The not-for-profit in Glencoe, IL, is devoted to "the word and the artist," according to its mission, and often develops new works, such as A Minister's Wife, the new musical based on George Bernard Shaw's Candida.
"I'm so excited to be in collaboration with Stuart," stated Halberstam. "He has a rich background in literary development, a keen and ambitious scope of work as a director and a passion for the administrative challenges that come with supporting artistic direction. In a very short time I believe we will see Stuart's strength of perspective and influence find its way onto the stages of Writers' Theatre."
Carden stated, "Through the course of my career my theatrical raison d'être has been helping bring new and diverse voices to the stage and I'm looking forward to bringing that passion for new work to Writers' exciting literary development initiative."
Carden joins Writers' Theatre after two seasons at City Theatre Company in Pittsburgh where he was associate artistic director. As a new play specialist, he has helped to develop over 30 plays, 12 of which he directed in their world-premiere productions. Notable regional, U.S., and world premieres include works by Martin Crimp, David Henry Hwang, Tristine Skyler, Jeffrey Hatcher, Shishir Kurup, Richard Dresser and Yussef El Guindi.
Last season his production of Martin McDonagh's The Lieutenant of Inishmore at The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis garnered five Kevin Kline nominations including Outstanding Production and Outstanding Director. In Chicago he directed the world-premiere production of Shishir Kurup's The Merchant on Venice at Silk Road Theatre Project, which was named one of the top ten plays of 2007 by the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times and Time Out Chicago. Other recent new play work includes directing Mary's Wedding, The Pillowman, Stones in his Pockets, A Picasso, The Moonlight Room, 10 Acrobats in an Amazing Leap of Faith, Big Love and Back of the Throat.
Carden has taught acting, directing and movement at Carnegie Mellon University, The Hartt School, Loyola University, Beloit College and Act One Studios. He holds an M.F.A. in directing from Carnegie Mellon University and is a member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society. In the 2009-10 season he will direct David Harrower's Blackbird at City Theatre Company and a play very familiar to Writers' Theatre audiences, Crime and Punishment, adapted by Curt Columbus and Marilyn Campbell, at The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis.
Now in its 18th season, Writers' Theatre "revives classic scripts and cultivates new works and adaptations while invigorating them with fresh energy in the intimacy of its venues."