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SARA HOLDREN

Artistic Director. Director: The Winter’s Tale. Master Class Teacher: Ensemble Workshop & Shakespeare’s Text. Originally from Charlottesville, Virginia, Sara is a director, teacher, and the Artistic Director/co-founder of the Brooklyn-based theater company Tiltyard. She is also the theater critic for New York Magazine and Vulture.com and and the recipient of the 2016-17 George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism. Recent projects include Macbeth and The Comedy of Errors with Two River Theater's A Little Shakespeare program, MIDSUMMER (which she co-adapted from the play by William Shakespeare) with Tiltyard, and The Master and Margarita, adapted by Edward Kemp from the novel by Mikhail Bulgakov. In 2015 Sara served as the Artistic Director of the Yale Summer Cabaret, where she directed the original production of MIDSUMMER and Sarah Ruhl's adaptation of Virginia Woolf's Orlando. She is a Drama League Fellow and a graduate of the Acting Shakespeare program at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and has taught at Primary Stages and the graduate acting program at the New School in New York City. In her work, she combines a lifelong love of Shakespeare and classical texts with an interest in contemporary ensemble training and devised theater, striving for a rigorous and dynamic use of language, fused with passionate, physical storytelling, vibrant visual worlds, and a spirit of joy, collaboration, and play. Sara holds a BA in Theater from Yale University and an MFA in Directing from Yale School of Drama.

 
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BENJAMIN CURNS

Resident Director: Coriolanus. Master Class Teacher: Stage Combat & Shakespeare’s Text. Benjamin is excited to be making his debut with the Shakespeare Academy @ Stratford and to be collaborating once again with Artistic Director Sara Holdren. As a company member with the American Shakespeare Center, Benjamin has directed nationally touring productions of Macbeth, Romeo & Juliet, Julius Caesar, Much Ado About Nothing, and the original plays Shakespeare On Ice and ‘Diggers as part of the biennial Blackfriars Conference. He also helmed youth productions of 2 Henry IV, All’s Well That Ends Well, The Winter’s Tale, The Tempest, Cymbeline, and Othello. He has appeared as an actor with St. Lois Rep, PlayMakers Rep, American Globe Theatre, Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre, Virginia Stage, Elm Shakespeare, Cortland Rep, and spent over ten seasons at the American Shakespeare Center where he played the title roles in Richard III, Macbeth, and Hamlet Q1. His extensive fight direction credits include productions at ASC, PlayMakers Rep, and the Shakespeare Forum, and as a teacher he has led courses at Southern Connecticut State University, UNC Chapel Hill, the Shakespeare Forum, and Mary Baldwin University, where was named the 2019 McDermott Teaching Artist in Residence for the Shakespeare & Performance MFA program. Benjamin received his MFA in Acting from The University of North Carolina Chapel Hill’s Professional Actor Training Program where he was also awarded the David Hammond Award for Excellence in Dramatic Art. He is a recognized Advanced Actor/Combatant with the Society of American Fight Directors, a proud member of Actors Equity, and holds a black belt in American Freestyle Karate.

 
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Kelly Letourneau

Education & Community Outreach Director / Program Coordinator. Kelly is a NYC-based actor, singer, dancer, director, and teaching artist. As an actor, Kelly has appeared throughout the country and NYC, as Hermia/ Starveling in MIDSUMMER (Tiltyard, directed by SA@S Artistic Director Sara Holdren), Hank understudy and dance captain in THE APPLE BOYS (HERE Arts Center), Ruby in Dames at Sea (Roxy Regional Theatre), Laura in Laura Ingalls Wilder (ArtsPower National Touring Theatre), and many more. As a teaching artist, Kelly has trained with and works for Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival. In the fall of 2018, Kelly began The Mighty Quinn Foundation’s Shakespeare in Schools programming by directing a touring production of A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM. Kelly was a member of SA@S’s inaugural ensemble (Outrageous Fortune) and first-ever Alumni Company. Kelly studied Shakespeare in Performance at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London and graduated from NYU Tisch School of the Arts, where she was a member of The New Studio on Broadway.

 
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ASHLEY SWEET

Stage Manager. Previous credits include Yale Opera: The Old Maid and the Thief and Le Rossignol (Assistant Stage Manager); Collective Consciousness Theater: Jesus Hopped the 'A' Train, Rasheeda Speaking, and The Royale (Stage Manager); Elm Shakespeare Company: Love's Labour's Lost (Assistant Stage Manager) and Romeo & Juliet (Company Manger); Ashley is a graduate from Southern Connecticut State University with her BA in Technical Theatre and is a three-time Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Region 1 Stage Management Award nominee. She is so thrilled to be joining the team at SA@S and is looking forward to an exciting summer of theater!

