Carden will replace Kellee Van Aken, who has been at City Theatre for eight years. Van Aken recently completed her Ph.D. in theatre history and performance studies at the University of Pittsburgh and is leaving to teach at Oberlin College's theatre and dance department.
Carden is known to City Theatre audiences as the director of last season's popular production of A Picasso by Jeffrey Hatcher. Also at City Theatre he directed The Moonlight Room and the 2003 and 2004 Young Playwrights Festival productions. In addition, Carden has directed several productions for Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre.
"Stuart is an exceptionally gifted director with a proven expertise in new plays," stated artistic director Tracy Brigden. "He is also well known to City Theatre and this community as a creative collaborator with an infectious joy for the theatre. We are thrilled to have him join the wonderful team of professionals at City Theatre."
Most recently Carden served as the associate artistic director of Silk Road Theatre Project in Chicago. He has helped develop over 20 plays, 12 of which he directed in their world-premiere productions. As an instructor, he has taught at several colleges, including Carnegie Mellon University. He has also taught Viewpoints Theory at Chicago's Act One Studios Conservatory Program. Carden studied Viewpoints with Anne Bogart and the SITI Company, Grotowski with the Mossoviet Theatre in Moscow, and directing with Actors Theatre of Louisville's former artistic director, John Jory. He holds a B.A. in theatre from Hanover College and an M.F.A. in directing from Carnegie Mellon University.
A new play specialist, Carden has helped develop over 20 plays, 12 of which he directed in their world-premiere productions. Notable regional, U.S. and world premieres include: Tristine Skyler's Moonlight Room for City Theatre, David Henry Hwang's Golden Child, Shishir Kurup's Merchant on Venice, Yussef El Guindi's 10 Acrobats in an Amazing Leap of Faith for SRTP, Martin Crimps' The False Servant for PICT and Richard Dresser's What Are You Afraid Of? for Actors Theatre of Louisville's Humana Festival. His website is www.stuartcarden.com.
City Theatre is run by artistic director Tracy Brigden and managing director Greg Quinlan.