Steve Fickinger, the Broadway producer who received a Tony for “Dear Evan Hansen,” died abruptly on Friday in Laguna Beach, Calif., representatives confirmed to Variety. He was 62.
Born in Winnetka, Ill., Fickinger started his profession at Disney as a temp mail room employee, and labored his manner as much as develop into director of inventive improvement for Walt Disney Feature Animation, the place he oversaw the manufacturing of animated movies together with “Mulan,” “Tarzan” and “Lilo and Stitch.”
He later transitioned to the Disney Theatrical Group, the place he served as V.P. of inventive improvement. He supervised six Broadway productions throughout his tenure as vp, together with the Tony-winning “The Lion King,” “Aida,” “Newsies” in addition to “Aladdin” and the nationwide tour of “High School Musical.” He moreover oversaw Disney Theatrical’s musicals in faculties initiative, which offered free assets and educating artists to underfunded arts applications in faculties.
Fickinger left Disney in 2013 to launch his impartial theater manufacturing banner FickStern Productions. “Dear Evan Hansen,” a musical from Steven Levenson and music writing duo Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, was the corporate’s first manufacturing. After tryouts in Washington D.C. and off-Broadway, the present opened on Broadway in 2016, the place it acquired vital acclaim and received six Tony Awards, with Fickinger receiving a Tony for producing the present. Other accolades, the present additionally picked up two Drama League Awards, a Grammy, a Critics’ Circle Award and three Laurence Olivier Awards.
Aside from “Dear Evan Hansen,” Fickinger additionally govt produced a 2020 revival of “Rock of Ages” on the Bourbon Room in Hollywood. At time of his dying, Fickinger had a producing cope with Warner Bros. Studios, and wrapped a undertaking for the studio with director Jon Chu, Rashida Jones, Rodney Rothman and Alex Timbers. Other tasks he had in improvement embrace the musical “Live at the Crescendo Club: An Evening with Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan and Pearl Bailey,” which is written and directed by Seret Scott and produced by Deniece Williams.
Outside of theater, Fickinger was additionally concerned in quite a few nonprofits and charities, together with the AIDS Walk, the Los Angeles Food Mission, Meals on Wheels and the Race to Erase MS.