 
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STEPHANIE OSIN COHEN

Scenic Designer. Stephanie Osin Cohen is a scenic designer from Miami, FL, currently completing her last year as an MFA candidate at Yale School of Drama, where her credits include Good Faith (Yale Repertory Theater); PentecostMuch Ado About Nothing (Yale School of Drama); Lear (Yale Summer Cabaret); Avital, FadeNi Mi MadreThe Guadalupes, The Slow Sound of Snow, (Yale Cabaret). Other credits include: This American Wife (Next Door at New York Theater Workshop), Home Exercise (premiered at MoMA and Lincoln center as part of the NYFF), Candace (American Pavilion selection at Cannes Film Festival). Prior to Yale Stephanie worked in theater and television in New York City, where her credits include scenic artist for Hamilton (The Public Theater) and King Lear (Shakespeare in the Park); art clearance coordinator for HBO’s Girls, and ABC’s The Family. She received her B.A. from Brandeis University and is a Fulbright Scholar. Stephanie was recently named the recipient of the 2019 Burry Fredrik Design Fellowship.

 

Masterclass Teachers

 
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STEVEN ENG / Voice

Steven teaches voice, speech, and text at NYU and throughout NYC. He is an Associate Teacher of Fitzmaurice Voicework® and has served as a panelist at the Voice and Speech Trainers Association national conference. As an actor, he has played leading roles in classic plays and musicals, from Shakespeare to Rodgers and Hammerstein. Most recently, he was seen in the Off-Broadway revival of Pacific Overtures (2018 Lucille Lortel nom.) and at American Conservatory Theater (SF). Additional credits include London’s West End, New York Philharmonic at Lincoln Center, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Red Bull Theatre, 5th Avenue Theatre, Pasadena Playhouse, Ordway Center, La Jolla Playhouse, Huntington Theatre Company, Paper Mill Playhouse, Alliance Theatre, Cincinnati Playhouse, North Shore Music Theatre, TUTS, ShakespeareNYC, Prospect Theater Company, PanAsian Rep, Dallas Theater Center, and more, as well as in Germany, Austria, and Cambodia. Steven’s directing credits include productions in both New York and Ohio, and he is co-founder of National Asian Artists Project in NYC, a nonprofit serving theater artists of Asian descent through performance, outreach and educational programming. Steven has also served as a grants panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts. www.StevenEng.us

 
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JOHN DIAS & MICHAEL CUMPSTY / TOWARDS THE PROFESSION

John Dias (left) assumed his position as Artistic Director of Two River Theater in 2010 after working as a producer and dramaturg in New York for 20 years. In partnership with Managing Director Michael Hurst he has brought new acclaim and vitality to the 25-year-old theater, which will open a three-story Center for New Work, Education and Design in August 2019. Dias launched Two River’s first literary department and commissioning program; during his tenure Two River has produced 14 world premieres (including Hurricane Diane by Playwright-in-Residence Madeleine George, which enjoyed an extended run Off-Broadway, and Be More Chill by Joe Iconis and Joe Tracz, the theater’s first Broadway production) and developed numerous other plays and musicals. He has spearheaded new initiatives for the theater including the Crossing Borders (Cruzando Fronteras) summer festival of plays and music by Latinx artists; an annual musical theater cabaret in partnership with New York University’s Graduate Musical Theatre Writing program; and the popular education program A Little Shakespeare, which introduces the works of Shakespeare to hundreds of young people each year. Under his leadership, Two River serves thousands of students and community members each season through arts and humanities programs at the theater, in schools, and throughout Monmouth County. He is the co-author and was the director of Two River’s musical The Ballad of Little Jo, which he wrote with composer Mike Reid and lyricist Sarah Schlesinger. Throughout his career, John has been a leading advocate for bold new American plays and stimulating productions of the classics, including the Broadway productions of Lisa Kron’s Well and Shakespeare’s The Tempest. For 12 seasons, he worked in a variety of capacities at The Public Theater/New York Shakespeare Festival, and he co-founded Affinity Company Theater and The Playwrights Realm. He has been a Tony Award nominator, a consultant for the National Endowment for the Arts and numerous other organizations, and he has taught at New York University and Yale University. John currently teaches in the graduate school at Columbia University. He received his BA from George Washington University and his MFA from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Michael Cumpsty (right) has appeared in The Lion in Winter, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Absurd Person Singular, Present Laughter, and Much Ado about Nothing at Two River Theater, where he also directed Third. On Broadway Michael has appeared in Machinal, The Winslow Boy, End of the Rainbow (Tony nomination) Sunday in the Park with George, The Constant Wife, Democracy, Enchanted April, 42nd Street, Copenhagen, Electra, 1776, Racing Demon, The Heiress, Translations, Timon of Athens (Bayfield Award), La Bête and Artist Descending a Staircase. His Off-Broadway credits include Hamlet (Obie Award), Richard II and Richard III (all for Classic Stage Company); Twelfth Night, Timon of Athens, All’s Well That Ends Well, Hamlet, Cymbeline and The Winter’s Tale (all for the New York Shakespeare Festival); and Body of an American (with Primary Stages and Hartford Stage). He has appeared in many of America’s premiere regional theaters. He played Leontes in The Winter’s Tale for the Royal Shakespeare Company at their home in Stratford-upon-Avon. Michael has played recurring roles on Boardwalk Empire, Nurse Jackie and Star Trek: Voyager, and was a series regular on L.A. Law. His other TV credits include Red Oaks, The OA, Madam Secretary, The Good Wife, Law & Order, and Elementary. His film credits include Eat Pray Love, Wall Street 2, Starting Out in the Evening, The Ex, Flags of our Fathers, The Visitor, The Ice Storm, Fatal Instinct, State of Grace, Downtown Express and Collateral Beauty.

