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Shakespeare & Company:
Voice, Heritage and Community


2: 7/8/2024 - 7/21/2024




Work with Shakespeare & Company and dive deeply into your imagination, intellect and emotional life! Through this transformative experience, train your voice and body, explore the actor/audience relationship, and find a personal and fully embodied relationship to Shakespeare's text. Investigate how your own voice, heritage and community can be found in Shakespeare's imagery and characters. Explore the structure of the verse, movement and dance, sonnets, monologues and short scenes, bringing your unique humanity to Shakespeare.

Who Should Take This Class

Intermediate to advanced actors, teachers, and performers curious about performing and playing Shakespeare.

Required Application Materials (please submit materials in a single document)

  • Personal statement: up to one page 
  • Headshot 
  • Resume
  • Video audition: we will contact you for a Zoom interview and audition. Do not upload your audition.

Course Coordinator

Marie Ramirez Downing (Sonoma) is an assistant professor of theatre arts and director of the acting program. She has an MFA in Acting from The Theatre School at DePaul University, and a B.A. in Theatre Arts, Acting from Fresno State. She is a Designated Linklater Voice Teacher via the Linklater Center for Voice and Language. She also serves on the Summer Arts Advisory Council and is voice faculty at Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, Massachusetts.

Guest Artists

Michael Hammond

Michael Hammond

Michael Hammond is an actor, director, playwright, and teacher. He was a member of Boston University’s School of Theatre faculty, and worked full-time for many years at Shakespeare & Company, finally serving there as associate artistic director. He is currently a member of Shakespeare & Company’s faculty.

Natsuko Ohama

Natsuko Ohama

Natsuko Ohama is a founding member of Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, Massachusetts. She is a Drama Desk-nominated actress with extensive stage and screen roles including Pirates of the Caribbean, Disney/Marvel’s Wonderman, Public Theatre in New York City, and Oregon Shakespeare Festival. A renowned Linklater Voice Coach, she has conducted workshops nationally and internationally. She is currently teaching in the MFA Acting Program at the University of Southern California.

Raphael Massie

Raphael Massie

Raphael Massie is an award-winning director, actor, and educator who specializes in Shakespeare, social change theatre, and the intersection between the two. He has worked with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Shakespeare & Company, and Elm Shakespeare Company, among others, and has directed, acted, and studied abroad in England. He holds a Master of Fine Arts (with distinction) in Staging Shakespeare from the University of Exeter.

Susan Dibble

Susan Di​bble

Susan Dibble is a choreographer, teacher, dancer, and painter. She has been teaching and choreographing productions at Shakespeare & Company for 40 years. She serves as director of DibbleDance Theater. She has served as choreographer and movement director for productions at Actors Shakespeare Project, Manhattan Theatre Club, The Underground Railway Theater, and others. She also taught at New York University, the Denver Center Performing Arts Center, Ohio University, and others. Her article Shakespeare Honors the Three Centers of the Body appeared in Movement for Actors. She received the 2006 Leonard Bernstein Festival of Creative Arts Award. ​

Sheila Bandyopadhyay

Sheila Bandyopadhyay

Sheila Bandyopadhyay is a Brooklyn-based theater artist and director of Shakespeare & Company’s Center for Actor Training. Her career spans acting, directing, movement coaching, choreography, teaching, and devising original theater. She is committed to non-traditional performance that is physical, music-driven, and inclusive. She was head of the Movement Department at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Manhattan and the Professional Training Program and Core Movement Faculty at Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theater. An AmSAT certified teacher of the Alexander Technique, she is a proud member of the Humanist Project and a sponsored artist with Leviathan Lab.

Andrew Borthwick-Leslie

Andrew Borthwick-Leslie

Andrew Borthwick-Leslie has been a member of Shakespeare & Company for thirty years. He's taught at University of Pennsylvania, Temple University, and Emerson College, among others. He has directed over fifty productions, most recently the premier of unqle play, an intergenerational queer family musical-dramedy by Jayne Deely.

MaConnia Chesser

MaConnia Chesser

MaConnia Chesser is an actor, arts administrator, and producer currently based in Massachusetts. With over 20 years of acting experience, she has performed in three productions of An Iliad at the Ancram Opera House, Shakespeare & Company, and Advice to the Players.

Sarah Kate Anderson

Sarah Kate And​erson

Sarah Kate Anderson teaches in the Film, Theatre, and Dance Department at San José State University. She holds a master’s in theatre and a Master of Fine Arts in Interdisciplinary Arts with a concentration in Performance Creation. She joined the training faculty at Shakespeare & Comapny in 2019.