Wilson to Exit Hartford Stage; Broadway on the Horizon

News   Wilson to Exit Hartford Stage; Broadway on the Horizon
Hartford Stage artistic director Michael Wilson will leave the Tony Award-winning Connecticut theatre company following the conclusion of the 2010-2011 season.
Michael Wilson
Michael Wilson Photo by Aubrey Reuben

Wilson, who helmed late playwright Horton Foote's epic nine-play work The Orphans' Home Cycle at Hartford Stage prior to its acclaimed Off-Broadway debut, announced on June 23 that he will step down as artistic director next year in order to pursue other opportunities. Prior to his departure, Wilson will stage the premiere of Michael Kramer's Divine Rivalry at Hartford Stage.

Among his future projects will be a Broadway revival of Tennessee Williams' Night of the Iguana. Wilson will also stage Williams' The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore, starring Olympia Dukakis, Off-Broadway for the Roundabout Theatre Company in 2011. The duo previously collaborated on the production at Hartford Stage in 2008.

At the conclusion of his tenure, Wilson will have served as artistic director of Hartford Stage for 13 years. He will assist the board in the transition of selecting a successor.

"Twelve years ago, all of us at Hartford Stage embarked upon a grand adventure," Wilson said in a statement. "The journey we have taken together — artists, staff, board and audience — has been thrilling, and enriched my life immeasurably. With strong professional and volunteer leadership in managing director Michael Stotts and board president Paul Bourdeau, it seems now is the time to step aside and pass the reins to a new artistic director. But I expect that Hartford Stage will remain a part of my life and that I will stay involved in the greater community, because this has been my home for so long."

Wilson, who was a longtime collaborator of Academy Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Foote, commissioned the Texas-born playwright to adapt a collection of his full-length plays into The Orphans' Home Cycle. The two also collaborated on such plays as Dividing the Estate, which played Hartford following its Broadway debut, as well as The Carpetbagger's Children and The Day Emily Married. He also led the decade-long Tennessee Williams' marathon at Hartford Stage. His Broadway directorial credits also include Old Acquaintance and Enchanted April (which also originated in Hartford).

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