Paul Menzer

Paul Menzer

Professor of English; Program Director
Rose Terrace 112, Ext. 7058

Paul Menzer is a professor and the director of the Mary Baldwin College MLitt/MFA Shakespeare and Performance graduate program. He is the editor of Inside Shakespeare: Essays on the Blackfriars Stage (2006), author of The Hamlets: Cues, Q’s, and Remembered Texts (2008), Anecdotal Shakespeare: a New Performance History (2015), and of dozens of articles, essays, reviews, and chapters on theatre history, textual criticism, and performance studies. He is President of the Marlowe Society of America and co-editor of The Hare, an online journal of brief essays and untimely reviews. He is also a practicing playwright and his plays Anonymous, The Brats of Clarence, and Shakespeare on Ice have appeared on the Blackfriars stage and elsewhere. His most recent play, Invisible Inc., premiered at the Long Center for the Performing Arts in Austin, Texas in early 2013. He has a book forthcoming in 2016 entitled Making History: The American Shakespeare Center and Permanent Revolution.

Featured publications

  • Anecdotal Shakespeare: a New Performance History, The Arden Shakespeare, 2015.
  • The Hamlets: Cues, Qs, and the remembered text, University of Delaware Press: 2008. Times Literary Supplement, “Book of the Year,” 2010
  • Editor, Inside Shakespeare: Essays on the Blackfriars Stage, Susquehanna University Press: 2006.
  • “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close,” in Moving Shakespeare Indoors, eds. Farah Karim-Cooper and Andrew Gurr (Cambridge University Press, 2013)
  • “Lines,” in 21st Century Approaches: Early Modern Theatricality, ed. Henry S. Turner (Oxford University Press, 2013)
  • “Marlowe’s End” in Marlowe in Context,eds. Emma Smith and Emily Bartels (Cambridge University Press, 2013)
  • “Character Acting,” in Special Effects on the Early Modern Stage, eds. Tiffany Stern and Farah Karim-Cooper (Arden, 2013)
  • cf. Marlowe,” in Richard II: New Critical Essays, ed. Jeremy Lopez (Routledge, 2012)
  • “Ophelia’s Wake” in The Afterlife of Ophelia, eds. Deanne Williams and Kaara Petersen (Palgrave, 2012)
  • “Crowd Control,” in Imagining the Audience in Early Modern Drama, 1558-1642, eds. Jennifer Low and Nova Myhill (Palgrave, 2011)
  • “Fractional Faustus” in Christopher Marlowe the Craftsman: Lives, Stage, and Page, eds. Sarah Scott and Michael Stapleton (Ashgate, 2010)
  • “The Spirit of ’76: Original Practices and Revolutionary Nostalgia” in New Directions for Renaissance Drama and Performance Studies, ed. Sarah Werner (Palgrave, 2010).
  • “The Weaver’s Dream: mnemonic scripts and memorial texts,” A Midsummer Night’s Dream: Critical Guide,ed. Regina Buccola (Continuum Press, 2010)
  • “‘The Tragedians of the City’? Q1 Hamlet and the settlements of the 1590s,” Shakespeare Quarterly, 57 (2006): 162-82.
  • “The Actor’s Inhibition: early modern acting and the rhetoric of restraint,” Renaissance Drama, 35 (2006): 83-112.

Ralph Alan Cohen

Ralph Alan Cohen

Gonder Professor of English; Co-Founder and Director of Mission, ASC
ASC, 20 S. New Street,; 885-5588
Rose Terrace 111; Ext. 7251

Ralph Alan Cohen is Co-Founder and Director of Mission at the American Shakespeare Center and Gonder Professor of Shakespeare and Performance and founder of the Master of Letters and Fine Arts program at Mary Baldwin College. He was project director for the building of the Blackfriars Playhouse — a recreation of Shakespeare’s indoor theatre — in Staunton Virginia. He has directed 30 productions of plays by Shakespeare and his contemporaries, including America’s first professional production of Francis Beaumont’s The Knight of the Burning Pestle. He also directed the first revival of Thomas Middleton’s Your Five Gallants and co-edited the play for Oxford University Press’s Collected Works of Thomas Middleton. He is the author of ShakesFear and How to Cure It: A Handbook for Teaching Shakespeare. He twice edited special teaching issues of the Shakespeare Quarterly and has published articles on teaching Shakespeare as well as on Shakespeare, Jonson, and Elizabethan staging. He founded the Studies Abroad program at James Madison University, where he won Virginia’s award for outstanding faculty. He has frequently directed summer institutes on Shakespeare and staging sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities. In 2001 he established the Blackfriars Conference, a bi-annual week-long celebration of early modern drama in performance. In 2008, Cohen and ASC co-founder Jim Warren earned the Commonwealth Governor’s Arts Award. In 2009 he was the Theo Crosby Fellow at Shakespeare’s Globe in London. He earned his undergraduate degree at Dartmouth College and his doctorate at Duke University and has honorary degrees from St. Lawrence University and Georgetown University.

