Ep. 89: Robert Hartwell Talks Homecomings, History, and Resilience

Robert Hartwell is a North Carolina native who has worked on five Broadway shows including the Hello Dolly revival with Bette Midler, Motown the Musical, Cinderella, Nice Work if You Can Get it, and Memphis. These days he is busy training the next generation of Broadway stars as the Founder and Artistic Director of The Broadway Collective.

Earlier this year it was announced that in addition to his busy schedule running that successful business, as well as renovating a historic home, that he would also be taking on a key role with North Carolina Theatre as an associate artist for the upcoming 2021/2022 season.  

Robert Hartwell was directing the North Carolina Theatre production of Memphis last year when COVID-19 shut everything down and the production, which was set to open the following the week, was canceled. Fortunately, however, as part of this new role, Hartwell will be directing one of the North Carolina Theatre shows next season.


About the Guest

Robert Hartwell is the Founder and Artistic Director of The Broadway Collective where he is training the next generation of Broadway. As the only African American CEO in the professional musical theatre education space in NYC, his passion lies in making Broadway stages more diverse and inclusive starting at the educational level. Hartwell holds a high school diploma from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts: School of Drama and a BFA in Musical Theatre from The University of Michigan where he graduated with summa cum laude honors and the Willis Patterson Diversity Award. He has performed in five Broadway shows and two national tours: DreamgirlsMemphisNice Work If You Can Get ItCinderellaMotown, and Hello, Dolly! starring Bette Midler. He has performed on the Tony Awards three times and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade twice. Regionally he has performed at The Muny, Sacramento Music Circus, Hangar Theatre, Music Theatre Wichita, and the Fulton Opera House. As a Director/Choreographer his work has been seen at Lincoln Center, Music Theatre Wichita, North Carolina Theatre, Naples Performing Arts Center, and The University of Michigan. He is the creator of Broadway Quick Change, Hello Broadway – Broadway’s Online Academy, Gathered NYC, Prescreen Prep, and Hello Broadway Live. He is a member of Actors Equity Association, SAG-AFTRA, and the Tony Award-winning Broadway Inspirational Voices. He recently served as the Assistant Director on the National Tour of the Tony Award-winning revival of Once On This Island. Robert Hartwell is featured in Pharrell and Jay-Z’s latest hit single – Entrepreneur.  

Hear what North Carolina Theatre’s Producing Artistic Director Eric Woodall and Lauren Juengel (Mean Girls) has to say about the future of North Carolina Theatre.

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