Shakespeare Works is The Shakespeare Society’s multifaceted initiative in support of actors, directors and theatrical institutions. Through residencies, workshops, open rehearsals, lectures, post-show discussions, affordable classes and discounted memberships, The Shakespeare Society partners with a range of artists, theaters and cultural institutions to develop and support the production, exploration and appreciation of Shakespeare's works.
The cornerstone of Shakespeare Works is a series of weeklong artist development Residencies. The Society provides participating actors and directors with modest stipends, study materials, rehearsal space and access to artistic, academic, and voice and text advisors who work in order to examine a single Shakespeare play over the course of 1 week (25 to 30 hours). The week concludes with a panel discussion reviewing the week’s work in front of a live audience. The program is designed to give participants the time and space to learn, experiment and explore the plays with a freedom that producing theater companies can rarely provide. The only residency requirement is that every word of the chosen play be read aloud.
The Shakespeare Society's Ambassadors Program is an opportunity for early career theater and teaching artists to continue developing their skills, help The Society further its mission, and connect to a growing network of fellow artists and educators who share their passion for the Bard's works. Actors, teaching artists, directors, dramaturges and designers who have finished their undergraduate degrees should apply. Past and present Ambassadors have studied at Fordham, NYU, Yale, and Juilliard, and have worked at Lincoln Center, the Folger Library, American Shakespeare Center, and Shakespeare's Globe. They participate in the program for at least 1 year, with the option to stay an additional year as a mentor to incoming participants.
Ambassadors enjoy free admission to Society events, discounted tickets for friends, and opportunities for artistic development throughout The Society's season. In Fall 2014, the Ambassadors took part in a weekend workshop featuring master classes with director Ian Hersey and movement teacher Justin Cimino, as well as a professional development lunch with Drama League Award-winning actress Laila Robins. On May 11, 2015, the Ambassadors presented their first public event at the Pearl Theater - an evening of scenes from Henry VI, Part 3, Richard III, Julius Caesar, Twelfth Night, and Measure for Measure for an audience of invited guests, friends, and Shakespeare Society members. Future events will feature more scenes and themes chosen by the Ambassadors.
Since the program's founding, the Ambassadors have also helped develop new programming for The Society. These have included socials for young people following Major Evening Events; a Shakespeare-themed Halloween party (Fall 2014); a Shakespeare Society Tumblr; podcasts featuring interviews with special guests; and a bi-monthly play discussion group called Bard Club. The Ambassadors will continue these initiatives in 2015-16 while developing new ideas to engage current Society members and cultivate younger membership.
Applications are no longer being accepted for 2015-16 Ambassadors. The next application will be available in June 2016.
Meet the 2015-16 Shakespeare Society Ambassadors:
David Hywel Baynes
David Hywel Baynes trained at Webber Douglas Academy and LAMDA in London. Credits include Dolphin in “Henry V” for Passion in Practice at Shakespeare’s Globe, Richard in “Richard III” (OFFIE nom – Best Actor), Queen of Hearts & March Hare in “Alice in Wonderland”, Brutus in “Julius Caesar”, Puck in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, Chief Weasel in “Wind in the Willows” (all Iris Theatre). Macduff in “Macbeth” for Shelter, Benedick in “Much Ado About Nothing” Island Shakespeare, Puck in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” for Shakespeare Forum, Rosencrantz & The Gravedigger in “Hamlet” for Sons of Liberty, Shawn Keogh in “Playboy of the Western World” for Love and Madness, Skinny in “MOJO” for Blackfish. Directing “Measure for Measure” for Island Shakespeare and Hamlet” for The Son’s of Liberty.
Kimberly Chatterjee is thrilled to be joining the Shakespeare Ambassadors! She is an actress, singer, dancer, and Californian-turned-New Yorker. She recently graduated from NYU with a BFA in Drama from Tisch's New Studio on Broadway, a BA in English and American Literature, and a certificate in Shakespeare Performance from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. Recent credits include: Miranda in The Tempest (Classical Theatre of Harlem), Vasanthi in delivery (Ma-Yi), Viola in Twelfth Night (TUTS), Molly Ivors in James Joyce's The Dead (NSB), and Juliet in Romeo & Juliet (RADA). She is grateful to her fellow Ambassadors and the Shakespeare Society for this opportunity, and her New York family for their unwavering support! www.KimberlyChatterjee.com
Veronica Dang is an actress/comedian/director and the creator of award-nominated web series Subway: The Series (www.SubwayTheSeries.com). After graduating from NYU she studied with theater legends Wynn Handman and John Barton. A long-time Shakespeare fan she has performed in New York productions of Richard III (Hastings), Much Ado About Nothing (Margaret), and All's Well That Ends Well (Diana). She also performed in Midsummer Night's Dream (Helena) during the World Shakespeare Festival in Stratford-Upon-Avon. TV/Film credits include: Law & Order: SVU, The Following, Hostages, Saturday Night Live, Sweet Lorraine. Veronica directed breast cancer drama Scars, which received nominations for "Best Play" and "Best Actress" in Between Us Productions' Take Ten Festival and comedy Birds Should Fly Free in the 2014 New York International Fringe Festival. She recently performed in Little Shop of Horrors and can currently be seen in comedy clubs. For more info, please go to www.iVeronicaDang.com.
