Stuart Thompson, a prolific theatrical producer and manager, died at his home in New York on Thursday, August 17. The cause was complications from esophageal cancer. His death was confirmed by his husband, Joe Baker. Thompson was 62.
Winner of six Tony Awards, Thompson began his producing career on Broadway with David Mamet's The Old Neighborhood in 1997 and went on to coproduce Art, The Chairs, Not About Nightingales, The Play What I Wrote, The Retreat From Moscow, On Golden Pond, and the three longest-running plays on Broadway of the last 25 years: The Tale of the Allergist's Wife, Proof (2001 Pulitzer Prize for Drama), and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.
His most recent credits include Sweat (2017 Pulitzer Prize for Drama), John Guare's Six Degrees of Separation, The Present, King Charles III, No Man's Land and Waiting for Godot (in rep), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (2013), Death of a Salesman (2012), Jerusalem, The Motherf**ker With the Hat, A View From the Bridge (2010), God of Carnage, and Exit the King. He also produced No Man's Land and King Charles III in London's West End.
Thompson was born in Sydney and grew up in Adelaide before studying drama at Flinders University and working in arts administration in Australia. He moved to New York in 1980 to study arts administration at New York University, and stayed in the United States, working at the Kennedy Center with the American National Theatre under the artistic direction of Peter Sellars from 1984-86.
Mentored by legendary producers Robert Whitehead and Lewis Allen, Thompson's first Broadway assignment as a general manager was on Aaron Sorkin's A Few Good Men at the Music Box Theatre in 1989, followed by Tru with Robert Morse across the street at the Booth Theatre the same season.
As head of Stuart Thompson Productions (which launched on Broadway with Blood Brothers in 1993), Thompson has overseen both that company's general management activities and more recently produced shows including The Book of Mormon on which he serves as executive producer for the U.S. companies and a coproducer of the West End and Australian productions. Stuart Thompson Productions is also a producer of the new musical Mean Girls, opening at the National Theatre this fall.
Thompson served on the board of directors of the Broadway League and Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids, and in 2010, was presented with the Robert Whitehead Award for "outstanding achievement in commercial theatre producing."
He is survived by his husband, Joseph Roland Baker III; brother Graham Thompson, sister-in-law Nicole Thompson, and niece Lucy Thompson; sister-in-law Paula Baker and brother-in-law Ben Fournier; nephews Joey Fournier, Beau Fournier, and Drew Fournier; father-in-law Joe Baker Jr. and mother-in-law Joyce Baker; and cousin Margot McCowage and family.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and the Medicare Rights Center.
A memorial service will be planned for a future date.
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