Obituaries

Broadway Producer Ron Simons Dies at 63

Simons was a producer of Ain’t Too Proud, Thoughts of a Colored Man, and the Broadway revival of for colored girls …

Ron Simons was a Broadway producer.
(taken from social media)

Veteran producer Ron Simons died on June 12 at the age of 63. The news was first shared by his production company, SimonSays Entertainment, via a Facebook post.

A graduate of Columbia Business School, Simons worked for Microsoft before pursuing a radical career shift to entertainment as he approached his 40th birthday. He earned an MFA in acting from the University of Washington and moved to New York, where he became a company member of the Classical Theatre of Harlem. He later became a trustee of the organization.

In 2012, he redeployed his business know-how and shifted his focus to producing, garnering his first Broadway credit with The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, which won two Tony Awards that year: Best Leading Actress for Audra McDonald and Best Revival of a Musical.

More Broadway projects followed: the revival of A Streetcar Named Desire starring Nicole Ari Parker and Blair Underwood, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder (winner of the 2014 Tony for Best Musical), August Wilson’s Jitney (Best Revival of a Play Tony), and Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations.

Simons took on the role of lead producer during Broadway’s tumultuous bounce back from Covid, shepherding to Broadway Keenan Scott II’s Thoughts of a Colored Man and the Camille A. Brown-helmed revival of Ntozake Shange’s for colored girls who have considered suicide / when the rainbow is enuf in the same season. His fearless leadership out of the gate helped get Broadway back on its feet following an unprecedented shutdown.

His film producing credits include Night Catches Us, Gun Hill Road, The Seagull (2018), and I Miss You.

Funeral details are pending and will likely be posted here.