David Greer ’92 works with Tony-nominated Broadway musical
David Greer ’92 is a businessman by day who gallivants with the stars at night.
In mid-May 2010, Greer joined the producer team of “The Scottsboro Boys,” a Broadway musical directed by Tony Award-winning Susan Stroman. The show is based on the 1930s Scottsboro case, during which nine African American men were unjustly accused of a terrible crime. This year, the show received 12 Tony Award nominations.
Greer’s involvement with “The Scottsboro Boys” served as a stark change from his day job, where he has worked in strategic planning, business development, and supply chain management at a Fortune 50 company for the past eight years. In his limited spare time, Greer is also on the board of a not-for-profit theater in Hartford, Conn.
It was through his connections in the theatre world that Greer got involved with “The Scottsboro Boys.”
“I met and befriended an incredible actor named Colman Domingo, who was in a Broadway show called ‘Passing Strange.’ I asked him what he was doing next, and he mentioned that he was auditioning for a new show from the creators of ‘Chicago,’” Greer says. “I did some research and found out that one producer had been involved with both ‘Passing Strange’ and ‘The Scottsboro Boys.’ I contacted her, explained to her that I had attended several Broadway producer networking events and seminars in NYC, and really liked and appreciated the shows she produced.”
That’s when Greer got the invitation to join the producer team, which meant that he helped identify individuals and entities who were willing to invest in the show.
“It is very difficult work because investing in Broadway is relatively risky, but the returns for successful shows can be significant,” Greer says. “The Broadway world is a very small community, so if you show sincere interest and can possibly raise money to help produce a show, opportunities can open up.”
So when “The Scottsboro Boys” received 12 Tony nominations, including nods for Best Musical, Best Actor, Best Featured Actor — Colman Domingo — Greer’s role as one of the show’s associate producers scored him an invitation to the 65th Annual Tony Awards.
“I sat with fellow ‘Scottsboro Boys’ producers in the nosebleed seats for four and a half hours, cheering every time the show was up for an award,” Greer says. “After the awards, we all went for a night of partying, including the official after party at the luxurious and historic Plaza Hotel—where I met Chris Rock, one of the Awards presenters—as well as off-site private parties for ‘The Scottsboro Boys,’ ‘Catch Me If You Can,’ and ‘Jerusalem’ at various restaurants in mid-town Manhattan. I don’t think any of us slept that night.”
Greer says that there are talks about a film adaptation of the show, and he is developing his own project—a bio-musical about a famous entertainer. And, he says, his experiences at Centre have inspired his multi-faceted life.
“All my experiences at Centre led me to where I am,” he says. “Centre’s focus on a liberal arts education, qualitative and quantitative analytics, cross-disciplinary learning, leadership and teamwork skills development, study abroad, and expecting excellence generates the kind of leaders and individuals that our country needs.”
To find out more about “The Scottsboro Boys,” visit www.scottsboromusical.com.