TheatreWorks Silicon Valley Appoints Tim Bond Artistic Director

Tim Bond will replace TheatreWorks Silicon Valley's founding director Robert Kelley beginning March, 2020.  (Alan Alabastro / Courtesy TheatreWorks)

TheatreWorks Silicon Valley on Tuesday revealed Tim Bond as the successor to founding artistic director Robert Kelley, who’s led the Tony Award-winning outfit for the past 50 seasons.

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Bond, who officially begins in March, previously served as drama professor and head of the professional actor training program at the University of Washington following artistic direction roles at Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Seattle Group Theatre.

Decorated and in-demand as a director, teacher and organizational leader, Bond is also known as a prominent interpreter of the late playwright August Wilson and a promoter of inclusion and diversity in the theater world.

“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to continue Robert Kelley’s great work, and to lead this spirited company into its next exciting phase,” Bond said in a statement.

Roy Johnson, board chair of the company, in a statement noted Bond’s commitment to new works and diversity and inclusion. “We are confident he will honor the profound legacy of Robert Kelley, ensuring TheatreWorks continues the work Kelley began 50 years ago of presenting art that serves our community and contributes to the national theatre narrative,” Johnson said.

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Kelley, who announced his retirement in 2017, founded TheatreWorks Silicon Valley in 1970 and oversaw its growth from a youth troupe to one of the region’s largest theater companies. He is believed to hold the record for the longest run as artistic director at a professional League of Resident Theatres member. Last year TheatreWorks Silicon Valley received the 2019 Regional Theatre Tony Award on the recommendation of the American Theatre Critics Association.

As KQED previously reported, under Kelley’s leadership TheatreWorks has become a launchpad for national hits and young actors destined for Hollywood and Broadway. The company has some 40 staff members, more than 8,000 subscribers, an annual budget exceeding $8 million and a reputation for fostering new works by emerging artists. The nonprofit organization presents several productions each season at Mountain View and Palo Alto venues.

“I don’t think the company could have made a better choice,” Kelley said of Bond in a statement. “A highly respected, nationally known director, Tim also has the personal qualities and values we have always treasured at TheatreWorks.”

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