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Oregon Shakespeare Festival Announces Nataki Garrett as New Artistic Director

Ends Yearlong Search

Posted: Mar 19, 2019 8:23 AM
Updated: Mar 20, 2019 8:21 AM

ASHLAND, Ore. -- The Oregon Shakespeare Festival announced Nataki Garrett as the sixth artistic director.

The addition ends a yearlong search for a new artistic director, as Garrett takes over for Bill Rauch.

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

Garrett will arrive at OSF next month to prepare for the 2020 season, and will assume full director duties on August 1st.

In June, she will begin rehearsals for How to Catch Creation, which she is directing. The show will open in the Thomas Theater July 23.

“I am absolutely thrilled to be named incoming artistic director of Oregon Shakespeare Festival and it is an honor and privilege to inherit such a wonderfully rich and dynamic legacy of artistic excellence in partnership with a dedicated board, staff, company and local community,” said Garrett. “I am equally excited and inspired by OSF’s dedication to expanding our worldview and look forward to maintaining our commitment to the revolutionary spirit of Shakespeare and classical text, while continuing to explore and expand opportunities for new voices and narratives through new play development.”

Garrett most recently served as acting artistic director for Denver Center for the Performing Arts (DCPA) during the organization’s 18-month leadership transition, working in partnership with the managing director, chief executive officer and board of directors, and managing the theatre company’s $27 million annual budget.

For more than 20 years, Garrett has worked as a theatre administrator, director, producer, playwright, educator, activist and mentor. She is a graduate of California Institute of the Arts with an MFA in directing.

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