Yale Bulletin and Calendar

February 23, 2007|Volume 35, Number 19















James Bundy

James Bundy named to second
term as School of Drama Dean

James Bundy has been appointed to a second term as dean of the world-renowned Yale School of Drama, announced President Richard C. Levin.

Bundy will also continue to serve as artistic director of Yale Repertory Theatre, the University's professional theater and a training ground for students in the school. His new five-year term in both posts will begin on July 1.

In announcing the appointment, Levin noted that those taking part in the review expressed "unanimous support of his efforts to strengthen the school."

"Colleagues cited with admiration the Dean's vision, intelligence and commitment and his gentle yet effective management style," said Levin. "One alumnus went so far as to describe James as '... an outstanding captain to the Drama School ship because he continually blows his creative depth into its sails.'"

Commenting on his reappointment, Bundy said: "I am thrilled at the prospect of continuing work on behalf of this great school and its magnificent theater. This is a community of extraordinary artistry, from the remarkable faculty, staff and students to the singular guest artists who have joined us at Yale Rep. The unique combination of training and professional practice makes this the most complete creative community I have known in the American theater. I am deeply grateful to President Levin for his visionary support of the school, and for the opportunity to continue my own service."

Bundy arrived at the Yale School of Drama in 2002 after serving as the artistic director of Great Lakes Theater Festival and the managing director of Cornerstone Theater Company. He is a graduate of Harvard College and the Yale School of Drama.

Since Bundy's arrival, the School of Drama has made key appointments to the teaching faculty, enhancing the program's international standing as a leading institution for theatrical training. In 2004, renowned actor, director and educator Ron Van Lieu joined the faculty as the Lloyd Richards Professor (Adjunct) and chair of the Department of Acting. Van Lieu had served as a master teacher of acting at New York University since 1975. Acclaimed playwright Richard Nelson came to Yale in 2005 to chair the School of Drama's playwriting program. Among his many accomplishments, Nelson has received some of the theater world's highest honors including the Tony Award (for book and lyrics for "James Joyce's 'The Dead'"), the Obie Award (for "The Vienna Notes") and the Olivier Award (for "Goodnight Children Everywhere").

In 2006, the School of Drama named Edward A. Martenson as professor (adjunct) and chair of the Theater Management Program. Martenson's career highlights include leadership roles at the National Endowment for the Arts, Minneapolis's Guthrie Theater and New Jersey's McCarter Theatre.

The School of Drama has also made significant strides in increasing financial aid, and is working within the University's "Yale Tomorrow" capital campaign to raise the funds necessary to build new academic, production and performance facilities.

Under Bundy's leadership, the Tony Award-winning Yale Repertory Theatre has advanced its commitment to new work, recruiting Associate Artistic Director Jennifer Kiger to head a new play-commissioning program, and producing over a dozen world, American and East Coast premieres, while increasing attendance by 20%. Highlights of the period include Yale Rep's world premieres of Sarah Ruhl's "The Clean House" (Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, Pulitzer Prize finalist) and "Eurydice" (slated for production at Second Stage in the spring of 2007); the East Coast premiere of Rolin Jones's "The Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow" (Osborn Prize, Pulitzer Prize finalist); and the world premiere of the late August Wilson's final play, "Radio Golf." The latter production capped a milestone achievement -- Wilson's epic 10-play cycle chronicling the African-American experience. Five other plays in the cycle premiered at Yale Rep under the artistic direction of the late Lloyd Richards. "Radio Golf" is set to premiere on Broadway in May.

Other significant productions during Bundy's tenure include Yale Rep's co-production with Berkeley Repertory Theatre of the Tony Kushner-Maurice Sendak collaboration on "Brundibar" and "Comedy on the Bridge"; the world premiere of Anton Chekhov's "Rothschild's Fiddle" with MTYZ Theatre/Moscow New Generation Theatre; and Bill Rauch's and Tracy Young's adaptation, "Medea/Macbeth/Cinderella," featuring the interweaving of classic works by Euripides, Shakespeare and Rodgers and Hammerstein. Bundy has helped Yale Rep draw some of America's leading actors to its stage, including Sam Waterston, Avery Brooks, Kathleen Chalfant and Culture Clash, as well as such eminent directors as Mark Lamos, Kama Ginkas and Rauch. Bundy's own directing at Yale Rep includes Amy Freed's "The Psychic Life of Savages" and Lillian Groag's "The Ladies of the Camellias," as well as co-directing "All's Well That Ends Well" with Mark Rucker.

In 2004, under Bundy's leadership, Yale Rep expanded its commitment to young audiences with "Will Power!" -- an annual educational initiative featuring specially-discounted school matinees performed at 11 a.m., coupled with teacher workshops, classroom visits, study guides and post-performance discussions with the artists. Each year, thousands of Greater New Haven students benefit from this effort, which complements Yale Rep's longstanding Dwight/Edgewood Project, a program modeled on the 52nd Street Project, that offers opportunities for local middle school students to write and produce their own plays under the mentorship of professional students in the School of Drama.


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Campus Notes

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