Thursday, July 6, 2023


Well, it turns out that the Oregon Shakespeare Festival has been playing games with its members in terms of the information they gave. Today I received an announcement, signed by the chair of the board, that a new artistic director will be taking office in September. So what happened to the old artistic director? Not a word about her departure. Turns out, I find from searching theater news articles, that she resigned two months ago, taking effect before the summer season started. Again, not a word about this came in e-mails from OSF, even as they were sending fund-raising e-mails and announcements about the new season, and an introductory e-mail from another officer who had just joined; and the playbills for the shows we attended last week - even the ones that didn't open until after the resignation took effect - still had a greeting note from the artistic director they didn't say had resigned.

I feel rather scrod over by this.

And why did she resign? Apparently because of the death threats she'd been receiving from those unreasonably upset at her moves to make the festival more diverse. I'd known about the threats a while ago - but again from news sources, not from the festival, which said nothing more than they'd expanded their security staff, they didn't say why.

And the new artistic director? His name is Tim Bond, and he worked for OSF in the '90s and '00s. He's Black, like his predecessor, so I don't expect much change in direction. I had to scour the production history to find out what he'd directed when he was here before. That was a period I wasn't attending OSF very often, and don't have any records of what I saw. Mostly he directed plays of Black interest which I probably didn't see, though he also directed an outdoor theater production of Twelfth Night which I probably didn't see either. Probably next season will have to be chosen by the interim staff before he takes office, so there may be a transition period.

But I really don't like having been kept uninformed like this, and thus writing a review of the season's plays in ignorance that the artistic director I was crediting for it had already both resigned and left.

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