Todd London Named New Executive Director

Todd London
Todd London. Photo by Susan Johann.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: APRIL 30, 2014
Contact:   Sam Read (206) 221-6797; samread@uw.edu

SEATTLE, WA— Todd London – writer, scholar, and current artistic director of New Dramatists in New York – has been named the new Executive Director of the School of Drama at the University of Washington. Dr. London will also serve as a professor in the School. He will be relocating to Seattle from New York this summer and will officially assume his role as Executive Director on August 1, 2014. This appointment is pending formal approval by the University of Washington Board of Regents.

“We are thrilled to have Todd London join us as the Executive Director of the School of Drama,” said Elizabeth Cooper, Divisional Dean of Arts for the University of Washington College of Arts & Sciences. “Todd is an acknowledged leader in the field and has a solid reputation for being one of the most important voices speaking of and for the American theatre today.”

“I’ve followed the vibrant work of the UW School of Drama for thirty years, both through friends and colleagues who have graduated its programs and through its enormous impact on the Seattle theatre community and across the nation,” said Todd London. “Recently, I’ve seen up close the remarkable gifts and educational devotion of the faculty and staff, under the energetic leadership of Sarah Nash Gates.  The School’s dedication to exploring the roots of theatrical expression and finding creative ways to educate artists and scholars for the new forms of the new century is inspiring. Within the context of a great public university, this work represents, for me, the fulfillment of a career of service to artists and professional development.  A great theatre school in a great theatre city–I can’t wait to begin.”

Todd London will replace retiring Executive Director Sarah Nash Gates, who has led the School of Drama since 1994. Gates, a professor in costume design, is set to retire as Executive Director in late July. She will remain as a part-time faculty member of the School of Drama, where she has taught for more than 30 years.

“I am excited to see new leadership at the School of Drama,” says Gates. “Todd will bring a fresh perspective on training 21st century artists and scholars.  We are fortunate to find a person with such deep and wide experience as a practitioner, writer, and historian. I look forward to his tenure as Executive Director.”

Dr. London will be joined at the School of Drama by his wife Karen Hartman who has accepted a position as Senior Artist in Residence.  Hartman is the award-winning author of over twenty plays and musical works. She is a New Dramatists alumna and the recipient of grants from the Rockefeller Foundation at Bellagio, the NEA, the Helen Merrill Foundation, a Daryl Roth “Creative Spirit” Award, a Hodder Fellowship, a Jerome Fellowship, and a Fulbright Scholarship to Jerusalem. She graduated from Yale University and the Yale School of Drama. She currently teaches at Yale University and New York University, and is under commission from Yale Repertory Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, and People’s Light and Theatre in Philadelphia.

About Todd London

Since 1996, Todd London has been Artistic Director of New Dramatists, the nation’s oldest center for the support and development of playwrights, where he has worked closely with more than a hundred of America’s leading playwrights and advocated nationally and internationally for hundreds more. In 2001 he accepted a special Tony Award on behalf of New Dramatists, and in 2005 he represented New Dramatists at the Obie Awards, where the organization was honored with the Ross Wetzsteon Award for excellence.

A former Managing Editor of American Theatre magazine and the author of The Artistic Home (Theatre Communications Group), London has written, edited, and/or contributed to over a dozen books. 2010 saw the publication of his book, Outrageous Fortune: The Life and Times of the New American Play (written with Ben Pesner), the product of a five-year study he led for Theatre Development Fund about new play production in America and the lives and livelihoods of playwrights. Last year also saw the publication of two new books, The Importance of Staying Earnest: Writings from Inside the American Theatre, 1988-2013 (NoPassport Press), and An Ideal Theater: Founding Visions for a New American Art (Theatre Communications Group). In 2009 he became the first recipient of TCG’s Visionary Leadership Award for “an individual who has gone above and beyond the call of duty to advance the theater field as a whole, nationally and/or internationally.”

Dr. London has taught at Harvard University and New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and currently serves on the faculty of Yale School of Drama. A winner of the prestigious George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism, London is a past Literary Director of the American Repertory Theatre at Harvard and former Associate Artistic Director of CSC Rep off Broadway. He holds an MFA in directing from Boston University and a PhD in Literary Studies from American University.

About The University of Washington School of Drama

The UW School of Drama transforms artists and scholars into singular, innovative and courageous professionals, poised to be the creative leaders of tomorrow.

For almost 75 years it has served as one of this country’s leading training institutions for theatre artists and scholars. Seventeen faculty and twenty staff members serve 150 undergraduate majors and 45 graduate students.

The School of Drama offers MFA degrees in acting, design, and directing, a four-year undergraduate liberal arts education in Drama or Musical Theatre, and a PhD in theatre history and criticism. Internationally, students may study and present work at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland and in Pontlevoy, France as The Drama Collective.  Faculty and alumni have founded theatres such as ACT (Seattle), Oregon Shakespeare Festival, The Empty Space Theatre, Wing-it Productions, and most recently, the Washington Ensemble Theatre and Azeotrope.