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Donald Jordan, right, with Jonathan Beck Reed in "Greater Tuna" at CityRep. (Photo by Wendy Mutz)

Donald Jordan to Retire from Oklahoma City Repertory

Jordan will assume the title of founding artistic director emeritus in summer 2021.

OKLAHOMA CITY: Oklahoma City Repertory Theatre (OKC Rep) has announced that founding artistic director Donald Jordan will retire and assume the title of founding artistic director emeritus in summer 2021.

“The reputation of the Oklahoma City Repertory Theatre was built by the hard work of Don Jordan,” said OKC Rep board president Cliff Hudson in a statement, “and our community has greatly benefited from his commitment to the organization’s mission to serve Oklahoma’s diverse artistic, educational, and civic needs by providing dynamic, professional theatre. We wish him great joy in his much-deserved retirement.”

Donald Jordan.

Jordan has led OKC Rep since 1998, when the theatre was founded and became the first year-round Equity professional theatre in Oklahoma. In the years since, Jordan’s leadership has been recognized nationally, by the American Theatre Wing and Actors’ Equity Association, and locally, with proclamations from the mayor of Oklahoma City in 2011 and the senate of the state of Oklahoma in 2015. Jordan was also honored with the Governor’s Arts Award in 2011, the highest recognition for the arts given in the state. In 2018, governor Mary Fallin declared March 17 “Donald Jordan and Jonathan Beck Reed Day,” honoring Jordan and co-founder Reed’s artistry and service.

Additionally, Jordan has led OKC Rep’s community service efforts, partnering with the Salvation Army, National Alliance for Mental Illness, Autism Oklahoma, the Green Shoe Foundation, Integris Mental Health, and Habitat for Humanity. His post-show appeals have also raised more than $110,000 for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

In a statement, Jordan said that he’s been preparing for this transition for several years and he hopes to ease the transition for the next artistic directors “so that they can continue to build on the foundation we have worked to create, while bringing their own unique artistic vision to Oklahoma City, and sharing our diverse stories.” He also saw the time they have to find a successor as the silver lining of working through the challenges of the pandemic and temporary halt in production.

“With nearly a quarter of a century building and leading the remarkable artists at OKC Rep, as well as a decade before that in leadership at other theatres around the country,” said Jordan in a statement, “I have been incredibly fortunate to enjoy so many opportunities to collaborate with remarkable artists and, I hope, to have been of useful service to others, to our community, and to our art. It has been a privilege and an honor.”

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