Julie D. Fox

Asst. Director for Operations
Rose Terrace 116/15-A; Ext. 7237

Julie Fox has worked as an administrator and publicist for the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Historical Society, the James Madison University School of Theatre and Dance, the Beverly Street Studio School, and, since 2007, the MBC Shakespeare and Performance graduate program. She earned a BA in English with minors in art and art history at JMU, and her Master of Art Education and PhD in Fine Arts degrees were awarded by Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas.

Matthew Davies

Matthew Davies

Assistant Professor
Rose Terrace 220; Ext. 7248

Matt Davies is an Assistant Professor in the MLitt/MFA Shakespeare and Performance program at Mary Baldwin and a professional actor and director of twenty years standing in the UK and the US. An associate director of renowned Shakespeare company Actors From The London Stage, Matt has been touring the States since 1999. He began his graduate studies at UT Austin in 2004 and defended his Ph.D dissertation in the summer of 2012. Earning three fellowships and a graduate teaching award while at UT, Matt also continued working professionally in the city’s vibrant theater community. Alongside UK national acting awards for two new works, Our Boys and Misconceptions, Matt has received numerous B. Iden Payne and Critics Circle awards and nominations for his classical work for Texas theater companies Austin Shakespeare, Hidden Room, and the Chekhov-based Breaking String, of which he is a founding member. Matt has directed both the classics and new works in London, Glasgow, Houston, and Austin.

Doreen Bechtol

Doreen Bechtol

MFA Company Manager; Director of Training
Rose Terrace 221B; Ext. 7261

Doreen Bechtol is the Master of Fine Arts Company Manager and Director of Training for the Shakespeare and Performance program at Mary Baldwin College. As a physical trainer, her approach blends several modes of training, such as: Suzuki and Viewpoints, acrobatics, dance, yoga, and basic calisthenics. As the director of the MFA Company’s devised show, she developed her brand of ensemble-based work for creating original performance through years of training with the SITI Company and with Joseph Chaikin, the founder of the Open Theater. She has directed and performed in over fifteen original devised performances, and she also wrote, directed, and edited a silent film based on The Winter’s Tale called For This Time We Pardon. She is a co-founding member of the Performers Exchange Project, a company dedicated to the creation of new and original work. She worked at the American Shakespeare Center (ASC) for over ten years both as a performer and choreographer in the Resident Troupe at the Blackfriars Playhouse, and as the Director of Youth Programs and College Prep, where she ran an internationally recognized Shakespeare theatre camp for teens. While at the ASC she also developed educational outreach programs, and led workshops examining the dynamic use of architecture in Shakespeare’s plays on the early modern stage. She remains the only actor at the ASC ever to have used the fly system when she entered from what is known as “the heavens” on a circus hoop as Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. She received her MFA from Mary Baldwin College’s Shakespeare and Performance program, and her BFA in Theatre and Education at Western Michigan University.

Associated Mary Baldwin Faculty

Mary Hill Cole

Mary Hill Cole

Professor of History
Carpenter Academic 404; Ex. 7273

Mary Hill Cole is a Professor of History who teaches courses on Tudor-Stuart History in the graduate program, as well as a variety of European history courses in the undergraduate program. She is the author of the book, The Portable Queen: Elizabeth I and the Politics of Ceremony, which reexamines the queen’s progresses as an investment crucial to her female monarchy. Her other publications on progresses include chapters in The Progresses, Pageants, and Entertainments of Queen Elizabeth (eds. Archer, Goldring, and Knight) and Elizabeth I: ‘Always Her Own Free Woman’ (eds. Levin and Barrett-Graves). Her article “Maternal Memory: Elizabeth Tudor’s Anne Boleyn” appears in Elizabeth I and the ‘Sovereign Arts (eds. Stump and Levin). Her academic presentations include keynote addresses at U.S. and U.K. conferences devoted to Elizabethan progresses and the English Renaissance. She appeared on National Geographic’s television show Undercover History: Secrets of the Virgin Queen, and she has given numerous talks to the public on Tudor England. Currently Chair of the History Department, she also directs the summer study Virginia Program at Oxford. She has won three awards for teaching at Mary Baldwin and has been nominated for two Commonwealth of Virginia teaching awards. In addition to being chosen for a National Endowment for the Humanities Institute, she received an honorary membership in Phi Beta Kappa. She served on the Board of Directors of the American Shakespeare Center and helped to establish the MLitt/MFA program. She has also been a Visiting Professor at the University of Virginia, where she earned her PhD.

Theresa Southerington

Professor of Theatre
Deming 06; Ext. 7192

Janna Segal

Janna Segal

Assistant Professor of Theatre
Deming 06; Ext. 7031

Dr. Janna Segal is an Assistant Professor of Theatre at Mary Baldwin College, where she teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in early modern theatre, contemporary American theatre, Shakespearean adaptation, and dramaturgy. Prior to joining the MBC faculty, she was an IHUM Postdoctoral Fellow at Stanford University, where she taught classes in performance studies. She has published single and co-authored articles on Othello, Romeo and Juliet, The Roaring Girl, As You Like It, and Fo and Rame’s Elisabetta. Dr. Segal is also a dramaturg whose production work has included new plays in development (The Man of Rock), Shakespeare (As You Like It), Shakespearean adaptation (Love’s Fire), and contemporary theatre (Ruhl’s Eurydice). She is the resident dramaturg for the Comparative Drama Conference’s new play staged reading series, and a dramaturg for ATHE’s annual New Play Development Workshop.

