Since joining Theatre Forward, then known as National Corporate Theatre Fund, as Executive Director in 2002, Whitacre has expanded theatre access programs on Broadway and across the country, managed a successful sponsorship program that has brought over $15 million in benefits to theatres, including media, luxury goods and financial services partnerships. Theatre Forward, which represents 19 outstanding resident theatres and is supported by over 40 corporations and firms, forges strong and productive partnerships between the not-for-profit theatre community and corporate America. Media partnerships with Clear Channel, Aol.com, USA Today, and Ovation TV, technology programs through Sharp and Cisco have brought visibility and technology to theatres. Theatre Forward just concluded Impact Creativity, a campaign to sustain and grow theatre education programs that improve workforce preparedness. This effort is supported by the Hearst Foundations, Ernst & Young, and Wells Fargo, among others.
Prior to Theatre Forward, Whitacre was Managing Director of New York's Signature Theatre Company for four seasons. He began his career in theatre in the Script Department of Manhattan Theatre Club, and he has been a dramaturg at the Mark Taper Forum, ASK Theatre Projects, and other venues. His corporate experience includes accounting, budgeting and administration in the publishing and banking industries, as well as a three-year stint with the United Nations World Food Programme in Rome, Italy. He holds an MFA from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts and a BS in Business Administration from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.