Nataki Garrett

She // Her // Hers

[ID: A portrait of a woman with dark brown skin wearing a vibrant red dress. Both her attire and her perfectly coiffed hair are carefully, thoughtfully, constructed; which contrasts playfully with her candid pose and warm smile. Her hands are captured mid-motion, blurry as they reach out towards the camera.]

Artistic Leader, Theatremaker, and Filmmaker
Ashland, OR
2022 USA Fellow

This award was generously supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

A change maker and trailblazer, Nataki Garrett is a nationally recognized director and the sixth artistic director of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF). Garrett is one of the few women of color in the country to lead a major theater company and OSF’s first Black female in this role. Prior to her role at OSF, she served as associate artistic director at the Denver Center Theatre Company, as well as associate dean and cohead of the undergraduate acting program at CalArts School of Theater.

Born and raised in Oakland, Garrett comes from a family of artists and organizers who fostered her deep appreciation for theater and the telling of stories not typically seen on the main stage. Her forte and passion is fostering and developing new work. She has directed and produced the world and regional premieres of many well-known and important playwriting voices of our time, including Katori Hall, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Christina Anderson, and Aziza Barnes. Her directing credits include a production of the Central Park Five at Portland Opera in winter of 2022 and a new play by Dominique Morisseau that is set to open in summer 2022.

Garrett has served on numerous nominating committees, including for the MacArthur Award, the Kilroys’ List, the Steinberg Playwright Award, the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, several NEA panels, and countless juries supporting artists around the world. A frequently sought-out voice for her thought leadership and expertise, Garrett can be read, watched, or listened to regularly across regional and national news media.

Portrait photo by Christopher Briscoe.
  • Artwork by Nataki Garrett
    Photo of An Octoroon by Branden Jacobs Jenkins.
    [ID: Photo of a stage play, the actors in 19th century period costume and a chandelier hangs above them. A boy in a vest and top hat moves his hips in an exaggerated motion, while others, including a woman in a blue hoop dress, a man in red face paint, and a man in blackface, stand behind him on the stage looking shocked.]
Artwork by Nataki Garrett