The Duluth Playhouse’s new hire has been an artist in residence at the oldest arts organization in Arizona, is a member of the Lincoln Center Theatre’s Directors Lab and was once described by a Tony Award nominee as “detail-oriented” and “self-motivated,” according to a news release.

Phillip Fazio will be the company’s artistic director — a role that Christine Gradl Seitz has held, in addition to being executive director, for the past 20 years.

Fazio has just earned his Master of Fine Arts in directing from Pennsylvania State University, where he was mentored by Susan H. Schulman, who has directed Broadway productions of “Little Women” and “The Sound of Music.”

The Arizona-native taught at Arizona School for the Arts and worked as a director in New York City for nine years — which included a revival of “Pippin” that played at the Mark Taper Forum and was directed by Tony Award-nominee Jeff Calhoun, who also said of Fazio: “He is a positive and reliable team player with a bright future ahead of him.”

The Playhouse’s search committee, headed by board president Patty McNulty, spent five months considering candidates for the position.

The company’s next show is “Steel Magnolias,” which opens Jan. 30 at the NorShor Theatre.