Mark Lamos is a director of plays, musicals, and opera. The New York Times has called him "a poet of the theater", and his work receives a chapter in 100 Great Directors, along with Brook, Komisarjevsy, and other legendary directors of the 20th Century. Born and raised in Chicago, educated at Northwestern University, Lamos began his career in the theater as an actor, first in Chicago and then on Broadway and in regional theater, most notably the Guthrie, where he spent over three seasons, and the Old Globe, where he played the title role in Hamlet, directed by Jack O'Brien. He made his film acting debut in Longtime Companion.
Lamos spent 17 seasons as artistic director of Connecticut's Hartford Stage Company, for which he accepted the Tony Award in 1989. Currently he is directing a co-production of Much Ado About Nothing with Hartford Stage and the Shakespeare Theatre in Washington, D.C. During his tenure at Hartford Stage he staged acclaimed productions of many classics, including 14 Shakespeare plays, as well as a cycle of Ibsen dramas, including the full-length Peer Gynt, starring Richard Thomas. Many new plays and musicals moved from Hartford to New York and beyond, and the theater premiered new work by Tony Kushner, Simon Gray, Tom Stoppard, Richard Foreman, Anne Bogart, and many others. Lamos received the Connecticut Arts Award and three honorary doctorates for his work at Hartford. He made his Broadway directing debut with a transfer of Our Country´s Good, for which he received a Tony nomination. His other Broadway credits include The Rivals (Lincoln Center Theater), The Gershwin´ Fascinating Rhythm and The Deep Blue Sea (Roundabout Theater); Off-Broadway credits include Big Bill (Lincoln Center Theater), Tiny Alice (Lortell Award, Drama Desk nomination,) Lee Blessing's Thief River (Signature Theatre,) Love's Fire (7 one-acts by Guare, Wasserstein, Bogosian, etc. for The Acting Company at New York Shakespeare Festival,) Jon Robin Baitz's The End of the Day (Playwright's Horizons,) and Measure for Measure (Lincoln Center Theater—Lortell Award.)
Lamos was the first American director to stage a play with a Russian company in the early days of "perestroika"—O'Neill's Desire Under the Elms at Moscow´s Pushkin Theater. His other theater credits include Canada´s Stratford Festival, La Jolla Playhouse, San Francisco´s A.C.T., the Guthrie Lab, McCarter Theater, The Old Globe, Ford´s Theatre, and the Kennedy Center where he recently directed Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.
His extensive work in opera includes new productions for the Met, including the world premiere of John Harbison´s The Great Gatsby (also seen at Lyric Opera of Chicago), numerous productions for New York City Opera, and new productions for San Francisco Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, and the opera companies of Santa Fe, St. Louis, Seattle, Washington, Toronto, Portland, Dallas, Gothenburg, and Munich. Opera world premieres he has guided include Haroun and the Sea of Stories (NYC Opera), Central Park (Emmy nomination, PBS), Dominick Argento´s The Aspern Papers (PBS Great Performances), John Harbison´s Winter's Tale (San Francisco Opera), and Tania Leon and Wole Soyinka´s Scourge of Hyacinths (Munich Biennale).
He has held the Algur H. Meadows Chair in Performing Arts at Southern Methodist University, lectured at Yale, and is currently on the faculty of the School of Music, Dept. of Theater at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.