Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Scarlett Kim and Mei Ann Teo Join OSF's Team of Associate Artistic Directors

These visionaries will work together to transcend traditional text-centric models and give centrality, priority, resources and space to theater artists.

Scarlett Kim and Mei Ann Teo Join OSF's Team of Associate Artistic Directors

Oregon Shakespeare Festival today announced a new structure for its artistic team that parallels Artistic Director Nataki Garrett's vision for a transformed American theater. Collaborating across the many facets of artist engagement, development, and producing, Scarlett Kim and Mei Ann Teo join Evren Odcikin on a three-person, non-hierarchical team of Associate Artistic Directors-respectively, of Innovation and Strategy, of New Work, and of Artistic Programming. These visionaries will work together to transcend traditional text-centric models and give centrality, priority, and, most fundamentally, resources and space, to generative theater artists across media and professions.

Says Nataki Garrett, "We seek to center those who have been de-centered by predominantly and historically white theaters like OSF. We need to break down and rebuild the structures within predominantly white institutions that hierarchize the artists while grinding them down. This new artistic structure will enable us to place the artist at the center, and as the conduit for how we engage, develop, and access new work, and how we interrogate the classics in both live and digital spaces. I want to be able to provide support for the artist from their point of entry, as opposed to having the artist fit into the Oregon Shakespeare Festival's historical, traditional, and often-mechanistic processes. I believe that by uplifting the people who are creating the work, you will invariably uplift and hopefully evolve the worldviews of people who are witnessing it."

As OSF boldly reimagines the kind of organization it wants to be now and into the future, Kim, Teo, and Odcikin bring a shared devotion to untold stories and underrepresented voices; hybrid forms that can reach global audiences (as platformed by OSF's immersive and interactive digital space, O!); and artistic experimentalism both rigorous and playful. Kim and Teo step into their respective roles amidst raging climate change-spurred wildfires and the glaring need for environmentally sustainable practices; the pandemic and the new considerations of "liveness" necessitated and explored within it; and racial justice movements that have reverberated across American theater, as it finally begins to grasp its historically exclusionary and siloed vision of the world.

The introduction of the Associate Artistic Director of Innovation and Strategy and Associate Artistic Director of New Work positions were made possible with a grant from the BOLD Theater Women's Leadership Circle, an initiative created to bridge the career gaps for women in the American theater.

The Innovation and Strategy position is charged with spearheading OSF's expansion into transmedia storytelling: hybridizing live theatre with emergent media forms, inspiring and supporting projects around immersive technologies (AR & VR), and leading the evolution of O!'s exploratory spirit. Scarlett Kim (she/her)-a director, artist, and producer who uses participatory performance and mixed-reality technology to enact social change-had already been engaged by OSF to direct the upcoming episodic, digital Shakespeare adaptation The Cymbeline Project.

Kim, who was born in Seoul and activated the multidisciplinary artistic landscape of Los Angeles as her laboratory, notes that all three of the Associate Artistic Directors are immigrant artists, saying, "I feel so energized to enter into OSF as my full self. I'm used to severing myself, contorting myself, translating myself; and in this position I want to make sure that we hold expansive space, space that allows artists' whole selves and full lived experiences and full artistic impulses to be present. My diasporic immigrant narrative always felt fringe in the American theater and so I sought home in other artistic mediums, like extended reality or performance in a visual art setting. My new department seeks to center the 'fringe.' The work in the digital realm isn't meant to betray our roots in liveness-rather, it expands our notion of liveness. Technology enables us to open our practices and dialogues up to a decentralized global audience, bringing our work into their living rooms."

For the Associate Artistic Director of New Work, OSF sought an industry leader with the passion and the vision to reimagine and lead its New Works programming to support OSF's in-person, digital, and community engagement platforms. Mei Ann Teo (they/she) makes theater and film internationally at the intersection of artistic, civic, and contemplative practice-and takes on the role following their successful tenure as Artistic Director of Musical Theater Factory, an organization that "develops changemaking new musicals in a joyous, collaborative community free from commercial constraints" and centers "artists of excellence who exist in the intersections of underrepresented groups."

As a Singaporean immigrant who has lived on both coasts of the U.S., Teo says, "I am utterly thrilled to helm New Work at OSF alongside this team. Being from a colonized country, and living in this one, I realize that colonization of the mind is so deep. How do we rectify that within the belly of the beast? The process of subverting the grand narrative is not only in content, but also in form. As my work has spanned the gamut of re-imagining classics, new plays and musicals, and devised ensemble creation, I am invigorated by the possibilities at OSF to move the pipeline of development to awaken the many starting points in our art form. From design-driven work, to music rituals, and generating multi-hyphenate artists-I'm excited for us to develop new processes for multidisciplinary work that has transformative relationships with our audience and ourselves."

