We are absolutely thrilled to announce that Hana Sharif, Augustin Family Artistic Director of The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, will be Arena Stage’s next Artistic Director. She will succeed Molly Smith, who is retiring at the end of June after 25 years with the company. Joining Executive Producer Edgar Dobie at the helm of the landmark regional theater, the trailblazing Sharif will be only the fourth artistic director in the company’s history.

Here’s a message from Hana:

Here’s a transcript of Hana’s message:

“Hi, my name is Hana Sharif and I’m incredibly excited to be joining the Arena Stage family. It is a great honor to be entrusted to build upon the exceptional legacy of our founding artistic director Zelda Fichandler, and, of course, the visionary leadership of Molly Smith. Molly has been a model of excellence and has inspired a generation of women leaders, myself included. 

“I believe in the transformational power of theater. I believe that theater fundamentally can elevate the sense of our own humanity and introduce us to the humanity of others. I believe in the power of new work. I look forward to deepening our commitment to playwrights across the country, excavating the essential question of what it means to be an American in these evolving times. 

“I believe in the power of great art to entertain, excite, and ignite. I believe in the power of great theater to build bridges, connections, and healing. And I can’t wait to meet you at the theater.”

We can’t wait for you to start making magic at Arena Stage, Hana. Welcome to the Arena Stage family! Read more about Hana here.