Press Releases

2013 FETE

March, 2013
Contact: Johnny Van Heest, Public Relations Manager
215.893.9456 ext. 102 |

The Wilma Theater proudly announces the Third Annual Theater Lovers Fête: A Fundraising Party
Honoring David Haas, featuring entertainment byTony® Award winner Michael Cerveris

Monday, April 8, 2013

Philadelphia - The Wilma Theater will hold its Third Annual Theater Lovers Fête on Monday, April 8, 2013 at 5:30pm, honoring Philadelphia’s own David Haas with the Wilma Star Award. The event will feature entertainment by special guest, Tony® Award-winner and Wilma Alumnus Michael Cerveris with a host of local talent under the creative direction of 2012 F. Otto Haas Emerging Artist Award-winner Steve Pacek. Guests will experience a night of adventures on the Wilma’s set of its current production of Under the Whaleback accompanied by a grand silent auction, a sumptuous spread, and non-stop entertainment throughout the night.

The evening will begin with a cocktail reception at 5:30pm in the lobby of The Wilma Theater with a carefully curated selection of wine complementing hors d’oeuvres provided by Di Bruno Bros., followed by an exciting star-studded performance. Guests will then be guided to the Arts Ballroom for dinner catered by the renowned Stephen STARR Events and further entertainment. 

Wilma Star honoree David Haas is a philanthropist and supporter of arts and culture, and other vital elements of life in the Philadelphia region.  He has been a longtime supporter of the Wilma and the work of Blanka Zizka as a true innovator in the field. 

Of the event and his award, Mr. Haas states, “When Blanka asked me to be the honoree, how could I say no? She brings adventurous, visionary leadership to the Wilma and continues to inspire (and sometimes provoke) with every production. The Wilma is a vital cultural institution, recognized here in Philadelphia and nationally. And their outreach into the community – in the Philadelphia public school system and the local community of independent artists – is critical to the health of our city.”

David Haas has served on several nonprofit boards over the years, including The Painted Bride Art Center, Scribe Video Center, Independence Public Media of Philadelphia/WYBE, the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and Media Impact Funders (a national organization). In addition, as a board member of the William Penn Foundation since 1982, and Wyncote Foundation since 2009, Haas has developed a view of the city’s broader culture, and a passion for the energies and qualities of the city and people who live here that make it one of the world’s great cities.  Haas currently serves as board chair of Media Impact Funders, a national association of grantmakers working to advance funding of media arts and public interest media by foundations and other donors.  From 1989 to 1997, he ran the Philadelphia Independent Film/Video Association, an organization serving independent film, video and audio makers based in the greater Philadelphia area; and in 1989 co-produced the nationally recognized educational documentary, AIDS in the Barrio

“We are thrilled to honor David Haas with the Wilma Star Award,” says David U’Prichard, Chair of The Wilma Theater’s Board of Directors. “There are few individuals in the city of Philadelphia who have committed themselves so ardently and selflessly. The Wilma Star Award is just a small token of our unremitting thanks for David’s unwavering support of the Wilma and the arts.”

Tony® Award winner and five--time nominee Michael Cerveris earned his Actors’ Equity card on the Wilma’s stage before performing on Broadway. Michael’s résumé boasts an impressive career including Broadway roles in Evita, In The Next Room or the vibrator play, Hedda Gabler, Cymbeline, LoveMusik , Sweeney Todd, Assassins, The Who’s Tommy and Titanic. In London and Off-Broadway Michael has appeared in Hedwig, Road Show, and King Lear.

Current sponsors include, as Presenting Sun Sponsors: Ernst & Young and Legg Mason Investment Counsel; as Orion Sponsor: Sheldon and Jill Bonovitz; and as Taurus Sponsors: Carole Haas Gravagno, Opera Philadelphia, and Reinhold Residential. Honorary Committee members include Sheldon Bonovitz, David Devan, Carole Haas Gravagno, Leonard C. Haas, Monika Panger, Sharon Pinkenson, Jeff Reinhold, and Mark Wennell. Sponsorship and Honorary Committee updates will be listed on the Wilma website.

Marlene S. Molinoff serves as Chair of the Theater Lovers Fête Committee, which includes Iain Campbell, Peggy Greenawalt, James Haskins, Debby Lau, Kevin Maurer, Betsy Oliphant, James Schneider, Brian Seaman, Esq., David U’Prichard, Ph.D., Gillian Wakely, and Katharine Wennell. Blanka Zizka is the Wilma’s Artistic Director and James Haskins is the Managing Director.

The Fête proceeds allow the Wilma to continue to produce living, adventurous theater on Philadelphia's Avenue of the Arts. The proceeds will also help support the Virginia and Harvey Kimmel Family campaign to Build the Audiences of Tomorrow, which builds on the success of the Wilma vital education and outreach programs Wilmagination and Wilma Classroom to bring the theater arts to inner city middle and high school students in Philadelphia. 

Sponsorships and tickets can be purchased by calling 215-893-9456 x124 or at


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