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Westfield introduces mall entertainment boss

Scott Sanders, a Broadway producer who won a Tony award for The Color Purple, has been tasked with creating “unique and spectacular events” for the Westfield World Trade Center, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal.

Sanders has been named creative head of global entertainment of Westfield Corporation, the Australian firm that owns the Lower Manhattan mall.

With the new role, Sanders will be in charge of entertainment in the 35 shopping centers that the company operates.

“As we continue to integrate our digital platform with our physical assets, it is important that we also provide vibrant, exciting places for retailers and consumers,” Peter Lowy, the co-CEO of Westfield, said in a statement.

“Scott’s talent and experience will help us create compelling new content and entertainment. This continues our tradition of making our centres about more than just shopping. Live events and entertainment have always been critical to Westfield and Scott will provide a new dimension to our approach and help us further our engagement with our consumers.”

The appointment comes after Westfield acquired Scott Sanders Productions, the company behind Broadway shows The Color Purple, After Midnight and Evita. All three productions received Tony nominations.
Scott Sanders Productions is also involved in film projects. The company is producing the movie version Lin Manuel Miranda’s Tony-winning musical In The Heights. In 2012, the company also produced The Odd Life of Timothy Green, a Walt Disney film that starred Jennifer Garner.

In an interview with Deadline Hollywood, Sanders said that he did not intend to sell his company. However, the prospect of staging performances in unconventional venues appealed to him.

“I had not been interested in selling,” Sanders said. “But my roots are working in much larger spaces, and I’ve been watching as Cirque du Soleil reinvented the form of live entertainment, with people going into a communal experience.”

The Westfield World Trade Center, which opened a few weeks ago, contains 365,000 s/f of retail space. The mall, which opened fully leased, houses more than 100 retailers such as Kate Spade, Hugo Boss, H&M, Vince Camuto and Under Armour. It also has a branch of restaurant Eataly and gourmet grocery Market Lane.

Sanders’ Westfield projects will cover music, food, dance and fashion offerings. However, he will also continue his Broadway projects.

Currently, Scott Sanders Productions is involved in the stage adaptation of films such as Tootsie and Coal Miner’s Daughter.

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