Lynn Singleton

Inducted: 2023
Born: 1952

Lynn Singleton joined the Providence Performing Arts Center (PPAC) as President in 1983, transforming it from near bankruptcy to one of the premier not-for-profit theatres in North America. Over his tenure, PPAC’s number of events has more than tripled, and attendance has increased to over 350,000 patrons annually, accumulating a $50 million reserve from retained earnings. As a result of Lynn’s vision and successful fundraising, PPAC has returned to its historic splendor through renovations and restorations. By expanding the stage, Lynn opened the gateway to presenting blockbuster shows such as The Phantom of the Opera, Disney’s Beauty & the Beast, The Lion King, Wicked, and Jersey Boys.

Providence Business News named Lynn Singleton a “Driving Force” in the Rhode Island business community in 2011, 2016, and 2021. He received Trinity Repertory Company’s Pell Award for Outstanding Leadership in the Arts in 2012, the John Hazen White, Sr. Leadership in the Arts Award in 2018, and the inaugural Providence Renaissance Award for Highest Achievement in the Arts. In 1988, Singleton was the founding President and CEO of Professional Facilities Management, Inc. (PFM), a wholly owned for-profit subsidiary of PPAC.

Throughout his forty-year tenure as President and CEO of the Providence Performing Arts Center, Lynn Singleton’s leadership has transformed it into one of the foremost not-for-profit theatres in North America. With Singleton’s guidance and in-depth knowledge of the entertainment industry, PPAC has presented innumerable touring Broadway shows and some of the biggest names in music, comedy, and more. As a result, PPAC’s number of events has more than tripled, and attendance has increased to over 350,000 patrons annually.

As a co-producer through the Independent Presenters Network, a consortium of 40 leading touring presenters in North America, PPAC has received the Tony Awards for Best Musical for Once (2011), Kinky Boots (2013), Dear Evan Hansen (2016), The Band’s Visit (2017) and Moulin Rouge! The Musical (2021) and the Olivier Award for Best New Musical for Dear Evan Hansen (2020).

Since 2008, PPAC has been the theatre of choice to open 21 national tours, including Legally Blonde – The Musical (2008), Once (2013), Beautiful – The Carole King Musical (2015), Les Misérables (2017), The Band’s Visit (2019), Pretty Woman (2021), and Tina – The Tina Turner Musical (2022). The Broadway revival of Funny Girl was the 22nd national tour to open at PPAC in September 2023, and PPAC has already announced the tour launch of A Beautiful Noise for the fall of 2024. These national tour openings, along with the countless other Broadway tours that have performed at PPAC, have had a significant positive impact on the economy of the City of Providence and the Ocean State

Lynn Singleton was born in Jackson, Kentucky, the coun¬ty seat of Breathitt County, the son of Elmer and Janice Singleton. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Cumberland College and a Master of Arts and Education degree from Union College. He is completing his dissertation for a Ph.D. from Boston College. A self-described “refugee of higher education,” he spent time as associate dean of students at Rhode Island College, booking events, before departing to run a venue in Louisiana.

He was backstage in 1983 when he got a call from Bruce Sundlun, chair of Providence Performing Arts Center’s Board. The future governor sought someone to turn the former Loew’s Theater on Weybosset Street in Providence into a world-class venue. He said, “Lynn, if you take this job, you can make a difference in Providence and the state of Rhode Island.”

Lynn is a voting member of the Tony Awards. He received an Emmy Award for Best Art Direction for a Variety or Music Program for the play Peter Pan. Lynn and Donna Santos, his significant other for 37 years, live in Chepachet and Manasota Key, Florida.

Lynn Singleton was inducted into The Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame in 2023.

Scroll to Top