Annual Gala

2018 Play Brawl

Date: April 6, 2018
Thank you to everyone who attended and participated in our Play Brawl! We exceeded our goal and a good time was had by all!

Play Brawl at Philadelphia Theatre Company!

On Friday, April 6, 2018 at 6pm, Philadelphia Theatre Company hosted its exciting new fundraising event: PTC’s Play Brawl! Philadelphia celebrities and business leaders faced off on-stage at the Suzanne Roberts Theatre in a friendly competition to benefit Philadelphia Theatre Company’s 2018-19 season of new plays and musicals. Contenders teamed up with local professional actors to recreate iconic scenes from stage and screen.  Winning the competition was David L. Cohen, who shows his trophy here (with Managing Director Emily Zeck and Producing Artistic Director Paige Price):

The 2018 Play Brawl Contenders:

David L. Cohen, Sr. Executive Vice President & Chief Diversity Officer, Comcast Corporation

David L. Cohen is a Senior Executive Vice President and the Chief Diversity Officer of Comcast Corporation. He has a broad portfolio of responsibilities, including corporate communications, government and regulatory affairs, public affairs, legal affairs, corporate administration, corporate real estate and security, and community impact. He also serves as senior counselor to the CEO. Before joining Comcast in July of 2002, David served as a partner in and Chairman of Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll, LLP, one of the 100 largest law firms in the country. David graduated from Swarthmore College in 1977 with a B.A. and in 1981 with a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School (summa cum laude). From January 1992 to April 1997, David served as Chief of Staff to the Honorable Edward G. Rendell, the Mayor of the City of Philadelphia. David serves as Chairman of the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania and its Executive Committee. He also serves as a member of the Trustee Board and the Executive Committee of Penn Medicine. In addition, David serves on both the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, and is a member of the Chamber’s CEO Council for Growth. David also serves on the national board of the National Urban League and as the Chair of the Corporate Advisory Board of UnidosUS. He is also Co-Chair of the national board of City Year and Honorary Chair of Campus Philly’s Board of Directors. David also is Chair of the Philadelphia Theatre Company. David has received numerous awards for his civic and charitable activities, including the Americanism Award of the Anti-Defamation League (1993), the American Red Cross Citizen of the Year Award (1999), the Drexel University Business Leader of the Year Award (2008), the National Urban League of Philadelphia Business Leader of the Year Award (2008), The William Way Community Center Amicus in Res Award (2009), the William Penn Award from the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce (2012), and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America Champion of Youth Award (2015). David also was awarded Honorary Doctor of Laws degrees from Drexel University (1997), Rider University (2010), and Rowan University (2017). David lives in Philadelphia with his wife and their two sons.

Raheem Brock, SAG-AFTRA Actor, Former NFL Player

Raheem Brock is a former NFL Player, Entertainer, and up-and-coming Actor, known for his roles in Fox’s Show Gotham and Bull on CBS. He has also held various other lead roles and an array of supporting roles within the film, television, web series, and theater space. To date, he has had the opportunity to share the spotlight with talented actors like Michael Weatherly, Cory Michael Smith, Morena Baccarin, BD Wong, Ryan Guzman, and many more. Throughout the span of a decade, Raheem played eight NFL seasons with the Indianapolis Colts, as well as two Super Bowls—one of which he won. He also spent over 15 years as a Sports Broadcaster and Commentator. Currently, Raheem serves as an Actor at SAG-AFTRA, which is one of the most prominent American labor unions proudly representing 160,000+ media experts. He also has the “Raheem Brock Foundation” that has been giving back to inner-city kids in Philadelphia for over 10 years. Most recently, Raheem Brock’s ambitious nature has further catapulted him in the realm of theater, including the play The Snowmaker (directed by Terry Scheirber), Ribbon Creek (Ed Lopez Films), and Windows on the World.

