lot, but I also believe in the next generation.” So Grove has made way for a new leader.

Grove spoke to Broadway News during the 2023 spring awards season, before his official departure from the theater at the end of June. Grove’s successor, Chris Jennings, has begun the transition to MTC from his home theater (Shakespeare Theater Company in Washington, D.C.) and will be fully on board at the start of August. But after nearly half a century in the industry, Grove offered some perspective about the status of the famed nonprofit and Broadway at large, and how both can continue their recoveries.

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