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June 17, 2007
Ashland: OSF and August Wilson

Ashland, Ore. - Oregon Shakespeare Festival artistic associate Tim Bond did some of his growing up in Sacramento. Bond’s father, James, was president of CSUS in the '70s, though the former university president now lives in Ashland near his son.

Bond’s production of August Wilson’s “Gem of the Ocean” is a highlight of the current season, and Wilson’s plays have become a Bond speciality.
Bond says he has had many opportunities to speak with the playwright about his work.

“I had the good fortune of having August tell me the story of three or four of his plays while he was writing them. I’d see him and he’d say, ‘Hey Tim, have you got a minute?’

"No matter how busy I was, I’d say 'of course.’ We’d just go sit somewhere and he’d just tell me the story of the play. He was a storyteller, a real griot. The monologues and conversations would just flow out of him, and 45 minutes later, he would have told me the story of the play he was writing or thinking about.

"I’m proud of the productions we did here at the festival because I felt like August was our modern-day Bard and it was appropriate to put him next to Shakepeare.”

However, Bond (and his father) will be relocating soon, as Tim, who has been with OSF for the last 12 seasons, will be moving to a new position, likely on the East Coast; his father will come with him and his family.

Tim Bond’s leaving is part of the administrative changes by incoming artistic director Bill Rauch that has eliminated some positions. Bond now hopes to lead his own mid- to- large-size theater company and hopes to have something definite by the end of the summer.

Bond says Rauch will reinvigorate the festival and brings positive creative energy to the organization.

“He’s a terrific director and a wonderful leader. I share his commitment to diversity and his hiring will make an interesting and exciting time for the festival," Bond says.

"I feel good about his appointment here and in some ways, I wish I were going to be more a part of it, but there are also some tremendous opportinuties out there for me to pursue.”

Bond will be directing “Death of a Salesman” at Arena Stage in Washington next April as part of their Miller Rep season, which also includes “A View from the Bridge.”

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