After a nationwide search, the board of directors of TheaterWorks is very pleased to announce that it has selected Rob Ruggiero as TheaterWorks' new Producing Artistic Director. Mr. Ruggiero, who has been affiliated with TheaterWorks for 20 years and has served as its Interim Artistic Director since March of 2012, will assume his role as of January 1, 2013. Michael G. Albano, the president of TheaterWorks' board, stated that the search committee had reviewed approximately 130 applications for the position. Although the committee was impressed by these applicants' enthusiasm and variety of experience, Mr. Albano explained that "the committee came to the conclusion that no applicant could match Rob's combination of directorial excellence on a national level, his management and fundraising skills and instincts, his knowledge of the community, and his exciting vision for the theater's future."
Rob, a partner in TheaterWorks leadership since 1992, was named Interim Artistic Director earlier this year. With over forty productions including the world premiere blockbusters I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti, HIGH and Ella, Rob has left an indelible mark on TheaterWorks' audiences. He also has a well-earned national reputation making his Broadway debut with LOOPED, starring Valerie Harper in a Tony nominated performance. Rob brought the World Premiere of HIGH starring Kathleen Turner to TheaterWorks in 2010, which then also travelled to Broadway. Connecticut theatergoers are familiar with Rob's award winning work at Goodspeed Musicals including Carousel, Camelot, Annie Get Your Gun, 1776, Big River and Show Boat. He is the only director to have received four Kevin Kline Awards; he is also the recipient of four Connecticut Critic's Circle Awards. His work has been seen at major regional theaters throughout the country.
"I am thrilled by this opportunity," said Rob. " It's a very emotional and personal thing for me to be assuming the role of Producing Artistic Director. I have been associated with TheaterWorks in some capacity for nearly 20 years, and being at the helm as we come out of this very challenging time is particularly meaningful. I love this theater, I believe in what we do and in our future. I am extremely touched by the faith and support shown to me by the Board of Directors, this wonderfully dedicated staff and the Hartford community during this interim period. I look forward to serving our loyal audience and shepherding the theater in new and positive directions as we embrace the next chapter at TheaterWorks."
Mr. Albano also added "the board was grateful for the efforts of Mr. Ruggiero and all of the theater's dedicated staff during a transition that returned the theater to solid ground." Noting the theater is now poised to go forward in exciting new directions, one of Mr. Ruggiero's first tasks will be to conduct a search for a development director, a position new to the theater.