Two River's Leadership Team
John Dias assumed his position as Artistic Director of Two River Theater in August 2010 after working as a producer and dramaturg in New York for 20 years. In partnership with Managing Director Michael Hurst he has brought new vitality to the 20-year-old Red Bank theater, including producing subscription shows on two stages for the first time; launching the theater’s first literary department and commissioning program for new plays; presenting annual events such as a musical theater cabaret in collaboration with New York University’s Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program and the Crossing Borders festival of Latino plays; and developing numerous arts-education initiatives for young people including A Little Shakespeare, an annual production of one of Shakespeare’s plays performed by high-school students. Throughout his career, John has been a leading advocate for bold new American plays and stimulating productions of the classics, including the Broadway productions of Lisa Kron’s Well and Shakespeare’s The Tempest. For 12 seasons, he worked in a variety of capacities at The Public Theater/New York Shakespeare Festival, including Associate Producer and Associate Artistic Director. During much of his tenure at The Public, working for Producer George C. Wolfe, he was responsible for all aspects of play production on the theater’s six stages and the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. He also ran the theater’s literary department, overseeing new-play workshops and productions of classics by Shakespeare and other writers, and he directed and taught in the Shakespeare Lab, a professional actor-training program. Previously, John was dramaturg at Hartford Stage Company, and co-founded and led Affinity Company Theater, a production company dedicated to bringing daring new works from around the world to New York, and The Playwrights Realm, an off-Broadway company that produces new plays by emerging artists. He has been a Tony Award nominator, a consultant for the National Endowment for the Arts and numerous other organizations, and he has taught at New York University and Yale University. John currently teaches in the graduate school at Columbia University. He received his BA from George Washington University and his MFA from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
Michael Hurst joined Two River Theater as Managing Director in 2011, bringing 20 years of theater and non-profit experience, including 16 years at The Public Theater. Under his joint leadership with Artistic Director John Dias, Two River has experienced ambitious growth and enjoyed new recognition in the national theater community. During his tenure, Two River has embarked on a new Strategic Plan; began producing subscription shows on two stages for the first time; and launched the theater’s first commissioning program for original plays, as well as numerous new community and education programs. Prior to coming to Two River, Michael was on the staff of The Public Theater/New York Shakespeare Festival for 16 years, including four years as General Manager and six as Managing Director, overseeing budgets that ranged from $16 to $20 million. Michael was responsible for all financial aspects of the productions at The Public Theater and Central Park’s Delacorte Theater. During his tenure at The Public, he oversaw the Broadway transfers of many productions, including Topdog/Underdog by Suzan-Lori Parks, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama; Elaine Stritch at Liberty; Take Me Out, winner of the Tony Award for Best Play; and Tony Kushner and Jeanine Tesori’s Caroline, or Change. Michael was also part of all strategic planning for the theater, including its artistic leadership transition and the opening of Joe’s Pub, now considered one of the country’s best small venues for music and performance. Most recently, Michael was Chief Operating Officer of the Film Society of Lincoln Center, which presents the prestigious New York Film Festival. At the Film Society, he oversaw the building of a new three-theater, $40-million facility that opened in June 2011, and he managed the organizational growth necessary to support the facility. His work in the commercial theater includes serving as Executive Producer for San Francisco-based producer Carole Shorenstein Hayes, starting her New York office and creating a strategic plan to develop new theatrical work. Michael is a member of The Broadway League and served as Vice President for the League of Off-Broadway Theatres & Producers for six years. He is a graduate of Rutgers University and currently serves on the Board of Trustees for the New Jersey Theatre Alliance.