James Bundy reappointed dean of David Geffen School of Drama
James Bundy, whose creativity and vision have supported advances in both drama education and practice and positioned Yale for leadership in the field, has been reappointed for a fifth term as Elizabeth Parker Ware Dean of the David Geffen School of Drama and artistic director of the Yale Repertory Theatre, President Peter Salovey announced today.
He will begin his next five-year term on July 1, 2022.
“This renewal recognizes Dean Bundy’s unflagging commitment to recruiting and retaining field-leading faculty members and practitioners; to enhancing the diversity and excellence of theater training and production; to increasing access and removing barriers to graduate education; and to devoting meaningful resources to the creation of significant new works for American theater,” Salovey said.
Over the past several years, Bundy has brought to Yale eminent theater artists and managers and transformed the leadership structure of the school, Salovey said. The Geffen School has recruited Associate Dean Florie Seery, Associate Dean Chantal Rodriguez, and Assistant Dean Kelvin Dinkins Jr. to work with him on strategic and operational planning and on realizing the mission of the school and Yale Rep. He also recently welcomed prominent faculty members and practitioners to teaching and leadership roles at the school, including Tamilla Woodard as chair of the Acting Program; Toni-Leslie James and Riccardo Hernández as co-chairs of Design; Mikaal Sulaiman as head of the Sound Design concentration; Anne Erbe and Tarell Alvin McCraney as co-chairs of the Playwriting Program; Narda E. Alcorn as chair of the Stage Management Program; and Shaminda Amarakoon as chair of the Program in Technical Design and Production.
In addition to faculty recruitment, Bundy has focused on enhancing support structures at the school for all faculty, staff, and students, Salovey added. The Geffen School and Yale Rep are actively engaged in establishing anti-racist and anti-oppressive training and production practices, centered around well-being, inclusion, and equity for theater makers and audiences, and emphasizing organizational, artistic, and personal engagement with vital questions of social justice.
Bundy also has worked tirelessly to increase philanthropic support for drama at Yale. Earlier this year, a transformational gift of $150 million from the David Geffen Foundation eliminated tuition for all degree and certificate students in perpetuity. Bundy has led the establishment of 64 of the school’s 91 named scholarships, and he has helped raise $220 million toward the university’s current capital campaign, which includes plans for new, state-of-the-art facilities for the school, Yale Repertory Theatre, the Theater and Performance Studies Program in Yale College, and the Yale Dramatic Association (also known as “Yale Dramat”).
His leadership as artistic director of Yale Repertory Theatre has also enriched the American theater at large, Salovey said. To date, Yale’s Binger Center for New Theatre — one of the nation’s most robust and innovative new play programs — has supported the work of more than 60 commissioned artists and underwritten the world premieres and subsequent productions of more than 30 new plays and musicals at Yale Rep and across the country. Among them, “Indecent,” created by former faculty member Paula Vogel and Rebecca Taichman, a graduate of the school, premiered at Yale Rep in 2015 before transferring to Broadway and winning two Tony Awards in 2017.
“I’m grateful to President Salovey for this ongoing opportunity: it is a joy to serve Yale and especially the David Geffen School of Drama, which numbers so many inspiring artists and managers among its faculty, staff, alumni, and current students,” Bundy said. “Seeing our community rise to the challenges of our time — and planning for a new drama facility that will be a home for Yale’s theater makers and audiences — fills me with hope for the future of our art form, as well as for our school’s enduring contributions to the life of the imagination in New Haven and around the world.”
In his message, Salovey thanked members of the Yale community who shared their thoughts on Bundy’s leadership during the review process. “Faculty and staff remarked on Dean Bundy’s deep commitment to the professional development of students and expressed admiration for the educational programs he has championed,” he said. “Many conveyed to me that they appreciate the time and care Dean Bundy devotes to supporting the scholarship, practice, and teaching of faculty members and the work of staff. I also received numerous notes about Dean Bundy’s passion for the arts and his ambitious goals for the future of the school and Yale Repertory Theatre.”