New Theater, Programming, Student Aid Eyed At Yale

Stephanie Berry and Rachel Leslie in Seven Guitars   (Photo by Joan Marcus)

Stephanie Berry and Rachel Leslie in Seven Guitars   (Photo by Joan Marcus)

James Bundy is looking to the future of Yale Repertory Theatre and the Yale School of Drama in a big way.

The artistic director of the Rep and the dean of its drama school (whose alumni include actors such as Meryl Streep, Sigourney Weaver, and Lupita Nyong’o) was reappointed for an unprecedented fourth five-year stint by Yale president Peter Salovey during the Rep’s 50th anniversary celebrations earlier this year.

Bundy, 57, is already the longest serving head of the Rep. Founding artistic director Ribery Brustein’s tenure was for 13 years; Lloyd Ruicghareds was for 11, and Stan Wojewodski’s was for 12. The new appointment will take Bundy through the ’21-’22 season.

During his 15 years at the Rep and the drama school, Bundy has attracted more than $20 million in support for new work, thanks to the gifts from the Robina Foundation that endowed the Binger Center for New Theatre. The Binger Center has nurtured works at Yale such as Will Eno’s The Realistic Joneses, Rolin Jones’s These Paper Bullets!, and Paula Vogel’s Indecent. All three moved onto New York and other theaters across the country.

New works continue to be one of the hallmarks of Bundy’s tenure, where he is assisted by associate artistic director Jennifer Kiger and longtime managing director Victoria Nolan. Where many theaters allow for one or two premieres a season—new titles are traditionally a more difficult sell—the Rep has regularly filed its line-up with unseen and often-times challenging works by new and established playwrights.