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Transport Group Announces Joanna & Steven Sanders New Works Program

Transport Group will use the remainder of the 2020-’21 season to focus on the launch of this program.

Transport Group Artistic Director Jack Cummings III and Executive Director Denise Dickens have announced the institution of The Joanna & Steven Sanders New Works Program, focusing on the development of new American theatrical productions. While Transport Group will continue its exploration of revivals, this program will deepen the company's commitment to producing world premieres. Transport Group will use the remainder of the 2020-'21 season to focus on the launch of this program.

A new, permanent addition to Transport Group's annual operations, The Joanna & Steven Sanders New Works Program will foster new plays and musicals in preparation for full production. The program supports playwrights, librettists, and composers through every step of the process from first draft to final dress, letting each work dictate its tailored course of development through commissions, readings, writers' retreats, demos, and fully staged workshops, among other elements of the development process. Transport Group is committed to carry all commissions through to production in upcoming seasons after robust development via The Joanna & Steven Sanders New Works Program.

Artistic Director Jack Cummings III says about the program: "We are incredibly grateful to Joanna and Steven Sanders for their belief in and support of new work and the development process necessary for writers to explore the full potential of their individual voices. With Joanna and Steven's generous gift, Transport Group will be able to keep its eye on the future by reliably providing the means for these artists to fully experiment in creating new work that will add to the American theatre canon. We are excited to begin these collaborations as soon as possible to make sure that once we can return to the theatre, we will be well on our way to producing commissioned world premieres."

Joanna & Steven Sanders say about the program: "While this global pandemic prevents us from staging live performances, we can seize this moment to support our American Playwrights, librettists, and composers to conceive and produce original plays and musicals that will inspire us when we can all joyously retake the stage. We are excited to give Transport Group artists a stable platform to create new works of American theatre, during these challenging times, and beyond."

Transport Group's 2020-21 season also includes While We're Home: a collection of commissioned, weekly essays by alumni artists, reflecting on the company's 20-year history. Additionally, Transport Group streamed its fall 2019 critically acclaimed musical, Broadbend, Arkansas, compensating over 30 artists of the original production and supporting The Black Theatre Network. The month-long stream, offered free of charge, reached 46 states, 20 countries, and nearly 3,000 households. The company produced a Virtual Conversation series, produced in partnership with Walk Tall Girl Productions/Marcia Pendelton, featuring the cast and creative team of Broadbend, Arkansas, Minneapolis theatres (New Dawn Theatre, Pillsbury House, Theatre Latte Da), representatives of The Black Theatre Network (Andre Harrington, Michael Dinwiddie, Kathryn Ervin) and Black arts activists (Talvin Wilkes, Jonathan McRory, Chris Berry, Monique Martin, and Kevin Powell). The archived conversations as well as the While We're Home essays are available via

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