John Fry, President of Drexel University

John Fry, appointed Drexel University’s 14th president in 2010, has served higher education for his entire professional life. Through his roles as a consultant, board member, chief operating officer, and chief executive, he has acquired a deep and broad understanding of the challenges of leading a major educational institution. Fry has announced high-impact academic initiatives to increase the breadth of opportunity for students and faculty. He negotiated a ground-breaking merger in 2011 with the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, America’s oldest major natural history museum and a world leader in natural sciences research. Fulfilling a commitment he made to Drexel’s neighbors in his first address as Drexel President, Fry has championed major neighborhood initiatives including the PECO-Drexel Education Collaborative supporting local public schools, the Lindy Institute for Urban Innovation, and the Dornsife Center for Neighborhood Partnerships. From 1995 to 2002, Fry served as Executive Vice President of the University of Pennsylvania. He was a major force in developing and implementing Penn’s “Agenda for Excellence” and built a coalition of nonprofit, business, neighborhood, and governmental organizations in support of a multi-pronged strategy to address the key challenges facing the University City neighborhood in West Philadelphia. He previously served as Chair of the NCAA Division III Presidents Council and Chair of U.S. Squash, the national governing body for the sport. He was appointed by President George W. Bush to the Benjamin Franklin Tercentenary Commission, and co-chaired the transition team of Governor-Elect Edward Rendell of Pennsylvania. In 2014, Fry chaired the transition team of then Pennsylvania Governor-Elect Tom Wolf.

Tony La Russa, Hall of Fame 2014, Boston Red Sox

As a professional baseball manager, Tony La Russa led his teams to three World Series titles (1989, 2006, and 2011) and accumulated the third most managerial wins (2,728) in Major League Baseball history. La Russa, inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2014, currently serves the Boston Red Sox as Vice President, Special Assistant to the President of Baseball Operations. A Florida native, La Russa made his Major League debut in 1960 at age 18, and went on to play for 16 seasons before becoming manager of the White Sox in 1979. He next led the Oakland A’s for 10 years, winning the American League pennant three times and the 1989 World Series championship. His managerial career culminated with 16 seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals, which featured nine playoff appearances, two World Series titles, and three League Championships. He was a four time Manager of the Year, and he managed six All-Star games. La Russa and Sparky Anderson are the only two managers to win World Series in both leagues. During a game between the A’s and the Yankees, a stray cat ran onto the field, causing a delay until she landed in the A’s dugout. After La Russa and his wife Elaine tried to find a suitable adoption resource for “Evie,” they discovered the lack of a no-kill shelter in the East Bay. They then co-founded Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF) and since 1991, the foundation has grown into not only a rescue and adoption source for animals, but is also a much-lauded center for education and enrichment for people and animals. Located in Walnut Creek, California, ARF’s national headquarters offers programs including a service-dog training program for military veterans; animal therapy teams who interact with hospital patients, elderly and at-risk students; humane education for all ages and Pet Safety Net programs for families at-risk of surrendering an animal to a shelter. La Russa holds a degree in Industrial Management from the University of South Florida in Tampa, and received his Juris Doctor from Florida State University. In addition to his work with ARF, La Russa makes his off-season home in Alamo, California with his wife Elaine, and numerous dogs and cats. Their daughters Bianca and Devon are also active, passionate animal rescuers.

Molly D. Shepard, President & CEO of The Leader's Edge/Leaders By Design

Molly D. Shepard, MS, MSM is President & Chief Executive Officer of The Leader’s Edge/Leaders By Design, a company dedicated to the advancement of executive and high-potential leaders. Molly has over 30 years of experience in career counseling, leadership development, executive coaching, and executive search. She has served as Co-Chair for Women Against MS for the past five years and is a member of the Board of Directors for The National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s Greater Delaware Chapter. As Founder of the Women’s Initiative for The United Way of Southeastern PA, Molly actively serves as Chairman Emeritus. She is also active as: Chairman Emeritus of WHYY Inc., President Emeritus of the Pennsylvania Women’s Forum, and a member of the Board of Directors of The Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce. Molly has previously served as a member of the Boards of Directors for The American Heart Association of Southeastern PA, Keystone Financial Inc., Keystone Bank N.A., Rosemont College, Liberty Savings Bank, a subsidiary of Equimark Corporation, the Kimmel Center, the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education Board of Overseers, and the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia. Her commitment to philanthropy and the Philadelphia community has resulted in numerous accolades; most recently, the 2017 Woman One Award presented by The Institute for Women’s Health & Leadership at Drexel University College of Medicine; the Woman of Spirit Award by the Greater Delaware Valley Chapter of the Multiple Sclerosis Society; the Alice Paul Equality Award; the 2012 Brava! Achievement Award given annually by SmartCEO Magazine; the United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania’s Woman Caring About What Matters Award for her dedication to their women’s initiatives, in addition to many other honors. Molly is also an author of four books including The Bully-Proof Workplace: Essential Strategies, Tips and Scripts for Dealing with the Office Sociopath, written in partnership with Peter Dean (March 2017); Preparing for Your Prime Time (2012) a retirement guide for women boomers that helps them strategize and prepare for a successful, fulfilling retirement; and Breaking Into the Boys’ Club (2nd edition in 2015).

