Leadership & Staff

Kimberly Dawson, Executive Producer

For over 15 years, Kimberly Dawson has been working in the arts as an artist, educator, administrator, and humanitarian. She is thrilled to be serving as Actors’ Shakespeare Project’s Executive Producer and hopes her experience in nonprofit management, dedication to youth development through the arts, and passion for Shakespeare can help serve the organization. Her past work has taken her to multiple cities and has included serving in leadership roles for two local arts organizations, founding and managing an independent theater company, teaching theater, facilitating workshops focused on building literacy through art­making, and performing as a professional actress. In 2013, she was recognized as a Citizen Artist Scholar at the Aspen Ideas Festival. Kim holds a BFA in Acting from Boston University and a Masters degree in Arts in Education from Harvard University.


Contact Kim: kim [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

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Jen Babcock, Audience Services & Development Associate

 Jen comes 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. Her experience there allowed her exposure to all aspects of the theatre, from stage management to electrics to administration. 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 plan events for organizations such as Bridge Over Troubled Waters. In her spare time, she volunteers at Fenway Park collecting guest experience surveys. She is excited to join ASP in their mission to bring the ever-relevant words of Shakespeare to the youth and community of Boston.

Contact Jen: jen [at] actorsshakespeareproject [dot] org or 617.776.2200 ext. 225

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

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Jennie Israel, Casting

Actors’ Shakespeare Project: founding member and associate artistic director 2004­2009. Roles: 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 at Gloucester Stage; Living in Exile 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, and Macbeth 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, an independent film. Most recently, Jennie directed Measure for Measure for The Hyperion Shakespeare Company at Harvard College where she previously directed Romeo and Juliet. Jennie also directed Chicago, Macbeth and The Beaux Stratagem 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, and Emerson College. Jennie is the lead teacher for ASP’s yearly teacher’s institute at Salem State College and also a lead teacher with incarcerated girls through ASP’s Incarcerated Youth at Play project. She 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

Maurice Emmanuel Parent, Co-Acting Artistic Director

Resident Acting Company member since 2011. Shows with ASP: King John (Lewis the Dauphin), Coriolanus (Junius Brutus), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Puck), Troilus and Cressida (Troilus), Romeo and Juliet (Mercutio). Other local companies: SpeakEasy Stage, New Repertory Theatre, Underground Railway Theatre, Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, Wheelock Family Theatre, Lyric Stage, Huntington Theatre Co., Boston Theatre Works, Barrington Stage, Cape Playhouse. He is the winner of a 2008 Elliot Norton Award winner for Some Men (SpeakEasy), Angels in America (Boston Theatre Works) and The Wild Party (New Rep); a 2015 Irne Award for The Color Purple (SpeakEasy) and a 2016 IRNE Award for The Snow Queen (New Rep).

Paula Plum, Co-Acting Artistic Director

Founding member of ASP; has played Phedre, Lady Macbeth, Cleopatra, Beatrice, Mistress Overdone. She has been Artistic Director of WGBH’s A Christmas Celtic Sojourn since its inception in 2003, touring concerts throughout New England during the Christmas holiday season. Other directing credits include Macbeth and The School for Scandal (ASP), Steel Magnolias (Stoneham Theatre), Jake’s Women (Merrimack Repertory Theatre), Baltimore Waltz (Lyric Stage), I’m Not Rappaport (Gloucester Stage), The Lady and the Clarinet (New Ehrlich Theatre), Tell Me On A Sunday (Stuart St. Theatre) and Romeo and Juliet (Happy Medium Theatre). As the 2009 recipient of the Fox Actor Fellowship, Paula conducted a workshop at her host theatre, SpeakEasy Stage, entitled “Handling the Hot Moments,” exploring the ways actors negotiate intimacy on stage. Her article of the same title was published in American Theatre Magazine (October 2011). While she is best known to Boston audiences as an actress, Paula is also a playwright, teacher and acting coach. Her most recent play, What Lips My Lips Have Kissed, explores the passions and peccadilloes of poet Edna St. Vincent Millay. Paula is the recipient of the Elliot Norton Award for Sustained Excellence, five IRNE awards, two Elliot Norton Awards for Best Actress, and was the 2003 Distinguished Alumna of Boston University’s College of Fine Arts. She is married to actor Richard Snee.

Heather Fields Stern, General Manager

Heather comes to ASP directly from her six­year stint with Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, NJ where she company managed over 30 productions. Before Paper Mill, Heather established her reputation as a stage manager in regional theatre, first national touring companies, and on Broadway. She was the stage manager for concert versions of A Little Night Music and Sweeney Todd at Lincoln Center, The Ravinia Festival, and the Emmy Award-­winning PBS broadcast with the San Francisco Symphony. Heather is thrilled to join ASP and is loving her  life on the North Shore with her husband, Eric, who is on the faculty of Berklee College of Music, and her two children.


Contact Heather: heather [at] actorsshakespeareproject [dot] org

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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

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Mia Tavan, Director of Marketing

Mia joined the ASP family in August, 2015 and has been in marketing and communications in the Greater Boston area for nearly 15 years. Her experience in public, private, and nonprofit organizations includes the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (that’s her hand demonstrating how to tap the CharlieCards on the T’s fare vending machines), Animal Rescue League of Boston, and Boston Lyric Opera. Prior to that, she could be seen on television in Western Massachusetts as the youngest on­air weather reporter in the region with WWLP­TV, the NBC affiliate. She has a Masters in Communications Management from Simmons College and extensive networks in the arts community and beyond which she leverages on behalf of ASP. Mia was particularly attracted to this position because of the Company’s work with youth to help them improve their lives.


Contact Mia: mia [at] actorsshakespeareproject [dot] org

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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

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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

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