Thursday, February 28, 2008

Mayor Ralph Becker Appoints Nationally Renowned Expert on Theater Development to Lead Salt Lake City’s New Downtown Theater Development Project

Mayor’s Downtown Theater Action Group is Established

SALT LAKE CITY – Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker announced today that he has appointed a nationally recognized, Tony Award-winning expert in the field of theater development, production and management to oversee Salt Lake City’s plan to build a Broadway-class theater.

William Becker will work on a volunteer basis to chair the newly announced Mayor’s Downtown Theater Action Group, a team of community and business leaders who will investigate options currently being considered for the location, size and financing of the capital city’s new theater and recommend a final decision on the matter.

In making the announcement, Becker said, “I know Bill will work with this group to quickly and effectively determine where and how Salt Lake City should build our theater, to fit the needs of the capital city and indeed the whole state of Utah.”

“There are a handful of excellent locations in the capital city to establish this theater. I have worked closely with the Salt Lake Chamber and Downtown Alliance to determine this next step. We all agree that appointing this group and chairman to advise us on our best options will produce efficient and effective results.”

The entire membership of the group will be announced in the next few weeks. The Mayor is encouraging the group to begin its work quickly so the Salt Lake City can, once a specific site is selected, get the theater development project underway.

Becker concluded, “I am pleased to announce today that, in partnership with the arts and business community, a new Broadway-class theater is going to be built in Salt Lake City, Utah’s capital city and the heart of our state.”

Biography of Bill Becker

Bill Becker is a Tony® Award winning producer who organized TheatreDreams with Larry Wilker in 2001 and currently serves as Chairman. TheatreDreams has become an internationally regarded theater producer, owner and operator. Since 2001, the company has co-produced four Broadway and several road productions; acquired, restored, and operated The Chicago Theatre; and managed the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles. By 2007, when The Chicago Theatre was sold to Madison Square Garden (Cablevision), the venue had become one of the world's outstanding presenters of popular entertainment programming.

Becker left his law practice and his position as the Kennedy Center General Counsel to organize and operate TheatreDreams with Wilker. Becker had provided legal counsel to the Kennedy Center since 1969, before initial construction was completed. During his tenure, he oversaw performance contracting and, beginning in 1994, the transfer of building operations and a $225 million construction program from the National Park Service to the Kennedy Center. He guided the project to expand the Kennedy Center parking garage with a $32 million Industrial Revenue Bond issuance, and was instrumental in the planning for a $400 million expansion of the Kennedy Center to include a 17-acre public plaza to the east of the Kennedy Center site, utilizing air rights over the existing highway system.

Becker has negotiated thousands of theater production, television, licensing, recording, and other performing arts contracts since 1969, including presentation, stage, television, record, movie, and other production and presentation arrangements for Leonard Bernstein's Mass, Captain Brassbounds Conversion, First Monday in October, Seinfeld, American Idol, ESPY Awards, Pippin, Annie, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton in Private Lives, Bolshoi Opera, CNN Debates, Bolshoi Ballet, Les Miserables, and the Kennedy Center Honors.

Becker has vast experience in corporate finance, copyright and intellectual property matters, computer and Internet issues, real estate development and labor relations. His legal work also included commercial litigation, insurance, labor relations and other employment matters, tort litigation, federal ethics statutes and regulations, legislative matters, construction contracting, crude oil pipeline and trucking regulation, and federal agency status issues.

He also represented Kennedy Center Productions, Inc., a funding entity for the Kennedy Center, and represented Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts in its early years. For many years, he was General Counsel and on the Board of Directors of the Greater Washington Board of Trade, Washington DC and The Voice Foundation. Becker has written and participated in symposia on performing arts related subjects. Becker is a graduate of the Harvard Law School (LLB) and the Amos Tuck School of Business Administration (MBA). Until leaving his law practice, he was admitted to the bars of the District of Columbia, Maryland, Massachusetts, and Supreme Court.

Becker lives outside of Park City, UT, with his wife, Joan Alper, where his extracurricular activities include hiking, flyfishing, and downhill and backcountry skiing.


Anonymous said...

welcome to SLC Bro, you're on the pay roll.

This is a disgusting example of nepotism.

Andrea said...

Whatever, anonymous. He's got experience and he's willing to work for free. I believe that's what you call "volunteering." Sounds more like a favor for the city than a favor for William Becker. Relax and be glad the city is taking an interest in brining new art and life to downtown.

Anonymous said...

Like Andrea said how about you clue in anonymous. Maybe not be such a debbie downer all the time. Not sure how volunteering is considered on the payroll. Not sure if they could afford to actually pay someone with more experience anyway.

Maybe anonymous is Mayor Dolan is he's angry that SLC is going to win this one. HA HA!

It's me Future Mayor :-)

SLC ROCKS said...

It only make sense to have a large theater downtown, I don't want to stereotype, but I just cannot imagine sucking down cheap seafood at Joes Crab shack and then spending $50 a ticket on a play in Sandy. And Anonymous, don't tell me nepotism is a rare concept in Utah politics, It just time that the left gain enough power and use it to benefit society as a whole. Sandy suck anyway!

Anonymous said...

funny how they are trying to build this theater project downtown when they just cut youth city artways without even knowing what it was all about. they saved maybe $100,000 by cutting this, which in the grand scheme of things is fairly minimal to the budget. how much will this project cost the budget? and downtown already has a decent theater scene. one of the main guys involved in it in fact said that this is a waste of money. maybe we should be spending money on our kids education, youth city artways, instead of wasting it on extra projects that arenot needed. but then again utah wouldn't be utah without letting education slide even further down the national scale.