Featuring

Jessica Myhr

Jessica Myhr* PTC Debut! Off Broadway: The London Merchant (Millwood, reviewed by the NYTimes as “captivating and coldly wicked”), The Red and The Black (Marie), The Cherry Orchard (Anya), Doubt (Sister James), Reunion Run (NYC Fringe). Select Regional credits: Leading Ladies (Arts Center of Coastal Carolina), The Diary of Anne Frank (Northern Stage, VT); Rabbit Hole (Izzy), Detroit (Sharon) and Proof (Theater with a View, PA), Hamlet (Ophelia) and The Three Musketeers (Actors Shakespeare Co., NJ). TV/Film: Casual Encounters, Bristel Goodman, “All My Children”, “Sneaky Pete”. MFA Rutgers University under William Esper. www.jessicamyhr.com

Steve Pacek

Steve Pacek is a Co-Founder and Associate Artistic Director of 11th Hour. He is also a freelance actor, director, choreographer and teaching artist. He has worked extensively in the entertainment industry, spanning many disciplines and in many different cities including New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Minneapolis. Recipient of the 2012 F. Otto Haas Award. He is the co-chair of the board of Theatre Philadelphia and 5 time Barrymore Aware Nominee. A few assistant director credits include: Larry Moss (NYC’s Century Center), Joe Calarco (Playwright’s Horizons), Mark Valdez (Minneapolis’s Mixed Blood Theatre Co) and Terry Nolen (The Arden). Find Steve on social media @stevepacek.

Blair Sams

Blair Sams is a recent New York transplant and is just thrilled to be here in Philly!  She has appeared on Broadway, extensively at regional theaters across the country and in film and television.  Proud wife of playwright John Yearley and Mom to the mighty Henry.

and

Drexel University undergraduate students
Debjyoti Ghosh, Kateryna Shevchuk, Rohin Verma, James Winer

With a special appearance by

Glenn Gundersen, Partner at Dechert LLP

Glenn A. Gundersen is a nationally recognized authority in trademark and copyright law and intellectual property transactions. His clients in the United States and abroad hold some of the world’s largest trademark portfolios, and he has cleared and protected world-famous brands. He also advises clients on prosecution, fair use, licensing, IP acquisitions, opposition and cancellation proceedings, infringement disputes, and advertising and right of publicity law. Mr. Gundersen has been named in numerous peer and bar surveys of the country’s top intellectual property lawyers. The Legal 500 (U.S.) has named Mr. Gundersen to The Legal 500 Hall of Fame in 2017. Mr. Gundersen is also regularly ranked among the country’s top practitioners in Chambers USA, Expert Guides’ list of “The World’s Leading Experts in Trademark Law,” Managing Intellectual Property, The International Who’s Who of Trademark Lawyers, and Best Lawyers in America. Mr. Gundersen is the author of the book Trademark Searching (2nd Edition), an expert guide on clearance published by the International Trademark Association, and a co-author of the book Intellectual Property Assets in Mergers & Acquisitions, published by John Wiley.

Hosted by

Jessica Dean of CBS 3

Jessica Dean is co-anchor with Ukee Washington of CBS 3’s Eyewitness News at 5, 6, and 11pm and Eyewitness News at 10pm on The CW Philly 57. Jessica also anchors The Digital Brief, the daily news update on CBSPhilly.com. Jessica came to Philadelphia in September 2013 from KARK-TV, the NBC affiliate in Little Rock, Arkansas, where she had been the evening news anchor since 2011. At CBS 3, Jessica has made her mark by anchoring live from some of the region’s most significant events in decades, such as the 2016 Democratic National Convention and Pope Francis’ visit to Philadelphia for the World Meeting of Families. She also anchored live from Cleveland during the 2016 Republican National Convention and conducted numerous one-on-one interviews with top candidates during the 2016 political season. In April 2017, the always-versatile anchor was even tapped to guest co-host on the Daytime Emmy Award-winning CBS talk show, The Talk, joining hosts Julie Chen, Sara Gilbert, Sharon Osbourne, Aisha Tyler, and Sheryl Underwood. Since joining Channel 3, Jessica has dedicated her free time to CBS 3’s community outreach efforts and causes including the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, Ronald McDonald House Charities, and Alex’s Lemonade Stand. A native of Little Rock, Arkansas, Jessica began her career as a reporter in 2006 at KNWA/KFTA in Fort Smith, Arkansas. She also worked as a reporter, anchor, and co-host at KATV in Little Rock. Jessica is a Cum Laude graduate of the University of Southern California at Los Angeles where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in broadcast journalism. Jessica and her husband, Blake, a business and communications strategist, reside in Philadelphia with their Lab mix, Finn. (Courtesy of CBS Philly.)

