Artistic Director – Robert Currier
Managing Director – Lesley Currier
Shakespeare for Social Justice Director – Suraya Susana Keating
Education Director – Beth Kellermann
Business Manager – Tina Rutsch
Box Office & Communications Manager – Trevor Hoffmann
Key Past and Current Staff
Kenny Allen – Marketing Director
Heath Belden – Stage Manager
Abra Berman – Costume Designer
Ellen Brooks – Lighting Designer
Rob Clare – Director, Master Teacher
Josh Costello – Education Director
Billie Cox – Composer
James Dunn – Guest Director
Joel Eis – Props Designer
Elias Escobedo – Administrative Assistant
Robert W. Goldsby – Guest Director
Jonathan Gonzalez – Education Director
Gary Grossman – Actor and Teaching Artist
Pamela Johnson – Costume Designer
Suraya Susana Keating – Shakespeare at San Quentin
Denise Kirchner – Costume and Props Designer
Barry Kraft – Actor, Master Teacher
Bruce Lackovic – Set Designer
Richard Lane & The Academy of the Sword – Fight Direction
Sam Leichter – Education Director
Ian Marsh – Technical Director
Lucas McClure – Education Manager/Actor
Kate McGill – Education Director
Cynthia Pepper – Choreographer
Patricia Polen – Costume Designer
Mark Robinson – Set Designer & Technical Director
Tina Rutsch – Business Manager
Jon Tracy – Director/Instructor
Whitney Ward – Administrative Assistant
Karen West – Front of House
Cynthia White – Guest Director
Lisa Woods – Administrative Assistant
Amy Young – Administrative Assistant
Lesley Currier is the founding Managing Director of Marin Shakespeare Company. She holds a B.A. in Religion from Princeton University, where she was awarded the Frances LeMoyne Page Award for Theatre. She spent three years with the Ukiah Players, where she acted, produced and served as fundraiser coordinator for the Phase II building expansion. In 1988, while in Ukiah, she initiated the New American Comedy Festival. After a season acting at Ashland’s Oregon Shakespeare Festival, she studied at U.C. Irvine’s M.F.A. Program in Acting, before being invited to Marin with Robert to found Marin Shakespeare Company. Since 1989, she has produced award-winning summer productions, created education/outreach programs that serve over 4,000 students each year, and provided work for thousands of theatre artists. An actor, director and playwright, Lesley’s original adaptation of “A Thousand and One Arabian Nights“, which she directed, was nominated for “Best Overall Production of 2002” by the Bay Area Critics Circle. Lesley was nominated as “Best Director 2009” for “Twelfth Night, or All You Need Is Love” which she adapted with Robert Currier. She and Robert co-founded Baja Shakespeare in 2001, brining live theatre to the East Cape of Mexico’s southern Baja peninsula. Lesley is the founder of Shakespeare at San Quentin, which gives inmates opportunities to study and perform Shakespeare. She is past President of the Shakespeare Theatre Association of America, served on Theatre Bay Area’s Theatre Service Committee for six years, and has thrice served on grants panels for the National Endowment for the Arts. In 2007, Lesley was elected to the Marin Women’s Hall of Fame. [Women’s Hall of Fame.]
Key Past and Current Staff
Kenny Allen / Marketing Director
Kenny is passionate about connecting arts with audiences. He has a degree in Theatre Arts from California State University, Fullerton. Previously, Kenny has done marketing work for The Laguna Playhouse, Shakespeare Orange County, and the CSUF Department of Theatre and Dance. Kenny enjoys exploring the capabilities of online marketing, from social media to geo-targeted advertising to marketing analytics. Kenny is passionate about the intersection of the arts and social change and is proud of and excited by the transformational work being done by Marin Shakespeare in their Theatre for Social Justice programs at San Quentin, Solano State Prison, and the Marin County Community School. You can learn more about Kenny by visiting www.KennyDavidAllen.com.
Abra Berman / Costume Designer
Abra has designed costumes for Bay Area theatres for over twenty years, and for Marin Shakespeare Company since 2005. She has also worked with Company C, Pocket Opera, Lamplighters, Berkeley Opera, Cinnabar Theatre, Sonoma Rep, Brookside Theatre, Marin Theatre Company, Hillbarn Theatre, Palo Alto Players, Alameda Civic Light Opera, Contra Costa Musical Theatre, College of Marin, UCLA, and Peninsula Youth Theatre. Abra recently assisted in the mounting of the Yves Saint Laurent exhibit at the De Young Museum, and oversaw the mounting of the San Francisco Ballet costume exhibit at the Museum of Performance and Design. She received her MFA in theatrical costume design from UCLA, and is a Professor at the Art Institute of California at San Francisco. She also has a performance background in classical ballet.
