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Thomas J. Gates, former Broadway stage manager, has died at age 51 after being hit by a train

Thomas J. Gates, former Broadway stage manager, has died at age 51 after being hit by a train

“Thom was the center of ‘Illinoise’ on Broadway, a beloved friend and collaborator,” the stage production said in a statement



<p>Thomas Gates / Facebook</p>
<p> Thomas J. Gates” src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/L3sG9yVp3KAA_U_YDvlbNg–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTY0MA–/https://media.zenfs.com/en/people_218/5f65ca5dab5d5b4ddb ffbd73dd39ae04″ /></p>
<p>Thomas Gates / Facebook</p>
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Thomas Gates/Facebook

Thomas J Gates

The Broadway community is mourning the death of Thomas J. Gates, a longtime director who died after being hit by a train in New Jersey. He was 51.

A Morris & Essex Line train struck Gates near the South Orange Station around 9:12 a.m. on Wednesday, May 8, NJ Transit said. The New York Daily NewsNJ.com and Patch.com.

The train was scheduled to arrive at Penn Station in New York at 9:42 a.m. and had 60 people, including passengers and crew, on board, an NJ Transit spokesperson said in a statement to Patch.com. No other injuries were reported.



<p>Illinoise: A New Broadway Musical/Instagram</p>
<p> Announcing ‘Illinoise'” src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/CSbnZD3s.Z82ZxWqM9g7Pw–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTk2MA–/https://media.zenfs.com/en/people_218 /92e940423c07f4289331cbc086d984cb”/></p>
<p>Illinoise: A New Broadway Musical/Instagram</p>
<p> Announcing ‘Illinoise'” src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/CSbnZD3s.Z82ZxWqM9g7Pw–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTk2MA–/https://media.zenfs.com/en/people_218 /92e940423c07f4289331cbc086d984cb” class=”caas-img”/></p></div>
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Illinoise: A New Broadway Musical/Instagram

Announcement from ‘Illinoise’

According to a update shared by the NJ Transit system’s account on X, formerly Twitter, the incident also caused delays on Morris and Essex and Gladstone Branch rail service in both directions. PEOPLE has contacted NJ Transit for comment.

Gates’ death was confirmed by the official Instagram account Illinoise. Gates worked as a director on the show.

“Thom was the center of it Illinoise on Broadway, a beloved friend and collaborator. We are devastated for his husband Rick, another member of the Illinoise community. These two amazing people have led our company on our journey from the beginning. We dedicate the run of Illinoise to Thom and his loving memory,” the statement said.

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The stage production also canceled its show on Wednesday due to the ‘tragedy within the Illinoise community.”

Some of Gates’ other Broadway credits include Very reliable, Brooklyn, News itemsAnd The visitorsaccording to NJ.com.

Sara Bareilles, who worked with Gates on the musical Waitressmourned his death in an Instagram tribute.

“He was gentle. He was funny, usually without meaning to be. He was gentle. Trustworthy. Generous. Loving. Compassionate. Tired and overworked, but I never heard him complain,” Bareilles, 44, wrote.



<p>Justin Peck/Instagram</p>
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<p>Justin Peck/Instagram</p>
<p> Justin Peck mourns the death of Thomas Gates” src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/bcKaF.QaPCdv9bZ2dKokwQ–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTQyMDtoPTcwMA–/https://media.zenfs.com /en/people_218/ecf9eb4dd808a2331efeb2e29b5604bc” height=”480″ width=”288″ class=”caas-img has-width”/></p></div>
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Justin Peck/Instagram

Justin Peck mourns the death of Thomas Gates

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“He was the first one in and the last one out. He’s been a stage manager for many shows over the years and looked after countless others… but he’s the only one I made my first show with who looked after me ,” she continued.

The artist called Gates’ death “unspeakably tragic for many reasons.”

Justin Peck, the director and choreographer of Illinois, shared Bareilles’ video to his Instagram Stories along with the message: “My heart breaks for this and for him and his family. A truly gentle, kind, brilliant human being… He will be deeply missed in so many ways.”

A GoFundMe has been set up to support Gates’ husband, Rick Steiger, who was also a stage manager on Broadway.



<p>Thomas Gates/Facebook</p>
<p> Thomas Gates” src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/hx.zhbP8GBXur8eczrm7GA–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTY0MDtoPTk2MA–/https://media.zenfs.com/en/people_218/36c47d190df486139cc59 17d13f65127″ /></p>
<p>Thomas Gates/Facebook</p>
<p> Thomas Gates” src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/hx.zhbP8GBXur8eczrm7GA–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTY0MDtoPTk2MA–/https://media.zenfs.com/en/people_218/36c47d190df486139cc59 17d13f65127″ class=”caas-img”/></p></div>
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Thomas Gates/Facebook

Thomas Gates

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“Rick and Thom are so deeply in our hearts. Setting up this account is a small way of showing Rick our love and support and relieving him of some of the financial worries of the coming months,” the description explains.

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