Rob Ruggiero has been named TheaterWorks’ new Producing Artistic Director. He had served as interim artistic director since March and will assume the new role Jan. 1.
A national search was conducted to replace former artistic Director Steve Campo. The committee reviewed approximately 130 applications for the position, according to Michael G. Albano, president of TheaterWorks’ board.
'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,” Albano said. Ruggiero has been affiliated with TheaterWorks for more than 20 years and 40 productions, having served as associate artistic director prior to serving as interim.
He made his Broadway directorial debut with Looped, starring Valerie Harper in a Tony nominated performance (the tour comes to The Bushnell next month) . Ruggiero also directed High, starring Kathleen Turner, which had its world premiere at TheaterWorks prior to opening on Broadway.
He also has directed numerous works at Goodspeed. He 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,” Ruggiero said. “ 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."
One of his first tasks will be to conduct a search for a development director, a position new to the theater.