Miles Wilkin (BSBA ‘70), the vice chair of The John Gore Organization, one of the leading innovators of the international entertainment industry, visited the School of Theatre and Dance on Tuesday, February 21. Wilkin visited with students and gave a lecture about his life and career.
While Wilkin is the recipient of numerous awards including: 6 Tony Awards for producing (Spamalot, Hairspray, The Producers, Fiddler on the Roof, Gypsy and Jerome Robbin’ Broadway), a Theatre Lifetime Achievement Award from The Broadway League and a 2016 Tony Awards Special Tony Award, he did not grow up in the theatre world. It was during his time at UF that he learned he was a natural leader and people person after working on events like Gator Growl.
“These student organizations and activities taught me how to organize and build something which was very practical and important for me,” said Wilkin.
His experiences led him into a natural career in event programming where he met people in the theatre industry. Wilkin went on to have an illustrious theatre career, winning many awards and honors. His most important contribution, one might argue, would be his work with Broadway Across America. Wilkin revolutionized the Broadway touring system and brought theatre to people all across the country.
Reflecting back on his career, Wilkin said that his favorite part has been the opportunity to work with some really great people and mentors. Wilkin encouraged students interested in theatre to immerse themselves in the world and stressed the importance of meaningful relationships in what he describes as a “cottage industry.”
“Learn what you can in school where it's easy and ok to fail sometimes and then go out and apply that knowledge and get practical experience.”