Cynthia Rider

Cynthia Rider

We are delighted to announce that Cynthia Rider has been named the next Managing Director of Hartford Stage. She will assume the role in July, 2019.

About Cynthia Rider

Rider will become the eighth Managing Director at Hartford Stage, joining recently-appointed Artistic Director Melia Bensussen. It will be the first time in the theatre’s 55-year history that two women will jointly assume the co-leadership roles.

Rider became the Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s (OSF) third executive director in 2013. While at OSF, she successfully worked with the board and noted Artistic Director, Bill Rauch, in the creation of a ten-year strategic plan, oversaw an increase in contributed income of more than 20 percent, and participated in artistic initiatives that resulted in three OSF-commissioned plays moving to Broadway, with one winning the Tony Award for Best Play and another winning the Pulitzer Prize.

Additional highlights of Rider’s successful tenure at OSF include the creation of the Access for All campaign, which renovated the courtyard in front of OSF’s theatres and added an elevator and wheelchair seating to the Bowmer Theatre, and the opening of the new Hay-Patton Rehearsal Center – all while producing a repertory season of eleven productions in three theatres, managing an annual operating budget of $40 million and offering a number of educational and community engagement programs for audiences and students.

Prior to joining OSF, Cynthia Rider spent nine years at Kansas City Repertory Theatre as Managing Director and, earlier, as Associate Director for Advancement and Administration. Her experience also includes six years as Executive Director of the Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey. She served as Associate Director, later promoted to Acting Director, of the Massachusetts Manufacturing Partnership, which worked to strengthen small and medium-sized manufacturers across the state.

Rider’s theatre experience also includes time spent on the stage. After graduating from Boston University, she started her theatre career as a resident company member, guest artist and young company actor at the Alley Theatre in Houston.

“I am honored to be joining Hartford Stage as its Managing Director. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work in partnership with Melia Bensussen, the staff, and Board members who care deeply about the organization and their community. Their commitment to artistic excellence, the programs for young people, further engagement with community, and increased financial strength and greater equity throughout the organization are what made me incredibly excited to return to the East Coast to work for Hartford Stage.”
–Cynthia Rider