SYRACUSE, N.Y.: This summer, a transition in leadership will begin at Syracuse Stage as Timothy Bond, producing artistic director, and Jeffrey Woodward, managing director, have announced plans to pursue new opportunities.
Bond will continue in his post through June of next year, while Woodward will join Dallas Theater Center as their new managing director in July. Bond will stay on long enough to plan the upcoming 2015–16 season, as well as be instrumental in planning the 2016–17 season. Following his tenure at the company, Bond will be seeking new artistic and academic leadership positions and continue directing plays at regional theatres around the country. Bond, 56, also serves as producing artistic director for the Department of Drama at Syracuse University, a post he will also vacate.
“Tim and Jeff have provided exemplary service to Syracuse Stage,” said Robert Pomfrey, chair of the theatre’s board of trustees, in a statement. “We’re saddened to hear they will be leaving, but we understand their desire for new creative challenges. We hope that we’ll be able to once again find the right people—as we did with Tim and Jeff—to move the Stage forward in a new era.”
To help with the transition, Stage’s longtime administrative director, Diana Coles, will serve as interim managing director effective July 1. National searches will begin this summer to fill Stage’s artistic and management leadership positions.
Bond’s tenure as producing artistic director, which began in 2007, has been marked by classics, musicals and contemporary work, including five critically acclaimed productions of August Wilson plays. Bond has created seasons that balanced big musicals, such as Hairspray and Irving Berlin’s White Christmas, with new work, including Wajdi Mouawad’s Scorched and the world premieres of Tales from the Salt City and Cry for Peace: Voices from the Congo, which brought Ping Chong to Syracuse Stage.
Offstage initiatives in recent years have included broadening services for individuals with disabilities by introducing open captioning and audio described performances, as well as enhancing community engagement and education programs with a number of additional events, exhibits and new partnerships. Under Woodward’s management, Syracuse Stage, the largest nonprofit cultural organization in Central New York, has continued to grow and thrive while balancing its budget.
Bond and Woodward have also overseen 11 new producing partnerships with resident theatres, including Portland Center Stage, McCarter Theatre Center, and Seattle Repertory Theatre. A partnership with the Baxter Theatre in Cape Town and the Market Theatre in Johannesburg, South Africa, led to Stage’s first international exchange, with The Brothers Size directed by Bond. The connections established at that time led to another international transfer—this time from the Market Theatre to Syracuse—of the acclaimed South African play Sizwe Banzi Is Dead, directed by Tony winner John Kani.
Syracuse Stage, which was founded in 1974, has previously been led by founding producing artistic director Arthur Storch, Tazewell Thompson and Robert Moss. Woodward’s sole predecessor in management was James A. Clark, who served under several titles from 1976 to 2007.
This fall Syracuse Stage begins its 43rd season.