Hartt Theatre Director Alan Rust to Retire

June 01, 2020

Alan Rust, artistic director of the Hartt theatre division in the Hartt School of the University of Hartford, will retire on June 30, 2020. The longtime faculty member led the theatre program from its inception and has worked for more than 20 years to develop one of the leading theatre programs in the country.

Rust, who was brought to The Hartt School to start the theatre division, has had an extensive career in the industry. He continued his professional acting career in theaters throughout the country and directed over 100 productions in university and professional theatres nationally and internationally.

Prior to coming to The Hartt School, Rust held positions at University of Washington, State University of New York at Purchase, University of Detroit, North Carolina School of the Arts, where he served as dean; and University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, where he was the head of the acting program

In addition to his faculty positions, Rust is a past president of the National Theatre Conference in New York City, a United States representative for the International Theatre Institute, and a founding member of the World Theatre Training Institute in Vienna, Austria.

“I have had an academic life filled with joy due to the talented people with whom I have had the privilege to work and most especially the brilliant actors I have shared the boards with in the classrooms, the studios, and the theatres. I will certainly miss these talented young actors we meet each year. I will miss watching their amazing growth as artists.”

Alan Rust, Director, Hartt Theatre

“Fortunately, I do not have to miss watching their careers develop and flourish. I will continue to do that, as I have for many years, by going to the theatre, going to the movies and turning on the television,” continued Rust.

Hartt Dean Larry Alan Smith, who integrated dance and theatre into a traditionally strong music conservatory, also played a role in bringing Alan Rust to Hartt.  “As soon as the decision was made for Hartt to become a school of the performing arts, I turned to my friends and former North Carolina School of the Arts colleagues Malcolm Morrison and Alan Rust to help us build the new program. The first class of Hartt theatre students arrived on campus in the fall of 1996. Hartt Theatre quickly became known and respected as one of the top theatre training programs in the United States,” said Smith.  “Alan’s career is extraordinary, and The Hartt School and its students have been the beneficiaries of his remarkable talents. His leadership has influenced countless actors and theatre professionals. It is amazing to see what has been accomplished. We are going to miss him,” continued Smith.


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