Oklahoma City Repertory Theatre announces retirement of founding Artistic Director Don Jordan
Published: October 10th, 2020
Oklahoma City Repertory Theatre (OKC Rep), Oklahoma’s award-winning professional regional theatre announced last week that its founding Artistic Director Donald Jordan will transition and assume the title of “Founding Artistic Director emeritus” in the Summer of 2021.
“The reputation of the Oklahoma City Repertory Theatre was built by the hard work of Don Jordan 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,” said Cliff Hudson, OKC Rep Board President, “We wish him great joy in his much-deserved retirement.”
Donald Jordan has led OKC Rep since 1998, when a group of notable Oklahoma and national artists created the theatre, which became the 1s t year-round Equity professional theatre in Oklahoma. The founding company included Jonathan Beck Reed, Ruth Charnay, Marcellus Hankins, Michele Wilson, James Tyra, Elaine Pfleiderer, Russell Webster, Charlotte Franklin, Jackie West, Michael Jones, and Kirk Rogers.
Jordan and Reed had spent many hours imagining ways to build OKC a professional regional theatre during their years together in NYC and while they performed in the national touring company of the Broadway hit 42ND STREET. OKC Rep performances began in the fall of 2002 and, since, have had more than 85 productions, most of which were world, national, regional, state or city premieres, Jordan’s leadership and artistry has been recognized nationally, regionally, and throughout the state of Oklahoma. Among the many innovations and achievements for OKC Rep and Jordan under his dynamic leadership are becoming the first theatre in Oklahoma City history to be given membership in the Theatre Communications Group (TCG), the national association of leading American professional theatres in 2010.
In 2016, Teresa Eyring, TCG’s Executive Director, issued a special public commendation that called Jordan “a vital part of the fabric of The National Theatre community.”
In January 2020, TCG featured Jordan as one of 12 national creative leaders in American Theatre magazine, the national periodical of the American theatre. In 2012, the American Theatre Wing (also known for presenting the Tony awards for Broadway theatrical achievement) presented its National Theatre Award to Jordan and OKC Rep, stating that he had “articulated a distinctive mission, cultivated an audience, and nurtured a community of artists in ways that demonstrate the quality, diversity and dynamism of American theatre.”
NOTE: News of Don Jordan’s Summer 2021 retirement was covered around the United States, including in the foregoing story from Broadway World, which was posted here: https://www.broadwayworld.com/oklahoma/article/Oklahoma-City-Repertory-Theatre-Announces-Retirement-of-Founding-Artistic-Director-20201002?fbclid=IwAR01PEjBz5QEHCB5felne-HlOf2o9Aj7nZ3gVmAf4aJpWjPQqMzhzVeYEfA. In addition to his artistic acumen and ability, Jordan understands the importance of a free press in the our democratic Republic, and has regularly advertised his company’s events and activities in The City Sentinel newspaper. The publisher, Patrick B. McGuigan, appreciates Jordan for that, and for his varied contributions to our community.