Tanya Everett is an actor-writer, living in Brooklyn. She is proud to have completed her two-year Meisner Program with Maggie Flanigan Studios: Favorite projects include: Tempest and Macbeth, Classical Theatre of Harlem, "Rosa" in the "Rosa Parks Story." She participated in the Labyrinth Ensemble Intensive, and is a New York Madness Company Member. The Breast Cancer short she produced and stars in, "Without Scars," has received several New York screenings. She is also passionate about working with the youth, networking, healing and empowerment. Follow Tanya on Instagram and Facebook. www.tanyaeverett.info
Andrew Fallaize is a New York-based British actor. In the UK he has worked widely in theatre and radio for companies such as the Royal Shakespeare Company, Royal National Theatre, Sheffield Crucible, Colchester Mercury, English Touring Theatre, Arcola Theatre, Finborough Theatre. In 2013 he appeared off-Broadway at 59E59 Theatres in the box-office record-breaking sell-out NYC run of CORNELIUS by J B Priestley. He also toured throughout the US in British production of Hamlet. Since his arrival in New York in 2014 he has appeared in a number of staged readings including the Mint Theatre, MTC, The Actors Studio, The Bruno Walter Theater, Lincoln Centre and a sell-out performance of Harold Pinter’s stage play of Remembrance of Things Past at NYC’s 92nd St Y. He was born in Kent, UK and was educated at University of Cambridge. www.andrewfallaize.com
Matt Gordon is a New York-based TV, film and theater actor and is thrilled to be part of the Shakespeare Society Ambassadors Program. After studying Renaissance Literature and Theater up at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, Matt obtained his post-graduate education with the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London before moving back to New York to pursue his acting dream. He's had roles off and off-off Broadway, as well as with regional and touring companies. And he's a Shakespeare-a-holic. Without a 12 step plan. Bar none: He will not be satisfied until he performs the entire canon - a lofty but obtainable goal, surely. Hey, a boy can dream, right? You can find Matt on the web at www.mattbgordon.com and on twitter @mbg98.
Hailing from Pittsburgh, PA, Abbi Hawk is a New York-based actress, writer, and choreographer. New York: The Wonder (The Queen’s Co.), Othello (Wandering Bark Theater), Until We Find Each Other (MITF), Richard III (Extant Arts), The Oedipus Project (New Light Theater Project). Regional: Rabbit Hole (Hampton Theater Co.), The Servant of Two Masters, The Maid’s Tragedy, As You Like It, Epicene, Timon of Athens, Henry VIII, The Country Wife, Julius Caesar, The Two Noble Kinsmen, The Custom of the Country, The Merchant of Venice, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, The Lion in Winter, King John, and Cymbeline (American Shakespeare Center). She holds a degree in Language and Cultural Anthropology from New York University and is a graduate of the Stella Adler Studio of Acting’s Conservatory. www.abbihawk.com
Mario Haynes is from da Peach State (aka Georgia.) Regional: All The Way (u/s Stokely Carmichael), The Light Princess, (American Repertory Theatre), Romeo and Juliet (Shell Theatre); Final Cut, Betrayal (ART/MXAT Institute ). International: Happy Journey to Trenton and Camden, Pullman Car Hiawatha, The Seagull ( Moscow Art Theatre). He likes to read biographies, watch pretentious films, and "The Simpsons." "D'oh!" He is also very deeply inspired by John Cassavetes. Education: B.A. Theatre, African American Studies, University of Georgia (Go BULLDAWGS!); MFA Acting ART/MXAT Institute for Advanced Theatre Training at Harvard University. www.mariohaynes.com
Kate Moore Heaney
Kate Moore Heaney is a director/playwright/producer committed to promoting empathy and investigating social/human rights issues through theatre. She has developed a repertoire of skills at McCarter Theatre, Second Stage, Clubbed Thumb, CRY HAVOC Company, Yale Institute for Music Theatre, and Théâtre du Châtelet, assisting directors such as Emily Mann, Mark Brokaw, Portia Krieger, Adam Immerwahr, and Michael Unger. Recent directing credits: By Any Other Name; The Best Worst Birthday Party in the History of the World (The 24 Hour Plays); Love and Order (TinyRhino); Cat Hair and Cupcakes (Rising Sun). Kate associate produces Noor Theatre’s Highlight Reading Series. BA: Yale.