Ellen Brooks / Lighting Designer
Ellen has acted, directed and designed at theatres all over the Bay Area. She won a Dean Goodman Choice Award for Lighting Design for the 2001 Marin Shakespeare Company season.
Billie Cox / Composer
Billie has composed and designed sound for Marin Shakespeare Company since 1995. A multi-talented artist, Billie also directs children’s theatre, writes original musicals, authors CD-Roms, and has composed for theatre, video and film. She is founder of Dig Deal Theatre Company.
Joel Eis / Prop Designer
Joel is a professional scenic/lighting designer and university professor. He has designed over 250 shows, and written two books on theatre. He and his wife Toni currently own The Rebound Bookstore in San Rafael. He loves finding ridiculous plastic do-dads for actors to stick in their belts, on their heads, and he likes getting lots of other stuff too.
Gary Grossman / Actor and Teaching Artist
Gary has been passionate for the theatre since the age of 14, when he debuted in The King and I. At Marin Shakespeare he has played in Julius Caesar, Antony and Cleopatra, and The Taming of the Shrew. Gary has also been seen at Shotgun Players, Marin Theatre Company, Ragged Wing Ensemble and Sonoma Repertory among many other theatres. He appeared in world premieres of The Dante Club as J.T. Fields, and in Panama as Grandma at Cal Rep Theatre in Long Beach. Gary teaches theatre and has performed in over 60 plays and various improvisation comedy groups in San Francisco and Los Angeles. He completed his M.F.A. in Acting at Cal State University Long Beach.
Suraya uses drama and the arts as tools for deep individual and social transformation. During the past 20 years, she has worked extensively with youth, adults, and the incarcerated. AtMarin Shakespeare Company, she has acted in several main stage productions, and taught and directed for the Marin Shakespeare program at San Quentin State Prison since 2005. www.suraya.org
Beth Kellermann works as a professional actress and director as well as teaching artist throughout the Bay Area. She most recently served as the All-School Theatre Arts Department Chair at San Domenico School, and was honored to be nominated for the inaugural “Excellence in Theatre Education Award” by the Tony Awards in partnership with Carnegie Mellon University. She has worked with The Utah Shakespearean Company, Napa Shakespeare Festival, Marin Shakespeare Company, Oregon Shakespeare in Ashland, as well as Berkeley Repertory Company, the Laguna Playhouse, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland, and California Repertory Company, among others. She holds a M.F.A. in Acting and Directing from Cal State University Long Beach.
Richard Lane / The Academy of the Sword / Fight Direction
The Academy of the Sword was founded and is run by Richard Lane, a Certified Teacher/Fight Director with the Society of American Fight Directors. Richard has directed fights at Berkeley Repertory Theatre, the San Francisco Opera, Magic Theatre, Theatreworks and nationwide, amassing numerous awards. Richard has served as Fight Director for the Marin Shakespeare Company for more than ten years. He is the author of Swashbuckling: The Art of Stage Combat and Theatrical Swordplay.
Lucas McClure / Education Manager & Actor
Lucas has served as Managing Director at Ephrata Performing Arts Center in Pennsylvania, Production Manager at Burbage Theatre Ensemble in Los Angeles, and Publicity/Education Director at Cinnabar Theater in Petaluma. He holds an MA in Interdisciplinary Studies: Shakespeare and Archetypal Psychology from Sonoma State University. Lucas has taught drama at Marin Shakespeare Company, San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, Cinnabar, St. Vincent de Paul High School, Youth-in-Arts and Idaho Theater for Youth. Lucas has acted at Marin Shakespeare Company in 17 shows since 1995 (Dean Goodman Award for the Dauphin in Henry V) and in seasons at Idaho Shakespeare Festival and the Utah Shakespearean Festival, as well as playing Hamlet at Ukiah Players Theatre.
