Leadership & Staff
Christopher V. Edwards, Artistic Director
Chris is an actor, director, fight choreographer and educator who most recently was the Artistic Director of Nevada Conservatory Theatre (NCT) in Las Vegas, NV, where he produced over 25 plays and directed 5 productions over 3 seasons; As You Like It, Venus in Fur, Water by the Spoonful, The Bomb-itty of Errors and Twilight Los Angeles; 1992. Prior to being the Artistic Director he guest directed Arcadia and Seven Guitars. While at NCT, Chris created the Homegrown + Organic Playwrights Festival; a community based new works initiative for local playwrights which helped to develop plays that moved on to other theaters and festivals around the country. For his work on The Bomb-itty of Errors, Chris received the Desert Companion Best of the City (Las Vegas) Theater Director for 2016. Prior to moving to Las Vegas, Chris was the Associate Artistic Director, Director of Education and Apprentice Training Program and a 14 year company member with The Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival in Cold Spring, New York, where he directed and acted in over 30 productions. As a director; Othello, Romeo and Juliet, The Three Musketeers, Around the World in 80 Days, Hamlet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, A Winter’s Tale to name a few. As an actor some of Chris’s favorite roles include: Richard in Richard III, Caliban in The Tempest, Posthumus in Cymbeline, Macduff in Macbeth, Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet, Leontes in A Winters Tale, Morris in The Blood Knot, Derek in A Mouthful of Birds, Simon in Snatch and Edgar in King Lear amongst others. While freelancing in New York City , Chris co-founded Point of Entry Theater; an education based company dedicated to introducing inner city youth to heightened texts, both classical and contemporary. This work included classics and Hip-Hop Theatre adaptations of classics in collaboration with Lincoln Center’s Meet the Artists Program. Chris has also worked as a director or actor in London’s West End, Off-Broadway, The National Theatre of Oslo in Norway, John Houseman’s The Acting Company in NYC, HERE Arts Center, in NYC, Dorset Theatre Festival in Vermont, Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland, The Helix in Ireland, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Ubu Rep. in NYC, The Flea Theater in NYC, Cleveland Playhouse, Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, Hip-Hop Theatre Festival in NYC, Utah Shakespeare Festival, SOHO Rep in NY, Penumbra Theater and the Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis amongst others. As an educator, Chris created and headed the professional apprentice training program at the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival and was an Assistant Professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, an adjunct faculty member at Montclair State University in NJ and Visiting Faculty at Bennington College in VT. Chris received an M.F.A. from the U. of MN in Association with the Guthrie Theatre.
Contact: chris [at] actorsshakespeareproject [dot] org
Mara Sidmore, Director of Education Programs, Projects & Partnerships
A classically trained actor and certified teacher, Mara’s career as a theatre artist and educator is inextricably linked to early experiences of Shakespeare as a powerful tool for empowering young people. In addition to running her own Shakespeare children’s theatre company, she has taught theatre to just about every age group in public and private schools, at universities, and in various other educational settings. Mara served as Director of Theatre at The Winsor School and has been on the faculty of theatre departments at Boston Arts Academy, The Boston Conservatory, and Bentley University. She was also the Drama Coach for Emmy Award winning children’s television series ZOOM and Fetch! With Ruff Ruffman at WGBH Boston, where she coached the various casts during a total of ten seasons of production. Ever seeking to broaden the definition of theatre education, Mara also worked for five years as the Artistic Director of The Bok Center Players, an interactive theatre program at Harvard University sponsored by the Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning, and commissioned by the Vice Provost’s Office for Faculty Development and Diversity to develop and deliver original, interactive diversity training programs. Additionally, Mara has served as both a Senior Facilitator, Executive Coach and Program Designer with The Ariel Group, a theatre based leadership development and training company. Mara holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Education from Gordon College and an MFA in Acting from Harvard University’s Institute for Advanced Theatre Training at the American Repertory Theatre/Moscow Art Theatre School. She also studied theatre at The University of Plymouth, Northwestern University, Shakespeare & Company, and Yale University.
