Evren is represented by Ben Izzo at A3 Artists Agency.
EVREN ODCIKIN is an arts leader, theater director, and writer with a deep commitment to championing historically-excluded artists and stories in the American theatre. He brings 20+ years of experience and passion to new work development and production, reimagined classics, and education and meaningful community engagement.
As a director, he has worked at Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Guthrie Theater, A.R.T., Woolly Mammoth, PlayCo, 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, Jordan Tannahill, Lauren Yee, and Amir Nizar Zuabi, 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 created 1001 Nights (A Retelling) with Leila Buck under commission for Cal Shakes. He translated 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 in 2020. He has also written two short plays: The King of Istanbul and The Queen of Istanbul.
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 is also known as an advocacy leader for immigrant, Middle Eastern, and Muslim creatives: 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 a resident 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 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, and Middle East America Initiative. Evren was born and raised in Turkey and is a graduate of Princeton University.
Next up: Sylvia Khoury's Selling Kabul at Northern Stage, Macbeth at Oregon Shakespeare Festival; and the world premiere of christopher oscar peña's Orange Sky at Profile Theatre. He will be developing Nia Akilah Robinson's The Great Privation: How to Flip Ten Cents Into a Dollar with Bay Area Playwrights Festival 2024.
(Photo by Angel Gardner, Princeton Arts)