12-05-2023  10:27 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
By The Skanner News | The Skanner News
Published: 27 July 2023

ASHLAND, Ore. (July 6, 2023) – The Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s Board of Directors has appointed Tim Bond as its new artistic director, effective September 1. The position will be a homecoming for Bond, who served as an associate artistic director at OSF for 11 seasons from 1996 to 2007, and who has longstanding roots in Ashland, where he has a home. During his time with OSF, he directed 12 productions, promoted equity and inclusion efforts throughout the company, and created the FAIR Program, which cultivates the next generation of theatre artists and administrators from diverse backgrounds. Bond, whose theatre career spans more than three decades, has been serving as artistic director for TheatreWorks Silicon Valley since 2020.

Bond replaces Artistic Director Nataki Garret, who left the position in May.

"Tim Bond is an award-winning leader in the American theater community, and OSF is delighted to welcome him back,” says OSF Board Chair Diane Yu. “His lengthy and deep relationship with OSF includes serving as a frequent director of both Shakespeare and other memorable plays over the years. His stature and accomplishments as an artist include introducing prominent new and classic works and he is widely acknowledged as one of the nation's foremost interpreters of the works of August Wilson, which we all witnessed when he directed Wilson’s ‘How I Learned What I Learned’ at OSF last year. He is a great fit for OSF as it embarks on a new chapter.”

A look at Bond's career

Bond began his career in Seattle with Seattle Group Theatre in 1984, where he directed more than 20 productions, many that were West Coast and World Premieres. In addition to his previous role at OSF, he is an internationally known director and educator with past leadership roles as producing artistic director at Syracuse Stage, artistic director at Seattle Group Theatre, and full professor and head of the Professional Actor Training Program at the University of Washington School of Drama.

“I am honored to return to OSF to serve as artistic director during these challenging times,” says Bond. “I care deeply about this company and the Ashland community, and will be devoting my immediate focus on restoring, healing and reinvigorating this national artistic treasure as it embarks on its 89th season.”

Bond has directed nationally and internationally at Market Theatre, Baxter Theatre Centre, Guthrie Theater, Seattle Rep, Milwaukee Rep, BAM, The Wilma Theater, Arena Stage, Alliance Theatre, GEVA Theatre Center, Cleveland Play House, Indiana Rep, Actors Theatre of Louisville, PCPA, Arizona Theatre Co., Portland Center Stage, Dallas Theater Center, A Contemporary Theatre, Empty Space Theatre, Paul Robeson Theatre, and Seattle Children’s Theatre. He is the recipient of two Backstage West Garland Awards, two Syracuse Area Live Theatre (SALT) Awards, and a Dallas-Fort Worth Critics Forum Award. Recent credits include the acclaimed productions of Fannie: The Music and Life of Fannie Lou Hamer (TheatreWorks), How I Learned What I Learned (OSF, Seattle Repertory Theatre), Gem of the Ocean (TheatreWorks), The Children (Seattle Rep), and Pass Over (A Contemporary Theatre)

Interim leadership

Associate Artistic Director and Director of Artistic Programming, Evren Odcikin, will serve as Interim artistic director through September 15, allowing for an overlap with Bond’s start date.

“OSF is a very special place, and I am honored to be asked to serve in this new capacity,” says Odcikin, who has overseen the producing of five seasons, and helped guide the organization through the COVID-19 pandemic, the aftermath of the devastating Almeda Fire, and multiple leadership changes. “My focus for the last year has been to support the OSF artists, crews and staff as we worked relentlessly to secure the 2023 Season, and I launched the programming process for the 2024 Season. I look forward to continuing that work over the next few months as Tim Bond returns to OSF. Following that, I’m excited to focus on my own artistry as a director and writer — something that has taken a back seat over the last four years."

"The Board of Directors is immensely grateful to Evren for stepping up so efficiently and effectively to keep the artistic work at the festival on an even keel and at our customary high levels of excellence during the current transition period,” says Yu. “He has exerted considerable efforts to ensure that the artists, crews and staff are well-supported as the 2023 season continues to unfold. He has been a steady presence with audiences, donors and partners since he started at OSF, but especially in the last two months. We are most fortunate to have him as our Interim artistic director."

As artistic director, Bond will manage and lead all artistic and production staff; select and curate season offerings; set the artistic vision for the organization; and co-lead OSF alongside the executive director and leadership team. He will report to OSF’s Board of Directors.

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