Lamos has been selected to assume the role that has been filled by interim co-artistic directors Joanne Woodward and Anne Keefe, who stepped in following the departure of previous artistic director Tazewell Thompson in January 2008. Ross succeeds Westport managing director Jodi Schoenbrun Carter. The duo will begin their tenure at Westport Feb. 1.
Lamos most recently stepped in for the late Paul Newman as the director of the Westport production of Of Mice and Men. He stated, "At that time I had no idea that Westport Country Playhouse would attract me on so many levels. I started to learn more about its dazzling history, the parade of great artists who had worked there over nearly 80 seasons, its constant commitment to excellence and its important contribution to the history of American – as well as Connecticut – theatre. Then I saw the beautiful Playhouse theatre and began to feel a quickening of the heart."
He continued, "These things are intangible, of course, but rehearsing in that vital, intimate space, so lovingly restored by Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, along with a group of passionate board members, I began to feel an indescribable attachment not only to the theatre but also to the community of board members, donors and audiences to whom it mattered so deeply."
Lamos and Ross state that the 2009 Westport season, compiled by Woodward and Keefe, would mostly remain intact, with the possibility of a new production or rearranged dates. Lamos will also direct a production in the forthcoming season at Westport.
The former artistic director of Hartford Stage, Lamos has directed the Broadway productions of Our Country's Good, Cymbeline, Seascape, The Rivals, The Gershwins' Fascinating Rhythm and The Deep Blue Sea. Michael Ross served as managing director of Center Stage in Baltimore for the past six years and previously worked in management with Long Wharf Theatre and Hartford Stage. He currently serves on Theatre Communications Group's board of directors.
The 2009 season at the Westport Country Playhouse includes Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, A.R. Gurney's Children, Alan Ayckbourn's How the Other Half Loves, Jonathan Larson's tick, tick…BOOM! and Mark Brown's Around the World in 80 Days. An additional production will be added to the calendar.
For further information and tickets to the Westport season, visit www.westportplayhouse.org.
In its 78-season history, the Westport Country Playhouse — located in Westport, CT — has produced more than 700 plays, 35 of which have transferred to Broadway.