Meet the Next Artistic Director of Oregon Shakespeare Festival – Nataki Garrett

The Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF) announced this morning that Nataki Garrett will become its sixth artistic director in August 2019, succeeding Bill Rauch. The announcement by OSF emeritus board chair and search committee chair Gail Lopes ends a nearly yearlong search.

‘OSF board of directors has found in Nataki Garrett an individual with a powerful artistic vision, proven change leadership, and the ability to continue the festival’s upward trajectory established under predecessors like Libby Appel and Bill Rauch,’ said Diane Yu, search committee member and recently elected co-chair of the board of directors, in a statement. ‘We are excited to welcome Ms. Garrett to the Rogue Valley, and believe she will provide exquisite artistic taste, dynamism, innovation, and a deep commitment to the four pillars of our mission: excellence, stewardship, company, and inclusion.’

‘I have known Nataki Garrett for 17 years and have closely followed and admired her career,’ said Rauch in a statement. ‘She is a rigorous and thrilling artist; a thoughtful, confident leader; and big thinker. Nataki’s historic appointment, as an African American woman running one of the largest-budget theatres in the United States, is a direct expression of OSF’s decades-long commitment to helping create a more equitable field.’

Assuming the title of incoming artistic director, Garrett will arrive at OSF, which has a budget of $44 million, in early April. She’ll hardly get a chance to begin preparing for the 2020 season before she goes into rehearsals as the director of Christina Anderson’s How to Catch Creation (which opens there July 23).

Garrett most recently served as acting artistic director of Denver Center for the Performing Arts (DCPA) during the organization’s 18-month leadership transition from Kent Thompson to Chris Coleman. During her tenure at the $27-million organization, she initiated and negotiated the first co-world premieres in 10 years for two DCPA-commissioned playsThe Great Leap with Seattle Repertory Theatre and American Mariachi with the Old Globe.

As the former associate dean and the co-head of the undergraduate acting program at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) School of Theater, Garrett is known as a champion of new work as well as a savvy arts administrator. At CalArts, Garrett managed a $10 million budget and oversaw all operations of conservatory training”…Click here to continue reading on American Theatre.

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Article by Rob Weinert-Kendt
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