Arts Beat Extra: Darko Tresnjak, Hartford Stage Artistic Director, to Step Down After 2018-19 Season

Darko Tresnjak will step down as Hartford Stage’s Artistic Director.

by Mark G. Auerbach

Darko Tresnjak will step down as Hartford Stage’s Artistic Director at the conclusion of the 2018-19 season. Tresnjak has served as the Tony Award-winning theatre’s artistic leader since 2011. A national search will be conducted to find his replacement.

“I want to thank our staff, our board, our audiences, and all the wonderful artists whose work has graced our stage over the past seven seasons. And I look forward to our spectacular 2018-2019 season, which will be announced shortly,” Tresnjak said. “Serving as the Artistic Director of Hartford Stage has been the greatest honor and privilege of my career. I look forward to welcoming the next Artistic Director who – working alongside our indomitable Managing Director, Mike Stotts – will lead this great American theater company.”

In 2011, Tresnjak became the fifth Artistic Director to lead Hartford Stage. In 2012, he directed A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder at Hartford StageThe musical moved to Broadway the following year, earning four Tony Awards in 2014, including Best Musical, Costume Design, Book and Direction by Tresnjak. He also won the Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Los Angeles Critics Circle, and San Diego Critics Circle awards for his direction of A Gentleman’s Guide. In 2016, Tresnjak directed Anastasia at Hartford Stage. The musical opened on Broadway last eason, and it will open in Spain, Germany, and commence a national tour by the end of 2018.

Hartford Stage’s Artistic Director Darko Tresnjak directed Anastasia at Hartford Stage.

Tresnjak’s directing credits at Hartford Stage also include the world premieres of Breath and Imagination by Daniel Beaty and Rear Window, adapted by Keith Reddin and starring Kevin Bacon; the revivals of Bell, Book and Candle, La Dispute, Private Lives, Kiss Me, Kate and Heartbreak House; and seven productions of Shakespeare plays: The Tempest, Twelfth Night, Macbeth, Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, A Comedy of Errors and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Tresnjak also designed the sets for his productions of Macbeth, Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet and A Comedy of Errors. For his work at Hartford Stage, Tresnjak received four Connecticut Critics Circle Awards for the direction of A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, Hamlet and Anastasia and for the set design for A Comedy of Errors.

Further highlights of Tresnjak’s tenure at Hartford Stage include the world premieres of Quiara Alegría Hudes’ Water by the Spoonful, winner of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Drama; Reverberation by Matthew Lopez; Big Dance Theatre’s Man in a Case with Mikhail Baryshnikov; and the upcoming The Age of Innocence, adapted by Douglas McGrath.

Tresnjak will make his Metropolitan Opera directorial debut in September with Saint-Saëns’ Samson et Dalila. For the Los Angeles Opera, Tresnajk has directed Macbeth with Plácido Domingo, and The Ghosts of Versailles with Patricia Racette and Patti LuPone.

Before leaving Hartford, Tresnjak will stage Athol Fugard’s A Lesson from Aloes, which opens May 17, and next season, which has not been as yet announced, he’ll stage  the world premieres of a new play by Samuel Baum and a new musical by Robert L. Freedman and Scott Frankel.

Mark G. Auerbach studied theatre at American University and the Yale School of Drama. He’s worked for arts organizations and reported on theatre for newspapers and radio. Mark produces and hosts ArtsBeat Radio for 89.5fm/WSKB.

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