Inducted into the Dayton Theatre Hall of Fame, October 20, 2003.
Marsha Hanna has been the Artistic Director of The Human Race Theatre Company since 1990 and a resident director since its founding in 1986. She has produced over 50 shows for the company including regional premieres of Angels in America, Robert Johnson: Trick the Devil, and Stonewall Jackson's House. She has reached out to include many new guest directors and designers into the Dayton area in both the 219 seat Loft and the 1000 seat Victoria Theatre and has been an integral part of the negotiation process that resulted in the successful integration of Actors Equity Association.
During her tenure, she co-produced five shows in conjunction with other theatres, projects that reduced costs and increased quality for the theatres as well as doubling actor workweeks for those involved. Marsha led the company in a collaboration with CITYFOLK for The Dayton Stories Project, a three year Lila Wallace Foundation project to integrate the artist into the community and to create an original stage production based on the stories of the people of Dayton, And That's My Story. She helped plan and produce Adventures in Time a 26-episode award winning radio drama, taped before a live audience that aired each week on WDPR-FM (Dayton Public Radio). Under her supervision, a Jr/Sr High touring program has produced seven original scripts, and three condensed Shakespeares touring over 50 schools each production. Marsha served as part of the team that carved an agreement between The Human Race Theatre Co. and The Victoria Theatre, a landmark business arrangement between a producer and a presenter providing long-term stability for The Human Race and an economic and diverse product for The Victoria.
Her direction for the company includes Every Good Boy Deserves Favour in collaboration with The Dayton Philharmonic at the new Schuster Center as well as I Hate Hamlet and The Odd Couple at the Victoria Theatre. She also directed and produced the successful three-year production of John Jakes' A Christmas Carol for The Human Race at the Victoria. Other Human Race offerings include: Copenhagen, Crimes of the Heart, The Dazzle, Art, Three Days of Rain, Closer Than Ever, Three Tall Women, Cloud Nine, Fool for Love, and Orphans. She has guest directed for The Phoenix Theatre in Indianapolis, the University of Cincinnati, the University of Dayton, La Commedia Dinner Theatre and Sinclair College Theatre department where she also serves as associate professor. She has served as guest faculty member at Wittenberg College and the University of Dayton. A reluctant actor, she has appeared in Dancing at Lughnasa, Mrs. Coney and The Beauty Queen of Leenane. Other local directing credits include The Elephant Man, Romeo and Juliet, Brighton Beach Memoirs, You Can't Take It With You, On the Verge, Vanities, Working, Quilters, Equus, Getting Out, Beyond Therapy and the outdoor drama Johnny Appleseed in Ashland County.
Prior to her tenure with The Human Race, Marsha served as a drama specialist with The City of Dayton, Division of Recreation where she programmed and supervised the "Showmobile", provided staff assistance to the Dayton Playhouse and worked as an administrative assistant to Vera Pacey, the city supervisor of the performing arts. During this period, she volunteered at the Dayton Playhouse, Dayton Theatre Guild, and Fairborn Playhouse. A graduate of Bowling Green State University and co-founder of Illumination Theatre, Marsha has served as a panel member for the Ohio Arts Council and on a grants panel for Theatre Communications Group. Marsha is a member of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers.