Friday: Alia Jones-Harvey, Broadway Producer, Honored At Black Star News Dinner

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Alia Jones-Harvey; Broadway Producer

Brings Business Savvy To Broadway Plays

Alia Jones-Harvey entered the theatre world combining her strong entrepreneurial drive with a creativity and passion for the arts.

Today she is an Olivier Award Winning and Tony-nominated Producer, and partner at Front Row Productions, a progressive theatrical production company devoted to bringing classic works performed by actors of color to the Broadway stage. Along with her partner and the founder of Front Row, Stephen C. Byrd, she proudly stands as one of the only two African American lead producers on Broadway.

Black Star Annual Awards: Please join us on December 18, 2015 at MIST Harlem at 46 W 116th St, New York, N.Y., 10026 from 6PM to 10PM when Alia Jones-Harvey joins Mayor David Dinkins, Rep. Charles Rangel, Rep. Yvette Clarke, the Central Park 5 and others as one of this year's Black Star News Annual Excellence Awards Dinner honoree.

For 15 years prior to joining Front Row Productions, Jones-Harvey accrued a wealth of business expertise working in financial analysis, reporting and marketing campaign development for prominent consumer brands, financial products, web-based educational curriculum and most significantly, arts organizations. As Jones-Harvey explains, this uniquely prepared her to meet the challenges of the Great White Way: “I compare producing to being the CEO of a startup business, which evolves from conceptualization to realization of the end production. At Front Row we are immensely performance-driven and focused on results for our investors, and the fact that my partner Stephen and I approach this industry from a business background provides us with a financially-informed perspective when we are working to market our shows."

Jones-Harvey made her Broadway debut in 2008, co-producing the first-ever African-American revival of Tennessee Williams’ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, which became the highest-grossing play that season. The production’s celestial cast featured James Earl Jones, Phylicia Rashad, Terrence Howard and Anika Noni Rose, with Debbie Allen as director.  Jones co-produced the play when it transferred to London’s West End for the 2009-2010 season. The West End observed record new audiences for the production and it received the 2010 Laurence Olivier Award for Best Revival of a Play.

In 2012, Byrd and Jones-Harvey brought a multiracial adaptation of Tennessee Williams’ classic, A Streetcar Named Desire, to Broadway for a successful run that garnered rave reviews and a Tony nomination. Byrd and Jones-Harvey then teamed up to produce Horton Foote’s The Trip to Bountiful, which enjoyed a successful run on Broadway in 2013. The critically-acclaimed production starred celebrated actress Cicely Tyson, who won a Tony Award, Outer Critic’s Circle Award and Drama Desk award for her heart-stirring performance in the play.   The duo followed up with a Broadway production of Romeo and Juliet, directed by five-time Tony Award nominee David Leveaux.  International film star Orlando Bloom made his Broadway debut alongside Tony Award nominee Condola Rashad, as the star-crossed lovers in Shakespeare's timeless love story.

Front Row partnered with The Public Theater to produce a powerful new play, Eclipsed, by Danai Gurira, featuring Academy Award Winner Lupita Nyong’o in her New York stage debut. The play debuted at The Public Theater as a result of the generous support of Alia and her partner Stephen Byrd. Following its sold-out engagement at The Public Theater, Byrd and Jones-Harvey will now be bringing the critically-acclaimed production of Eclipsed to Broadway’s Golden Theatre, for first preview on February 23, 2016.

Byrd and Jones-Harvey are currently in development of a new musical for Broadway —Black Orpheus. Based on both the original play by Vinicius de Moraes and the Academy-Award winning film, Black Orpheus is the enchanted re-telling of the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice set in romantic Rio de Janeiro during Carnival and featuring the music of bossa nova kings Vinicius de Moraes and Antonio Carlos Jobim.

Originally from Largo, Maryland, Jones-Harvey earned, concurrently, a Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics from Spelman College and a Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial Engineering from Georgia Tech. She completed her MBA in Finance and Marketing at the New York University Stern School of Business.  Her business career started with Procter & Gamble in interactive marketing and transitioned to hedge fund marketing after business school. With a commitment to education, innovation and the arts, Jones-Harvey serves on the Board of The National Urban Technology Center, the New Worlds Theatre Project and is a Tony voting member of The Broadway League.

She has been honored with the Beverly Hills/ Hollywood NAACP Theatre Trailblazer Award, the Atlanta Black Theater Festival Trailblazer Award, the inaugural Harold Washington Cultural Center of Chicago Arts Achievement Award, the Salute to Black Broadway Vanguard Award.  She is married to Phillip Harvey, a member of the Africana Studies Faculty at John Jay College of the City University of New York.

 

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