Cynthia Pepper / Choreographer
For over 24 years Cynthia has taught contemporary dance to all ages throughout the Bay Area. She has served as a choreographer for small and large stages, television and film screens and theatrical productions of all sorts, including the 2009 Mt. Play. She is an award-winning short film producer for Sesame Street and has 12 short dance films distributed worldwide. Currently she directs Project D. which is a dance program funded by the Marin Community Foundation and The National Endowment for the Arts. Cynthia has choreographed for Marin Shakespeare since 2002. www.cynthiapepper.com.
Karen West / Front of House
Karen’s passions are theatre and literature. She worked for six years in author promotions for Barnes & Noble. Prior to that, she piloted a 5 year Theater-in-the-Galleries program, acting in and directing over 30 plays. She is a founding member of Courtyard Shakespeare and has acted with PCPA Theatrefest and run box office for PCPA and Cal State Fresno. She has a B.A. in Theatre from SFSU.
Luis Araquistain – Education Director
Luis was the Executive Director of the Traverse City Children’s Theatre in Traverse City, Michigan for five years. Previously, he served as Educational Outreach Director for Pacifica’s Spindrift School of Performing Arts, and as a teaching artist with San Francisco Shakespeare Festival. His acting credits include San Francisco Shakespeare Festival and New Conservatory Theatre. Luis is a San Francisco native and is proficient in Spanish. With his wife, Margie, he sidelines as a web designer doing business as Hipcat Design.
Heath Belden / Stage Manager
Heath came to Marin Shakespeare Company in 2004. He has recently stage-managedLaughter on the 23rd Floor for Center REPertory Company, A Streetcar Named Desire for Pacific Alliance Stage Company, Once Upon A Mattress, starring Lea DeLaria, for 42nd Street Moon, and five operas with Donald Pippin’s Pocket Opera. He has worked as an ASM at the American Conservatory Theatre and San Jose Musical Theatre. Heath has worked on such new plays as Sarah Ruhl’s Eurydice, Ken Weitzman’s Spin Moves, and Charles L. Mee’s Wintertime. He received an M.F.A. degree from UC San Diego and is a member of Theatre Bay Area and Actors’ Equity Association.
Josh Costello / Education Director
Josh Costello received his BFA in Theatre Education and Stage Direction from Boston University and his MFA in Directing from the University of Washington in Seattle. He was the founder and first Artistic Director of Impact Theatre, a Berkeley company specializing in new work by emerging playwrights for today’s younger generations. Josh has taught for the California Shakespeare Theatre, San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, American Conservatory Theatre, South Coast Repertory Theatre, UC Riverside, the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and Vector Theatre. As a director, he has worked at the Magic Theatre, The Marsh, Shakespeare-by-the-Sea and Impact Theatre, among others. www.joshcostello.com
James Dunn / Guest Director
James is a native of Marin County and was Founder and Chairman of the College of Marin Drama Department, where he directed and taught for 30 years. In the 1960’s he was co-founder and director of the California Shakespeare Festival. In the 1970’s he was artistic director of the California Act Theatre. He has been a guest director with California Actors Theatre, the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego, the Julliard School in New York City, the Monterey Shakespeare Festival, the Marin Theatre Company, the Denver Theatre Center, Shakespeare at Stinson and the Marin Shakespeare Company. He has been the director of the Marin Mountain Play since 1994. He has received many awards including six “Best Direction” Awards from BATCC as well as Dean Goodman Choice Awards for his direction of Marin Shakespeare Company’s As You Like It and Cyrano de Bergerac.
Elias Escobedo / Administrative Assistant
A San Francisico native, Elias received his BA in Dramatic Arts from U.C. Davis. He has acted with Marin Shakespeare Company in Henry IV, Part 1; Henry IV, Part 2; King Lear and as Benvolio in Romeo & Juliet (Dean Goodman Choice Award.) Elias has worked with Cal Shakes, TheatreWorks, Berkeley Rep, SF Playhouse, Valley Shakes, New Conservatory Theatre, Theatre Rhino, Belrose Theatre, Curtain Theatre, and Summer Repertory Theatre. His commercial and TV credits include Albertson’s, Save-Mart, Longs Drugs, Kaiser Permanente, and Blind Date. He belongs to AEA, AFTRA and Theatre Bay Area. www.EliasEscobedo.com
Bruce Lackovic / Set Designer
Bruce has designed and built sets for Marin Shakespeare Company since 1996. A welder, sign-maker, and all-around technical guru, Bruce has served as a California Artist in Residence at Redwood High School and as Technical Theatre Consultant for the Ross Valley Community for Schools.