 
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JOAN FROST / alexander technique

Joan Frost has been involved in the field of movement for over 40 years, having received her B.A. in Theater Arts: Dance from the University of California at Santa Cruz in 1975 and subsequently her certification to teach the Alexander Technique from the American Center for the Alexander Technique (ACAT) in New York City in 1983. Joan was on the faculty of ACAT training teachers from 1984-2018 and was Director of Teacher Certification there from 2001-2008. Over the past 30 years, in addition to maintaining a private practice in New York and Connecticut, Joan has taught the Alexander Technique in the Drama and Dance Divisions of the Juilliard School Drama Division, at The New School, and at Sarah Lawrence College. This will be Joan's 5th season working with SA@S.

 
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RACHEL JETT / DROZNIN

Rachel is the Artistic Director of the National Theater Institute at the Eugene O'Neil Theater Center in Waterford, CT. She has been a faculty member at NTI since 1998 and is an alum of the NTI, NTI Advanced Directing, and Moscow Art Theatre Semesters. A 2006 Baryshnikov Fellow, she holds an MFA from NYU Tisch School of the Arts Musical Theater Writing Program and is the first American aspirant to Andrei Droznin, master teacher of movement at the Vakhtangov Theatre in Moscow, Russia. She is one of the few practitioners teaching his method of Russian movement in the U.S. She has been named as "One of 50 to Watch" by Dramatist Magazine, is a lyricist/librettist, and a former company member of the award-winning Stanislavsky Theater Studio and SYNETIC Theater in Washington, D.C.  In 2014, she appeared in a short film written by Donna Di Novelli.

 
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ANNELISE LAWSON / CLOWN

Annelise is a New York-based actress and graduate of the Yale School of Drama. Recent credits include Gilly in The Last Act (Israeli Stage world premier), Edmund in MONUMENT (Source Material Collective), Helena in MIDSUMMER (Tiltyard/The Araca Project), Masha in Dmitry Krymov’s √3 Sisters (International Festival of Arts & Ideas), Chloe in Arcadia (Yale Repertory Theatre). Other credits include The Oresteia, Our Lady of 121st Street, ...And Sometimes Why?, The Skin of Our Teeth, The Troublesome Reign of King John, The Tempest, In Arabia We’d All Be Kings, Preston Montfort—An American Tragedy (Yale School of Drama); Middletown, A Map of Virtue, Summer Shorts: A Festival of New Voices (Yale Summer Cabaret); The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant, The Secretaries, The Hotel Nepenthe (Yale Cabaret); and The Madness of Edgar Allan Poe (First Folio). When she’s not acting/creating, Annelise is teaching. Her areas of expertise include Clown, Commedia dell’arte, and the Russian Étude method. She traces her scholastic lineage through Christopher Bayes, Ron Van Lieu, and the incomparable teaching artists at the Yale School of Drama and the Moscow Art Theatre. Her work focuses on developing technique and style through students’ personal sense of play.

 
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DIANO OH / FINDING YOUR DOPE NORTH STAR

Diana Oh (she/her or they/them) is a multi-hyphenate generative artist — an actor, a singer, a songwriter, a creator, a media justice advocate in film, tv, and theatre. She is the creator of {my lingerie play} and creator and co-songwriter of 24 Hour Punk (NYMF/Joe’s Pub, 2018). A Refinery29 Top LGBTQ Influencer, the First Queer Korean-American interviewed on Korean Broadcast Radio, a TOW Fellow at Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre, a Van Lier Fellow in Acting with the Asian American Arts Alliance, a Venturous Capital Grant Recipient, Sundance Institute Fellow, Elphaba Thropp Fellow. She is the Resident Artist at A.R.T. creative directing CLAIRVOYANCE: her monthly installations centering QTPOC power and magic that culminates into her own solo concert she casts spells with (April 2019). Recent work includes The Infinite Love Party at Bushwick Starr in January 2019. Say hi at www.dianaoh.co (yes it rhymes).

