Tim Ocel


Tim Ocel

Tim Ocel
Director, King Lear

Tim Ocel, was raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and received his BFA in Theatre Arts from the University of Minnesota-Duluth in 1981. From there he traveled to Baltimore, Maryland to work as a Stage Manager at the Baltimore Opera Company and the Peabody Conservatory of Music. During this phase of his career, he stage-managed over 75 productions for the BOC, the Peabody Conservatory, Idaho Shakespeare Festival, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Central City Opera, Michigan Opera Theatre, Tulsa Opera, Opera/Omaha, and Summer Opera Theatre Company of Washington DC.

A position as Associate Artistic Director of the Sacramento Theatre Company took him to California in 1991, where he eventually served as Interim Artistic Director of the 1995-1996 season before moving to St. Louis to freelance as a director and reside with his future husband, Peter Shank, a prominent local artist and arts activist.

Tim’s theater work, which places an emphasis on classic texts, associates him most significantly with American Players Theatre (A View from the Bridge, Stones in His Pockets, Our Town, The Book of Will, The Merry Wives of Windsor, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, The Taming of the Shrew, As You Like It, An Improbable Fiction, Exit the King); Geva Theatre Center in Rochester, NY (The Whipping Man, Brighton Beach Memoirs, Biloxi Blues, Broadway Bound, Evie’s Waltz, The Illusion, Twelve Angry Men, A Christmas Carol, Ghosts, My Fair Lady, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Dial M for Murder, The Smell of the Kill, Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure); Indiana Repertory Theatre (Every Brilliant Thing, The Whipping Man, Nobody Don’t Like Yogi, Romeo and Juliet, Death of a Salesman, Art, The Lion in Winter, I Do! I Do!); Shakespeare Santa Cruz (All’s Well That End’s Well, Twelfth Night, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, As You Like It, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, The Taming of the Shrew, The Winter’s Tale); Theatre Emory in Atlanta (The Greek Project: Agamemnon/Electra, Bertolt Brecht’s Edward II, The Good Person of Setzuan, A Brecht Cabaret/Mahagonny Songspiel, G. B. Shaw’s Back to Methuselah); Georgia Shakespeare Festival (King Lear, Measure for Measure, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, and Richard II); and Sacramento Theatre Company (Much Ado About Nothing, Measure for Measure, Machiavelli’s The Mandrake, A Christmas Carol, The Grapes of Wrath, Lanford Wilson’s Fifth of July, A Raisin in the Sun, The Good Person of Setzuan, Sophocles’ Electra, A View from the Bridge, The Glass Menagerie, Picnic, Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me, Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap).

Mr. Ocel has also directed productions for Tennessee Williams Festival St. Louis (A Streetcar Named Desire, The Night of the Iguana, Suddenly Last Summer); Metro Theater Company (Jackie and Me); Shakespeare Festival St. Louis (King Henry IV) and the New Jewish Theatre (Old Wicked Songs, New Jerusalem, Speed the Plow).

Mr. Ocel’s directing credentials in the world of opera include Opera Theatre of St. Louis (Carmen, La Boheme, Haydn’s Armida, and the 1998 American premiere of Alexander Goehr’s Arianna); Lyric Opera of Kansas City (Billy Budd, The Elixir of Love, Salome, Verdi’s Macbeth, Un Ballo in Maschera, Madama Butterfly); Boston Lyric Opera (La Boheme, Tosca, Candide); Opera Pacific (The Marriage of Figaro); Tulsa Opera (The Marriage of Figaro); Union Avenue Opera (Doubt, Albert Herring, Dead Man Walking, La Traviata, Rigoletto, Pique Dame, Amahl and the Night Visitors); Des Moines Metro Opera (Don Giovanni); and Michigan Opera Theater (Lucia di Lammermoor).

For Mr. Ocel, the collaborative process – which the theatre demands – is the most important element of every project; each production reflecting the collaboration of text/playwright/composer, actors, designers, director, staff, audience, and performance space.

He stresses the collaborative nature of his work at all professional arts organizations and also while guest directing/teaching at universities around the country: Emory University (listed above: Theatre Emory uses a unique mixture of students and AEA Union actors); The Conservatory of Theatre Arts at Webster University in St. Louis (Fahrenheit 451, Carousel, The Pajama Game, The Children’s Hour, The Threepenny Opera, The Winter’s Tale, The Philadelphia Story, The Caucasian Chalk Circle, The Cherry Orchard, Ten Little Indians, The Importance of Being Earnest); University of Michigan-Ann Arbor (Cloud Nine, Don Giovanni); and 4 years (2004 – 2008) as Associate Professor of Opera at the University of Kansas-Lawrence. His productions at KU include The Magic Flute, La Traviata, The Tales of Hoffmann, Dido and Aeneas/The Old Maid and the Thief, Falstaff, Albert Herring, The Marriage of Figaro, Cosi fan Tutte, Candide, an adaptation of Gounod’s Faust entitled The Visions of Marguerite: A Faust Project, Roberts Ward’s The Crucible, and the world premiere of Picnic an opera based on the play by William Inge.

In 2003, Tim was a finalist for TCG’s Alan Schneider Director Award, and also in 2003 received an Individual Award/Grant from the Tanne Foundation. For a full list of Awards/Grants/Recognitions, Guest Faculty/Adjunct Lecturer, and other information – visit his website at: www.timocel.com

Member of Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers, an Independent Labor Union