Born in Tokyo to parents Allan and Aiko George, Catherine George Adler was exposed to a range of fine arts and culture from a young age through both her parents’ interests and the opportunities she had to travel. Her father notably corresponded with Ernest Hemingway and collected Hemingway first editions, and it was him who truly instilled in her a passion for the arts. First earning a Bachelor of Arts in English literature from Boston University in 1973, Ms. Adler spent many years only involved in Broadway as a silent investor. It wasn’t until she was encouraged by a friend, Sigourney Weaver, that she first put thought to producing shows herself.
Establishing Catherine Adler Productions in 2013, Ms. Adler’s first show was “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike,” which also won Ms. Alder her first Tony Award, and she considers this production to be the absolute highlight of her career. Since then, she has received four more Tony Awards, six Drama Desk Awards, three Drama League Awards, four Outer Critics Circle Awards and an Olivier Award for her productions. In addition to the shows she has produced on Broadway, she has also done work off-Broadway, on the West End, and for various regional productions.
Her Broadway credits include “Angels in America,” “The Inheritance,” “The Ferryman,” “1984,” and “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder,” of which she also served as a producer for the first national tour. On the West End, she produced “Network,” “People, Places & Things” and “The Elephant Man” with Bradly Cooper, among others. Presently, Ms. Alder is the theatrical producer for four shows in the 2021-2022 season, including “Company,” which has been running since the 2018-2019 season; “The Lehman Trilogy,” a carryover from the 2019-2020 season; “Tina,” the Broadway transfer of the West End production; and “Thoughts of a Colored Man,” which is new for the 2021-2022 season.
Very passionate about telling experimental and off-Broadway stories, Ms. Adler fondly recalls co-producing a one-man play about Simon Wiesenthal, a Holocaust survivor, titled simply “Wiesenthal,” which was featured on the Channel 13 news. She also produced the play “Exit Strategy,” which won an Off Broadway Alliance Award for Best New Play, and the world premiere of Jonathan Tolins’ “The Forgotten Woman” at the Bay Street Theater. You can learn more about Ms. Adler and the productions she has been involved with at the Catherine Alder Productions website.
Ms. Adler’s role in the production of a play or musical usually takes the form of investing the necessary money to get the production up and running, setting up the advertising, and handling all the general business requirements of running a show. Throughout her career, she has been driven by her passion, noting that, “being moved by a play or a musical is a gift.” She considers the most gratifying aspect of her career to simply be the knowledge that she could help bring a show into peoples’ hearts and lives. Looking toward the future, Ms. Adler hopes to be able to bring the joy of theater to inner city children, who may not have easy access to the arts, because she feels strongly that the world needs more music and dance and that anyone can make a difference, no matter their age.
Outside of her primary endeavors, Ms. Adler has been very involved in her community. Passionate about animal welfare and rescue, she has been a supporter of the New York City ASPCA since 1999, previously spent time on the board of the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, and has donated her time to the Oklahoma Westie Rescue and The Gentle Barn. She has also held membership with Conservation International and the Southampton Bath & Tennis Club Charitable Fund and, more recently, started a charity to help the children of military veterans pay for college. Spending many years married to her late husband, Frederick R. Adler, Ms. Adler is the proud mother of two adult sons, Freddie and Christopher, and is incredibly proud of all of her grandchildren as well.