Leadership

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Steven Woolf
Augustin Family Artistic Director

Steve has produced over 300 productions during his time as Artistic Director of The Rep, and he has directed over 45 shows on The Rep's stages. He was recently honored with the National Theatre Practitioner Award, given by Theatre Communications Group. He has also received lifetime achievement awards from the St. Louis Theater Circle Awards, Arts and Education Council and Arts for Life.

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He has received the Kevin Kline Award for Best Direction for his production of Red at The Rep, and the Kevin Kline Award for Best Production for Awake and Sing! at The New Jewish Theatre.

He has been recognized with the Award for Individual Excellence in the Arts by the Arts and Education Council and with the Good Guy Award, given by the St. Louis Women’s Political Caucus. He is one of the first recipients of Webster University’s Declaration of Merit and was recognized by the Missouri Citizens for the Arts, which awarded The Rep its Arts Award for Advocacy.

Steve received his BA in theatre and MFA in directing from the University of Wisconsin at Madison and an honorary doctorate by the University of Missouri–St. Louis. He served as a panelist and an on-site evaluator for the theatre program for the National Endowment for the Arts and on the advisory panel for the Regional Arts Commission. He served on the executive committee and the national negotiating committee for the League of Resident Theatres, as well as on the board of Missouri Citizens for the Arts, and he has been a trustee of the IATSE Local #6 health fund. He has been on the faculty of the Drama Division of The Juilliard School under John Houseman and is adjunct faculty at Webster University.

His past direction at The Rep includes The Humans, Heisenberg, Constellations, A Christmas Carol, All the Way, The Winslow Boy, Other Desert Cities, Brighton Beach Memoirs, Red, A Steady Rain, You Can’t Take It With You, The Diary of Anne Frank, Frost/Nixon, The History Boys, The Pillowman, Humble Boy, Pirandello’s Henry IV, The Retreat From Moscow, The Crucible, blue/orange, Edward Albee’s The Goat or Who is Sylvia?, Copenhagen, The Shape of Things, ART, Dinner with Friends, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Closer, Death of a Salesman, Betrayal, As Bees in Honey Drown, Skylight, A Question of Mercy, Arcadia, The Life of Galileo, The Caine Mutiny Court Martial, The Living, Death and the Maiden, Six Degrees of Separation, Sight Unseen, Other People’s Money, Terra Nova, Dog Logic, The Voice of the Prairie, Company and A Life in the Theatre.

He directed the critically acclaimed Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? at Great Lakes Theatre Festival in Cleveland. Locally, he has directed for Webster University’s Conservatory of Theatre Arts, Arrow Rock Lyceum Theatre and The New Jewish Theatre. His production of The Voice of the Prairie has been seen at Totem Pole Playhouse and Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, where he directed The Crucible, honored as Best Play in the region by two major critical award panels, Skylight and The Caine Mutiny Court Martial. He has directed plays such as The Physicists, The Fantasticks, U.S.A., The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Stop the World I Want To Get Off, Jacques Brel is Alive..., and many others around the country. While in New York he served as the project producer of the original productions of The Robber Bridegroom and The Red Blue-Grass Western Flyer Show and was co-producer of Tom Griffin’s Workers. Off-Off-Broadway he directed Impulse and Chicken Soup and worked on The Acting Company’s Broadway season at the Billy Rose Theatre. Stock work has taken him to places such as Lakewood Musical Playhouse, Ivoryton and Cecilwood Theatres. He has worked in major regional theatres including long-term residencies at the world-famous Barter Theatre in Abingdon, Virginia and at StageWest in Springfield, Massachusetts. 

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Hana S. Sharif
Artistic Director Designate

The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis is proud to announce Hana S. Sharif as its next artistic director. Currently the associate artistic director at Baltimore Center Stage, Sharif will take over as The Rep’s next artistic leader following Steven Woolf’s retirement on June 1, 2019.

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Hana Sharif's multi-faceted theatre career includes roles as an artistic leader, director, playwright and producer with a specialty in strategic and cross-functional leadership. She has served for the last five years as Associate Artistic Director at Baltimore Center Stage, where she oversaw the day-to-day execution of all of the mainstage and studio productions, and was the architect of the innovative CS Digital program: a platform that pushes the boundaries of traditional theatre and looks at the nexus point between art and technology. Her other achievements at Baltimore Center Stage include prototyping the Mobile Unit, strengthening community engagement, producing multiple world and regional premieres and helping to guide the theatre through a multi-million dollar building renovation and rebranding effort.

In 2012 Hana served as the inaugural Program Manager of the ArtsEmerson Ambassador Program and launched ArtsEmerson Artist-In-Residency program featuring playwright Daniel Beaty. In addition to her work at ArtsEmerson, Hana leveraged her regional theatre experience to freelance produce for smaller theatre companies, looking to expand and restructure their administrative teams. Hana served as developmental producer and program manager for Progress Theatre in Houston, where she consulted with the Artistic Director on redefining the artistic vision and subsequent recasting of the ensemble company and lead strategic organizational planning focused on LORT market entry.

During her decade-long tenure at Hartford Stage, Hana Sharif served as the Associate Artistic Director, Director of New Play Development, and Artistic Producer at Hartford Stage. 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.

