When it comes to theater-making, the most important element is the Ensemble: a group with a shared goal, building, learning, exploring, and creating together. Like a family, we play and share, reveal and support, succeed and fail together. In this group, a safe space and home is established for the fellow artist: to be free to risk it all, to wear your heart on your sleeve for the love, power, and reward of telling a story. The Ensemble spirit is what truly makes a great company.
— Tia, Community and Educational Outreach Director

Brian mcmanamon

Artistic Director. Brian will direct the 2017 ensemble in Measure for Measure. He is an actor, director, teacher and acting coach based in New York City. Brian directs at the Juilliard School Drama Division, and serves on the acting faculties of the National Theater Institute (NTI) at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, Playwrights Horizon’s Theater School at New York University/Tisch School of the Arts and CAP21. Brian has also taught at the NYSF/Public Theater, Vassar College’s Powerhouse Apprentice Training Program, Manhattanville College, New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts, Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival and Yale University’s Dwight-Edgewood Project. Brian has a BFA from Boston University, an MFA from the Yale School of Drama as well as training from the British American Drama Academy (B.A.D.A.) at Oxford University. He is a proud member of the Actors Center in New York City.


Jessi D. Hill

Guest Director. Jessi is a theatre director based in New York City. She has been a director in professional training programs at Yale School of Drama, Juilliard, The Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center, Fordham University, Long Island University, Powerhouse/NY Stage & Film, NYU/Tisch, Strasberg, CAP21, The Atlantic School, Playwrights Horizons Theatre School, Hunter College and others. She has recently directed plays in various stages of development or production at New York Theatre Workshop, The Public Theater/Joe’s Pub, The Playwrights’ Center, Primary Stages, Labyrinth, The Women’s Project, 59E59, The New Group, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Rattlestick, terraNOVA Collective, Culture Project, The Acting Company, The Barrow Group, PS122, Abingdon, Baruch Performing Arts Center, New Dramatists, The Lark, The Playwrights Realm, New Georges, Naked Angels, The Wild Project, and others.   Her work has been seen internationally in Edinburgh, London, New Zealand, Berlin and Hamburg. MFA: Yale. Member SDC. Current projects: www.jessidhill.com



Community & Educational Outreach Director. An actor, teacher, and director, Tia earned her BFA in theater performance from Virginia Commonwealth University and her MFA from NYU TISCH Graduate Acting Department. She serves as Faculty for The Cornelia Connelly Center, The Professional Performing Arts High School, and The DreamYard Project, directing their Bronx Acting Ensemble and their Shakespeare Ensemble. She also assists at the NYU Tisch graduate acting program. For the last five years, Tia has also been a teaching artist for The Public Theater through their Midsummer Day's Camp, The Mobile Unit, and Public Works program.  Tia leads the Mighty Quinn's educational outreach programs, oversees Shakespeare Academy's Alumni Company, and forges strong community and artistic partnerships to foster diverse opportunities not only for the Alumni Company but also for theater artists in Stratford and the surrounding communities of Fairfield County. 


Kelly Letourneau

Program Director. Kelly will coordinate the logistics and daily workings of SA@S this summer. Kelly is an actor, singer, dancer, and director who graduated in 2016 from NYU Tisch School of the Arts, where she focused on musical theater and Shakespeare as part of the New Studio on Broadway. Kelly was a member of SA@S’s inaugural ensemble (Outrageous Fortune) and first-ever Alumni Company. Kelly studied Shakespeare in Performance at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London. She has also worked as a teacher’s assistant for first year voice classes at NYU.  


Brendan Rooney

Residential Coordinator. Brendan will coordinate housing and residential affairs for the students at SA@S. He is a graduate of Purchase College, where he was 2016's Outstanding Senior in Anthropology. During his free time, he writes, makes music, and codes. He will be preparing food from the on-grounds garden and providing various services for SA@S this summer, including bike maintenance, recording student music, and general care-taking.