Evren Odcikin (he/him), who was born and raised in Turkey and built his U.S. career in the San Francisco Bay Area, is a director, writer, and arts administrator with a deep commitment to championing underserved voices and stories in the American theatre. Odcikin joined OSF two years ago as Associate Artistic Director; within this new artistic leadership structure, he becomes Associate Artistic Director of Artistic Programming. He will continue to lead producing for all in-person programming, including the repertory productions, Green Show, and other community-engaged programming.

Odcikin says, "I'm inspired to be working alongside two formidable artist-leaders like Scarlett and Mei Ann, whose global perspective gives them a lived understanding of the nuances of layered identity and a wide range of storytelling traditions. Throughout my career, I've built skills and expertise so that I can help run an organization of size like OSF that does not ask artists to translate themselves to make work. This is rare for those coming from the margins of the mainstream-we're often asked to explain ourselves over and over again, not just to audiences, but to the literary manager, to the associate artistic director, to the marketing director. In this moment of change, Nataki has charged us with thinking about our work as visioning OSF and the American theater for the future-for 20 years from now, 50 years from now, 100 years from now. We're just getting started, and I'm so energized."

Nataki Garrett adds, "All three of the artists I've brought into these positions are, as experimental artists, rigorous deconstructors of systems. They know how a conventional system works and also where it breaks apart-how to lay everything out, figure out how it works, and evolve it into something new."

About the Associate Artistic Directors

Scarlett Kim (she/her) is a diasporic Korean director, artist and producer who uses participatory performance and mixed-reality technology to enact social change. She serves as the Associate Artistic Director and Director of Innovation & Strategy at Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Scarlett originates, directs, and collaborates on multimedia projects across theatre, visual art and new media contexts internationally. She is passionate about creating unclassifiable spaces and uplifting underrepresented voices at the intersection of art, technology and community through rhizomatic collaboration.

Recent partners include REDCAT, The Wrong Biennale, Thomas Mann House, Prague Quadrennial, Shatto Gallery, Chilean National Council of Culture & the Arts, Artcore, Automata Arts, Korea Foundation, Coaxial Arts Foundation, Weston Game Lab, Rogue Artist Ensemble, The Main Museum, Seoul Institute of the Arts, Arts For LA, The Offing, Los Angeles Central Produce Market, Heidi Duckler Dance, Pasadena Museum of California Art, Bound Entertainment, UCLA School of Film, TV and Digital Media, and La MaMa Umbria.

Scarlett co-founded and served as Artistic Director of The Mortuary, a performance laboratory for unclassifiable practices in life and art, developing and presenting projects spanning Korean shaman rituals, chamber orchestras, experimental larps, and little death, a salon series of immersive and interactive performances. At CultureHub, a global art and technology community, Scarlett oversaw the artistic programming of its Los Angeles studio, including artist residencies and Re-Fest, an annual festival bringing together artists, activists, and technologists. As a translator and cultural liaison, Scarlett facilitates intersectional dialogue amongst the global Korean diaspora, with a focus on uplifting Korean indigenous art forms and bridging transnational collaborations. Scarlett received her MFA in Theatre Directing from California Institute of the Arts and a BA in Theatre & Performance Studies and Visual Arts from the University of Chicago. scarlettjkim.com

Evren Odcikin (he/him) is a director, writer, and arts administrator with a deep commitment to championing underserved voices and stories in the American theatre. He joined Oregon Shakespeare Festival as Associate Artistic Director in 2019, and is now excited to serve in this new expanded role as Associate Artistic Director and Director of Artistic Programming. He is a founder of Maia Directors, a founding steering committee member of MENA Theater Makers Alliance, and has served the Director of New Plays at Golden Thread Productions, where he is now a resident artist. On the administrative side, he was the communications consultant for KQED's $135 million Campaign 21, and has held high-level marketing and communications positions at American Conservatory Theater and Magic Theatre.

a??

