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Evren Odcikin directin.

Evren is represented by Ben Izzo at Michael Moore Agency. 

EVREN ODCIKIN (he/him) is an arts leader, director, writer, and translator with a passion for reimagined classics, new work development and production, and education initiatives. He has a proven track record in audience development, fundraising, and community engagement. Over the last 20+ years, he has built a body of work that is heart centered, politically engaged, globally minded, and that centers joy as resistance. He works every day to advocate for historically-excluded stories and voices in the American theater, and he is committed to building his work with and for the communities it represents.

Recent directing credits include Sylvia Khoury’s Selling Kabul (Northern Stage), Mona Mansour’s unseen (Oregon Shakespeare Festival), and the world premiere of Amir Nizar Zuabi’s This is Who I Am (Woolly Mammoth, PlayCo, A.R.T., Guthrie, and OSF). Previously, he has helmed productions and workshops at New York Theatre Workshop, Geva Theatre Center, Berkeley Rep, South Coast Rep, the Lark, Kennedy Center, The Civilians, InterAct (Philadelphia), Cleveland Public Theatre, TheatreSquared, Magic Theatre, Crowded Fire, Golden Thread Productions, TheatreFirst, and Playwrights Foundation with such writers as Melis Aker, Kevin Artigue, Guillermo Calderón, Christopher Chen, Jeesun Choi, Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig, Gabriel Jason Dean, Yussef El Guindi, Lauren Gunderson, Prince Gomolvilas, Denmo Ibrahim, David Jacobi, MJ Kaufman, Hannah Khalil, Jonas Hassen Khemiri, Michael Lew, Mona Mansour, Rehana Lew Mirza, Baruch Porras Hernandez, Betty Shamieh, Caridad Svich, and Lauren Yee, amongst many others. His productions have been Barrymore and Theatre Bay Area Awards recommended and nominated; appeared on "Best of the Year" lists in San Francisco Chronicle, WBUR, KQED, Bay Area Reporter, and SF Bay Times; and were named as a Critic's Pick for Los Angeles Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, and San Francisco Chronicle

As a writer, he created 1001 Nights (A Retelling) with Leila Buck under commission for Cal Shakes, and is currently working solo on ORIENTAL, or 1001 Ways to Tie Yourself in Knots as the next iteration of that script. He translated the short plays, Dream Seller by Zehra İpşiroğlu and The Day That Nobody Died by 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 in 2020. He has written the two short plays, The King of Istanbul and The Queen of Istanbul, and has plans to turn the cycle into a full-length.

In 2023, Evren served as the Interim Artistic Director at Oregon Shakespeare Festival where he had been the Associate Artistic Director and Director of Artistic Programming since 2019. At OSF, he programmed the 2024 Season, secured funding to "save" the 2023 Season, and helped guide the organization through the COVID-19 pandemic and the aftermath of the devastating Almeda Fire. He oversaw the producing of five repertory seasons -- the 32 productions he's shepherded at OSF include the world premiere of the company's first holiday show, It's Christmas, Carol!; world and West Coast premieres of new works by Kirsten Childs, Mona Mansour, Dominique Morisseau, Qui Nguyen, Karen Zacarias, Amir Nizar Zuabi, and reimagined classics by directors such as Shariffa Ali, Lili-Anne Brown, Shana Cooper, Nataki Garrett, Kent Gash, Henry Godinez, Tiffany Nichole Greene, Rosa Joshi, and Dawn Monique Williams, amongst many others. He annually led an artistic core of more than 100 artists, and 10 full-time staff members. He is known for creating the first Resident Intimacy Director position in the American theatre in 2020, and his artist- and human-first approach has resulted in a revamped producing model that is less harmful and more sustainable; new work development and commissioning programs that expand beyond playwright-focused initiatives; and a reimagined negotiation and contracting process with more clarity, efficiency, and radical artist support. 

Evren has long been a leader in advocacy and organizing for Middle Eastern, North African, and Muslim creatives and stories: He co-founded Maia Directors, a consulting group for artists and organizations engaging with Middle Eastern stories and beyond, and is a founding board member of Middle Eastern North African Theater Makers Alliance. From 2015-2018, he served as the Director of New Plays and Marketing at Golden Thread Productions, the first American theatre company devoted to the Middle East, where he has been an affiliated artist since 2008.

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. He currently serves as the Treasurer of the Playwrights Foundation Board of Directors.

Recognitions include the TITAN Award from Theatre Bay Area; an inaugural National Director’s Fellowship selection from the O’Neill, NNPN, the Kennedy Center, and SDCF; a “Theatre Worker You Should Know” selection by American Theatre Magazine; and being selected as an Emerging Theatre Leader by Theatre Communications Group for their American Express Leadership Bootcamp. He has served on selection committees for Theatre Communications Group, National Endowment for the Arts, Zellerbach Foundation, NNPN Showcase of New Plays, Magic Theatre, Playwrights Foundation, Playwrights' Center, and Middle East America Initiative. Evren was born and raised in Turkey and is a graduate of Princeton University.

Currently playing:
Macbeth at Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Upcoming productions: Torch Song at Marin Theatre Company and the world premiere of christopher oscar peña's our orange sky at Profile Theatre. Upcoming workshops: Nia Akilah Robinson's The Great Privation: How to Flip Ten Cents Into a Dollar with Bay Area Playwrights Festival 2024 and Adam El-Sayigh's ALAA: A Family Trilogy with Golden Thread Productions.

(Photo by Angel Gardner, Princeton Arts)

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