Local News: After 10 years as Artistic Director, Rob Bundy Returns to New York

Posted by: Staffon 2006/12/14 9:40:00 3598 reads Stages Repertory Theatre Board names Kenn McLaughlin Producing Artistic Director

December 2006

After ten years of artistic acclaim for his leadership of Stages Repertory Theatre, Artistic Director Rob Bundy announced today that he will not return to Stages Repertory Theatre following his year-long leave of absence. Mr. Bundy will pursue a freelance directing career based in New York where he maintains a home. Kenn McLaughlin, Stages' current Managing Director, will continue performing the producing duties previously held by Bundy and will immediately assume the role of Producing Artistic Director of Stages...

"After taking some time away to carefully assess where I am both personally and artistically, I have determined that it is time to return to New York. It's been a wonderful and richly rewarding ten years at Stages-I am proud of the body of work I have produced and of Stages' growth during my tenure," Bundy said. "I am delighted by the Board's decision to name Kenn as Producing Artistic Director. It gives me great comfort knowing that I leave Stages in such capable hands. With the support of the Board and Stages' extraordinarily dedicated and talented staff, I have every confidence that Kenn will continue to provide Houston with first-rate theatre."

Since Bundy's arrival in 1996, Stages has experienced significant growth in terms of artistic quality and audience development and has garnered national recognition for its work. During his tenure at Stages, Bundy produced over 100 plays and directed more than 30, including the world premieres of Late: A Cowboy Song and Ascendancy, as well as imaginative stagings of The Laramie Project, The Swan, Full Gallop and The Pavilion. In 2002, Bundy conceived, produced and directed a bilingual production of Federico GarcĂ­a Lorca's Blood Wedding with costumes designed by fashion icon Nicole Miller. The production sparked a wave of similar bilingual projects by arts organizations throughout Houston.

Bundy also directed for other companies in Houston and around the country, including The Exonerated and Fully Committed at Houston's Alley Theatre as well as successful productions of Boise at Rattlestick Theater in New York, Elizabeth Rex at Pacific Repertory Theatre in California, and Actors Theatre of Louisville's 30th anniversary production of The Gin Game. His contributions have raised the national profiles both of Stages and of the Houston arts community.

"Rob Bundy leaves a tremendous legacy of challenging and exciting work. We are so grateful for all he accomplished here at Stages," immediate Stages Board Past President James Cowan said. "He introduced Houston to new writers and new plays, and he reinvigorated a conversation with Houston audiences that will continue as we move forward," Cowan continued. "Perhaps his greatest gift is that he leaves the theatre prepared to understand and embrace a vibrant new artistic vision."

Stages' Board of Directors remains strongly committed to the theatre's role as a leader among Houston's arts institutions. "Stages has been, and will continue to be, a place that celebrates the fresh voices of the American theatre," current Board President Amy Moss said. "We will seek out the finest artists to fulfill our mission and our core values of courage, generosity, innovation and intimacy," she continued. " We have seen continued success this season during Rob's leave with the widely acclaimed production of The Cook and the current Five Course Love each produced by Managing Director Kenn McLaughlin. Rob selected a phenomenal line-up of plays for the 2006-2007 season, and we are fortunate that he leaves our theatre not only with a legacy of great work, but also poised to deliver another fantastic season for Houston audiences."

Now in its 28th season, Stages Repertory Theatre advances theatre and enlivens culture by introducing world, national and regional premieres of innovative contemporary plays to audiences in Houston and surrounding areas. Stages' summer musical, The Great American Trailer Park Musical, opened July 14 and continues by popular demand in an open-ended run. Stages opened the second production in its 2006-2007 MainStage season, Five Course Love, on December 8, and recently began school performances for its annual production of The Toys Take Over Christmas at The Hobby Center for the Performing Arts. Public performances for The Toys Take Over Christmas begin December 19.

Houston Theater News brought to you by Houston's Theatreport.