ST. LOUIS: The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis (The Rep) has announced that Hana S. Sharif will be its new artistic director. She will begin the position when the current artistic director, Steven Woolf, retires, and will hold the title of Augustin Family Artistic Director. Woolf has been the Rep’s artistic director for more than 30 years and will continue the position until the end of the 2018-19 season.
“I am thrilled to join the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis family,” Sharif said in a statement. “The Rep has a longstanding reputation for beautiful storytelling, extraordinary production values and a dedicated board and staff. I am honored to have the opportunity to build upon this rich legacy and create art that embraces the indomitable spirit of St. Louis, ignites the imagination and uplifts our essential humanity. I am excited by the future we will create together.”
Sharif has worked as an artistic leader, director, playwright, and producer. She began her professional career in 2003 as an entry-level artistic assistant at Hartford Stage. Within seven years she rose to become associate artistic director and served as the director of new-play development. In 2012, Sharif became the program manager at ArtsEmerson, and in 2014, she became the associate artistic director at Baltimore Center Stage, where she directed acclaimed productions of Pride and Prejudice, The Christians, and Les Liaisons Dangereuses. While at Baltimore Center Stage, Sharif strengthened community engagement, produced multiple world and regional premieres and guided the theatre through a multi-million dollar building renovation and rebranding effort.
“In an incredibly deep and distinguished field of candidates, Hana Sharif stood out,” said president of the Rep’s board of directors, Arlue Briggs, in a statement. “In addition to her artistic qualifications, we were enamored with the radiant passion for theatre that shone in each of our interviews with her. Her love of the art form makes her a perfect fit for the Rep—not just as our artistic leader, but also as our chief ambassador to the community at large.”
Over the next year, Sharif will consult with Woolf and managing director Mark Bernstein to learn more about the St. Louis theatre community in preparation for her first season with the company in 2019-2020.
“I am enormously happy with this selection,” Woolf said in a statement. “I’d like to commend our search committee and its chair, Ann Cady Scott, for choosing Hana. She will be an excellent leader for the Rep moving forward.”
“I am looking forward to collaborating with Hana as we transition into her tenure as artistic director,” Bernstein said in a statement. “Together we will build on Steve Woolf’s legacy and continue to develop the Rep as a great theatre for the 21st century.”