Meet the Staff

StageNotes - A Christmas Carol

Meet the Staff

Sean Pomposello, Director of Marketing and Communications

By Jamie Brewer, Marketing Apprentice 

Sean PomposelloTell us a little about yourself.

I’m different things to different people. But, for the purposes of this interview, I’m a longtime entertainment marketer, husband and father who presently hails from Redding, Connecticut.

Tell us about the first time you experienced live theatre and how it impacted you.

Good question. I’m of the belief that the occasion of your first brush with live theatre packs a lot more punch than any other entertainment option. Proof of that is, rarely does someone remember their first movie — but they’ll always recall the first play or musical they saw. I suppose it’s the event of it. I saw some children’s plays, but the play that felt like the first play in earnest was Da, written by an Irish playwright named Hugh Leonard. Mia Dillon, who is currently starring in our play Seder, had a part in it.

Your previous position was Director of Editorial Strategy for A & E Networks, with prior senior positions at HBO, Optimum Cablevision Systems, and Serino Coyne. Why did you want to make the shift in your career to a job in regional theatre? 

Well, it’s a lot less of a career shift than you might think looking solely at my resume. One thread throughout all the jobs is my focus on branding, identity and storytelling. After almost 7 years at HBO, I worked on Broadway for 4 or 5 years, heading up shows like Wicked, God of Carnage, Mamma Mia!, Next to Normal and Rock of Ages. I then spent another 4 seasons consulting with Westport Country Playhouse and really enjoyed working with that theatre. So, when I was looking for the next opportunity, Hartford Stage seemed like a perfect fit.

What are your goals as Marketing and Communications Director for Hartford Stage?

Paramount among my goals is representing this theatre as sincerely as possible. In a nutshell, the goal for me is to make sure every marketing touchpoint is an accurate reflection of the stellar work we stage.

What show are you most looking forward to seeing this season at Hartford Stage?

That’s like asking me to choose which one of my children I prefer. Not to sound like a corporate stooge, but I’m new so you’ll forgive me — there’s something about all of the shows in the season that interests me. I will say that I have a certain affection for Feeding the Dragon because I identify with the story. I was a Literature major, and my dad ran the Oak Room at the Algonquin in New York City. I didn’t have quite the run of the establishment that Sharon had at the library, but when I would return home on breaks I’d always ask that my dad lead me to the basement of the hotel so that I could run my hand over the table where the New York Wits carved their names. I also used to always want to walk past the room where Preston Sturges passed.

In addition to your work in entertainment marketing and communications, you are an accomplished playwright, screenwriter and photographer. Tell us about some of your work. 

Honestly, I tend to not distinguish between any one creative endeavor. They all feed one another. I shoot photographs for stimulus to stitch into my dramatic work. I shot pit bulls in Newark and wrote a play about dog fighting; I spent a lot of time around the chess tables in Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village and wrote a site-specific play about homeless chess hustlers. Working in a creative, collaborative field, it’s important to do creative things outside of work that can be purely your own. Creative people who are personally fulfilled outside the office tend to dig their heels in a lot less inside the office.

You are a talented street photographer. What inspires your work? Have you continued your street photography in Hartford? Has Hartford provided an exciting backdrop?

Photo by Sean Pomposello.
Photo by Sean Pomposello.

I’m a pretty curious person. And I find human nature to be an endless source of curiosity. So, yeah, I have continued shooting in Hartford, but I can’t say I quite get the rhythm of the city yet. I mostly shoot in monochrome, mimicking the work of cinematographers who lensed all the Film Noirs that I binged on in my youth. But that’s not to say that I don’t shoot in the shadows of photographers like Garry Winogrand, Ray Metzker and Mary Ellen Mark, because I suppose I do.

How does your work as a playwright and screenwriter influence your approach to marketing?

I’m a big believer in marketing and advertising being a natural extension of the show on stage. So, I think being a writer helps me more readily align with the sensibilities of the production team. 

What have you enjoyed thus far about working at Hartford Stage?

The people at Hartford Stage are truly terrific. All smart, passionate, generous and kind. You can’t ask for more in a colleague. 

What is your personal motto in life? 

Not sure I have one. But I have one on loan that is attributed to Kubrick…something about never saying no to an idea because you never know how that idea might ignite another.