For Immediate Release
Contact: Theresa M. MacNaughton,
Office: 860-520-7114

Mike Stotts to Step Down as Managing Director of Hartford Stage in January 2019; National Search Underway

Hartford CT, October 23, 2018 – Hartford Stage announced today that Mike Stotts will be stepping down as Managing Director at the end of January 2019 to take on the role of Managing Director for Paper Mill Playhouse in New Jersey.

Stotts has served as Hartford Stage’s Managing Director for the past 12 years — overseeing finance, development, marketing and operations for the institution. During this time, he oversaw campaigns to expand and fully renovate the Stage’s theatre venue. He will remain on staff until January 25, 2019 and will thereafter provide consultation through the first quarter of next year to ensure a smooth transition.

The Hartford Stage Board plans to engage Albert Hall & Associates, an executive recruiting firm used by many of America’s most prestigious arts organizations, to conduct a national search for his replacement.

Just the seventh managing director in the company’s 55-year history, Stotts co-led Hartford Stage first with Artistic Director Michael Wilson and then with Artistic Director Darko Tresnjak. During Stotts’ tenure, Hartford Stage has produced an array of critically acclaimed revivals of the classics and new work — including Horton Foote’s The Orphans’ Home Cycle, world premieres of the Tony Award-winning musical A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder and Anastasia, Pulitzer Prize for Drama winner Water by the Spoonful by Quiara Alegría Hudes, Rear Window with Kevin Bacon and Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express, just to highlight a few. Over that time, Hartford Stage has also become the leading provider of theatre education programs in Connecticut, serving more than 21,000 students annually. 

“It has been my great privilege to have led Hartford Stage these past twelve years with such extraordinary directors and partners, Darko Tresnjak and Michael Wilson,” said Stotts. “I am most proud of the accomplished artistic work we have produced here in Hartford, much of which has had a life beyond our stage. I am equally proud of our work in the Greater Hartford community with our extensive education and community outreach programs. I have enormous respect for our talented staff, and great appreciation for our dedicated board of directors – leaving them will be difficult.”

"I want to thank Mike Stotts for his twelve extraordinary years of service and devotion to Hartford Stage," said Darko Tresnjak, Hartford Stage Artistic Director. "I have had the pleasure of working with Mike for the past seven of those seasons. Working with our tireless staff and board, we have brought to life many memorable world premieres and revivals, increased our subscription base and the scope of our education department, moved two shows to Broadway, collaborated with many splendid artists - and had a great deal of fun along the way. Thank you, Mike, and all the best at Paper Mill Playhouse."

Paper Mill Playhouse operates a 1200-seat theatre approximately 20 miles from New York City in Millburn, N.J.

“We are incredibly grateful to Mike for his many contributions,” said David Jimenez, Hartford Stage Board president. "Mike has been an exceptional leader and a terrific ambassador for Hartford Stage in the Greater Hartford community as well as in the national and international theater world. His management acumen leaves Hartford Stage with a talented senior staff and leaves the theatre in a very strong position to attract a talented new Managing Director. We also look forward to opportunities to continue to collaborate with Mike in the years to come.”

Prior to Hartford Stage, Stotts also served as Managing Director for Connecticut’s Long Wharf Theatre, New Jersey’s George Street Playhouse and The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey. In 2006, Stotts was hired by Paper Mill Playhouse as a consultant for institutional planning and advancement where he assisted with fundraising, strategic planning and capital campaign research.

Earlier this year, Hartford Stage Artistic Director Darko Tresnjak announced that he would be leaving Hartford Stage at the end of June 2019 to focus on new opportunities to direct musicals, plays, and operas.

Walter Harrison, former president of the University of Hartford and current chair of Hartford Stage’s Search Committee, said, “The successes of both Mike and Darko have propelled Hartford Stage further into the national theater spotlight. Thanks to the company’s stellar reputation, we are extremely optimistic about the opportunity to attract talented leadership to Hartford Stage with a passion for building stronger communities as well as creating great art.”

Mike Stotts

Mike Stotts


Now in its 55th season, Hartford Stage is one of the nation’s leading resident theatres. It is known for producing innovative revivals of classics and provocative new plays and musicals, including 73 world and American premieres. It also offers a diverse and distinguished education program, which reaches close to 21,000 students annually.

Hartford Stage has earned many of the nation’s most prestigious awards, including the 1989 Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre. Other national honors include Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk, OBIE, and New York Critics Circle awards. 

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