Contact Mara: mara [at] actorsshakespeareproject [dot] org
Jen Babcock, Associate Managing Director
Jen came to Actors’ Shakespeare Project from the Lyric Stage Company, where she worked as a House Manager and Box Office Associate. She received her Bachelor’s degree in theatre production from Northeastern University, and is working towards her Masters in Arts Administration at Boston University. With a background in events management, Jen has worked for various non-profits including the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Relay for Life, and helped to organize events for organizations such as Bridge Over Troubled Waters. In her spare time, she volunteers at Fenway Park collecting guest experience surveys.
Contact Jen: jen [at] actorsshakespeareproject [dot] org
617.776.2200 ext. 230
Marianna Bassham, Artistic Associate
Actors’ Shakespeare Project: Middletown, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Twelfth Night, The Tempest, The Merchant of Venice, Hamlet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Love’s Labour’s Lost, and The Hotel Nepenthe. Boston-area credits include Our Town and Luck of the Irish (Huntington Theatre Company); Othello (Commonwealth Shakespeare Company); Blackbird, Reckless, and In the Next Room (or The Vibrator Play) (SpeakEasy Stage); Quills, Tartuffe, A Streetcar Named Desire, and Silence (New Repertory Theatre); Talley’s Folly, Miss Witherspoon (Lyric Stage Company); Gaslight, The Rimers of Eldritch and I Capture the Castle (Stoneham Theatre); Not Enough Air (The Nora Theatre Company); Matt & Ben (Central Square Theatre); and Little Black Dress (Boston Playwrights’ Theatre). She has also appeared with The Gamm Theatre, Gloucester Stage, Great Lakes Theater Festival, Wellfleet Harbor Actors’ Theater, Elm Shakespeare Company, and many others. She received Elliot Norton awards for Blackbird and The Hotel Nepenthe, and an IRNE Award for Little Black Dress, Reckless and Blackbird. Film/TV: Louisa May Alcott, the Woman Behind Little Women (PBS), Rubberneck, and Moonrise Kingdom. She holds an MFA from Brandeis University.
Contact Marianna: marianna [at] actorsshakespeareproject [dot] org
Gregory Bloomfield, Director of Finance
Gregory Bloomfield originally hails from Toronto, Canada where he began his career as an auditor for Ernst & Young. Since then, he has close to 20 years of experience of bookkeeping, accounting, auditing, taxation and finance across many industries such as real estate, investments and not for profit organizations. Gregory passed the Massachusetts CPA exam in 2006. Previously before working for ASP, Gregory was the senior auditor for the firm which performed ASP’s annual audit; therefore making a smooth transition to becoming ASP’s Director of Finance. Outside of his work with ASP, Gregory is an avid jazz fan and has played the saxophone since he was in junior high school. He still plays at his church and at various gigs when he can. He also is a youth mentor, motivational speaker and a chaplain. He also enjoys spending time with his family and watching movies, sports events and, of course, top quality plays and dramatic theater.
Contact Gregory: gregory [at] actorsshakespeareproject [dot] org
Sandra Cohen, Director of Graphics & Design
ASP’s graphic designer since 2004. Sandra studied fine art at Parsons School of Design in NYC, the School of the MFA, and the Art Institute of Boston. She received a painting fellowship from The Massachusetts Cultural Council in 2008 and was juried into The Copley Society of Art (Co|So) in 2000. Sandra was the singer and guitarist for the Boston bands Grind and Planet Queen, and the drummer for Pink Mantis. Her fine art, graphics, and some musical links are posted at sandracohen.com.
