Director returns to Connecticut regional theater

Helmer Mark Lamos is getting a return engagement as a.d. of a Connecticut regional theater.

The director, who headed Hartford Stage for 17 years in the 1980s and 90s and Arizona Civic Theater in the late 70s, will be the a.d. of Connecticut’s Westport Country Playhouse starting Feb. 1.

He replaces Tazewell Thompson, who ankled as head of the 79-year-old theater, which switched from a summer venue to a year-round facility when it was renovated and expanded four years ago.

During the search for a topper, the 2008 season was overseen by interim artistic directors Joanne Woodward, who was a.d. of the org for six seasons, and Anne Keefe, who led the theater’s renovation and expansion. Duo also put together the theater’s 2009 lineup.

Lamos, 62, will be joined by Michael Ross, 49, as managing director. Ross worked at Hartford Stage as general manager and has served as m.d. at New Haven’s Long Wharf Theatre (1997- 2002) and Baltimore’s Center Stage (2002-2008) Ross was also director of Baltimore’s National Arts Stabilization.

Ross replaces Jodi Schoenbrun Carter, who was in the exec seat for two years.

It will be Lamos’ first gig as a.d. since he left Hartford Stage, although he was a candidate in 2001 to head Yale Repertory Theatre and the Yale School of Drama and in 2007 was sought for Williamstown Theater Fest in Massachusetts.

Lamos, who lives in Sherman, Conn. and Manhattan, received a Tony nom for helming the Hartford Stage transfer of “Our Country’s Good” in 1991. He also staged “Cymbeline,” “Seascape,” “The Rivals” and “The Gershwins’ Fascinating Rhythm” on the Rialto. Other Gotham credits include Off Broadway stagings of “Thief River,” “Tiny Alice” and “Buffalo Gal.”

Lamos will helm “Adriana Lecouvreur” with Placido Domingo at the Metropolitan Opera next month. At the Playhouse he direct helm a production in 2009 as he preps his inaugural slate for 2010.

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