Kennedy Center Hires Jeffrey Finn

by Jacob Coakley
Jeffrey Finn, new VP of Theatre Producing and Programming at the Kennedy Center
Jeffrey Finn, new VP of Theatre Producing and Programming at the Kennedy Center

The Broadway producer Jeffrey Finn joined the Kennedy Center as its new Vice President of Theater Producing and Programming. Kennedy will join the leadership team at the Kennedy Center and look to “set the national standard for artistic achievement and innovation.” 

The Kennedy Center Announces Four–Time Tony Award–Nominated Producer Jeffrey Finn Appointed as Vice President of Theater Producing and Programming

(WASHINGTON)—The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts today announced Jeffrey Finn as Vice President of Theater Producing and Programming effective Oct. 7.

The position will join the programmatic leadership team and collaborate closely with Senior Vice President for Artistic Planning Robert van Leer to develop and implement a vision for the Center’s theatrical offerings that set the national standard for artistic achievement and innovation. Finn’s primary responsibilities include commissioning, curating, producing, and presenting work that puts artists and artistic endeavor at the center of theatrical and interdisciplinary programming and fully reflects the diverse cultural life of the United States. He will also oversee all aspects of the theater program’s curatorial, planning, and presenting activities, with particular emphasis on building upon and maintaining the Kennedy Center’s operational capabilities and its relationships with artists, theaters, and nonprofit and commercial producing partners. Vice President of Theater Producing and Programming is a position created to meet the growing mission of the Kennedy Center.

“To have someone of Jeffrey’s caliber, a four-time Tony Award nominee and active contributor to the artistic canon coming out of Broadway and beyond, leading our efforts to enhance theater programming at the Center is extremely exciting,” said Kennedy Center President Deborah F. Rutter. “His relationships with top theaters around the country, coupled with his extensive experience in producing top quality works and creating new, critically acclaimed productions will allow us to explore more original works and innovative partnerships than ever before. Our team is eager to work with Jeffrey to continue building on the success of our renowned Theater program. His added expertise will help us broaden and diversify our theater offerings, produce and present work that engages audiences with the pressing topics of our time, and best serve our mission to present the highest quality of performing arts that reflect the enduring values of John F. Kennedy.”

“I am incredibly honored to be joining The Kennedy Center, one of the most prestigious arts institutions in the nation,” Jeffrey Finn stated. “Under the direction of Deborah Rutter, this is a thrilling moment of change and inspired growth for the organization. It is an incredible opportunity to be able to focus on creating, producing, and programming new theater for the Kennedy Center, while fostering strategic relationships and expanding the current presenting efforts to offer the best theater from Broadway, across the country, and the globe. I’m incredibly excited to have the opportunity to collaborate with Senior Vice President for Artistic Planning Robert van Leer as I have an enormous amount of respect for the leaders of the Kennedy Center and their vision.” 

Mr. Finn is the founder of Jeffrey Finn Productions, a live production company that specializes in First Class Broadway and touring theatricals. As an award-winning producer and lecturer, Finn is notable for his relationships with some of the top regional and non-profit theaters around the country. He has produced 14 Broadway shows and more than 25 national tours and regional productions. Collectively, Finn’s shows have grossed more than $200 million worldwide. In 2013 he received the Robert Whitehead Award for Outstanding Achievement in commercial theater producing.  Finn is also the president and founder of Hot On Broadway, a corporate entertainment agency which has produced customized musical entertainment across the globe for several Fortune 500 companies. Jeffrey Finn Productions will continue to develop and produce live theatrical entertainment including the upcoming Broadway production of The Honeymooners, a new musical comedy based on the CBS television series. The hit Broadway comedy An Act of God, which has received two first-class productions starring Jim Parsons and Sean Hayes, will continue to be produced across the country and internationally.


The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, overlooking the Potomac River in Washington, D.C., is America’s living memorial to President John F. Kennedy. Under the guidance of Chairman David M. Rubenstein, and President Deborah F. Rutter, the nine theaters and stages of the nation’s busiest performing arts facility attract more than 3 million visitors a year to enjoy more than 3,000 performances, while center-related touring productions, television, and radio broadcasts reach more than 40 million around the world. To further serve as the nation’s performing arts center, the Center announced in 2013 a significant expansion project to be constructed south of the existing facility. The Kennedy Center Expansion is intended to be a place where visitors can more actively engage with artists, while also creating new and much-needed rehearsal, education, and flexible indoor and outdoor event and performance spaces.

Opening its doors on September 8, 1971, the Center produces and presents performances of music, dance, and theater; supports artists in the creation of new work; and serves the nation as a leader in arts education. With its artistic affiliates, the National Symphony Orchestra and Washington National Opera, the Center’s achievements as a commissioner, producer, and nurturer of developing artists have resulted in more than 300 theatrical productions, and dozens of new ballets, operas, and musical works. The Center has produced and co-produced Annie, the American premiere of Les Misérables, the highly acclaimed Sondheim Celebration, a revival production of Side Show, and the Kennedy Center’s world premiere production of the Flaherty/Ahrens musical, Little Dancer. Other important festivals have included: maximum INDIA, Festival of China, Shakespeare in Washington, JAPAN! culture + hyperculture, Nordic Cool 2013, an exploration of the culture of the 22 Arab nations titled Arabesque: Arts of the Arab World, Iberian Suite: global arts remix, and Finding a Line: Skateboarding, Music, and Media and most recently during the 2015-2016 season, the Center highlighted Irish culture and its relationship to America with Ireland 100: Celebrating a Century of Irish Arts and Culture. The Center’s Emmy and Peabody Award-winning The Kennedy Center Honors is broadcast annually on the CBS network; The Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize airs annually on PBS.

The education programs of the Kennedy Center, including those of its affiliate VSA, the international organization on arts and disability, have become models for communities across the country and have unlocked the door to learning for millions of young people. Education at the Kennedy Center produces and presents age appropriate performances and educational events for young people and their families; school-and community-based programs that directly impact teachers, students, artists, and school and arts administrators through professional development; systemic and school improvement through arts integrated curricula, inclusive classrooms, and universal design in facilities and learning; creating partnerships around the issues of arts education and arts integrated education; creating and providing educational materials via print and the Internet; and developing careers in the arts for young people and aspiring professionals.

The Center and its affiliates stage more than 400 free performances of music, dance, and theater by artists from throughout the world each year on the Center’s main stages, and every evening at 6 p.m. on the Millennium Stage. The Center also offers reduced and complimentary tickets to young people, active members of the military, and the underserved through its MyTix program and offers a Specially Priced Tickets program for students, seniors, persons with disabilities, and others with fixed low incomes.