The Araca Group & Theater Executive Michael Barra Launch Araca Media & Entertainment

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New Division to Produce Broadway-Inspired Content Across All Media

The Araca Group and Michael Barra, the former Disney executive and founder of Stageworks Media, announce today the launch of Araca Media & Entertainment.

We are thrilled to be launching this new division of our growing company with Michael Barra,” said Matthew Rego, partner of The Araca Group. "Araca Media & Entertainment is a natural extension of the robust slate of activities at Araca.

Broadway production and brand management company The Araca Group (partners Matthew Rego, Michael Rego, and Hank Unger) and Michael Barra, the former Disney executive and founder of Stageworks Media, announced today the launch of Araca Media & Entertainment, with Barra to serve as its President.

The new division will align with film studios, television networks, music publishers, artist managers and consumer brands to develop and manage Broadway-inspired branded entertainment portfolios, including adaptations and reboots of iconic entertainment properties, for film, television, digital and stage.

Araca Media & Entertainment will also develop original scripted and non-scripted programming for premium digital video distribution. Programming will feature Broadway talent alongside digital-native stars, with an eye towards targeting the trailing Millennial demographic.

Working closely with the partners and Barra in Media & Entertainment will be The Araca Group’s senior strategy and creative teams including Peter Pergola, COO; Megan Rhoads, EVP Creative & Client Services; Jeff Delson, EVP Business Development; Elin Eggertsdottir, SVP Branded Entertainment; Alyssa Tobias, SVP Creative Director; Jen Bender, SVP Production & Development; Miriam Weisfeld SVP, Production & Development; and Cat Carson, SVP Her Universe.

“We are thrilled to be launching this new division of our growing company with Michael Barra,” said Matthew Rego, partner of The Araca Group. "Araca Media & Entertainment is a natural extension of the robust slate of activities at Araca, which already works with many of the world’s leading entertainment brands. This opportunity combines Araca’s expertise in production and brand management with our passion for Broadway and the performing arts, and underlines our focus on furthering Araca’s position in this space across multiple platforms.”

“I’m incredibly excited to be working with the entire team at Araca to build Araca Media & Entertainment,” added Michael Barra. “Broadway can sometimes be hyper-focused on a twenty-block perimeter of New York City, but enthusiasts for musicals, dramas, dance, improv, cabaret, and the rest of the performing arts make up a material yet underserved segment of the population. Especially among Millennials who are used to consuming on-demand and might not readily have access to the performing arts.”

Partners Matthew Rego, Michael Rego and Hank Unger founded The Araca Group in 1997 and the company has since become a leading Broadway production and brand management company with over 250 dedicated employees and offices in New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Chicago, London, and Sydney.

Araca’s producing ventures have garnered Tony, Pulitzer, Grammy, Drama Desk, Outer Critics, Drama League, Olivier and Obie Awards. Broadway producing credits include Wicked, Urinetown, Disgraced, The Wedding Singer, A View From The Bridge, Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune, Lend Me a Tenor, Match, Rock of Ages, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella, ‘Night Mother, Skylight, A Raisin in the Sun, Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, Catch Me If You Can, and Boeing-Boeing.

Araca’s brand management and merchandising division works closely with new and established music, entertainment licensing, sports, theatrical, and performing arts clients to manage intellectual property and to identify customized sales solutions across multiple revenue streams. Araca’s partners and clients include Wicked, The Book of Mormon, Beautiful, Jersey Boys, Britney Spears, Linkin Park, OneRepublic, The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and New York City Ballet.

Araca is also a founding partner in Her Universe, a fashion line created in partnership with Ashley Eckstein geared towards the expanding market of female sci-fi and fantasy fans. Beginning with a license for Star Wars, the company has since released fashion collections for Marvel, Doctor Who, Star Trek, Studio Ghibli, and The Walking Dead. Lionsgate will launch the reality series “The Her Universe Fashion Show” on its Comic-Con International SVOD service in 2016.

Michael Barra most-recently sold his company Stageworks Media to private equity firm Rebel Rebel Capital. During his career at Stageworks, and previously at The Walt Disney Company, Barra has established a global reputation at the confluence of filmed and live entertainment. Most recently he conceived and produced the live-in-performance docu-series Live From Gramercy Park for the Cennarium Performing Arts Channel on Vimeo, and also packaged live performance captures from companies such as Martha Graham Dance Company, Abingdon Stage Company, and the Speakeasy Dollhouse immersive play series for the channel.

Barra has also worked extensively developing stage adaptations of iconic properties in partnership with major media companies. For Stageworks, Michael conceived and packaged the stage adaptation of the classic sitcom Cheers: Live on Stage, under license by CBS Consumer Products, with an upcoming tour produced by Troika Entertainment. Barra also developed the pop musicals Cyrano de BurgerShack and Emma! A Pop Musical financed and developed by Stageworks Media and published and licensed by Playscripts. Each of those musicals feature hit songs made famous by artists such as Katy Perry, Bruno Mars, Sara Bareilles, Cyndi Lauper, Whitney Houston, John Mayer, Kelly Clarkson, Pink, Adele and Madonna, among many others, and were developed expressly for the high school licensing marketplace in partnership with the major music publishers, including Sony/ATV, Warner Chappell, Universal Music Publishing, and BMG.

Prior to founding Stageworks Media, Barra was an executive at Walt Disney Pictures in Burbank, and Disney Theatrical Group and Daryl Roth Productions in New York. He previously spent seven years with PricewaterhouseCoopers in New York and Boston and was the founding Artistic Director of Off-Broadway's Gotham Stage Company.

Araca Media & Entertainment will be based out of The Araca Group’s New York and Los Angeles offices.

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