doubleXposure episode 08: The Future of Live Theater

In episode 08, Vivian and Marcie discuss how in March 2020, Covid-19 caused the shut down of live performance venues around the world. Now, theaters, concert halls, and nightclubs are slowly opening their doors to live audience members. But not everyone advocates a return to what was normal before the pandemic. Guests Tim Bond, Artistic Director of TheatreWorks Silicon Valley, and University of Washington Drama School professor and Founding Artistic Director of The Hansberry Project Valerie Curtis-Newton, join doubleXposure to talk about the impacts of Covid, the path to true equity in American theater, and the future of the industry post-pandemic.


"The big shift that has to happen to allow theater to exist indefinitely into the future is that we have to recognize it as a public good. It's like defense, education, power and water. Theater and the arts are that, too, for our society." -- Valerie Curtis-Newton



Tim Bond by Hillary Jeanne Photography Valerie Curtis-Newton by Joanne Degeneres



ABOUT THIS EPISODE'S GUESTS


Tim Bond is the current Artistic Director at TheatreWorks Silicon Valley. He began his career with Seattle Group Theatre in 1984, where he directed over 20 productions, many of which were West Coast or world premieres. He served as Associate Artistic Director and was also Director of The Group’s nationally recognized MultiCultural Playwrights Festival. Tim served his last five seasons at The Group, 1991-1996, as its Artistic Director. From 1996 to 2007, Tim was an Associate Artistic Director of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. While there Tim directed 12 productions, promoted equity and inclusion efforts throughout the company, and created the FAIR Program which cultivates the next generation of diverse theatre artists and administrators. After 11 seasons at OSF, Tim assumed the post of Producing Artistic Director at Syracuse Stage and the Syracuse University Department of Drama from 2007 to 2016. During his time in upstate New York, he directed 18 plays, produced over 100 plays and musicals, and fostered a number of new partnerships and co-productions between Syracuse Stage and other regional theatres nationally and internationally. Over the last 35 years, Tim has directed at many theatres including The Market Theatre (Johannesburg), Baxter Theatre Centre (Cape Town), Guthrie Theater (Minneapolis), Milwaukee Rep, The Wilma Theater (Philadelphia), Arena Stage (DC), GEVA Theatre Center (Rochester), Cleveland Play House, Indiana Rep, Actors Theatre of Louisville, PCPA (Santa Maria), Arizona Theatre Company, Portland Center Stage, Dallas Theater Center, Seattle Rep, A Contemporary Theatre (Seattle), Empty Space Theatre (Seattle), Paul Robeson Theatre, and Seattle Children’s Theatre. Most recently Tim held tenure as a professor at the University of Washington School of Drama, where he served the last two years as Head of the Professional Actor Training Program. He concluded his time at UW in the spring of 2020, after directing Cabaret. He directed The Children by Britain’s Lucy Kirkwood at Seattle Rep in February, will helm a workshop of a music-filled play inspired by the imagination of young Jimi Hendrix entitled The Boy Who Kissed The Sky written by Idris Goodwin at the Kennedy Center’s New Visions/New Voices Festival in May, and will direct Lynn Nottage’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play Sweat for the Guthrie Theater in July. [Note: some of the mentioned productions have been canceled or postponed due to COVID-19.] Tim received his BFA in Dramatic Arts from Howard University in 1980 and his MFA in Directing from the University of Washington in 1983.


 

Valerie Curtis-Newton currently serves as the Head of Directing at the University of Washington School of Drama, She is also the Founding Artistic Director for The Hansberry Project, a professional African American theatre lab. Valerie has worked with professional theaters across the country including The Guthrie Theatre, Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Seattle Rep, Playmakers Repertory Company, Actors’ Theatre of Louisville, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Intiman Theatre, Seattle Children’s Theatre, The Mark Taper Forum, New York Theatre Workshop, and Southern Repertory Theatre among others.


Awards: 2020: Seattle Times Most Influential People of the Last Decade; 2019: Theatre Puget Sound - Gregory Falls Award for Sustained Achievement; 2016: Seattle Times Footlight Award (Best in Show) 2014: Stranger Genius Awards in Performance and the Crosscut Courage Award for Culture; 2012: Gypsy Rose Lee Award for Excellence in Direction; 2001: Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation’s (SDCF) Gielgud Directing Fellowship 1997-1999: NEA/TCG Career Development Fellowship for Directors.