Broadway's Louis Hobson Becomes Balagan Theatre's New Artistic Director in Seattle


The Board and staff of Balagan Theatre announce the appointment of our new Artistic Director, Louis Hobson, effective March 1, 2013.

Hobson is a Seattle native best known for creating the role of Doctors Madden & Fine in the original Broadway production of Next to Normal. He has also starred on many local stages, including 5th Avenue Theatre (West Side Story, Hair) and Village Theatre (Evita). With Balagan Executive Director Jake Groshong, Hobson will further Balagan's mission to produce smart, fearless theatre that attracts and cultivates the next generation of theatre-goers and theatre-makers.

Hobson replaces Shawn Belyea, who leaves Balagan after his four-year tenure to pursue full-time work as Executive Producer of 14/48: The World's Quickest Theater Festival and its successful new programs, including Theater Anonymous and 14/48 Kamikaze. Balagan is a proud partner of 14/48.

"I am proud and very honored to join Balagan Theatre," says Hobson. "Balagan is in the unique position to cultivate a new, younger audience while challenging the traditional theatre-goer with works, both new and old, whose form and subject matter push the musical into unique and innovative territories."

Hobson has also been tapped to appear in Balagan's first 2013-14 mainstage show, a chamber production of the world's longest running musical, LES MISERABLES. Directed by Jake Groshong, this will be a stripped-down, intensely intimate staging of a typically large and intricate show. LES MISERABLES will be performed September 6-28, 2013, at the Erickson Theatre on Capitol Hill.

One of Hobson and Groshong's first priorities is to curate shows and locations for the rest of the 2013-14 mainstage season. While the intimate space of the Erickson is perfect for LES MISERABLES, Balagan is considering larger venues and site-specific performances for some of next year's shows. Seattle Central Community College has decided to resume property management of the Erickson starting in October, and has offered Balagan priority booking after school events and programs. Hobson and Groshong are considering the Erickson and other local venues to find the right artistic balance between shows and stages, in alignment with Balagan's mission to produce cutting-edge theatre.

Balagan Theatre strives to create smart and fearless theatre of the highest artistic quality to cultivate the next generation of theatre-goers and theatre-makers. From Footlight-award winning shows like Avenue Q and Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog to "Best of the Year" productions like Spring Awakening, Balagan is known for consistent artistic success no matter what genre or period of theatre is being tackled. With a mission to develop new audiences for theatre, the entire community finds something for them at Balagan. For more information, visit

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