About Hana S. Sharif

(Artistic Director) has enjoyed a multi-faceted theater career, including roles as an artistic leader, director, playwright, and producer with a specialty in strategic and cross-functional leadership. Hana began her professional career as an undergraduate student at Spelman College. From 1997 to 2003, Hana served as the co-founder and Artistic Director of Nasir Productions, a theater dedicated to underrepresented voices challenging traditional structure. Hana joined the Tony Award-winning regional theatre, Hartford Stage, in 2003. During her decade-long tenure at Hartford Stage, Hana served as the Associate Artistic Director, Director of New Play Development, and Artistic Producer. Hana launched the new play development program, expanded the community engagement and civic discourse initiatives, and developed and produced Tony, Grammy, Pulitzer, and Obie Award-winning shows. Starting in 2012, she served as Program Manager at ArtsEmerson, a leading world theater company based at Boston's Emerson College. During her tenure at ArtsEmerson, Hana launched an Artists in Residency program, led a research program assessing barriers to inclusion across the region, and leveraged her regional theater experience to freelance produce for smaller theater companies looking to expand and restructure their administrative teams. Hana was Baltimore Center Stage's Associate Artistic Director from 2014 to 2019 and was the architect of the innovative CS Digital program: a platform that pushes the boundaries of traditional theater and looks at the nexus point between art and technology. Her other achievements at Baltimore Center Stage included prototyping the Mobile Unit focused on historically underserved audiences, strengthening community engagement, producing multiple world and regional premieres, and helping to guide the theater through a multi-million dollar building renovation and rebranding effort. Hana became the first Black woman to lead a major regional theater in 2018 when she was named the Augustin Family Artistic Director of The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis. During her tenure at The Rep, Hana guided the organization through a strategic alignment, revolutionized the New Works program, expanding access to underserved communities, and centering equity and anti-racism as the organization's foundational values. Hana holds a BA from Spelman College and an MFA from the University of Houston. Hana is the recipient of USITT's 2023 Distinguished Achievement Award, Spelman's 2022 National Community Service Award, the 2009-10 Aetna New Voices Fellowship, EMC Arts Working Open Fellowship, and Theatre Communications Group (TCG) New Generations Fellowship. Hana is a founding member of The Black Theatre Commons (BTC). She serves on the board of directors for the TCG, BTC, and the Sprott Family Foundation.

Artistically Speaking: UNKNOWN SOLDIER

Music has untold power. It can bridge the divide between enemies, unlock forgotten memories, and even link the past to the present and future. It also has the ability to turn our gaze inward, connecting us to the hidden truths lying deep below the surface. Musicals catalyze that superpower, [...]

By |2024-04-09T09:13:20-05:00April 9, 2024|Categories: Productions|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Artistically Speaking: TEMPESTUOUS ELEMENTS

It is incredibly rare to read a play that not only invokes both historical and contemporary reflections on education and its role in the enduring struggle for equality but places those issues squarely in our city. Just a few miles north of our beloved Arena Stage lives the historic [...]

By |2024-02-19T15:30:10-05:00February 20, 2024|Categories: Arena's People, Productions|Tags: , , , , |Comments Off on Artistically Speaking: TEMPESTUOUS ELEMENTS

Artistically Speaking: MINDPLAY

Designing a season is one of the primary responsibilities – and greatest joys – of being an artistic director. Since arriving at Arena Stage last summer, the question I’ve been asked the most is, “What is my artistic vision for this historic institution?” Specifically, what kind of shows [...]

By |2024-01-19T15:26:22-05:00January 31, 2024|Categories: Arena's People, Productions|Tags: , , , , |Comments Off on Artistically Speaking: MINDPLAY
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