Our Leaders

Darko Tresnjak, Artistic Director*

2014-15_darkoIn 2011, Darko Tresnjak became only the fifth artistic director to lead Hartford Stage. Since then the theatre has presented the world premieres of A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder on Broadway, winner of four 2014 Tony Awards, including Best Musical and Best Direction of a Musical by Darko; Quiara Alegría Hudes’ Water by the Spoonful, winner of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Drama; Breath & Imagination by Daniel Beaty; and Big Dance Theatre’s Man in a Case with Mikhail Baryshnikov.

Darko 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'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 grew up in Yugoslavia, the United States and Poland.  He was educated at Swarthmore College and Columbia University 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.
* Position permanently endowed by Janet S. Suisman

Michael Stotts, Managing Director

Mike Stotts

Mike Stotts is beginning his 11th year as Managing Director of Hartford Stage. During his tenure, he has guided the organization through the challenging years of the recession that began in 2008, a major leadership transition in 2011, and the stabilization and growth of the organization over the past five years. Hartford Stage currently produces a seven play season with works ranging from classics to musicals, contemporary plays, world premieres and neglected works from the canon.  Recent accomplishments include leading the multi-year, expansion and renovation of the Stage’s theatre facility. With Darko Tresnjak, he recently produced the world premieres of Rear Window, and the new musical, Anastasia, by Terrence McNally, Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty.  Anastasia, which enjoyed a sell-out run at Hartford Stage, is scheduled to open on Broadway in April, 2017.  In 2012, the new musical A Gentlemen’s Guide to Love and Murder received its world premiere at Hartford Stage. It subsequently moved to Broadway and won the 2014 Tony Award for Best Musical.  It is currently on national tour. Other notable shows include Man in a Case starring Mikhail Baryshnikov, and the Pulitzer Prize-winning play, Water by the Spoonful by Quiara Alegria Hudes.  In 2010, with Artistic Director Michael Wilson, he produced Horton Foote’s The Orphans’ Home Cycle which enjoyed a celebrated run in Hartford and subsequently at the Signature Theatre in New York where it won the Drama Desk, Lucille Lortel and Outer Critics Circle awards, among others. In 2013, he spearheaded the acquisition of the Hartford Children’s Theatre and the integration of its programs into the Hartford Stage Studio program. Since 2006, he has guided the growth of the Hartford Stage education programs which today serve over 19,000 students throughout the State of Connecticut. During his three-year tenure as Managing Director at Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, he produced a significant number of new plays including works by Paula Vogel, Craig Lucas, James Lapine and Julia Cho. Sixteen Wounded by Eliam Kraiem moved to Broadway in 2004, and Cho’s BFE and Lapine’s Fran’s Bed subsequently transferred to Off-Broadway’s Playwrights Horizons. Prior to Long Wharf he served as Managing Director of George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick, New Jersey, and for nine years he served in the same capacity at the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey in Madison, New Jersey, where he successfully initiated and managed the capital campaign to build the F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre which opened in 1998. He began his professional career at the Manhattan Theatre Club where he served in a number of management capacities from 1986–1990. He currently serves on the boards of Hartford Performs and Billings Forge Community Works, and is a Corporator of Hartford Hospital and the iQuilt Partnership.  He was a co-founder and President of the Connecticut Arts Alliance, a statewide arts advocacy organization, and continues to serve on that board.  He has served on the boards of the Edward C. and Ann T. Roberts Foundation, the National Corporate Theatre Fund, the New Haven Arts Industry Coalition, New Jersey Theatre Alliance and ArtPride, NJ.  In 2005, he was honored with a Distinguished Advocate Award from the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism, and in 2011 he received the Commission’s Elizabeth L. Mahaffey Arts Administration Fellowship.  Mr. Stotts is originally from Calgary, Alberta.

Elizabeth Williamson, Associate Artistic Director

Elizabeth WilliamsonPrior to her appointment as Associate Artistic Director, Elizabeth Williamson served as Senior Dramaturg and Director of New Play Development for Hartford Stage.

Ms. Williamson has played a pivotal role in new play development at Hartford Stage since joining Hartford Stage in 2012. Over the years, Williamson has developed new work with Brooke Berman, Bill Cain, Sheila Callaghan, Robert Freedman and Steven Lutvak, Kyle Jarrow, Julie Jensen, Kimber Lee, Matthew Lopez, Wendy MacLeod, T.D. Mitchell, Peter Morris, Brighde Mullins, Janine Nabers, Dan O’Brien, Dominique Serrand and Steve Epp, Octavio Solis, Bess Wohl, Lauren Yee, and Mary Zimmerman. More recently, Ms. Williamson translated La Dispute by French playwright Pierre Marivaux in the 50th anniversary season for Hartford Stage and helmed the theatre’s Brand:New Festival in its final years. Ms. Williamson also helped launch the Hartford Stage world premieres of the Tony Award-winning musical A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder (2012); Big Dance Theatre’s Man in a Case (2013); Breath & Imagination (2013); and Matthew Lopez’s Reverberation (2015).

Before joining Hartford Stage, Ms. Williamson served as Associate Artistic Director and Literary Manager for Pioneer Theatre Company in Salt Lake City, Utah. A dramaturg, director, producer, and translator, she has also worked with About Face Theatre, the American Conservatory Theater, the Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Court Theatre, HERE Arts Center, the La Jolla Playhouse, Lorin Maazel’s Castleton Festival, the Magic Theatre, Steppenwolf, Theatre de la Jeune Lune, and the Williamstown Theatre Festival.  

Ms. Williamson received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Theatre Directing and Comparative Literature from Bennington College in Vermont and a Master’s Degree in European Literature from Oxford University in England.  She trained at the French school of physical theatre École Jacques Lecoq. Ms. Williamson received an NEA Fellowship in Literary Translation in 2007 and is a member of the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab and the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas.