Thursday, January 23, 2014

Mark Returns to Hartford Stage

After his early-career success as an actor, Mark became Hartford Stage’s third artistic director in 1980, bringing international recognition to Hartford Stage during his seventeen seasons with explorations of the great works of dramatic literature, most notably the plays of Shakespeare, Molière, and Ibsen. In a recent interview with the Stage Directors and Choreographers’ union, Mark reflected on his time at Hartford Stage, “I had the chance to work at Hartford on its large stage at a moment in time when the board was interested in having a director who wanted to explore classical theater…It was a good synergy, a good connection of a community that was into theater in that way and a person who could explore it with them.”

This synergy lead to several milestones during Mark’s tenure, including the first exchange between an American and a Soviet theatre; Mark staged Desire Under the Elms at Moscow's Pushkin Theater and the renowned Russian director Yuri Yeremin staged A Paper Gramophone in Hartford in 1988. The theater received a Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theater in 1989, followed two years later by two nominations for the transferred-to-Broadway production of Our Country’s Good by Timberlake Wertenbaker.

During his time in Hartford, Mark developed a wonderful friendship and artistic collaboration with actor Richard Thomas, whom he directed in several acclaimed productions including Hamlet, Richard III, and Ibsen’s Peer Gynt. “We had similar ideas about acting and about what theater is. We began talking immediately about projects.” Thomas, reflecting on his work with Mark during Hartford Stage’s 50th Anniversary celebration this past November, said “There is a stunning beauty in Mark's productions.”

Coming full circle, Lamos staged Shakespeare's Cymbeline as part of his final season, a show he directed in his first season. Mark’s most recent production at Hartford Stage was 2002's Much Ado About Nothing.
As we began putting together our 2014 Season, Mark received a phone call from Darko Tresjnak, Hartford Stage’s artistic director since 2011 , “ask[ing] me to do a production as part of their 50th anniversary season. He recommended [A Song at Twilight] as a favorite of his. We both admitted it could be the perfect match.” The production is currently in rehearsals and will first perform at Hartford Stage, February 20th to March 16th. After a short hiatus and brush-up period, the production comes to our stage April 29th through May 17th.

Chad Kinsman
Artistic & Management Coordinator

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