The Mighty Quinn Foundation

Shakespeare Academy @ Stratford is a project of The Mighty Quinn Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charity dedicated to creating educational and theatrical experiences for the next generation of theater artists. To honor Quinn Rooney's passion for learning and love of theater, the Foundation provides creative opportunities for high school and college students. During the ensemble's time in Stratford, the Foundation provides local housing, social events, community outreach, and other support. It also awards the Quinn Rooney Shakespeare Scholarship, a need-based tuition award that helps students attend SA@S. The Foundation also supports additional artistic programming in Stratford.


Visiting Master Class Teachers


Zachary fine

Clown.  Zachary Fine has taught clown workshops around the country for The Acting Company and for the graduate Acting programs at The University of Tennessee and the FSU/Asolo Conservatory as well as in New York with The Studio and this fall with The Scott Freeman Studio. He has also taught at the Public Theater’s Shakespeare Lab Jr. and The 52nd Street Project as well as many festivals and theaters around the country. He was officially “trained and released” by Master Teacher Christopher Bayes, studying Clown and Commedia, and assisting Bayes at Yale School of Drama and the Julliard School.  His solo clown show, Walled In, ran for a month long residency at IRT Theater in the fall of 2011.



Voice and Speech.  Andrew Wade was Head of Voice at the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) from 1990 – 2003. He is currently on the faculty at Juilliard and Director of Voice and Speech at the Public Theater.   He joined the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1987 as Assistant Voice Director to Cicely Berry. He co-directed and devised with Cicely Berry Journey’s, Words, Words, Words, More Words and Lifespan – winning a Bronze Medal at the International Radio Festival in New York in 2000.  He has a particular interest in exploring language practically, which he fulfills by working with youngsters, students, teachers and academics. Andrew has traveled widely, lecturing, teaching, coaching, and working with acting companies and leading Master Classes around the world.   Andrew was Verse Consultant on the film Shakespeare in Love. He also coached Courtney Love for the role of Lady Macbeth, which is currently in the making.  



Fay Simpson

Lucid Body. Fay Simpson been the Artistic Director and co-founder of Impact Theatre since its creation in 1990. Informed by her work in the rehearsal room, the teaching studio and onstage over the last 20 years, Ms. Simpson has developed a unique physical training method for the actor called The Lucid Body. She taught at The Yale School of Drama, the New School’s Eugene Lang, Michael Howard Studios, The Studio/NY, Marymount Manhattan College, and at the Actor’s Center. She currently teaches this technique at Tisch School of the Arts, NYU’s Graduate Acting Program, and privately at the Lucid Body House. Fay wrote The Lucid Body; A Guide for the Physical Actor, published in 2008 by Allworth Press. She has a two-year Lucid Body Teacher Training program now in place.


Joan Frost

Alexander Technique. Joan Frost has been involved in the field of movement for over 40 years, having received her B.A. in Theater Arts: Dance from the University of California at Santa Cruz in 1975 and subsequently her certification to teach The Alexander Technique from The American Center for the Alexander Technique (ACAT) in New York City in 1983. Joan has been on the faculty of ACAT, training teachers, since 1984 and was Director of Teacher Certification there from 2001-2008. Over the past 30 years, in addition to maintaining a private practice in New York and Connecticut, Joan has taught the Alexander Technique in the Drama and Dance Divisions of The Juilliard School, at The New School, and at Sarah Lawrence College.


Rachel Jett

Movement (Droznin)/Ensemble Theater. Rachel is the Artistic Director of the National Theater Institute at the Eugene O'Neil Theater Center in Waterford, CT. She has been a faculty member at NTI since 1998 and is an alum of the NTI, NTI-Advanced Directing, and Moscow Art Theatre Semesters. A 2006 Baryshnikov Fellow, she holds an MFA from NYU Tisch School of the Arts Musical Theater Writing Program and is the first American aspirant to Andrei Droznin, master teacher of movement at the Vakhtangov Theatre in Moscow, Russia. She is one of the few practitioners teaching his method of Russian movement in the U.S. She has been named as "One of 50 to Watch" by Dramatist Magazine, is a lyricist/librettist and a former company member of the award-winning Stanislavsky Theater Studio and SYNETIC Theater in Washington, D.C.  In 2014, she appeared in a short film written by Donna Di Novelli.


