jakub | July 7, 2023

AMERICAN THEATRE | TheatreWorks Artistic Director Tim Bond to Lead Oregon Shakespeare Festival

Tim Bond. (Photo by Hillary Jeanne)

PALO ALTO, CALIF. and ASHLAND, ORE.: TheatreWorks Silicon Valley has announced that Tim Bond will depart the company later this month to become artistic director of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF), effective Sept. 1. Giovanna Sardelli, the current TheatreWorks artistic associate and director of new works, will assume the position of interim artistic director as of July 14.

Giovanna Sardelli. (Photo by Deborah Lopez)

Sardelli has been a part of the TheatreWorks community for more than 15 years. She is working with the company to prepare for its 20th Anniversary New Works Festival, featuring readings of new plays and a musical, to be held Aug. 11–20, at the Lucie Stern Theatre in Palo Alto. She is also slated to direct the West Coast Premiere of Mrs. Christie in October.

“We are grateful to Tim Bond, who took the helm at TheatreWorks in March 2020, and was immediately subsumed by the pandemic,” said incoming TheatreWorks board chair Mark Greenstein and outgoing board chair Holly Wardin in a joint statement. “He spent the next three years keeping the company together, artistically, emotionally, spiritually. Under his leadership we presented exciting virtual productions for our audiences while our stages were dark. He navigated the complexities of scheduling and rescheduling multiple shows while the world came to terms with COVID safety precautions. When TheatreWorks finally resumed mainstage productions, Tim wowed our audiences with a stunning array of award-winning productions, not the least of which was his brilliant staging of August Wilson’s Gem of the Ocean. We cannot thank Tim enough for his contributions and wish him well in his next adventure.”

Tim Bond’s theatre career spans more than three decades. He previously served as an associate artistic director at OSF for 11 seasons from 1996 to 2007. During his time in Ashland, 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. His past leadership roles include serving as producing artistic director at Syracuse Stage, artistic director at The Seattle Group Theatre, and professor and head of the professional actor training program at the University of Washington School of Drama. Bond has directed nationally and internationally at venues such as Market Theatre, Baxter Theatre Centre, Guthrie Theater, Seattle Rep, Milwaukee Rep, BAM, The Wilma Theater, Arena Stage, Cleveland Play House, and Actors Theatre of Louisville, among others.

“Tim Bond is an award-winning leader in the American theatre community, and OSF is delighted to welcome him back,” said OSF board chair Diane Yu in a statement. “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.”

Evren Odcikin.

OSF’s associate artistic director and director of artistic programming, Evren Odcikin, will serve as interim artistic director through Sept. 15, allowing for an overlap with Bond’s start date. Since 2019, Odcikin 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. In April, OSF launched an emergency fundraising campaign, The Show Must Go On, in order to address the company’s financial crisis, with a goal of $2.5 million. In a June press release announcing Tyler Hokama as interim executive director, the festival said it had exceeded its initial fundraising goal and now needs to raise an additional $7.3 million to complete the season.

“It is with a heavy heart that I leave the TheatreWorks community that I have come to know and love, that has embraced me and my work,“ said Bond in a statement. “I had hoped to serve here longer, continuing to expand the legacy of founder Robert Kelley. But my former artistic home has asked if I can return to support it during a critical period, and I am compelled to return there. We raised our children in Ashland, it is a place my family thinks of as home, and I hope in returning I can help restore, heal, and reinvigorate this national treasure as it embarks on its 89th season.”

Bond will return to TheatreWorks to direct his acclaimed production of August Wilson’s How I Learned What I Learned in the company’s 53rd season, scheduled to perform Jan. 17–Feb. 11, 2024.

TheatreWorks Silicon Valley is a professional nonprofit theatre company based in Palo Alto, Calif. The company seeks to celebrate the human spirit through innovative productions, new works, and education programs inspired by and engaging the diverse Silicon Valley community. As of 2022, TheatreWorks had an approximate budget of $7.5 million.

Founded in 1935 as a three-day festival, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival has become a regional repertory theatre arts organization that presents a rotating season of up to 8 plays and musicals, including interpretations of Shakespeare, other classics, and new works. OSF aims to expand access to the transformational power of art and art-making. As of 2022, Oregon Shakespeare Festival had an approximate budget of $19 million.

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