Columbia University School of the Arts Theatre Arts Program directing alumnus Darko Tresnjak ('98SOA) has been selected as the new artistic director of Tony Award-winning Hartford Stage in Connectictut. He will assume the position, in which he succeeds Michael Wilson, in July. He is scheduled to direct John Van Druten's Bell, Book and Candle, as well as another work of his selection, for the 2011-2012 season.
"I look forward to working with our managing director, Michael Stotts, and to getting to know the entire Hartford Stage family and the people of Hartford," Tresnjak said in a statement. "I want to bring great theatre artists from within our shores--and beyond--to Hartford Stage. And I hope that every premiere and revival will remind our audiences of why they fell in love with theatre in the first place."
Michael Stotts ('87SOA) is also a School of the Arts Theatre Arts Program alumnus, in the Theatre Management & Producing concentration. “Darko is an extremely passionate individual who cares deeply about not only the work on stage, but the people that make it happen and the audiences he is programming for. I look forward to working closely with him to build on the wonderful artistic legacy he inherits, and taking Hartford Stage to a new level of accomplishment," Stotts said.
Tresnjak was the Artistic Director of the Old Globe Shakespeare Festival in San Diego from 2004 to 2009. His directing credits at the Old Globe include Cyrano de Bergerac, Coriolanus, The Women, The Pleasure of His Company, All's Well That Ends Well, Bell, Book and Candle, Hamlet, Titus Andronicus, A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Winter's Tale, A Comedy of Errors, Antony and Cleopatra, The Two Noble Kinsmen, and Pericles. He received four awards from the San Diego Theatre Critics Circle: for outstanding direction of Cyrano de Bergerac, The Winter’s Tale, and Pericles and for Excellence in Artistic Direction.
Tresnjak is currently directing and designing the set for Titus Andronicus at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Canada. His acclaimed production of The Merchant of Venice, featuring F. Murray Abraham as Shylock, just completed a national tour. The production originated in 2007 at Theatre for a New Audience and transferred to the Royal Shakespeare Company as part of their Complete Works Festival.
Tresnjak's directing career began at the Williamstown Theatre Festival where over eight seasons he directed The Skin of Our Teeth, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, The Love of Three Oranges, Princess Turandot, The Blue Demon, The Winter's Tale, Moving Picture, and Under Milk Wood. He has also directed at the Joseph Papp Public Theater, Theatre for a New Audience, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Vineyard Theatre Company, and Blue Light Theater Company. From 2002-2004 he was Director in Residence at Boston’s Huntington Theatre Company where his productions included What the Butler Saw, Heartbreak House, and Amphitryon.
Tresnjak recently directed Der Zwerg, Der Zerbrochene Krug, and Die Vögel for Los Angeles Opera, the inaugural productions of their acclaimed Recovered Voices cycle. The productions were released last fall on DVD/Blu-Ray by Arthaus Musik. He has also directed at Opera Theater of Saint Louis, Florida Grand Opera, Sarasota Opera, and Virginia Opera.
Tresnjak grew up in Yugoslavia, the United States and Poland. He was educated at Swarthmore College and Columbia University School of the Arts and became an American citizen shortly after graduation. Between college and graduate school, he studied at the Martha Graham School, performed with numerous Philadelphia dance and theatre companies, and toured across the United States and Japan with Mum Puppettheatre. He is the recipient of grants from Theatre Communications Group, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, and the Alan Schneider Award for Directing Excellence.