Oregon Shakespeare Festival has named Tim Bond its new artistic director, with his tenure scheduled to start September 1. The company is currently being led by Interim Artistic Director Evren Odcikin, who normally serves as associate artistic director and director of artistic programming.
The hiring is a homecoming for Bond, who was the company's associate artistic director from 1996 to 2007. In the years since, Bond has served as producing artistic director at Syracuse Stage, head of University of Washington's Professional Actor Training Program, and artistic director of California's TheatreWorks.
Bond will succeed OSF's last full-time artistic director, Nataki Garrett, who resigned from the position earlier this year. Garrett's time with the company was marked with efforts to expand the Festival's offerings, decisions that proved to be controversial with some members of the community. Garrett's work to program more diverse and contemporary plays in place of the company's predominately Shakespeare-exclusive seasons resulted in death threats and other harassment, along with critical op-eds in local papers. Garrett was forced to hire a security team, after which several theatrical organizations—including Dramatists Guild, Theatre Communications Group, and the Shakespeare Theatre Association—released a joint statement of solidarity supporting Garrett.
In a social media post announcing Bond's hiring, OSF noted that during his previous tenure Bond "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."