Ted van Griethuysen

Shakespeare Scene Study. A member of the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s permanent acting company since 1987, he has appeared in more than 50 productions, including as Philip II in Don Carlos, John of Gaunt in Richard II, the title role in King Lear, Prospero in The Tempest, Andrew Undershaft in Major Barbara, and Malvolio in Twelfth Night, also at the McCarter Theatre. He spent twenty-five years in New York, appearing on Broadway in Gore Vidal’s RomulusThe Moon Besieged, and Inadmissible Evidence (Drama Desk Award). Mr. Van Griethuysen was recently seen on the West End in three one-act plays by Tennessee Williams. In 1968, he and his wife Rebecca Thompson founded the Opposites Company, an acting company based on the Aesthetic Realism of Eli Siegel. He has taught acting privately in New York and at Columbia University, the University of South Carolina, and Manchester Metropolitan University. He is the recipient of seven Helen Hayes Awards, the Will Award, and the Richard Bauer Award for Outstanding Contribution to Washington Theatre.



Stage Combat. 

David is the founder and director of Eagle’s Quest Tai Chi Center. A master teacher of Tai Chi Chuan, he has been teaching Tai Chi and stage combat for NTI since 1986. He has also taught at The Hartt School, Yale University, Wesleyan University, University of New Haven, Connecticut College, Gregory Abels Training Ensemble, Intar Theatre, and Ensemble Studio Theatre. He was a founding member of NYC’s The Studio Company, associate director of Creative Arts In Education at the O’Neill, director of the Yah Ta Hey Native American Arts Festival, director for the Papermoon Productions Summer Workshop, and co-director of the Professional Actors Training Program of the Netherlands. He has choreographed and directed the fights for the Fordham University, the Shakespeare Society at Wellesley College, and Wheaton College among others. He has appeared on film, off-Broadway, American Shakespeare Festival, and regional theaters. He was the subject of the documentary film, The Next Step.  He wrote and produced the Tai Chi videos Ultimate GraceInstructions on the Form, and Nei Kung of the Form, and an audiotape Tai Chi: The Inner Peace. In 2006, he was nominated for a Disney Teacher Award and was a delegate to the International Forum on Taijiquan.  In 2009 he was inducted into the USA Martial Arts Hall of Fame, awarded an honorary doctorate degree from the University of Asian Martial Arts Studies,formally inducted into the Sun Style, and won first place in the WuShu Federation competition in Beijing.  He currently studies directly under Grandmaster Sun Yongtian in Beijing and is pursuing a Master of Arts degree in Integrative Health and Healing.


Tia James

Miller Voice Method. Community and Educational Outreach Director Tia James will also train the ensemble in Miller Voice Method. Through mVm the ensemble will learn how to integrate breath, voice, and intention in their work. Through this technique the actor's awareness and expansion of breath will give way to a responsive and resilient voice, full and dynamic in presence, emotional life, and point of view.



Singing.   Anne Tofflemire was raised in Northern California, where she starred in the long running San Francisco productions of Side by Side by Sondheim and Rap Master Ronnie; there she was discovered by the Academy Award winning lyricist Sammy Cahn, with whom she toured nationally and internationally in his Sammy Cahn: Words and Music. Her other theatre credits include Peter Pan opposite Cathy Rigby, Maria in West Side Story, A Little Night Music, and Mama Rose in Gypsy. A winner of the Backstage Bistro Award for Outstanding Vocalist, Anne has appeared in New York at Birdland, Firebird Café, Delmonico’s, the Cabaret Convention at Town Hall, and Eighty Eights, at the Plush Room in San Francisco, and at the Gardenia in Los Angeles. Her CD, Let’s Face the Music, was released by Harbinger Records. She teaches at the National Theater Institute, Neighborhood Music School, and Yale School of Drama as well as privately.