About Molly Smith

Molly Smith (Artistic Director) has served as Artistic Director since 1998. Her more than 30 directing credits at Arena Stage include Carousel, Oliver!, The Originalist, Fiddler on the Roof, Camp David, Mother Courage and Her Children, Oklahoma!, A Moon for the Misbegotten, My Fair Lady, The Great White Hope, The Music Man, Orpheus Descending, Legacy of Light, The Women of Brewster Place, Cabaret, South Pacific, Agamemnon and His Daughters, All My Sons and How I Learned to Drive. She most recently directed Our Town at Canada’s Shaw Festival. Her directorial work has also been seen at The Old Globe, Asolo Repertory, Berkeley Repertory, Trinity Repertory, Toronto’s Tarragon Theatre, Montreal’s Centaur Theatre and Perseverance Theater in Juneau, Alaska, which she founded and ran from 1979-1998. Molly has been a leader in new play development for over 30 years. She is a great believer in first, second and third productions of new work and has championed projects including How I Learned to Drive; Passion Play, a cycle; Next to Normal; and Dear Evan Hansen. She has worked alongside playwrights Sarah Ruhl, Paula Vogel, Wendy Wasserstein, Lawrence Wright, Karen Zacarías, John Murrell, Eric Coble, Charles Randolph-Wright and many others. She led the re-invention of Arena Stage, focusing on the architecture and creation of the Mead Center for American Theater and positioning Arena Stage as a national center for American artists. During her time with the company, Arena Stage has workshopped more than 100 productions, produced 39 world premieres, staged numerous second and third productions and been an important part of nurturing nine projects that went on to have a life on Broadway. In 2014, Molly made her Broadway debut directing The Velocity of Autumn, following its critically acclaimed run at Arena Stage. She has been awarded honorary doctorates from American University and Towson University.

Artistically Speaking: Exclusion

Karoline and Tony Nam in Exclusion. Photo by Margot Schulman. Portrait of Molly Smith by Tony Powell. The arts have always been on the front line of the fight against fear. Learning and understanding dramatic stories of politics and power makes us more informed as a democracy, and [...]

By |2023-06-07T14:49:47-05:00June 8, 2023|Categories: Productions|Tags: , |Comments Off on Artistically Speaking: Exclusion

Artistically Speaking: Angels in America

In the world of theater, a show is never truly finished. Especially a masterwork like Angels in America. As a show ages, new productions and companies take on the story and characters, causing the art itself to evolve. Angels in America is over 30 years old and has seen many [...]

By |2023-03-27T12:28:25-05:00March 27, 2023|Categories: Productions|Tags: |Comments Off on Artistically Speaking: Angels in America

Artistically Speaking: THE HIGH GROUND

The world premiere of The High Ground is the result of many years of research, writing, and workshopping, as Arena commissioned Nathan back in 2016 as part of the inaugural group of playwrights in the Power Plays cycle. This is the largest commissioning project in Arena Stage’s history: an ambitious [...]

By |2023-12-13T17:37:05-05:00March 6, 2023|Categories: Productions|Tags: , |Comments Off on Artistically Speaking: THE HIGH GROUND
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