Located at the Suzanne Roberts Theatre
480 South Broad Street  Philadelphia, PA 19146

Directed by Paige Price
Set Design by Colin McIlvaine
Sound Design by Christopher Colucci
Lighting Design by Nick Kargel
Production Stage Manager Jana Llynn

NEW! Auction Prizes

Jump in the ring to duke it out with other guests for a chance to bring home one of these exceptional experiences! The silent auction will take place during cocktail hour at 6pm; winners will be announced at the beginning of the Play Brawl presentation.

Two Tickets to the 72nd Annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall and exclusive After Party!

Family Vacation for four to Universal Orlando Resort includes three-day/two-night stay at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, One day VIP Tour passes for Universal Studios Florida/Island of Adventure and one day admission for Volcano Bay water park.

Two Tickets to Harry Potter and The Cursed Child Parts One and Two on Broadway includes a backstage tour and dinner with Producing Artistic Director Paige Price

Four Box Seats at Citizens Bank Park during Phillies vs. Boston Red Sox game with pregame on field access!

Two VIP Tickets to Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon for a broadcast taping of one show!

2018 Sponsorship Benefits

Support our Play Brawl!

Proceeds from this year’s Gala help support PTC programming.

Promoter $30,000*

  • 20 Premium Orchestra Center seats
  • Access for 20 to Cocktail Reception and After Party
  • Full-page color ad with premium placement in Play Brawl program
  • Title sponsor logo or name recognition on printed or electronic materials
  • 2 complimentary Opening Night Subscriptions for 2018/19 season (4 seats)

($25,946 is tax-deductible)*

Coaches $10,000*

  • 10 Premium Orchestra Center seats
  • Access for 10 to Cocktail Reception and After Party
  • Full-page color ad in Play Brawl program
  • Sponsorship recognition on high-visibility on-site signage
  • Logo or name recognition on printed or electronic materials
  • Complimentary Opening Night Subscriptions for 2018/19 season (2 seats)
  • Opportunity to sponsor a Contender

($7,223 is tax-deductible)*

Cornermen $5,000*

  • 6 Premium Orchestra Center seats
  • Access for 6 to Cocktail Reception and After Party
  • Half-page color ad in Play Brawl program
  • Logo or name recognition on printed or electronic materials
  • Complimentary Opening Night Subscriptions for 2018/19 season (2 seats)
  • Opportunity to sponsor a Contender

($3,413 is tax-deductible)*

Box Seats $2,500*
ONLY 6 PACKAGES AVAILABLE

  • 2 seats in Mezzanine Box
  • Butler service throughout the show
  • Access for 2 to Cocktail Reception and After Party
  • Quarter-page ad and listing in Play Brawl program

($1,905 is tax-deductible)*

Heavyweights $1,500*

  • 2 Orchestra or Premium Mezzanine seats
  • Access for 2 to Cocktail Reception and After Party
  • Quarter-page ad and listing in Play Brawl program

($905 is tax-deductible)*

Featherweights $250*

  • 1 Mezzanine seat
  • Access for 1 to Cocktail Reception and After Party

($140 is tax-deductible)*

Flyweights $150*
YOUNG FRIENDS 40 YEARS AND UNDER

  • 1 Mezzanine seat
  • Access for 1 to Cocktail Reception and After Party

($40 is tax-deductible)* 

*As of 2/1/18

DOWNLOAD THE ORDER FORM HERE
Or purchase your sponsorship online.

Become a Shadowboxer

Can’t attend PTC’s Play Brawl but want to support the event and participants?

Consider Becoming a Shadowboxer!

(Benefits below include recognition and visibility but do not include tickets to the event.)

Coaches $10,000*

  • Full-page color ad in Play Brawl program
  • Logo or name recognition on printed or electronic materials
  • Opportunity to sponsor a Contender

Cornermen $5,000*

  • Half-page color ad in Play Brawl program
  • Logo or name recognition on printed or electronic materials
  • Opportunity to sponsor a Contender

Heavyweights $1,000*

  • Quarter-page ad and listing in Play Brawl program

DOWNLOAD THE FORM HERE.

*As of 2/1/18