Transport Group Announces Denise Dickens as New Executive Director
Transport Group announced today that Denise Dickens, formerly of Abingdon Theatre Company, will join the company as its new executive director, replacing Lori Fineman, outgoing executive director. Dickens will join founding Artistic Director Jack Cummings III at the helm of the off-Broadway, award-winning, non-profit theatre company.
Denise Dickens most recently served as producing director and director of development of Abingdon Theatre Company where she oversaw a complete rebranding and modernization of the company while directing operations and development efforts, managing mainstage and ancillary programming and successfully overhauling its operating model. Prior to Abingdon, she was member of the marketing and investor relations team at MidOcean Partners. Dickens served as associate producer on the musical Triassic Parq and the play Unnatural Acts, the latter at Classic Stage Company where she has served on the board of directors of since 2012.
"I am honored to join Transport Group and stand alongside Jack Cummings III in leading this phenomenal company, board and staff into its next chapter of strategic growth, artistic achievement and progressive storytelling," says Dickens. "Transport Group is an organization that epitomizes the creative spirit to empower us to embrace the complexity and diversity of our world with understanding, hope and courage. I could not be prouder to be a part of this company."
Dickens joins Transport Group following the departure of the company's longtime Executive Director Lori Fineman. Fineman became Transport Group's first executive director in 2007, after having worked as a volunteer and board member for the company since 2004. During her tenure at Transport Group, the company has grown significantly, producing a body of work that has received numerous awards and nominations, both financial and artistic. Fineman decided recently to step down to pursue projects in the commercial theater.
"After nearly 15 years of partnership with Jack as a leader in the non-profit arts sector, I have decided to take my career in a new direction, moving my attention to the commercial theater" said Fineman. "My time at Transport Group has been incredibly rewarding, from the familial relationships I share with the staff, the friendship and inspiration I've received from the extraordinary artists with whom we work, and the support and dedication I've felt from our board members, donors and fans. When I started at Transport Group, we had a tiny budget, no office, no paid staff, and no infrastructure. I am so proud of the work we have done to build the company into the highly respected artistic institution that it is today. I look forward to remaining involved with Transport Group as a member of the board of directors and as a lifelong friend of the company."
"Partnering with Lori has been an incredible experience, and everyone at Transport Group will be forever grateful for her strong vision and unwavering leadership" says Cummings. "I am thrilled to have Denise Dickens on board, to take the helm as the next leader of our company. She brings a fierce dedication to the artful world of non-profit theatre in New York and I couldn't be happier to welcome her to Transport Group."
"The Board performed an extensive search for a new Executive Director, and we are thrilled with the result" explains Transport Group Board Chair, Jenny Niederhoffer. "Denise is an experienced, energetic leader who is as passionate about creating opportunities for artists and pushing creative boundaries as we are. She is a perfect fit for Transport Group."
Transport Group's 19th. season includes the world premiere musical, Broadbend, Arkansas, presented in association with The Public Theater, with libretto by Ellen Fitzhugh and Harrison David Rivers, and music and additional lyrics by Ted Shen, directed by multiple-OBIE-winning Artistic Director Jack Cummings III. Broadbend, Arkansas is now playing at the Duke on 42nd Street, 229 W. 42nd Street, through November 23rd. Up next is a revival of the The Unsinkable Molly Brown starring Beth Malone, with music and lyrics by Meredith Willson, book and new lyrics by Dick Scanlan based on the original book by Richard Morris, Meredith Willson's music adapted by Michael Rafter, and directed and choreographed by Kathleen Marshall. The show runs February 7 - March 22, 2020 at Abrons Arts Center, 466 Grand Street. For tickets and more information: transportgroup.org.
Transport Group is the recipient of a special Drama Desk Award recognizing its "breadth of vision and presentation of challenging productions," a special citation from the prestigious New York Drama Critics' Circle, and a special OBIE Award, as well as numerous other awards and award nominations from the Outer Critics' Circle, Lucille Lortel Awards, Obie Awards, Off-Broadway Alliance, Drama League, and others. Founded in 2001, Transport Group stages new works and re-imagined revivals-both plays and musicals-that explore the challenges of relationship and identity in modern America. Currently headed by founder Jack Cummings III (Artistic Director) and new Executive Director, Denise Dickens, Transport Group most recently produced the critically acclaimed production The Trial of the Catonsville Nine, Carmel Dean and Dick Scanlan's world premiere musical Renascence (Off-Broadway Alliance Award for Best New Musical), Tennessee Williams' Summer and Smoke (starring Tony Award nominee Marin Ireland) with Classic Stage Company, Eugene O'Neill's Strange Interlude starring David Greenspan (Drama Desk nomination for Outstanding Solo Performance as well as an Obie Award for Greenspan and Cummings), and Picnic & Come Back, Little Sheba: William Inge in Rep, which received two Drama Desk nominations and three OBIE Awards (Jack Cummings III for Direction, Heather MacRae for Performance, Dane Laffrey for Scenic Design). Additional recent productions include the first off-Broadway revival of Once Upon a Mattress, starring Jackie Hoffman and John "Lypsinka" Epperson; Three Days To See, a world premiere theatrical exploration of Helen Keller through her own writings; Broadway's Lysistrata Jones; the critically acclaimed revival of John Cariani's modern classic Almost, Maine; Michael John LaChiusa's Queen of the Mist (winner of the Outer Critics' Circle Award for Outstanding New Off-Broadway Musical); and a re-imagined revival of the John Van Druten's classic I Remember Mama which was included in The New York Times' Top Ten Productions of 2014 and The New Yorker's Top Cultural Moments of 2014. In addition to mainstage productions, Transport Group also produces the Anne L. Bernstein concert series, one-night-only, star-studded concerts of classic Broadway musicals, often featuring the productions' original orchestrations performed by as many as 60 actors and musicians. Concert titles have included Baby (2012), The Music Man (2014), Peter Pan (2016), A Man of No Importance (2016), Man of La Mancha (2017), Promises, Promises (2018), and Sweet Charity (2019).