 
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FAY SIMPSON / LUCID BODY

Fay Simpson is Artistic Director of the not-for-profit Impact Theatre, which she co-founded in 1990 as a collective of physical theatre artists devising work with a social bite. She is currently an Associate Arts Professor in the NYU Tisch Graduate Acting Program and has taught at The Yale School of Drama, The New School, Michael Howard Studios, The Studio/NY, Marymount Manhattan College, and the Actor’s Center. She has coached theater companies in Berlin, Toulouse, and London, and taught master classes in Beijing, Paris, Majorca, Sicily, and soon Copenhagen and Bali. Informed by her 20-year career in dance and theatre, Fay created The Lucid Body, a process of introspection, exertion, and mental challenge which empowers actors to express their fullest potential. She is currently writing the 2nd edition of her book The Lucid Body; A Guide for the Physical Actor (Allworth, 2008) hailed by Drama Book Shop as “one of the ten most essential books for the actor.” Fay also founded The Veterans Project, working with a company of Veterans and actors to devise works that speak to the needs of the returning soldier. Her many fellowships and awards include: Likhachev Foundation Fellowship, for study at St. Petersburg Academy; Fox Foundation Fellowship, for support of an Assistantship at London’s New Globe Theatre under Mark Rylance; Tennessee Williams Fellowship; Artist in Residence, Stella Adler Studio of Acting. Fay is a member of The Actor’s Center.

 
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AVERY WIGGLESWORTH / VIEWPOINTS & SUZUKI

Avery Wigglesworth is a NYC-based director, actor, and teaching artist, originally hailing from the hills of Lexington, Kentucky. She is the Co-Founder and Artistic Director of The Cutout Theatre in Brooklyn, NY, a company that strives to produce exciting and accessible, emotionally impactful work. As a director, favorite productions include Romeo and Juliet, Peloponnesus by Tim J. Lord, Ariadne on the Island by Isaac Allen Miller, Desdemona: a play about a handkerchief, and a performance of The Vagina Monologues, which raised funds for Safe Harbor, a Family Crisis Center. Ms. Wigglesworth has taught workshops on the Viewpoints and Suzuki Techniques, Laban, and Unarmed Stage Combat, and has assisted on many productions as both a movement director and choreographer. Also an accomplished actress, favorite roles include originating the character of Bronwyn in the new musical, Bleeding Love, Agnes in Agnes of God, as well as being a collaborating member of the devised work for girls who are difficult to love. She received her Bachelor’s Degree from Knox College, where she studied Theatre and Creative Writing.

 
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NORA WOOLLEY / EMBODIED PERFORMANCE

Nora is a NYC and LA based teacher, actor and writer. She teaches Physical Acting at NYU's Experimental Theater Wing and has served on the faculties of New School University's Eugene Lang College and Naropa University's Contemporary Performance program. She has led workshops in Physical Acting at UC Riverside and Georgetown University. As an actress, Nora has collaborated with directors Paul Bargetto, PD Michnewicz, Karin Coonrod, Kate Whoriskey, and Jill A. Samuels, among others. She toured extensively with the Drama Desk Award-winning Charlie Victor Romeo and co-starred in the critically-acclaimed film version of the same play (Sundance Film Festival headliner, Netflix release). Other film includes: The Transfiguration (Cannes Film Festival) and Chase Me. Her multi-character solo play, Hip, was nominated for two New York Innovative Theater Awards.  She is co-recipient with Kim Katzberg and Raquel Cion of the 2016 NYIT Award for Outstanding Short Play for Strays, also included in The Best American Short Plays anthology. Nora holds a MFA in Playwriting from UC Riverside and a BFA in Acting from NYU/ETW.


The Mighty Quinn Foundation

The Shakespeare Academy @ Stratford is a project of The Mighty Quinn Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charity dedicated to creating educational and theatrical experiences for the next generation of theater artists. To honor Quinn Rooney's passion for learning and love of theater, the Foundation provides creative opportunities for high school and college students. The example of Quinn Rooney's utmost joy, indefatigable generosity, and love for the fellowship of sharing theater with friends is at the heart of the Shakespeare Academy at Stratford's founding values. During the ensemble's time in Stratford, the Foundation provides local housing, social events, community outreach, and other support. It also awards the Quinn Rooney Shakespeare Scholarship, a need-based tuition award that helps students attend SA@S. The Foundation also supports additional artistic programming in Stratford.