Yale Names Next Dean to Head Drama School

Yale University President Richard C. Levin has named James Bundy, artistic director of the Great Lakes Theater Festival and adjunct professor of theater at Case Western Reserve University, to the position of dean of the Yale School of Drama and artistic director of the Yale Repertory Theatre.

Bundy will serve as dean for a term of five years, beginning July 1, 2002. He will replace Stan Wojewodski Jr., who has served in that position for the past 10 years.

“Mr. Bundy is, in the view of all who have worked with him in various settings, an extraordinary leader,” said Levin. “His keen intelligence, his willingness to listen and his quiet self-confidence mark him as one capable of taking the Drama School and the Yale Repertory Theatre to new heights of excellence.”

Bundy has been artistic director of Great Lakes Theater Festival since 1998. During his critically acclaimed tenure there, he has been responsible for the artistic and administrative leadership of Cleveland’s classic theater, which has a budget of $4.4 million and presents a season of five plays as well as educational programming between October and May. Since he assumed the directorship of Great Lakes, its attendance has grown by more than 30 percent, and it has been widely lauded for establishing a diverse audience for classic theater in Cleveland. At the same time, Great Lakes has significantly expanded its school-based theater education program that, with more than 100,000 student contacts last season, is by far the largest in the Midwest. During its upcoming 40th anniversary season in 2001-2002, the festival will present the new musical “Lone Star Love or The Merry Wives of Windsor, Texas,” inspired by Shakespeare’s play, and featuring the Red Clay Ramblers; “Love, Langston…,” a theatrical collage of the poetry and prose of Langston Hughes, adapted by Yale School of Drama graduate Loni Berry; Eugene O’Neill’s “A Moon for the Misbegotten”; and “Romeo and Juliet.”

Before coming to Great Lakes, Bundy was associate producing director of The Acting Company, the nation’s only professional touring repertory company, 1996-1998. From 1989 to 1991, he was managing director of Cornerstone Theater Company, known for its innovative, community-based productions of classic plays. His ongoing relationship with Cornerstone as an associate artist led to Great Lakes Theater Festival’s commissioning and production of Anthony Clarvoe’s adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s “The Wild Duck” and Alison Carey’s adaptation of J.M. Barrie’s “Peter Pan.”

In addition to his Great Lakes Theater Festival productions of “The Beauty Queen of Leenane,” “Travels with My Aunt” and “Macbeth,” Bundy has directed for The Acting Company, California Shakespeare Festival, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab and the Juilliard School Drama Division.

Bundy received an A.B. degree from Harvard College in 1981 and trained in acting at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art between 1981 and 1984. After a career as an actor, appearing at Berkeley Repertory Theater, Magic Theater, San Jose Repertory Theater and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, among others, he came to the Yale School of Drama, where he earned an MFA in directing in 1995.

Bundy will be joined in New Haven by his wife, Anne Tofflemire, a singer who recently released the CD “Let’s Face the Music: Anne Tofflemire Sings Irving Berlin,” and their daughters.

The Search Committee included faculty members Joseph Roach, Mark J. Bly, Elizabeth A. Diamond, Gary L. Haller, Diana E.E. Kleiner, Ming Cho Lee, James Leverett, Peter J. Novak, Bronislaw Sammler and Evan D. Yionoulis.

When the new Dean was introduced at the Drama School on October 2, President Levin acknowledged with gratitude the contributions of the outgoing dean, “Stan Wojewodski, who for over a decade has been the committed steward of the Drama School. Stan’s tenure has seen a significant expansion of the creative opportunities available to our students. His enthusiasm for the theater has inspired our students.”

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Media Contact

Gila Reinstein: gila.reinstein@yale.edu, 203-432-1325