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Proctors Theater joins play-creating consortium

Proctors Theater will not only be showing Broadway plays, it will be involved in creating them.

According to officials at Proctors, the theater has joined Elephant Eye Theatrical in an initiative to create new musicals for Broadway.

Proctor's CEO Philip Morris said he was pleased to be joining Elephant Eye and taking a pro-active role in creating new musicals.

We're very pleased to be joining Stuart Oken, Michael Leavitt and 14 other prominent performing arts organizations and presenters as a strategic member of Elephant Eye, he said. "By doing so we will take a pro-active role in the creation of exciting new musicals that will play Broadway and stages around the world, including Proctors."

Elephant Eye is a company that is jointly owned by a group of nonprofit performing arts centers and commercial entrepreneurs. Producers Stuart Oken, Michael Leavitt and Five Cent Productions created Elephant Eye in 2005.

Five Cent Productions is a collection of performing arts centers including The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts in Hartford, Conn.; The Citi Performing Arts Center (formerly the Wang Center) of Boston, Mass.; The Ordway Center for the Performing Arts of St. Paul, Minn.; The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts of Philadelphia, Penn.; and The Pittsburgh CLO and the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust (shared) of Pittsburgh, Penn.

Morris said Proctors' involvement with the company so far is a financial one. Proctors will be investing $150,000 over three years.

In addition to the five centers that are part of Five Cent Productions, Proctor' will be a strategic partner along with performing arts centers throughout the U.S. including centers in Miami, Fla., Dayton, Ohio and Newark, N.J.

Oken said getting everyone on board was phase one of Elephant Eye Theatricals. Now he wants to start creating musicals.

"We've concluded phase one of our initiative and now it's on to the work at hand " getting in the trenches and attempting to contribute to Broadways' rich legacy of musical theater," he said.

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