The award-winning Producers Stephen C. Byrd (Founder of Front Row Productions, Inc.) and Alia Jones-Harvey have brought a unique brand of diversity to Broadway and London’s West End. Front Row Productions was established to bring major works to Broadway and the West End featuring diverse casts, creative teams and management.
Currently, Front Row Productions is co-producing the musical Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of The Temptations directed by Des McAnuff, written by Dominique Morriseau, and with choreography by Sergio Trujillo. After sold-out runs at the Berkeley Repertory Theater, The Kennedy Center, the Ahmanson Theater in Los Angeles, and the Princess of Wales Theatre in Toronto, Ain't Too Proud opened on Broadway on March 21, 2019 .
Byrd serves on The Broadway League Board of Governors. He is also a member of The Society of London Theatre, an advisor to the AMAS Musical Theatre, and serves on the Board of the City College of New York Center for the Arts. Jones-Harvey serves on the Advisory Board of the American Theatre Wing, is an advisor to the National Black Theater, and serves on the Board of the National Urban Technology Center.
Early this season in Fall 2018, Front Row co-produced American Son, the new Broadway play by Christopher Demos-Brown, starring Kerry Washington, Steven Pasquale, Eugene Lee and Jeremy Jordan. It was directed by Tony Award Winner Kenny Leon at the Booth Theatre. A Netflix film of American Son has been filmed for release.
In 2008, Byrd and Jones-Harvey mounted the first African American Broadway production of the Tennessee Williams’ classic Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Their first Broadway venture became the biggest grossing play on Broadway that season. Based on the rousing success of the Broadway run, they were invited to bring Cat on a Hot Tin Roof to London. The West End transfer won the 2010 Laurence Olivier Award.
The duo followed up on Broadway with a multiracial adaptation of Tennessee Williams’ Pulitzer Prize-winning classic, A Streetcar Named Desire. The successful run garnered rave reviews and a Tony nomination. They joined the producing team of 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. They also co-produced 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 broke new ground with the enhancement of The Public Theater Fall 2015 New York premiere of Danai Gurira’s Eclipsed and subsequent transfer of the powerful Pulitzer Prize finalist to Broadway. The triumphant run of Eclipsed on Broadway was the first to be helmed by a female playwright, director and featuring an all-female ensemble led by Academy Award® Winner Lupita N'yongo. Acclaim for the play was resounding - 6 Tony Award nominations including Best Play, 4 Outer Critics Circle nominations, 2 Drama Desk Award nominations and 2 Drama League Award nominations. Front Row launched the "10,000 Girls Campaign" for 16-24 year-old girls from the Tri-State area, who would not otherwise have the opportunity to experience a Broadway show, with tickets to see Eclipsed. The production transferred to the Curran Theater in San Francisco for a March 2017 run.
Byrd and Jones-Harvey partnered with Cirque du Soleil Theatricals in 2016 to produce Paramour, the first Cirque du Soleil musical on Broadway. This tale of love versus art transported audiences to Golden Age Hollywood with the depth-defying spectacle of Cirque du Soleil. Paramour is set to be mounted in Hamburg, Germany next!
In 2017, Front Row co-produced Iceman Cometh on Broadway directed by George C. Wolfe and starring Denzel Washington. The production celebrated eight Tony Award nominations including Best Revival of a Play. Front Row also co-produced, Smokey Joe’s Cafe: The Songs of Leiber and Stoller, the Grammy® Award-winning and Tony Award®-nominated smash that made history as Broadway’s longest-running musical revue, at Stage 42 in Summer 2018.
2018 Take Wing and Soar Spirit of Excellence Award
2018 Tony Award Nomination for Best Revival of a Play, The Iceman Cometh
2017 National Black Theatre Festival Special Recognition
2016 Theater Communications Group Honorees
2016 viBe Theater Experience Leadership Award, Alia Jones-Harvey
2016 NY National Alumni Association Spelman College Honoree, Alia Jones-Harvey
2016 Tony Award Nomination for Best Play, Eclipsed
2016 Outer Critics Circle Nominations, Eclipsed
2016 Drama League Award Nomination for Outstanding Production of a Play, Eclipsed
2015 Black Star News Excellence Award Honorees
2014 Harold Washington Cultural Center Broadway in Bronzeville Arts Achievement Award, Alia Jones-Harvey
2014 Council of Urban Professionals Catalyst Award, Alia Jones-Harvey
2014 Carnegie Hall Black Stars of the Great White Way Honoree, Stephen C. Byrd
2014 Atlanta Black Theater Festival Trailblazer Award, Alia Jones-Harvey
2014 The Riant Theatre Pioneer of the Arts Award Honorees
2013 Tony Award Nomination for Best Revival of a Play, The Trip to Bountiful
2013 Drama Desk Award Nomination for Best Revival of a Play, The Trip to Bountiful
2012 NAACP Theatre Awards Trailblazer Awards, Stephen C. Byrd and Alia Jones
2012 Actors’ Equity Association Extraordinary Excellence in Diversity Award, A Streetcar Named Desire
2012 What’s the 411 Networks Salute to Black Broadway Vanguard Award, Alia Jones
2011 Whatsonstage.com Theatregoers’ Choice Award Best Play Revival, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
2010 Olivier Award for Best Revival of a Play, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
2008 National Urban Technology Center Visionary Award, Stephen C. Byrd
2008 Broadway.com Audience Choice Award for Best Revival of a Play, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof