Todd Haimes, Who Rebuilt Roundabout Theater Firm, Dies at 66

Todd Haimes, who rescued New York’s Roundabout Theater Firm from chapter and constructed it into one of many largest nonprofit theaters in America, died on Wednesday at 66.

His loss of life, at Memorial Sloan Kettering hospital in Manhattan, was attributable to problems of osteosarcoma, in line with a spokesman, Matt Polk. Mr. Haimes had lived with the most cancers since 2002, when he was identified with sarcoma of the jaw.

Because the inventive director and chief government officer at Roundabout, Mr. Haimes had an awfully lengthy and efficient tenure. He led the group for 4 a long time, turning the nonprofit firm into a significant participant on Broadway, the place it now runs three of the 41 theaters.

The theater firm has targeted on classics and revivals however has additionally been a supporter of recent work, and beneath Mr. Haimes’s management, it has excelled on each fronts, profitable 11 Tony Awards for performs and musicals it has produced and nurturing the careers of up to date American writers, together with Stephen Karam, Joshua Harmon and Selina Fillinger.

Amongst Roundabout’s largest successes throughout his tenure was a 1998 revival of “Cabaret,” initially starring Alan Cumming and Natasha Richardson, that survived a bumpy begin (a building accident interrupted performances for 4 weeks) after which ran for almost six years, returning a decade later for a one-year reprise. There have been many different triumphs, together with a 2020 revival of “A Soldier’s Play” that’s now touring the nation. Each productions gained Tony Awards.

Catalyzed by America’s social unrest over racial inequality in 2020, Mr. Haimes led Roundabout in an effort to unearth misplaced gems written by artists of coloration. One consequence was an acclaimed Broadway manufacturing of Alice Childress’s 1955 backstage drama “Hassle in Thoughts,” which had by no means made it to Broadway as a result of the Black playwright had refused to melt the present’s ending to make it much less difficult for white theatergoers.

Mr. Haimes joined Roundabout in 1983 as the corporate’s managing director. He was simply 26, and the corporate, based in 1965 and saddled with debt, was working in a Chelsea film home. At one significantly determined level, he used his personal bank card to maintain the corporate afloat, however a couple of weeks after he arrived, the board of administrators voted to close it down.

A board member donated sufficient to purchase the corporate a while, and Mr. Haimes engineered a turnabout, reducing employees members, decreasing bills, bettering advertising and marketing and, over time, increasing the viewers with measures comparable to early weekday curtain instances to draw an after-work crowd, particular occasions for singles and homosexual theatergoers, and reductions for youngsters. In 2016, he turned the primary presenter to permit the livestreaming of a efficiency of a Broadway present, a much-praised revival of “She Loves Me.”

Bernard Todd Haimes was born on Could 7, 1956, in New York Metropolis to Herman Haimes, a lawyer, and Helaine Haimes, a homemaker.

His onstage life was exceedingly transient: In elementary faculty on Manhattan’s Higher East Facet, he wore a costume to play the title function in a manufacturing of “Mary Poppins.” He later claimed he had landed the half as a result of he was the one little one who may pronounce “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.”

He earned a bachelor’s diploma on the College of Pennsylvania and an M.B.A. at Yale. Earlier than arriving at Roundabout, he labored as normal supervisor of the Hartman Theater Firm in Stamford and as managing director of the Westport Nation Playhouse, each in Connecticut.

“I had no need to commerce shares and bonds, and making Nivea cream wouldn’t flip me on,” he instructed The New York Instances in 1986. “I’ve cherished the theater all my life. I’ve no need to be on stage, however I get a tingle simply being round one, ever since I labored on the stage crew for ‘Tips on how to Achieve Enterprise’ on Broadway after I was in tenth grade.”

He turned producing director of Roundabout in 1989 and added the title of chief government in 2015.

“The benefit of my background is that every one of my inventive selections are being knowledgeable by administration issues,” Mr. Haimes mentioned in 2004. “Nobody’s ever going to accuse me of being a loopy artist. The drawback is similar: that maybe there are good issues different folks may accomplish that I simply can’t.”

He’s survived by his spouse, Jeanne-Marie (Christman) Haimes; two kids, Dr. Hilary Haimes and Andrew Haimes; two stepdaughters, Julia and Kiki Baron; and 4 grandchildren. His first two marriages, to Dr. Alison Haimes and Tamar Climan, resulted in divorce.

Mr. Haimes led Roundabout’s transfer to Broadway in 1991, when he started presenting work within the Criterion Middle, which not exists. The transfer was a turning level for the corporate, he mentioned: “Due to the Tony Award eligibility, we could have an amazing benefit in terms of acquiring the rights to performs, securing administrators and attracting distinguished actors.”

In 2000, he moved the corporate into the renamed American Airways Theater, which is now Roundabout’s flagship home. It has since additionally acquired the theater at Studio 54 and assumed operations of the theater now generally known as the Stephen Sondheim.

Among the many Tony-winning exhibits produced by Roundabout throughout Mr. Haimes’s tenure have been revivals of the performs “Anna Christie” and “A View from the Bridge” and of the musicals “9,” “Assassins,” “The Pajama Sport” and “Something Goes.” Roundabout was additionally among the many producers of Tony-winning productions of two new performs, “Facet Man” and “The People.”

The corporate now runs 5 theaters, all in Midtown Manhattan, together with the three Broadway homes, an Off Broadway theater and an Off Off Broadway black-box house that it developed to provide a platform to rising playwrights.

Over time there have been flops and finances deficits, in addition to successes, and a few critics have advised that Roundabout was overextended. Its monumental actual property footprint turned a monetary problem that the corporate addressed partly by renting out a few of its Broadway venues to business producers. The corporate made a major amount of cash, for instance, by renting out the Sondheim for 5 years to the producers of “Stunning,” the Carole King biomusical.

Mr. Haimes was additionally certainly one of a handful of leaders of nonprofit theater firms in New York whose decades-long tenures have raised eyebrows amongst those that need extra turnover. He held onto the Roundabout job even when he took one other one, as inventive director for the deeply troubled Toronto theater firm Livent, in 1998; that firm collapsed, and Haimes stayed at Roundabout.

Roundabout’s dimension — 150 staff and a $50 million annual finances — has given it the flexibility to help important endeavors offstage. It operates substantial schooling and coaching packages, together with faculty partnerships that serve greater than 4,000 college students every year and a partnership with the stagehands union to coach theater technicians.

However like many nonprofits, it has not but totally rebounded from the results of the coronavirus pandemic. It staged one present on Broadway this season, a revival of “1776.”

Mr. Haimes, who was usually content material to stay within the background relatively than grabbing the highlight, was a popular determine within the trade, and retained an enthusiasm for the artwork kind. He was energetic in each the Broadway and the Off Broadway communities, serving on quite a few committees, and over time he taught at Yale and Brooklyn School.

However he remained a businessman and a booster at coronary heart.

“Principally I’m extremely insecure and don’t take myself severely as an artist,” he mentioned in a 1998 interview. “However in some way my style appears to match up with what the general public desires.”