PlayMakers Repertory Company Producing Artistic Director Joseph Haj is the 2014 recipient of the Zelda Fichandler Award.
Photo courtesy of Connie Mahan. Photographer is Jenny Graham.
During his nine-year tenure as producing artistic director at PlayMakers, Joseph Haj added a second stage series, created a rotating repertory, doubled the number of shows produced each year, started a summer youth conservatory and developed a teaching artist residency program.
Haj said one of his greatest contributions to UNC was extracting PlayMakers from its “ivory tower,” making it visible to the Carolina community.
Haj began his career as an actor at UNC. A graduate student from 1985 to 1988 in UNC’s Master of Fine Arts Professional Actor Training Program, Haj moved on to work as an actor nationally and later took over PlayMakers in 2006 after he began directing.
“When Joe took over, PlayMakers was going through a rough patch,” said Ray Dooley, a UNC professor in dramatic art and PlayMakers actor. “He immediately took an active and positive approach, increased our programming and found the resources necessary to support the programming and put the theater on a sound financial footing, which has continued through his entire tenure.”