By Fran Wilson, Staff Writer
HARTFORD — Hartford Stage has hired a new artistic director: Melia Bensussen.
Bensussen, an award winning director based in Boston, will be Hartford Stage’s sixth director effective June. She will be the first woman to serve in that role.
Hartford Stage President David R. Jimenez announced the news on Wednesday.
“Melia is accomplished, talented and well-recognized in the theatre world,” said Jimenez in a statement. “I am thrilled that she will be joining Hartford Stage, and I have full confidence she will continue to build on the theatre’s history of artistic excellence and acclaim.”
Bensussen has directed several productions since 1984 at theaters, including New Haven’s Long Wharf Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, Baltimore Center Stage and New York Shakespeare Festival.
She won several awards such as the Obie Award in 1999 for the production of “The Turn of the Screw.”
The Massachusetts based director was raised in Mexico City. She will succeed Darko Tresnjak, who was director for eight years. Her appointment comes after a 10-month search.
“It’s an exciting time at Hartford Stage, building on a record of success. It can evolve even further in its international profile, its community engagement and its educational programming,” Bensussen said.” At a time when the country most needs healthy discourse across ideologies and beliefs, the theatre can provide a haven and a forum for a multiplicity of views, beliefs, languages and cultures. I’m excited to work with this region’s diverse population to continue the artistic excellence that has won Hartford Stage its rightful renown, as well as expanding the range of stories on its stage and the faces in its audience.”