National Theatre artistic director Nicholas Hytner (pictured) has extended the theatre’s partnership with prolific Broadway producers Boyett Ostar Productions (Bob Boyett and Bill Haber) to present NT productions in the US (See News, 24 Sep 2003). The deal, initially struck in 2003 for three years, is being renewed on an annual basis, continuing now through to summer 2008.

Boyett Ostar pays $450,000 per annum in exchange for first-look US transfer rights for all NT productions. The partnership has so far brought Broadway stagings of Tom Stoppard’s Jumpers, Michael Frayn’s Democracy, Martin McDonagh’s The Pillowman and Alan Bennett’s The History Boys - winner of six of last year’s Tony Awards, including Best Play (See News, 12 Jun 2006) - and has been credited with spurring increased momentum for British talent and product on the other side of the Atlantic, which others have also capitalised on.

Currently, Boyett Ostar is presenting the NT production of Coram Boy directed by Melly Still, which is currently in previews and opens on 2 May 2007 at New York’s Imperial Theatre, and will produce Conor McPherson’s The Seafarer this autumn on Broadway.

Hytner commented today: “I’m thrilled that Boyett and Haber are continuing to support the National. They’ve shown extraordinary commitment in taking a wide variety of plays from the NT repertoire to American audiences. Thanks to their enthusiasm, our work has never had a higher profile in the United States. It’s the best of relationships - one that just keeps getting better.”

Bob Boyett, on behalf of Boyett Ostar, said: " Bill and I are very privileged to continue working with Nicholas Hytner and Nick Starr (NT executive director), and our many friends at the National Theatre. We are very proud of the productions we have brought to Broadway and look forward to continuing to present their unparalleled works in the future.”

- by Terri Paddock