Contact Sandy: sandy [at] actorsshakespeareproject [dot] org
Xavier Harvey, Audience Services Assistant
A seasoned veteran of ASP’s youth productions (Romeo and Juliet, The Tempest, Much Ado About Nothing, Othello, Merchant of Venice, Titus Andronicus), Xavier has been working with ASP as a supervisor and mentor for other youth in Performance Projects, and as House Manager for the professional productions. He has also served as the director and screenwriter for two Lights, Camera, Shakespeare! film projects.
Contact Xavier: xavier [at] actorsshakespeareproject [dot] org
Jennie Israel, Casting
Actors’ Shakespeare Project: founding member and associate artistic director 2004-2009. Roles: Queen Isabella in Edward II, Emilia in Othello, Medea, Queen Margaret inHenry VI, part ii, Jaques in As You Like It, The Duchess in The Duchess of Malfi, Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Constance in King John, Helena in All’s Well That Ends Well, Goneril in King Lear, Calpurnia/Trebonius/Pindarus in Julius Caesar, Elizabeth in Richard III. Other local credits include Boston Marriage, Tartuffe, and Dollhouse at New Repertory Theater; Les Liaisons Dangereuses at the Huntington Theatre; Table Manners and Living Together at Gloucester Stage; Living in Exile and The Heidi Chronicles at the Vineyard Playhouse; Molly Maguire at the Sugan Theatre; Lady Macbeth in Macbeth and Phoebe in As You Like It for Commonwealth Shakespeare Company; Undine’s Valediction, Summer, The Scarlet Letter, andMacbeth with Shakespeare & Company. Regional credits include Yale Repertory Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Lincoln Center Theatre, Theatre Building Chicago, The Greenwich Street Theatre, Ohio Theatre Soho, Sun Valley Shakespeare Festival, and Chautauqua Theatre Festival. Film and television credits include Rudy for TriStar Pictures, Guiding Light, and Coming to Litchfield. Directing credits include Measure for Measure, Romeo and Juliet at Harvard; Twelfth Night, Measure for Measure for Commonwealth Shakespeare; Chicago, Macbeth, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, The Beaux Stratagem, and Volta (co-directed with David R. Gammons) for The Concord Academy Performing Arts Department. In 1992 Jennie founded Chicago’s Eclipse Theatre, still in existence today. She has taught Shakespearean text, voice, and acting at Bowdoin College, Boston College, SUNY/Purchase, The Boston Conservatory, Concord Academy, Harvard University, Ecole International de Boston, Emerson College, and is currently on the faculty of The Contemporary Theatre Program at The Boston Conservatory at Berklee. Jennie is the original creator of ASP’s yearly teacher’s institute and was also a lead teacher with incarcerated girls through ASP’s Incarcerated Youth at Play project for five years. Jennie holds an MFA in Acting from the Yale School of Drama.Contact: jisrael [at] actorsshakespeareproject [dot] org
Sarah Newhouse, Artistic Associate
Actors’ Shakespeare Project: Lady Percy/Ensemble in Henry IV, Parts 1 & 2, Kate in The Taming of the Shrew, Portia in The Merchant of Venice, Lady Faulconbridge/Hubert in King John, Macduff and Lady Macduff in Macbeth, Princess/Jacquenetta/Longaville in Love’s Labour’s Lost, Viola in Twelfth Night, Cordelia in King Lear, and Lady Anne in Richard III. Sarah recently played the role of Annie in Table Manners by Alan Ayckbourne at Gloucester Stage Company. Other Boston area credits include: Six Characters in Search of an Author, The King Stag, Macbeth, Picasso at the Lapin Agile at the American Repertory Theater; Desdemona—a Play About a Handkerchief at Boston Center for the Arts; King of the Jews at Boston Playwrights’ Theatre; The Sweetest Swing in Baseball with Boston Theatre Works; La Vita Claire at Centastage; Shear Madness at the Charles Playhouse; Legacy of Light, Red Herring, Lost in Yonkers, and The Miracle Worker at the Lyric Stage Company; Imperialists at the Club Cave Canem and The Square Root of Minus One at The Market Theater; Much Ado About Nothing and As You Like It at The Publick Theatre; Picnic and The Sweepers at Stoneham Theatre; and Twelfth Night at Worcester Foothills Theatre. Regional and NYC credits include: American Stage Festival, Berkshire Theatre Festival, Jane Street Theater, Manhattan Punchline Theatre, Samuel Beckett Theater, Synchronicity Space, and The Kraine. Film & TV credits include: As The World Turns, Another World, MTV, Saturday Night Live, The Legend of Lucy Keyes, Dischord, Chain of Desire, Expired, and The Stupid Years. Sarah is a graduate of Hampshire College and the A.R.T. Institute for Advanced Theatre Training at Harvard University.
