William and Mary

The People Who Make It Happen...

With over 50 members of the company this year it would be difficult to introduce them all but here are a few of those making this summer happen

Producing Artistic Director - Christopher Owens

Professor Owens first came to the festival and to William & Mary in 2004, and has staged its productions of The Tempest, Macbeth, Love's Labours Lost, The Complete History of America Abridged, Hamlet, Art, The Winter's Tale, and The Merchant of Venice. Prior to heading VSF he was director of professional theatre companies in Dallas (Plaza Theatre, New Arts Theatre) and northwest Virginia (Wayside Theatre) for 18 years.  He is the recipient of the 2013 Plumeri Award for Faculty Excellence at William & Mary and has directed over 150 professional stage productions from coast to coast.  He received his theatrical training at SMU in Dallas and at The Juilliard School in New York under the direction of John Houseman.  This last season he was on research leave from the college and the festival, directing productions of Serious Money, Crimes of The Heart, Red, and Conversations With A Despicable Character at various theatres from Houston to Richmond to Atlanta.  This year he stages our production of Julius Caesar.

Scenic Designer J. David Blatt

J. David first started with the festival in 2005, with his magical rotating African island of The Tempest that year, along with the insanity of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare Abridged.  He continued on the next year to design our productions of Macbeth and the first edition of Illyria, a Musical 12th Night which he will remount this season.  He has also done our productions of Much Ado About Nothing (remember the WWI biplane he landed onstage for that?), The Winter's Tale and Art in 2009.  He resides in the Denver area where he is a professor at the University of Northern Colorado.

Costume Designer Patricia Wesp
A Professor of Theatre at the College of William & Mary, Tric has been with the festival almost since its beginning, designing scores of productions, mostly for costumes but sometimes scenery as well.  Recent audiences will remember her Richard III from last season, The Tempest and Complete Works...Abridged in 2005, Macbeth and the first Illyria in 2006, and a stunning Romeo & Juliet and Love's Labours Lost in 2007.

John Ammerman, Director of Illyria
John first came to the festival as an actor in 2006, playing the title role in Macbeth and Sir Toby in our first Illyria.  Since then audiences have thrilled to his performances as Sir Thomas More in A Man For All Seasons, Jaques in As You Like It, multiple roles in The Complete History of America Abridged and most recently as Shylock in 2012's The Merchant of Venice.  John is a Professor of Theatre at Emory University in Atlanta and has appeared with or directed at most of the major companies in that city.  He is director of The Refuge Theatre there, whose production of Conversation With A Despised Character will transfer to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe this August.

Steve Holliday, Lighting Designer
Steve has been lighting productions for VSF for decades and is also a Professor of Theatre at the College of William & Mary.  Audiences have seen his work consistenly for the last 9 years including such standouts as last season's Richard III, Hamlet & The Comedy of Errors in 2011, Romeo & Juliet, Love's Labours Lost, Macbeth, Othello, Taming of the Shrew and many, many others.