Biography

Jean Ward is counsel to our Entertainment Group. She is one of New York’s best-known theatre lawyers, with over 20 years experience representing producers, authors, music publishers and other rights holders, theatre owners, creative personnel, and investors.  She negotiates and structures domestic and international transactions including property and rights acquisitions, licensing, theatrical syndication financing, creative personnel agreements, development deals, and a variety of other production agreements. 

Ms. Ward has been production counsel for Broadway, Off-Broadway and touring productions of such shows as “Stomp” (currently running off-Broadway and on tour), “Born Yesterday,” “Play Dead” (off-broadway), “Stomp Out Loud” (Las Vegas production), “The Toxic Avenger”(Off-Broadway and upcoming Broadway productions), “Play It Cool”, “Lovemusik” (co- production with Manhattan Theatre Club featuring the music of Kurt Weill), “Chita Rivera: The Dancer’s Life”, “Bring in ‘Da Noise, Bring in ‘Da Funk” (U.S. tour revival), “James Joyce’s The Dead”, “Freak”, “Les Miserables”, “The Phantom of the Opera”, “Five Guys Named Moe”, “Miss Saigon”, “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” (Broadway revival), and non-Equity and Equity Tier U.S. and international touring productions of such shows as “Cats”, “42nd Street” (U.S. touring and Moscow productions), “Come Fly Away”, and many others.  She has represented one of Ireland’s premier theatre companies, Druid Ireland, and its artistic director Garry Hynes on commissioning, licensing and producing numerous productions including Martin McDonagh’s “Cripple of Inishmaan” (Druid’s recent co-production with the Atlantic Theatre Company), several new plays currently in production, as well as their current development of a new musical incorporating music written or recorded by the popular Irish punk rock/jazz band The Pogues. 

Her work with Music-Theatre Group, a New York not-for-profit company specializing in the development of new work includes the commission and co-production (with Gotham City Opera) of a new opera, “Dark Sisters”, composed by Nico Muhly with libretto by Stephen Karam. Other recent projects include advising the producers of the London production of the new musical “Ghost,” work on the development of a musical version of “Twelve Angry Men,” and a new musical entitled “Chix 6”, and US and international touring productions of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “The Wizard of Oz”, “Priscilla Queen of the Desert” and “Sister Act”.

Ms. Ward graduated from Harvard Law School and has taught Law and Theatre at Columbia Law School and presented lectures on theatre law at Practicing Law Institute, bar association, and National Law Journal seminars. She has been named a New York-area “Super Lawyer” for entertainment work by Super Lawyers magazine for thirteen consecutive years.

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