As a director, he has worked at OSF, Guthrie, A.R.T., Woolly Mammoth, PlayCo, NYTW, Geva, Berkeley Rep, South Coast Rep, the Lark, Kennedy Center, InterAct (Philadelphia), Cleveland Public Theatre, TheatreSquared, Magic Theatre, Crowded Fire, Golden Thread, and Playwrights Foundation, amongst many others. His productions have been Barrymore and Theatre Bay Area Awards Recommended; appeared on "Best of the Year" lists in San Francisco Chronicle, WBUR, KQED, Bay Area Reporter, and SF Bay Times; were named as a Critic's Pick for Los Angeles Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, and San Francisco Chronicle; and were nominated for numerous Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Awards. As a writer, he is under commission with Leila Buck to create1001 Nights (A Retelling) for Cal Shakes. He is also commissioned to translate short plays by Zehra İpşiroğlu and Ebru Nihan Celkan from Turkish for NYU Abu Dhabi. His adaptation of Plautus's The Braggart Soldier based on a translation by Deana Berg premiered at Custom Made Theatre Company in 2016, and his translation of Sedef Ecer's On the Periphery received its world premiere in a co-production for Golden Thread Productions and Crowded Fire Theatre Company.

a??a??

Recognitions include a "Theatre Worker You Should Know" selection by American Theatre Magazine; a National Director's Fellowship from the O'Neill, NNPN, the Kennedy Center, and SDCF; the TITAN Award from Theatre Bay Area; and being selected as an Emerging Theatre Leader by Theatre Communications Group for their AmEx Leadership Bootcamp. Evren was born and raised in Turkey and is a graduate of Princeton University. odcikin.com

Mei Ann Teo (they/she) is a queer immigrant from Singapore who is an artistic leader, theatremaker, filmmaker, and educator. A recent recipient of the League of Professional Theatre Women's Josephine Abady Award, Teo served for three years as the Artistic Director of Musical Theatre Factory, an artists service organization committed to dismantling oppressive ideologies towards collective liberation, and resident company of Playwrights Horizons. They are now the Associate Artistic Director of New Work at Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

Teo makes theatre and film at the intersection of artistic, civic, and contemplative practice. As a director/devisor/dramaturg, they create across genres, including music theatre, intermedial participatory work, reimagining classics, and documentary theatre. Directing work includes the world premieres of Jillian Walker's SKiNFoLK: An American Show, at the Bushwick Starr (New York Times Critic's Pick; New York Magazine Approval Matrix, "Highbrow, Brilliant") and Madeline Sayet's Where We Belong, at Shakespeare's Globe and Woolly Mammoth ("directed with cinematic grandeur"-The Washington Post) and the North American premiere of Amy Berryman's Walden at Theatreworks Hartford ("brilliant direction"-Hartford Courant; New York Times Critic's Pick).

Teo's work has toured the U.S. and internationally, including the world premiere of Dim Sum Warriors by Colin Goh and Yen Yen Woo, composed by Pulitzer Prize winner Du Yun, at Stan Lai's Theatre Above in Shanghai, which went on a twenty-five-city national tour in China. Other festivals include Belgium's Festival de Liege (Lyrics From Lockdown, "Truly polished, meaningful and entertaining"-New York Times), Singapore Theatre Festival (Building A Character - Hit List of The Business Times, "Dynamic staging"), and Beijing International Festival (Labyrinth - Top 8 in Beijing News). Their short films have been screened at festivals internationally, including the San Francisco Asian American Festival, Singapore International Film Festival, and the Montreal World Film Festival.

As an educator, they served for seven years as the Chair of Drama/Resident Artist at Pacific Union College, where they founded a program focused on original ensemble creation and rooted in personal and communal history. They were the Asst. Professor of Directing and Dramaturgy at Hampshire College, and the John Wells Visiting Professor of Directing at Carnegie Mellon. They are teaching and creating a new work at Harvard's TDM program this Fall. They hold an MFA in Theatre Directing from Columbia University. meiannteo.com

About Oregon Shakespeare Festival

Led by Artistic Director Nataki Garrett and Executive Director David Schmitz, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF) was founded in 1935 and has grown from a three-day festival of two plays to a nationally renowned theatre arts organization that presents a rotating repertory season of up to 11 plays and musicals, including both classics and premieres. OSF productions have been presented on Broadway, internationally, and at regional, community, and high school theaters across the country. The Festival presents more than 800 performances annually and draws an audience of more than 400,000 to its home in Ashland, OR. In 2020, OSF launched O!, a new digital platform featuring performances, groundbreaking art, and mind-expanding discussions that can be accessed from anywhere in the world. O! attracts more than 10,000 views per month from audience members in over 50 countries. OSF invites and welcomes everyone, driven by a belief that the inclusion of diverse people, ideas, cultures, and traditions enriches not only the creation and experience of the work the organization presents onstage, but also our relationships with each other. OSF's mission statement: "Inspired by Shakespeare's work and the cultural richness of the United States, we reveal our collective humanity through illuminating interpretations of new and classic plays, deepened by the kaleidoscope of rotating repertory."



Related Articles View More Portland Stories


More Hot Stories For You