Milwaukee Repertory Theater: Award-winning international director Mark Clements named artistic director at Milwaukee Repertory Theater

Contacts: Cindy Moran, Public Relations Director, 414-224-1761

Brenna Sadler, Zeppos & Associates, 414-276-6237

Clements brings dynamic energy, community focus and collaborative vision as The Rep begins its next chapter

MILWAUKEE, Wis. – Milwaukee Repertory Theater’s Board of Trustees today announced that internationally acclaimed director Mark Clements will become the company’s next Artistic Director. Clements has directed at more than 100 major theaters in the United States and Europe, including productions in London’s West End, 11 seasons as the Artistic Director of Derby Playhouse in the United Kingdom, and six seasons as Associate Artistic Director for Moving Theatre Company, founded by Vanessa and Corin Redgrave. In the U.S., his work has been seen at New York’s Roundabout Theatre and Classic Stage Company; and at Philadelphia’s Walnut Street Theatre. Clements, who is currently directing OLIVER! at Walnut Street Theatre, will begin his debut season with The Rep in the fall of 2010.

“I’m really proud and honored to have this opportunity to help guide the artistic vision of one of the premier American theater companies and to become a part of the Milwaukee community,” Clements said. “The Rep’s actors and staff are among the best in the world, and I’m so excited to work with them, to extend the company’s reach in Milwaukee and across the country and to find new ways for The Rep and its community to work together to create spectacular art.”

Clements’ work has received some of the industry’s top awards and nominations on both sides of the Atlantic. In Philadelphia, he won the 2008 Barrymore Award for Best Production of a Musical for a new staging of LES MISERABLES, and the 2007 Barrymore Award for Best Director and Best Production for his work on OF MICE & MEN. He won New York’s 2004 Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Production of an Off-Broadway Musical for THE THING ABOUT MEN, and was nominated for an SDC Joe Calloway Award for SPEAKING IN TONGUES at the Roundabout Theatre. In London, he was nominated for an Olivier Award for the West-End musical SOUL TRAIN, which he wrote and co-devised; a Barclays/TMA Award for SPEAKING IN TONGUES; and a Creative Briton Award for his work as Artistic Director at the Derby Playhouse in the UK.

Prior to his tenure at Derby Playhouse, Clements was Associate Director for the New End Theatre, Hampstead, Royal Theatre Northampton, Torch Theatre, Milford Haven, and New Players Theatre.

Judy Hansen, chair of The Rep’s Artistic Director Search Committee, said that having someone with Clements’ worldwide experience, impressive credentials and theatrical energy shape The Rep’s artistic vision is a big step for the company and for Milwaukee.

“Mark brings a new level of dynamic energy to The Rep and to Milwaukee, combining an international flair with a deep love of American theater,” she said. “He’s not just excited about joining The Rep, he’s excited about becoming part of Milwaukee. He’s deeply committed to creating an enriching and entertaining experience that’s relevant to and reflective of our community, builds on The Rep’s rich history and takes the company and the Milwaukee area to new artistic heights.”

Clements replaces current Artistic Director Joseph Hanreddy, who is leaving The Rep this spring after 17 years with the company. The international search for a new Artistic Director began shortly after Hanreddy announced his departure in September 2008.

“The Board has identified an extraordinary artist and leader to become The Rep’s next Artistic Director,” Hanreddy said. “Mark Clements is a man of remarkable vitality, accomplishment, eloquence and vision. His substance, depth, energy and enthusiasm are palpable. He is also possessed of great generosity of spirit and is a thoroughly pleasant gentleman who promises to be a great asset to the community. I have no question that Mark’s leadership will usher in a grand and glorious era of artistic accomplishment for The Rep.”

Clements will stay in Philadelphia to direct OLIVER! throughout its run before moving to Milwaukee permanently. He will visit often as he gets to know the community and its people and begins to put together his first season as The Rep’s Artistic Director. John Kordsmeier, president of The Rep’s Board of Directors, said that the 2010-11 season will be announced in the spring.

“Mark represents a new era, a new kind of artistic energy and a new way of creative, collaborative thinking that will build nicely on the incredible work Joe Hanreddy has done over nearly two decades with The Rep,” Kordsmeier said. “We are confident people who’ve loved The Rep will continue to love it, and people who haven’t had the opportunity to experience The Rep will find that Mark will bring something that really appeals and speaks to them and Milwaukee. It’s an exciting time for all of us.”