Staff Profiles

Our Staff

Dameion Brown – Artist in Residence
Lesley Currier
Managing Director
Robert Currier
Artistic Director
Shannon R. Davis – Development Director
Leon Jones – Education Director
Suraya Susana Keating – Shakespeare for Social Justice Director
Tina Rutsch – Business Manager / Arts-in-Corrections Manager
Marcia Simmons – Marketing Director
Alejandra Wahl – Social Justice {Project Manager

Some of Our Key Seasonal and Previous Staff

Staff Biographies

Dameion Brown played the title role in Othello at Marin Shakespeare Company in 2016, for which he won “Best Lead Actor” from the Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award.  Since then, he has appeared in The Seagull at Utopia Theatre Project, Waafrika and The Farm at TheatreFirst (winning another BATCC award), Dance of the Holy Ghost at Ubuntu, and as Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing, the title role in Pericles, and Oberon in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Marin Shakespeare Company. He is now a full-time Artist-in-Residence at Marin Shakespeare Company where he acts, teaches system-impacted youth at carceral facilities, and serves as a community ambassador and sought-after inspirational speaker. Dameion Brown spent 23 years in prison, where he discovered Shakespeare as part of Marin Shakespeare Company’s Shakespeare at Solano Prison program

Lesley S. CurrierLesley 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 her husband Robert to found Marin Shakespeare Company. Since 1989, she has produced award-winning summer productions, provided work for thousands of theatre artists, created education programs that serve over 5,000 students each year, and founded Shakespeare for Social Justice which provides rehabilitation through Shakespeare in 14 California State Prisons. 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, bringing live theatre to the East Cape of Mexico’s southern Baja peninsula. Lesley 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, was elected to the Marin Women’s Hall of Fame in 2007, and is the 2017 recipient of the Burbarge Award for excellence in Shakespeare production worldwide from the American Shakespeare Center.

Robert S. CurrierRobert Currier co-founded Marin Shakespeare Company and is its original Artistic Director. He holds a B.A. in Drama and an M.F.A. in Directing from U.C. Irvine, where he helped establish the Objective Drama Project with the legendary theatrical guru Jerzy Grotowski in the early 1980’s. An actor, director, writer and designer, Robert co-founded Encounter With the Theatre at the Woodstock Illinois Opera House (artistic home of the young Orson Welles) in 1971 and the still thriving Ukiah Players Theatre in 1977. He and Lesley initiated Baja Shakespeare, Baja del Sur’s only live classical theatre company in Los Barriles, Mexico in 2001. Robert has directed well over 100 productions. At Marin Shakespeare Company, he has been nominated for “Best Director” and his productions for “Best Production” numerous times by the Bay Area Critics Circle, Choice Awards, and others. His 2016 production of Othello and 1994 production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream won the Bay Area Theatre Critics Award for “Best Overall Production”. A popular teacher, Robert has been an Adjunct Professor of Shakespeare Studies at Dominican University of California as well as many other places. He is known for his wit and wisdom.

Shannon R. Davis is a Bay Area-based Director, Actor, & Educator, originally from her people’s ancestral homeland of Wisconsin. She brings passion to her intersectional work, directing projects that align with her experience in theatre for social dialogue and change. She practices active decolonization, Anti-racism, as well as healing and belonging in her artistic endeavors. Shannon translates that acumen into development work with arts orgs, raising money to continue their good work. She has an MFA in Directing & Acting from UW-Madison.  She has studied with The Moscow Art Theatre, and is the Former Killian Directing Fellow at The Oregon Shakespeare Festival. She has worked with the following companies: New Native Theatre Company, American Conservatory Theater, American Indian Community House, The American Repertory Theatre, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Theatre of Yugen, Berkeley Rep, Brava Theater, The Ashland New Play Festival, Forward Theatre Co, Shotgun Players, City Theatre, CalShakes, Salvage Vanguard Theater, Theatre Bay Area, Children’s Theatre of Madison, Playwrights Foundation, Moxie Arts NY, San Anselmo Playhouse, BACT, Vortex Rep, others.

Leon Jones Jr. is committed to creating space for other BlPOC/LGBTQIA+ artists on stage and screen. He began his professional career playing Macduff’s Child in Berkeley Rep’s production of Macbeth starring Frances McDormand and Conleth Hill. He went on to attend Oakland School for the Arts, specializing in Acting & Musical Theatre. Recent acting credits include Jaden in The Great Khan at SF Playhouse, Young Man in Begin the Beguine at Oakland Theatre Project, Marcellus in Music Man at Throckmorton Theatre, and Damascus/Demeter in …And Jesus Moonwalks Mississippi, Watchmen’s Friend in The Oresteia, Player King in Hamlet, and Curly in Rising with Oakland School for the Arts. Besides acting, Leon is an emerging producer, director, and writer, recently winning an award from Golden Globe Winner, Regina Taylor for his short film, Through My Mind and currently serving as Founding Executive Director for Youth Uproar Theatre Company.

Suraya Susana Keating is an actress, licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Registered Drama Therapist, yoga Tteacher and Adjunct Professor at California Institute of Integral Studies where she teaches in the Masters Program for Drama Therapy. 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. At Marin 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.

Tina Rutsch 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.

Marcia Simmons holds a bachelor’s degree in Communications with an emphasis in Sociology from Sonoma State University, where she also produced and wrote broadcast documentaries and radio shows for Project Censored. Before joining Marin Shakespeare Company, Marcia was a freelance writer and marketing consultant for small businesses, nonprofits and city governments in the Bay Area for more than 10 years. She also wrote the book, DIY Cocktails, a guide to creative cocktails available through Simon & Schuster. While Marcia hasn’t been on the stage as an actor since her days in a high school theater troupe, she writes plays, screenplays, and teleplays —  placing in the finals and semifinals of several competitions including the Austin Film Festival, Final Draft, and NBC’s Writers on the Verge as well as attending the Yale University Summer Writing Workshop.

  Alejandra Wahl is an actor and singer who has performed and worked as a teaching artist throughout the Bay Area and Los Angeles. An avid student and lover of Shakespeare, Alejandra has been studying Shakespeare and performing since her youth, and spent over two years in the University of Iowa’s Theater program with a focus on classical theater. During her studies, she discovered a love for epic and ancient theater, adapting several Greek myths into a short one-woman play. Since 2017, she has been a teaching artist for Marin Shakespeare Company’s Shakespeare for Social Justice program, co-facilitating Shakespeare classes in various prisons – a truly life-changing experience. Alejandra holds a B.A in English Literature and Theater Arts from Cal State University East Bay.