Robert W. Goldsby / Guest Director
Robert has had a long and distinguish career in the theatre. He is best known in the Bay Area as a founder of the American Conservatory Theatre’s MFA Program, Chair of U.C. Berkeley’s Theatre Department for 25 years, and a founder of the Berkeley Stage Company, which staged new work for ten years in Berkeley. He is a Moliere scholar and translator and he has directed at numerous major regional theatres including South Coast Rep and the Mark Taper Forum.
Jonathan Gonzalez / Education Director
Jonathan has taught and directed in numerous schools in Marin and beyond, including Dixie Elementary, Neil Cummins, Rancho Elementary, St Isabella’s, Coleman School, and St. Catherine’s Middle School in Burlingame. In seven years with the San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, he directed tours of Romeo and Juliet and Macbeth, performed in six tours, and appeared in two seasons of Free Shakespeare In The Park.
In addition to leading numerous Marin Shakespeare Young Company sessions, Jonathan directed Teen productions of The Taming of the Shrew, Love’s Labour’s Lost, She Stoops to Conquer, King Lear, Troilus and Cressida, and As You Like It. In 2004, Jonathan was the inaugural instructor for Marin Shakespeare’s Shakespeare at San Quentin program.
As an actor, Jonathan has been seen at Berkeley Rep, California Shakespeare, Carmel Shakespeare, Theatre Rhinoceros, Center Rep, Western Stage, and Pacific Rep, among others. For Marin Shakespeare Company, Jonathan appeared in Cyrano De Bergerac, Much Ado About Nothing (Dean Goodman choice award for supporting actor) A Thousand and One Arabian Nights, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Othello, She Stoops to Conquer, and Taming of The Shrew.
Professional Directing work includes Town Hall Theatre, The Exit Theatre, Masque Unit, and Penninsula Youth Theatre. Jonathan has an M.F.A. in Acting and Directing from the University of Houston.
Denise Kirchner / Costume & Props Designer
Denise Kirchner – A native of Marin, Denise graduated from Sir Francis Drake High School and hitch-hiked through Europe before she discovered theatre at the College of Marin. After six years as Propmaster at the Julliard School in New York. Upon her return to the Bay Area in the late 1970’s, she became a vibrant thread in the fabric of the theatre community, lending her talents, whimsy, and spirit to countless projects as a costume and prop designer. Denise designed costumes for Marin Shakespeare Company’s very first production of As You Like It in 1990, and her final design project was the magical properties for Marin Shakespeare Company’s Alice in Wonderland in 2006.
Pamela Johnson / Costume Designer
Pamela has been the resident Costume Designer at Sonoma State University since 1990 and has designed over 100 shows for theatres from Mendocino to San Francisco. She won a Dean Goodman Award for her Costume Design for Marin Shakespeare’s Cyrano de Bergerac.
Sam Leichter / Administrative Assistant and Education Manager
Sam trained at Bates College, where he studied Theatre and French, and as an Acting Intern with Marin Shakespeare Company. Sam has performed with Marin Shakespeare Company, the African American Shakespeare Company, Adirondack Shakespeare Company, Center REP, and BRAVA, among other theatres. Also a playwright, his play The Philadelphian was a hit at the 9th Bay One Acts Festival. Sam has worked as an Administrative Assistant at Theatre Bay Area. He can be seen in the role of Eros in Marin Shakespeare Company’s Antony and Cleopatra in the summer of 2010.
Ian Marsh / Technical Director
Ian Marsh – Ian worked with Marin Shakespeare for a decade starting in 1997. He was also Master Carpenter for Aurora Theater in Berkeley, and Technical Director for Yes! Theatre in San Anselmo.
Kate Magill / Education Director
Kate has found success in several realms of live theatre – she has worked, at one time or another, as an actor, a costume designer, a stage manager, a teacher/director and an arts administrator. For nearly a decade, she served as leading actress, theatre teacher and Resident Costume Designer for Gamut Theatre Group (Harrisburg Shakespeare Festival / Popcorn Hat Players Children’s Theatre) in Harrisburg, PA.Most recently, she spent several years in the Deep South, as the Education Program Coordinator for the Alabama Shakespeare Festival in Montgomery, Alabama where she was responsible for ASF’s SchoolFest (matinee) Program, reaching upwards of 45,000 students yearly. She also managed and taught in various summer camps, designed curriculum for outreach programs, including NEA-funded workshop for Shakespeare for a New Generation, and managed / taught in ASF’s Acting Academy, including developing a new wing of the Acting Academy geared toward homeschooled children.In addition, Kate has been an actor and stage manager for Open Stage of Harrisburg, and an Adjunct Professor of Costume Design/Resident Designer for Gettysburg College and a production assistant for Alabama Shakespeare Festival. Kate is married to actor Mark Robinson and they have two canine babies– Ace and Angel.
