Darko Tresnjak '88 Wins Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical

Darko Tresnjak '88
Darko Tresnjak '88 accepts the Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical. (Photo by Theo Wargo / Getty Images)

Darko Tresnjak '88 won the 2014 Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical on Sunday evening for his work on A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder. The production, Tresjnak's Broadway debut, was a big winner at the Tony Awards, winning three additional awards, including Best Musical. It tells the story of "Monty Navarro, a distant heir to a family fortune who sets out to speed up the line of succession using a great deal of charm... and a dash of murder."

Trenjak is the artistic director of Connecticut's Hartford Stage, which he joined in 2011. He has previously directed at the Royal Shakespeare Company, The Old Globe, Los Angeles Opera, Joseph Papp Public Theatre, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Huntington Theatre Company, Theatre for a New Audience, and Williamstown Theatre Festival. Prior to the Tony Award, Tresnjak received awards from the San Diego Theatre Critics Circle for outstanding direction of "Cyrano de Bergerac," "The Winter's Tale," and "Pericles" as well as an award for excellence in artistic direction.

While accepting the award, Tresnjak thanked his husband, the book writers, the cast and crew, and his 87-year old mother, who he claims "literally taught me how to jump out of airplanes" thanks to her service in World War II. He then spoke to his mother in his native language, saying backstage that he "told her I love her and I care for her, because she's just very frail right now." Read more in the Hartford Courant.

Tresnjak, originally from the former Yugoslavia, came to the United States at age nine. After majoring in English at Swarthmore, he studied at the Martha Graham School, performed with numerous Philadelphia dance and theater companies, and toured across the United States and Japan with Mum Puppet Theatre before attending graduate school at Columbia University. He has since been described as a lover of "bruised beauties," his name for dramatic pieces in which not everything works but which may yield unexpected and wonderful rewards to those willing to confront the challenge of staging them.