Angela Janas is a New York-based actor and teaching artist. Angela spent two consecutive seasons touring nationally with The Acting Company, playing Ophelia in Hamlet and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead and Lady Macbeth in Macbeth. Other credits include: A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court (The Acting Company), Romeo and Juliet, The Three Musketeers, King Lear (Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival), In Game or Real (Guthrie Studio), Arcadia (Nevada Conservatory Theatre). Angela is a native Minnesotan and a proud graduate of the University of Minnesota/BFA Actor Training Program. www.angelajanas.com
Gabriel Lawrence is a TV & stage actor, filmmaker and educator from Houston. He's proud to have played roles like Macbeth and produced film works for celebrities like Denzel Washington and Nelson Mandela. He believes artists are prophets because of their ability to communicate powerful truths, create change and shape culture. As an educator he tries to empower his students and assistants to think outside the box, teach back, and lead. He has a MFA in acting from UC San Diego and a BA in Mass Communication from West Texas A&M. Visit GabrielLawrence.net for more info.
David Andrew Laws
David Andrew Laws is a Carnegie Mellon graduate and Artistic Director of Hamlet Isn't Dead, a New York-based troupe dedicated to performing the entire canon of Shakespeare in chronological order. He has received training in Louisville, Pittsburgh, New York, and Smolyan, Bulgaria, where he played Romeo in Romeo & Juliet. His background includes training in Commedia dell'arte, Suzuki, and many forms of Western theatre. He is an avid writer, his most recent work being a Sci-Fi B-Movie parody for the stage, Attack! of the Killer Man from the Sun!. For more information, visit davidandrewlaws.com or hamletisntdead.com.
Lauren Nordvig is a proud graduate of The University of Florida with a BFA in Theatre Performance. She's worked with wonderful Off-Broadway companies like The Pearl (The Rivals, The Misanthrope, Pick Your Poison), NY Classical (School for Husbands), Epic Theater Ensemble (Sarah Ruhl's Passion Play) and most recently appeared in Strangemen & Co's hit The Woodsman at 59E59. She's a Company Member at The Hippodrome State Theatre (Venus in Fur, Sirens) and has tread the boards as Viola, Witch, Porter, Fleance, Moth, Ariel, Emilia, Kate, and Nutmeg the Fairy in our favorite classics penned by The Bard. www.laurennordvig.com
Will O'Hare is a director, photographer, actor and educator in NYC. Recent credits include Julie Taymor's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream and serving as the Associate Director on Woody Harrelson’s Off-Broadway production Bullet For Adolf. Will currently teaches Shakespeare in the Conservatory program at Michael Howard Studios and is a teaching artist for The Shakespeare Society, working with k-12 students all over the city. Other credits include Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in London, The History Boys and Mary Poppins on Broadway, The Classical Theatre Project in Toronto (two Dora Mavor Moore Award Nominations for Outstanding Production). Will is a member of the Lincoln Center Director's Lab, and is also a freelance photographer. For more information, please check out www.willohare.com.
Briana Pozner is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College. She has performed at 59E59, Ensemble Studio Theater, Rattlestick, The Flea Theater, Abingdon, Arkansas Rep, and Premiere Stages among others. TV: Blacklist, The Knick. Film: Meet my Boyfriend (Manhattan and NY film festival's) Aloe Blacc interactive music video (TriBeCa film festival) and "Restless." Thank you to the Shakespeare Society for being such an awesome organization to be a part of. www.brianapozner.com
Rachel Purcell spent three years with the Stanford Shakespeare Company, where she served as Artistic Director and performed in Julius Caesar (Portia), As You Like It (Adam/Amiens), The Taming of the Shrew (Biondello), Othello (Desdemona), and Love’s Labour’s Lost (Boyet/Holofernia), among others. In NYC, she has performed in the 2011 New York International Fringe Festival in the ensemble of Pawn: A New Musical. She has also performed with Classics on the Rocks, most recently in The Merchant of Venice (Launcelot Gobbo). She works in digital marketing for arts organizations at Capacity Interactive. B.A. Stanford University, History and Drama.
