It’s official. Signature Theatre in Arlington, Va., has officially acquired EverythingSondheim.org! Below is the text of the news release announcing the change in ownership. You can also read Nelson Pressley’s article about this for the Washington Post.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 4, 2018
Signature Theatre to Acquire the Website
The continued publication of news about the life and works of Stephen Sondheim
affirms Signature’s special relationship
with the composer and his importance to musical theater
ARLINGTON, VA: This January Signature Theatre will acquire the website EverythingSondheim.org and begin publishing new articles and content this winter. Everything Sondheim is a print publication and website created by Rick Pender featuring extensive international coverage of the most influential composer and lyricist of contemporary musical theater, Stephen Sondheim.
In the late summer of 2017 it was announced that Everything Sondheim would cease publication, citing an unsustainable business model for a printed publication and fee-based website. When Signature’s staff saw the closure announcement, it was immediately clear they could not let this happen. Signature is the foremost regional theater producer of Stephen Sondheim’s catalog having mounted 28 Sondheim productions in its 28-year history. Signature’s Artistic Director Eric Schaeffer has a long-standing artistic partnership with the composer. Signature will operate EverythingSondheim.org as a free and open website, continuing to cover international news about Sondheim’s productions and artists who are especially known for their interpretation of Sondheim works in long and short form articles. Eventually, Signature looks to add more evergreen content such as show synopses and teacher guides, biographical information and timeline, as well as fun items like games and listicles.
“I’m delighted that Signature is taking over Everything Sondheim,” said Stephen Sondheim. “I’ve had a long and happy relationship with Eric Schaeffer and his theater, and the website couldn’t be in better hands.”
Rick Pender, who edited The Sondheim Review from 2004 to 2015 before founding Everything Sondheim, said, “All of us who worked on this project are grateful to Signature Theatre for stepping up. I can’t think of a better institution to sustain this endeavor. We are proud to have gotten it started, and we look forward to Signature taking Everything Sondheim to the next level.”
Signature’s Artistic Director Eric Schaeffer said, “Stephen Sondheim is Signature’s signature, and making sure that news about his work and productions from all over the world is given the attention it has earned will be our privilege. We plan to continue to publish new and original content, including articles, videos, production listings, puzzles, quizzes and more starting in Winter 2018.”
SIGNATURE AND SCHAEFFER’S SONDHEIM HISTORY
Signature’s first musical in 1991, a gutsy production of Sweeney Todd, was a stand-out hit, putting Signature on the map, earning four Helen Hayes Awards and beginning Signature’s reputation as an intrepid producer of Stephen Sondheim’s work. Since then Signature has presented 28 productions of Sondheim musicals as well as special concert events.
Signature is also the home to The Stephen Sondheim Award, given annually in collaboration with the composer to those who have contributed to his works and the canon of American musical theatre. Past recipients include Angela Lansbury, Bernadette Peters, Hal Prince, Patti LuPone, James Lapine and Cameron Mackintosh.
Schaeffer’s first direction of a Sondheim musical was Sunday in the Park with George for The Arlington Players which featured the original Broadway sets and costumes. In 2002, he served as the Artistic Director of The Kennedy Center’s Sondheim Celebration and directed Sunday in the Park with George and Passion as part of the festival. In 2011/12 Schaeffer directed a critically acclaimed production of Follies starring Bernadette Peters, Danny Burstein, Elaine Page, Ron Raines, and Jan Maxwell at The Kennedy Center. It subsequently transferred to Broadway where it was nominated for eight Tony Awards, including Best Revival of a Musical.
Recipient of the 2009 Regional Theatre Tony Award®, Signature Theatre is a non-profit professional theater company in Arlington, Virginia, dedicated to producing contemporary musicals and plays, reinventing classic musicals, and developing new work. Under the leadership of co-founder and Artistic Director Eric Schaeffer and Managing Director Maggie Boland, Signature has presented 44 world premiere productions and is renowned for combining Broadway-quality productions with intimate playing spaces. Since its founding in 1989, Signature has won 97 Helen Hayes Awards for excellence in the Washington, DC, region’s professional theater and has been honored with 386 nominations.
Signature Theatre plans to begin actively managing the site in February.
If you have questions, feel free to email me.
(Former) Executive Editor & Publisher