Enjoy pre-show talks prior to each Saturday and Sunday performance at the Forest Meadows Amphitheatre this summer, curated by scholar/artists Nick Musleh, Aejay Mitchell, and Philippa Kelly, and featuring speakers who approach the texts from a multitude of perspectives.

Saturday, June 29: 7:00 blessing / 7:30 pm show

Coast Miwok Tribal Council Members

Members of the Coast Miwok Tribal Council will give a very special blessing prior to the Opening Night performance.

Sunday, June 30: 4:15 talk / 5 pm show

Cathleen Sheehan

Cathleen Sheehan is thrilled to return to the Marin Shakespeare Company this season. Cathleen has been a theater professional for more than twenty years, working as a guest lecturer and writer for Shakespeare Santa Cruz as well as doing seasonal work as a pre-show speaker and dramaturg with the California Shakespeare Theater and, of course, Marin Shakespeare Company. She has coached professional actors on audition monologues and led text workshops with both professional and aspiring actors. The English Department Chair at the Urban School since 2020, Cathleen has been a teacher at the School since 1995 where she has taught and designed a variety of classes, including Shakespeare and Advanced Shakespeare. (Her party trick is relating any subject to Shakespeare.) Cathleen holds AB and MA degrees in English Literature from Stanford University and completed post-graduate work in Victorian Literature at Oxford University.

Saturday, July 6: 6:45 pm talk / 7:30 pm show

Lucy Kaelin

Lucy Kaelin is a student at Southern Oregon University, where she is pursuing Dramaturgy and a BFA in Directing. Recent credits include dramaturg for The Wolves, The Lady’s Not For Burning, and director of The Exception and The Rule, all at SOU. This summer, she has had the pleasure of being the Assistant Dramaturg for Much Ado About Nothing, and is editing a paper for the Western States Drama Review on liminal spaces within Shakespeare. In her spare time, she enjoys gardening, The Beatles, and dreams of having an orange cat.

Sunday, July 7: 4:15 talk / 5 pm show

Philippa Kelly
Dr. Philippa Kelly (she/her/hers) has served for 13 years as Resident Dramaturg for the California Shakespeare Theater, and as Production Dramaturg for many regional theaters, including the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, SF Playhouse, the Magic Theater, the Aurora, and many others. She has been awarded fellowships (to UC Berkeley, the University of Oxford, and Bellagio) from the Fulbright, Rockefeller, and Commonwealth Foundations, and grants from the California Arts Council, the National Endowment of the Humanities, the Walter and Elise Haas Foundation, the Walter and Eliza Hall Foundation, and the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas (National Bly Award for Innovation in Dramaturgy). Philippa has published 11 books and over 100 internationally peer-reviewed articles and professional playbill articles. Her Arden book, The King and I, is closest to her heart, illuminating King Lear through the lens of Australia’s history of outcasting. Philippa is Chair and Professor of English at the California Jazz Conservatory and is also on the Theatre faculty at San Jose State University. She is thrilled to be working with Marin Shakes this year, serving dramaturgy and curating the pre-show Kaleidoscope series.

Saturday, July 13: 6:45 pm talk / 7:30 pm show

Melna Cohen Bramwell

Melina Cohen-Bramwell is a writer and lifelong San Francisco Bay Area resident who also happens to be a mixed-race, gender-queer spoonie. Never a fan of the education system, at age 16 Melina dropped out of school and began a career in theater. After years of working as a technician at regional theater companies such as The Aurora, Cal Shakes, and Berkeley Rep, Melina “retired” to focus on healing from chronic illness and to pursue writing as a career. Look out for his book, Bar Fights with Sad Kids, to be released by Finishing Line Press. 

Sunday, July 14: 4:15 talk / 5 pm show

Nick Musleh

Nick spent many formative years as a young actor in the Bay. Originally from San Francisco, he started acting in Fairfield, learning from Terry Rucker, professors at the Actors Training Program at Solano Community College, and Jon Tracy. Nick trained at the California State Summer School for the Arts, A.C.T., Santa Clara University, and UCLA where he earned his degree. He studied acting at various studios in Los Angeles under Ivanna Chubbuck, Larry Moss, Lesly Kahn, and Margie Haber. He studied Shakespeare under Aldo Billingslea, Joe Olivieri, and Mark Rylance. In addition to his acting work in film and television, Nick became a member of Theatre West, Los Angeles’ longest running theatre. He served on its artistic board, moderated the Shakespeare and acting workshops, and created several original roles, one of which he premiered Off-Broadway. He continues to adapt Shakespeare for film and television and is thrilled he had the once-in-a-lifetime chance to work with Jon on Hamlet, and now for the chance to have an artistic home with Marin Shakes alongside such incredible artists. 

