James Bundy reappointed as School of Drama dean

James Bundy has been appointed to a third term as dean of the Yale School of Drama, President Richard C. Levin announced on Feb. 7.

The dean, who also serves as artistic director of the Yale Repertory Theatre, will begin his third five-year term on July 1, 2012.

The School of Drama community was “united in its enthusiasm” for Bundy’s reappointment, noted Levin in a letter announcing the news.

“Dean Bundy is valued for his clear and inspirational vision and his willingness to listen. He sets goals and works tirelessly to achieve them,” wrote Levin. “James has brought positive new perspectives to the curriculum and activities at the School of Drama. One of his signal accomplishments has been improved financial aid, which has attracted the most talented students and has further increased the competitiveness of the school.

Levin continued: “One commentator observed, ‘He is a rare combination of artist and level-headed business person necessary for these changing times in the arts.’ Another wrote, ‘He is clearly invested, personally and professionally, in the success of our school’s mission.’

“As artistic director of the Yale Repertory Theatre one commentator noted, ‘The Yale Rep has reemerged as a jubilant voice in regional theatre, the student experience both in production and in the classroom has matured strikingly in depth and vision, and significantly, as a workplace for students, staff and faculty alike …’” added Levin.

During Bundy’s tenure, Yale Rep has produced more than 20 world, American and regional theatrical premieres — five of which have been honored by the Connecticut Critics Circle with the award for Best Production of the year, and two of which have been Pulitzer Prize finalists. Through the Center for New Theatre, Yale Rep has become a leading commissioner of new plays and musicals in the United States.

Bundy’s directing credits include “The Psychic Life of Savages,” “All’s Well That Ends Well,” “A Woman of No Importance,” “Death of a Salesman” and “A Delicate Balance” at Yale Rep, as well as productions at Great Lakes Theater Festival, The Acting Company, California Shakespeare Festival, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, and The Juilliard School Drama Division. He received the Connecticut Critics Circle’s Tom Killen Award for extraordinary contributions to Connecticut professional theatre in 2007.

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, he came to the Yale School of Drama, where he earned an M.F.A. in directing in 1995.

Before coming to Yale in 2002, Bundy worked as associate producing director of The Acting Company, managing director of Cornerstone Theater Company, and artistic director of Great Lakes Theater Festival. He has served on the faculties of BADA and the National Theatre Institute and been a Drama League Fellow.