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TheaterWorks Hartford, under the leadership of Producing Artistic Director Rob Ruggiero and Board President Dina Plapler announced today the recent election of board directors Christopher Hayes, Fernando Ferro and Stephanie Johnson.

Producing Artistic Director Rob Ruggiero said I’m excited to welcome Chris, Fernando and Stephanie to our board. Collectively they bring an understanding of the work we do and why our work in the community matters. Individually, they bring skills and expertise to our organization that will help shepherd in a future filled with creative possibility”

Christopher Hayes is a non-profit professional and a longtime Hartford resident. As Director of Operations at Riverfront Recapture, where he started as an intern 16 years ago, he is dedicated to the city and its success, both professionally and personally. Chris has a seat on the City of Hartford’s Tree Advisory Commission and is the Chair of the Park and Recreation Advisory Commission. He previously served on the iQuilt Board of Corporators and in 2019 he was appointed Hartford Harbor Master by Governor Ned Lamont. In 2020, he filled a seat on the 6th District of the Democratic Town Committee, and he now serves as secretary for the Hartford DTC.  Chris volunteers for the Hartford Marathon Foundation,  is a Justice of the Peace and has a 3-year-old golden retriever named Dock. He is an avid rower, has trained and coached youth in Riverfront’s rowing programs and has an a­­biding love of theater.

Fernando Ferro is a filmmaker from Caracas, Venezuela. He ­­started his career directing national television campaigns for Yum brands, co-creating a political satire show, “The Rick Sanchez Show” for Mira T.V, and directing and producing theater for “Paseo De Las Artes”, a theater company based in Miami which is co-run by Miguel Ferro. He has produced or directed over 15 plays for “Paseo” in Miami, nominated for numerous awards for his work. Most recently, Fernando wrote, produced, and filmed his theatrical directorial debut,” The Big Feed”. Fernando has served as Vice President of Content Strategy for the film financing and production company, Foton Pictures.  His work for Foton produced critically acclaimed films that were shown around the world. “Pink Skies Ahead” and “The Birthday Cake” to name a few. Fernando formed “Mini Mach Media” with his producing partner, Emerson Machtus. With over 20 years of collective experience in the entertainment industry, Mini Mach Media is a multicultural studio committed to empowering talent and delivering diverse content across all platforms. 

Stephanie Johnson lives and works in downtown Hartford.  As an attorney, former stage manager and actor (who sometimes dabbles in community theatre), Stephanie hopes to bring her diverse experiences and her skills to support TheaterWorks Hartford mission and vision. Stephanie is also a member of the board for Riverfront Recapture, and an adjunct professor at University of Connecticut School of Law.  She is looking forward to working with the Board and staff of TheaterWorks and is delighted to be part of this ground breaking organization.

TheaterWorks Board of Directors includes Dina Plapler (President), Stacy Brusa (Vice President), Larry Samplatsky (Treasurer), Kristen Phillips (Secretary), Michael G. Albano, Jennifer DiBella, Fernando Ferro, Grace Figueredo, Christopher R. Hayes, Gordon Hui, Stephanie A. Johnson, Lee G. Kuckro, Supriya S. Laknidhi, Felix Okwaning, Roberta Prescott, Robert Pulito, Philip Rigueur, Marcia Smith

“Our board has been a source of unwavering support over the past few years. We’re grateful for their willingness to explore ‘the possible’ as we push forward. They value our artistry and the role we play in Connecticut‘s art eco-system. Collectively, we’re determined to build strong community through our storytelling.” said Rob Ruggiero, Producing Artistic Director of TheaterWorks Hartford.

About TheaterWorks Hartford 

Celebrating its 37th season, TheaterWorks Hartford (TWH) is committed to the power storytelling has in creating community. Founded in 1985, TWH has produced over 170 plays and presents approximately 150 performances per season. TWH also owns and manages the historic property at 233 Pearl Street, known as City Arts on Pearl.

For updates on TheaterWorks Hartford, visit here and follow on FacebookInstagram, or YouTube.

Funding CreditsTheaterWorks Hartford is supported by Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, Travelers, Aetna, Hartford Financial Services, Hartford Healthcare, Lincoln Financial Foundation, Bank of America, Maximilian E. & Marion O. Hoffman Foundation, Greater Hartford Arts Council, Edward C. and Ann T. Roberts