Matt Renskers is thrilled to be joining The Shakespeare Society's Ambassadors program. Regionally, he spent two years in the resident company performing on stage at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival alongside Ray Chambers (Old Globe San Diego), and under directors Karen Azenberg (Pioneer Theatre Company), Wendy McClellan, Geoffrey Sherman, and Gavin Cameron-Webb. Matt is also an Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship National Recipient and Winner, and has performed on stage at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., and abroad at the Cockpit Theater in London. Training: MFA, Classical Acting –Alabama Shakespeare Festival/University of Alabama; BA, Acting - Ball State University. www.mattrenskers.com
Jamie Rezanour is a classically trained actress and has worked in New York and regional theater, as well as commercials and voiceovers. Some of her favorite Shakespeare credits include playing Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Classical Theater of Harlem) and Mistress Overdone in Measure for Measure (Epic Theatre Ensemble). She has also worked with Cincinnati Playhouse, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Guthrie Theater, and The Public Theatre (Maine). When she is not on stage, she enjoys salsa dancing, going to comedy clubs, and seeing all the Shakespeare shows she can. Education: MFA in Acting, Southern Methodist University (Dallas, TX). www.jamierezanour.com
Lauren Sowa attended New York University's Tisch School of the Arts where she received her BFA in Drama. NY Credits: New York Shakespeare Exchange, The Shakespeare Forum, Metropolitan Playhouse. Select Regional: Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre, Lantern Theater Company, NC Shakes, Walnut Street Theatre. She was chosen to participate in the Old Vic New Voices TS Eliot US/UK Exchange, where she had the chance to perform on the Old Vic stage in London and work with Kevin Spacey. Proud member of AEA. www.laurensowa.com
Greg Taubman is a New York-based director and dramaturg with a lifelong passion for enduring stories He is the Associate Artistic Director for Outside the Wire, a social impact company that uses theater and a variety of other media to address pressing public health issues. As a freelance theater artist Greg has worked with many local and national arts organizations including The Public Theater, Classic Stage Company, The Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and Extant Arts Company, where he served as Artistic Director from 2006-2013. He holds a BA in Classical Studies from Princeton and a Directing MFA from Columbia University.
Amanda is pumped to join the Shakespeare Ambassadors! Roundabout Theatre: The Milktrain Doesn't Stop Here Anymore (with Olympia Dukakis, dir. Michael Wilson), Shakespeare Theatre: King Lear (with Stacy Keach, dir. Robert Falls), Twelfth Night (dir. Rebecca Taichman), Ion (dir. Ethan McSweeney) Hartford Stage: Milktrain..Anymore. NY Credits include all female productions of Julius Caeser, As You Like It, Twelfth Night. With a taste for adventure (running with the bulls in Spain, hanging off the CN Tower, a goal to run a race in all 50 states, stunt classes, and a French Bulldog named Moose), Teddy Roosevelt, a fine bourbon, and of course, the Bard. www.amandatudor.com
Brittany N. Williams
Brittany N. Williams is a second year Shakespeare Society Ambassador, Baltimorean by birth, New Yorker by choice, & lover of ampersands & Oxford commas. She has performed on three continents & is an alumna of the prestigious Howard University & Royal Central School of Speech & Drama. Off-Broadway:The Fabulous Miss Marie (Wanda), Bob Marley's Three Little Birds(Nansi - Helen Hayes Award Nomination), We the People: America Rocks! (Dawn u/s). Regional: All Shook Up (Lorraine),Walmartopia (Maia), Miss Nelson is Missing (Cheryl). International:The Festival of the Lion King (Nala), The Hard Comedy: Offline(writer/performer), Antony and Cleopatra (Soothsayer/Clown), Lear(Cordelia/Fight Captain). Nat'l Tour: Curious George Live!(Ensemble/Swing). www.brittanynwilliams.com
Nathan Winkelstein is a New York based actor. His acting credits include Off-Broadway, Major Regional and International Theatres including Shakespeare Theatre Company, Folger Shakespeare Theater, Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey and The Tobacco Factory in England. He received his Masters in Acting from Bristol Old Vic Theatre School (UK) and his undergrad at The University of Buffalo (SUNY). He has taught Shakespeare Studies at HSA, PGT, BOVTS, and STNJ. He has also directed or assistant directed projects at BOVTS, PGT, and Lincoln Center Education. Proud AEA Member.
Kyle Yoder is an actor, writer, and teaching artist based out of New York City. Originally from Indianapolis, Kyle recently graduated from Yale, where he wrote his bachelor’s thesis in Cognitive Science on the psychology of acting and served as the Vice President of the Yale Dramatic Association. Recent credits include Beau (Icarus), John Proctor (The Crucible), Lysander (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), Claudio/Elbow (Measure for Measure) and Doalty (Translations).