Patricia Polen / Costume Designer
Patricia has designed over 100 shows in her 35 years as a Costume Designer. She has designed for professional and academic theater and has received several Bay Area Theatre Critic’s Circle Awards for Costume Design. She also works as a Make-up Artist for the San Francisco Opera, and is the Wig and Make-up Designer/Supervisor for the Portland Opera. Patricia has designed costumes for Marin Shakespeare since 2005.
Mark Robinson / Set Designer & Technical Director
Mark is an actor, director, teacher, designer and theatre technician, who received his MFA in Acting from Alabama Shakespeare Festival. He has worked in the Bay Area as an Actor, Teacher, Technical Director and Scenic Designer. Previously, he worked for Harrisburg Shakespeare Festival (PA) where he was a core company member, Dorian Opera Theatre (IA), and Commonweal Theatre Company (MN).
Tina Rutsch / Business Manager
Tina earned her MA in American Studies from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa in 2005, focusing on the individual as an agent of social change, and later received academic certificates in Business Management and Accounting. While creating and administrating programs to serve Hawai’i’s homeless, including teaching piano to homeless youth, Tina saw how having access to the arts can inspire positive changes in people. She returned to her own theatrical roots in 2010 and has been working with the Shakespeare at San Quentin program since 2015.
Jon Tracy / Director/Instructor
Jon Tracy has been directing teen productions at Marin Shakespeare Company since 2007. Jon works as a director, playwright, and designer with such companies as American Conservatory Theatre, Magic Theater, Shotgun Players, Impact Theatre, Aurora Theatre, Marin Theatre Company, Z Space, Playwright’s Foundation, Sonoma County Repertory, Woman’s Will, New Conservatory Theatre, Oberlin Dance Collective, Missouri St. Theatre, Napa Valley Repertory Theatre, Harbor Theatre, Traveling Lantern Theatre Company and the San Francisco, and the Napa and Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festivals. He is the recipient of the Kennedy Center Meritorious Achievement Award, fifteen North Bay Arty Awards, a Sacramento Elly Award, a Bay Area Critic Circle Award and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. A graduate of Solano College Theatre’s Actor Training Program, Jon is an Affiliate Artist with The Foothill Theatre Company and Alter Theatre Ensemble, a Company Member of PlayGround, an Associate Artist at The Berkeley Playhouse, The Director of Artistic Development for The SF Playhouse, and a founder of Darkroom Productions.
Whitney Ward / Administrative Assistant
Whitney is back in the Bay Area after earning her M.A. in Linguistics at Yale University. Her previous theater experience includes two summers as Administrative Manager at Northern Stage in Vermont. She has also worked in Stage Management for Lamplighter’s Musical Theater, Ambit Theater, and as an undergraduate at UC Berkeley.
Cynthia White / Guest Director
Cynthia was Associate Director and Director of New Play Development at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival from 1991-1996. She has directed at many regional Theatres including Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Utah Shakespearean festival and the Virginia Shakespeare Festival. Cynthia is artistic director of Golden Fish Theatre in Seattle Washington and hold an M.F.A. in Directing from Southern Methodist University.
Lisa Woods / Education Manager
Lisa trained at Shakespeare & Company and Emerson College, from which she holds a B.F.A. in Acting. She has taught at Kids Take the Stage, California Shakespeare Festival, and Berkeley City Ballet.Administrative positions include Box Office Representative at Shakespeare & Company and Fina Costumes. Lisa has performed with Cutting Ball Theatre, American Repertory Theatre and Shakespeare & Company.
Amy Young / Administrative Assistant
Amy is a College of Marin graduate and a Journeyman member of IATSE Local #16, which services theatre, film, commercials and industrials, she has worked in a large variety of positions at many leading entertainment and cultural organizations and has been associated with Marin Shakespeare in various capacities for four years.