Contact Sarah: sarah [at] actorsshakespeareproject [dot] org
Deb Sullivan, Production Manager
A lighting designer by night, Deb has been Actors’ Shakespeare Project’s production manager since September 2014. Experiences include designing lights Off Broadway, in LORT theatres, for local companies and universities in several cities, and just about anywhere else. Recent credits include Chesapeake and Fully Committed (set and light) at New Rep, Brainstorm with Everett Dance, and Tallula, who at five is working on her acceptance speech.
Contact Deb: deb [at] actorsshakespeareproject [dot] org
Michael Forden Walker, Director of Youth Programs
Actors’ Shakespeare Project: Poins/Ensemble in Henry IV, Parts 1 & 2, Cassio in Othello, Grumio in The Taming of the Shrew, Borachio in Much Ado About Nothing, Ferdinand in Duchess of Malfi, Graziano in Merchant of Venice, King John in King John, King/Maria/Nathaniel in Love’s Labour’s Lost, Lucius Andronicus in Titus Andronicus, Sir Andrew Aguecheek in Twelfth Night, Cornwall in King Lear, Pompey/Friar Peter in Measure for Measure, and Brakenbury/Ratcliff in Richard III. Local appearances with Underground Railway, Centastage, Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, Boston Theatre Works, Molasses Tank Productions, The Bridge, Company One, and Willing Suspension Productions; in Charlotte, NC with Innovative Theatre. Past credits include Tru Grace: Holiday Memoirs; The Random Caruso; Comp; Antony and Cleopatra; Ionesco, Not Ionesco; Troilus and Cressida; Native Speech; Love’s Fire; The Roaring Girl; The Borderers; James IV; The Spanish Tragedy; The Dwarfs; The Alchemist; A Chaste Maid in Cheapside; The Rover; Tales of the Lost Formicans; Vampire Lesbians of Sodom and Sleeping Beauty or Coma; and The Metamorphosis. Michael studied acting while an undergraduate English major at UNC-Charlotte, and he holds an M.A. in English literature from Boston University. He is a rock musician, most recently with Bostonbased rock band PINK MANTIS, and operates FORDEN PHOTOGRAPHY, specializing in headshots and creative portraiture.
Contact Michael: mfw [at] actorsshakespeareproject [dot] org
Lindsay Williams, Education & Project Associate
Lindsay was an English major at Boston College and earned her Masters in Education from UMass Boston. Prior to joining ASP, Lindsay worked for three years with Breakthrough Fort Lauderdale, an education nonprofit group for underserved middle and high school students in her hometown. During that time, she introduced Shakespeare to the organization’s curriculum, concluding one summer session with a brief student adaptation of Twelfth Night and overseeing the addition of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Merchant of Venice to all classrooms the following year. She also centered her study abroad experience and senior thesis around the author and is thrilled to now have the chance to work with such a wide range of students on her favorite playwright. In addition to being a self-professed Shakespeare groupie, Lindsay is an amateur writer. Her favorite assignment to date was being a blogger for a fan-voted player award for two seasons of Atlanta Falcons football.
Contact Lindsay: lindsay [at] actorsshakespeareproject [dot] org