Grace and Wisdom

The Return of In-Person Oral History

The League of Professional Theatre Women’s first Oral History Project of the season celebrated a return to in-person events on Monday October 17, as producer Pat Addiss shared wisdom and humor with two-time Emmy Award-winning journalist, television anchor and theatre critic Roma Torre at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.

Pat Flicker Addiss on the stage of the Bruno Walter Auditorium, NYPL Photo by Allison Stock

Pat Flicker Addiss has produced more than 20 plays on and Off-Broadway. Most won or were nominated for major awards. Among her favorites: her first Broadway show, Little Women with Sutton Foster, Chita Rivera: The Dancer’s LifeBridge and Tunnel, Spring Awakening39 Steps, Vanya, Sonia, Masha and Spike, Eclipsed, Buyer and Cellar, and, currently touring, the musical, Desperate Measures.

Here are some highlights:

“I only did shows that I believed in and love… I have no formula…Something sang to me (when) I saw 39 Steps in London. I loved it and I wanted to produce it.

I have no philosophy…The secret of producing (is) finding the audience for your show and getting it there… You’re dependent on your marketing people.

If someone isn’t any good, fire them and get someone else. There are times when you have to be not nice.”

When Roma Torre asked Addiss if she had advice for prospective producers, she responded:

“Have a lot of money, or a wealthy boyfriend, or a wealthy husband or a wealthy mother.”

In all seriousness, she spoke directly to her many friends and fans and others in the audience at the Bruno Walter Auditorium, saying more than once in the course of the evening: “It’s very important that women help other women.”

The LPTW Professional Development and Heritage Programs are made possible, in part by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature, and by Public Funds from the NYC department of Cultural Affairs in Partnership with the City Council. LPTW is proud to have SHOWTIME as a Brava Sponsor.

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