Saturday, July 20: 6:45 pm talk / 7:30 pm show

William Hodgson

William Thomas Hodgson is an artist and educator based out of Oakland, CA. He received his M.F.A. from U.C. San Diego and is Co-Artistic Director of the Oakland Theater Project. William is a former member of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival acting company. Recent directing credits include Is God Is, This Land Was Made, (Oakland Theater Project), Fun Home (Berkeley Playhouse), and Passing Strange (Shotgun Players). His regional credits include Romeo (Oregon Shakespeare Festival), It Can’t Happen Here (Berkeley Rep), Calligraphy (TheatreWorks), Silvius in As You Like It (California Shakespeare Theater), Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame (La Jolla Playhouse), An Octoroon (Mixed Blood Theatre), James Hemmings in Thomas and Sally (Marin Theatre Company), Trufaldino Says No (Shotgun Players), and I Am My Own Wife (Oakland Theater Project). He received his MFA from UC San Diego and previously attended SFUAD and PCPA. He has taught for Berkeley Rep School of Theatre, Berkeley Playhouse, American Conservatory Theatre, UCSD, and OSF. Hodgson has received several awards including BroadwayWorld Award/Best Actor; Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award/Best Actor and Outstanding Direction.

Sunday, July 21: 4:15 talk / 5 pm show

Philippa Kelly

Dr. Philippa Kelly (she/her/hers) has served for 13 years as Resident Dramaturg for the California Shakespeare Theater, and as Production Dramaturg for many regional theaters, including the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, SF Playhouse, the Magic Theater, the Aurora, and many others. She has been awarded fellowships (to UC Berkeley, the University of Oxford, and Bellagio) from the Fulbright, Rockefeller, and Commonwealth Foundations, and grants from the California Arts Council, the National Endowment of the Humanities, the Walter and Elise Haas Foundation, the Walter and Eliza Hall Foundation, and the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas (National Bly Award for Innovation in Dramaturgy). Philippa has published 11 books and over 100 internationally peer-reviewed articles and professional playbill articles. Her Arden book, The King and I, is closest to her heart, illuminating King Lear through the lens of Australia’s history of outcasting. Philippa is Chair and Professor of English at the California Jazz Conservatory and is also on the Theatre faculty at San Jose State University. She is thrilled to be working with Marin Shakes this year, serving dramaturgy and curating the pre-show Kaleidoscope series. 

Saturday, July 27: 6:45 pm talk / 7:30 pm show

Ari Powell

Ari is the Senior Director of Patron Experience and Development at Oakland Theater Project. Ari’s love for theater definitely started at a young age. Cultivated by her father’s love for live theater and her mom’s artistic influence, it was only a matter of time before the bug bit her. Martha Powell (Mom) was an office manager for a performing arts school, so ARI couldn’t help but get involved in every capacity she could. Ari most recently performed in Exodus to Eden at the Oakland Theater Project.

Sunday, July 28: 4:15 talk / 5 pm show

Craig Moody

Theatre was mother’s milk to Craig, seeing plays from the age of two. Raised by a father who chaired a large university’s theatre department and a television-producing mother; plays were what the family did. Accordingly, he acted through the age of twenty-eight, including Shakespeare performances, when he realized that he did not have the “risk gene” required of actors who live by that work. After a lengthy legal career focusing on anti-trust trials, he retired in 2015 in order to focus on the study of Shakespeare. That study has occurred in Orinda, Berkeley, Oakland, San Francisco, Cincinnati, Dallas, Washington, D. C., Ashland, Oregon, London and Prague: literally wherever he could find it. He has served on the boards of CalShakes, SF Shakespeare Festival and Marin Shakespeare. Craig has been an admirer of Lesley and Bob Currier and what they’ve done with Marin Shakespeare Company for many years; he owes much to them for enlarging his enjoyment and understanding of Shakespeare.