From 1997 – 2003, Hana served as the co-founder and Artistic Director of Nasir Productions, a theatre dedicated underrepresented voices to challenge traditional structure. Her guest lecturer credits include Spelman College, Sewanee University, Prairie View A&M, Emerson College Maggie Flanigan Studio, Towson University, UMD, UConn, UMass, University of Hartford, among others.

Additionally, Hana has directed acclaimed productions of Fun Home, Sense & SensibilityThe Christians, Les Liaisons DangereusesPride & Prejudice (DCArts: Best Director/Best New Play), The Whipping ManGem of the Ocean (six CCC nominations), Gee’s Bend (CCC Award Best Ensemble, two nominations), Next Stop AfricaCassie, The Drum, and IFdentity. Hana has directed numerous developmental workshops, including Elyzabeth Gregory Wilder’s The Chat and Chew Supper Club, Janine Nabers’ A Swell in the Ground, and Marcus Gardley’s The House That Will Not Stand. Her plays include All the Women I Used to BeThe Rise and Fall of Day, and The Sprott Cycle Trilogy.

Hana holds a BA from Spelman College and an MFA from the University of Houston. She is the recipient of the 2009–10 Aetna New Voices Fellowship, EMC Arts Working Open Fellowship, and Theatre Communications Group (TCG) New Generations Fellowship. She serves on the board of directors for the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance and the Sprott Foundation.

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Mark Bernstein
Managing Director

Mark is a graduate of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and has managed nonprofit professional theatres since 1982. He joined The Rep's staff in 1987.

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Since he assumed the management leadership of The Rep in 1987, the theatre has enjoyed growth and stability, strong community support, and responsible financial management. New programming initiatives have included enhanced educational programs and the introduction of the Off-Ramp series.

Favorite shows from 30 seasons at The Rep include Candide, The Voice of the Prairie, Terra Nova, March of the Falsettos and Falsettoland, Six Degrees of Separation, Young Rube, The Living, The Caine Mutiny Court Martial, The Life of Galileo, Arcadia, Sweeney Todd, An Ideal Husband, Into the Woods, Inherit the Wind, Proof, The Crucible, Take Me Out, The Little Dog Laughed, Souvenir, Crime and Punishment, Red, Sunday in the Park with George, and, of course, the great Shaw plays: Saint Joan, Pygmalion and Man and Superman.

He has been active in the leadership of the League of Resident Theatres, having served as vice president for three years, an executive committee member for more than 10 years, and as a member of numerous national negotiating committees. He has taught in Webster University’s Arts Leadership Program and in the Nonprofit Management Center at Washington University, has served on the board of directors of the Arts and Education Council and on the citizens advisory panel for the Regional Arts Commission. Before coming to St. Louis, he spent six years at the Philadelphia Drama Guild and taught financial management for nonprofit arts institutions at Drexel University.

He is a Sondheim fanatic, and travels the world in search of the perfect Sweeney Todd, the best goat cheese tarts and the best chocolate desserts.

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Seth Gordon
Associate Artistic Director

Seth Gordon recently completed his ninth season with The Rep.

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This season at The Rep he directs A Christmas Story and the world premiere of Nonsense and Beauty. Previously at The Rep he has directed CaughtAll My SonsDisgraced, A Kid Like Jake, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, Next Fall and the world premieres of The Invisible Hand, Molly's Hammer and Soups, Stews, and Casseroles: 1976. Gordon also led the charge to create Ignite!, The Rep's annual festival of new plays. In 2014, he staged a re-enactment of the founding of St. Louis in honor of its 250th anniversary.

Previously, he spent nine seasons at Cleveland Play House where he produced FusionFest, a performing arts festival, and the Next Stage Festival of New Plays. His Play House directing credits include Dinner with Friends, Proof, Forest City (world premiere), Vincent in Brixton, Tuesdays with Morrie and A Soldier’s Tale, which featured a rarely produced libretto by Kurt Vonnegut.

Elsewhere he has directed for Studio Arena Theatre in Buffalo, Syracuse Stage, Stages Repertory in Houston and American Stage Company in St. Petersburg, Florida among many others. He recently directed the Arabic premiere of Our Town in Cairo. Previously, he served as literary manager and then as associate producer of Primary Stages in New York, where he produced and/or directed countless productions, workshops and readings of new plays by this country’s leading playwrights. He has also directed at many other New York theatres, including the recent revival of Bill W. and Dr. Bob, which ran Off-Broadway for 10 months. He received the 2004 and 2006 Northern Ohio Live Award for Excellence in Theatre and recently served on the advisory panel for the Regional Arts Commission here in St. Louis. He considers himself a lucky man.

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Amelia Acosta Powell
Associate Artistic Director Designate

The Rep is proud to introduce Amelia Acosta Powell as its next associate artistic director. Beginning on June 17, 2019, Acosta Powell will join The Rep’s new artistic leadership team headed by Hana S. Sharif.

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Acosta Powell most recently served as line producer at Oregon Shakespeare Festival, a Tony Award-winning organization that stands as one of the preeminent destinations for American regional theatre. Before that, she worked as the casting director and artistic associate at Arena Stage in Washington, D.C. A graduate of Georgetown University (where she dual-majored in theatre and Spanish), Acosta Powell’s wide-ranging artistic career includes producing and directing plays throughout the D.C. area.

In 2017, American Theatre magazine named her as a rising star in the industry as part of its “Theatre Workers You Should Know” series.