is an award winning nationally celebrated director. Best known for her development of new work and world premieres, Garrett has traversed the globe directing in Africa, Europe and throughout the United States. Currently, Garrett serves as both Associate
Dean and Co-Head of Undergraduate Acting for CalArts School of Theater.
She is a recipient of the NEA/TCG Career Development Program 2005-2007,
and the co-Artistic Director of BLANK-THE-DOG PRODUCTIONS (BTD) a Los
Angeles/New York based ensemble Theater Company.
She recently directed Neighbors by Brandon Jacobs Jenkins at Mixed Blood Theater in Minneapolis with a newly
commissioned version from the playwright. She previously directed the premiere production of Neighbors at the Matrix Theater in Los Angeles which was nominated for 4 Ovation Awards for Best Play, Best Ensemble, Best Featured Actress (Daniele Watts) and Best Costume Design . The production won Backstage Garland Awards for Best Ensemble and Best Costume Design and LADCC Award for Best Choreography. She was nominated for an NAACP Theater Award for Best Director of
Black Women State of the Union: An Evening of Plays by Black Women at
Company of Angels in Los Angeles. She directed Hoodoo Love by Katori Hall at Mo'oelo Performing Arts Company. Hoodoo Love was nominated for Outstanding Featured Performance in a Play (Stu James) by the San Diego Theater Critics Circle.
She is currently developing and producing the Carolyn Bryant Project for BTD. Co-created by Andrea Leblanc, it focuses on the 1955 murder of 14-year old Emmitt Till in Money Mississippi by exploring the fabrication of the events that led to his death as told by Carolyn Bryant in her expunged court testimony. Garrett recently produced and directed a co-production of Carolyn Bryant Project presented at Highways Performance Space with funding and support from the Trans Atlantic Consortium (TAC) and the Center for New Performance (CNP). She is preparing to remount this project in 2013.
Additional BTD Productions include the LA Premiere of Strom Thurmond is Not a Racist by Thomas Bradshaw at Open Space and Week #29 of 365 Plays/Days by Suzan-Lori Parks premiered at Celebration Theater in Los Angeles. Machinal by Sophie Treadwell was one of BTD's first productions, opened at the Lee Strasberg Theater in 2004 to much critical acclaim. Garrett was touted as "a stunning innovative presence and one to watch".
At Calarts Garrett has directed: June and Jean in Concert for the Calarts Celebration of the works of Adrienne Kennedy; Las Meninas by Lynn Nottage. Garrett directed Fiction a world premiere and the first play by Stew of Broadway's Passing Strange. Within a year of receiving her MFA in Directing from CalArts School of Theater Garrett was the first graduate to guest direct at the school. She directed Couples Counseling by Carey Lovelace for the Center for New Performance at the REDCAT Theater and Joy of the Desolate by Oliver Mayer for the School of Theater. Additional CNP productions include the world premiere of Carl Hancock Rux's Smoke Lilies and Jade a poetically charged beautifully written exploration into the artists of the Harlem Renaissance.
She directed the 25th Anniversary production of The Colored Museum at George C. Wolfe's Alma Mater Pomona College. Ochre and Onyx: The Langston Hughes Project was produced by Watts Village Theatre Company, a world premiere about Langston Hughes life as a young man in Mexico contrasted by the racial violence between Blacks and Latino in South Central Los Angeles by Lynn Manning; At Dartmouth College Garrett directed They Call Me Wanjiku by Mumbi Kiagwa which was remounted at The Martin E. Seagal Theater Center in New York; Coffee Will Make You Black adapted by Michael Shepperd at Celebration Theatre in Los Angeles; For the radio: Biloxi Blues by Neil Simon; Tape by Steven Belber; 16 Wounded by Eliam Kraiem; and The Living Room by Graham Greene for L.A. Theatre Works audio theater collection and for NPR, recorded live at the Skirball Cultural Arts Center. Operas include: Sucktion Libretto by Doug Kearney, composed by Anne Lebaron and WET (now Crescent City) Libretto by Therese Svoboda, composed by Anne Lebaron.
In addition Nataki Garrett was the Associate Producer of ETI! East Africa Speaks at Dartmouth College Summer of Africas 2008 and the co-curator for REDCAT’s Studio Series in the fall and spring of 2007. In 2005, Garrett co-produced The Blacks for the Evidence Room in Los Angeles, directed by Lee Richardson. Nataki Garrett received her MFA in directing from CalArts School of Theater.