Guthrie Theater names successor to Joe Dowling

Author:
Updated:
Original:

The Guthrie Theater has named Joseph Haj its new artistic director to succeed the legendary Joe Dowling.

Haj, 51, is currently the director of the PlayMakers Repertory Company in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. He will begin his new duties at the Guthrie, in downtown Minneapolis, in July.

"We are thrilled beyond measure" to have Haj at the Guthrie, said theater board chair Lee Skold in the Tuesday morning announcement. "We know his inspired vision, collaborative spirit, and standard of excellence are the precise combination of abilities required to lead the Guthrie into its next momentous stage."

Haj is making a significant career step from PlayMakers, which has an annual budget of $2.8 million, to the Guthrie, whose budget is around $25 million, said the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

"I am delighted and enthused to welcome Joe Haj to the Guthrie," said Dowling, who is retiring after leading the Guthrie for the past 20 years. "He is an artist of the highest caliber and an esteemed leader in our field."

Haj, one of the few Arab-American theater directors in the country, took over at PlayMakers in 2006 and gained a reputation there for emphasizing diversity and inclusion, according to a statement from the company.

"Under Haj, the company has [also] expanded community engagement through educational opportunities, community partnerships and outreach initiatives," it said.

Haj grew up in New Jersey; his parents are originally from Palestine.

"To follow in a line of extraordinary artistic directors dating back to the founding of the regional theater movement, and to follow directly upon Joe Dowling's exceptional tenure, is humbling, a profound honor, and a great charge," Haj said in the statement.

Haj began his theater career as an actor, and appeared in several productions at the Guthrie in the late 1980s and early '90s.

Here's a video of Haj discussing Shakespeare's "Henry V," which he directed at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in 2012.

This embed is invalid

Next Up

PD Shimmers closeup

Man with Parkinson's lights up Plymouth with synchronized light show

"The best medicine I have for my disease is what I try to do with the light show," Mike Justak said.

Screen Shot 2020-11-25 at 7.34.43 AM

Watch: Drunk squirrel in Minnesota captures the world's attention

The squirrel was immediately cut off after nearly tipping over.

Screen Shot 2020-11-25 at 7.15.09 PM

Small town gym refusing to close facing lawsuit from attorney general

The gym is facing a lawsuit and a temporary restraining order to halt their operations.

credit card, payment

Money Gal Coaching: Bouncing back after living your best life

Kelly Blodgett started Money Gal Coaching after paying down nearly $50K in debt in 18 months.

flickr-mall-of-america-mitchell-hirsch-march-2019

When do stores open on Black Friday this year?

Many major retailers will be open Black Friday, some for extended hours.

police tape, crime scene

Man found dead outside home near Cass Lake

The man was reportedly shot outside the property.

Minnesota_Welcome_Sign_-_Minnesota_Welcomes_You_-_Taylors_Falls_(28269804891)

Gov. Walz announces $1M in grants to boost Minnesota tourism

The money will be used for marketing efforts to attract people to Minnesota's hard-hit tourist spots.

coronavirus, ICU

Nov. 25 COVID-19 update: 72 deaths ties Minnesota's single-day high

A COVID-19 update will not be provided on Thanksgiving Day.

Texa-Tonka

Revival to open its fourth Twin Cities location

The fried chicken and smoked meat maestros are moving to St. Louis Park.

Duluth and Case Recreation Center

St. Paul to open two extra temporary shelters for homeless people

Mayor Melvin Carter announced the new shelters will be opened in the event of excess demand.

Related