May 1, 2014

Todd London named new executive director of UW School of Drama

News and Information

Todd London, new executive director of the UW School of Drama

Todd London

Todd London, artistic director of New Dramatists, a playwriting center in New York, has been named the new executive director of the University of Washington School of Drama.

“We are thrilled to have Todd London join us,” said Elizabeth Cooper, divisional dean of arts for the UW College of Arts and Sciences. “Todd is an acknowledged leader in the field and has a solid reputation for being one of the most important voices speaking of and for the American theater today.”

A writer and scholar, London has led New Dramatists since 1996. He has taught at Harvard University and New York University, and now teaches at the Yale School of Drama. He earned a master’s of fine arts degree in directing from Boston University and a doctorate in literary studies from American University.

The former managing editor of “American Theatre” magazine, London has written, edited or contributed to a dozen books. Among these is 2013′s “An Ideal Theater: Founding Visions for a New American Art,” which included writing by longtime UW professor Herbert Blau.

London will succeed Sarah Nash Gates, the school’s director since 1994, who will return to teaching as a part-time faculty member.

“Todd will bring a fresh perspective on training 21st century artists and scholars,” said Gates. “We are fortunate to find a person with such deep and wide experience as a practitioner, writer and historian. I look forward to his tenure as executive director.”

For his part, London praised the school’s “vibrant” work and “enormous” impact on theater in Seattle and across the nation.

“Recently, I’ve seen up close the remarkable gifts and educational devotion of the faculty and staff, under the energetic leadership of Sarah Nash Gates. The school’s dedication to exploring the roots of theatrical expression and finding creative ways to educate artists and scholars for the new forms of the new century is inspiring.”

He said the job “represents, for me, the fulfillment of a career of service to artists and professional development.”

London will relocate to Seattle and begin his duties as director, and professor of drama, on Aug. 1, pending approval of his hiring by the UW Board of Regents.

He will be joined at the School of Drama by his wife, Karen Hartman, an award-winning playwright who will be a senior artist in residence.

London added, “A great theater school in a great theater city — I can’t wait to begin.”

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