Featured publications

  • “The aesthetic resurrection of the ‘death-mark’d’ lovers (R&J 1.P.9) in the some-other where-but-here-spaces of Romeo and Juliet.” Shakespeare and Wonder. Eds. Mark Aune, Adam Cohen, Joshua Fisher, and Becky Steinberger. New York: Palgrave, 2012. 139-48.
  • “‘And browner than her brother’”: ‘Misprized’ Celia’s Racial Identity and Transversality in As You Like It.” Shakespearean Criticism v. 135. Ed. Michelle Lee. London: Gale, 2011.
  • “Fugitive Explorations in Romeo and Juliet: Searching for Transversality inside the Goldmine of R&Jspace.” Co-authored with Bryan Reynolds. Transversal Enterprises in the Drama of Shakespeare and His Contemporaries: Fugitive Explorations. By Bryan Reynolds. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006. 124-67.
  • “The Reckoning of Moll Cutpurse: A Transversal Enterprise.” Co-authored with Bryan Reynolds. Transversal Enterprises in the Drama of Shakespeare and His Contemporaries: Fugitive Explorations. By Bryan Reynolds. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006. 27-63.

Featured dramaturgical work

  • Resident Dramaturg for the CDC’s new play staged reading series (Spring 2013)
  • Dramaturg for ATHE New Play Development Workshop’s staged reading of Jesse Waldinger’s Mrs. Butler Returns, directed by Eve Munson (Summer 2012)
  • Dramaturg for the Climate Theatre production of Daniel Heath’s The Man of Rock, directed by Jessica Heidt (Winter 2010)
  • Dramaturg for Circle X’s staged reading of Lisa D’Amour’s The Cataract, directed by Trevor Biship (Summer 2009)
  • Dramaturg for Range View Productions’ production of Sarah Ruhl’s Eurydice, directed by Trevor Biship (Spring 2009)
  • Dramaturg for Theatre of NOTE’s production of Larry Kramer’s Just Say No!: A Play About a Farce, directed by Trevor Biship (Winter 2007)

Extended Faculty

J.P. Scheidler

JP Scheidler

Combat and Movement Instructor

John Paul Scheidler, adjunct faculty member, teaches movement and stage combat classes in both the MLitt and MFA programs. John Paul is a professional actor, fight choreographer and director with membership in Actor’s Equity Assoc. and is a certified teacher with the Society of American Fight Directors. He has worked professionally with Heritage Rep. Theatre, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, The Blackfrairs Playhouse, NYC Opera and was a company member with Wellspring/Cori Terry and Dancers for 3 years. Education includes an MFA from the University of Virginia, Hap Ki Do, and a BA in Drama and Dance from Western Michigan University.

Kate Norris

Kate Eastwood Norris is an Equity actor with extensive stage credits from theatres all across America. She has won two Helen Hayes Awards and a Barrymore Award for her performances, and is a company member of DC’s Woolly Mammoth Theatre. Kate has presented lectures and given workshops for numerous colleges, universities and arts organizations on topics ranging from Shakespearean text interpretation to physical comedy. She is completing a master’s degree in engaged humanities at Pacifica Graduate Institute with a focus on comedy and its role in psyche and society.

Roslyn Knutson

Roslyn L. Knutson, Professor Emerita of English at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, is the author of Playing Companies and Commerce in Shakespeare’s Time and The Repertory of Shakespeare’s Company, 1594-1613. She has published on theater history in numerous journals, annuals, and essay collections.  Her current projects include a collection of essays entitled Christopher Marlowe, Theatrical Commerce, and the Book Trade, which she is co-editing with Kirk Melnikoff; and the wiki-style Lost Plays Database, which she co-edits with David McInnis.

John Harrell

John Harrell

Guest Instructor

John Harrell has been a resident actor at the Blackfriars Playhouse since 2002. He has appeared in nearly a hundred productions on its stage, and has played roles from Dogberry to Hamlet to 2nd Lord. He has a BA in English from James Madison University, and co-founded Foolery, a theatre company based in Charlottesville.

Allison Glenzer

As an actor with the American Shakespeare Center for nearly 15 years, Allison Glenzer  and has occupied more than 140 roles in 77 productions. Some of her favorites include Kate in The Taming of the Shrew; Adriana in The Comedy of Errors;  Friar Lawrence, Nurse,  and Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet; Thersides in Troilus and Cressida; The Countess in All’s Well That Ends Well; Jailer’s Daughter in The Two Noble Kinsmen; Mary in The 12 Dates of Christmas; Constance in King John; Speed in The Two Gentlemen of Verona; Emilia in Othello; Dol Common in The Alchemist; Hecate in The Witch; and Lady Macbeth in Macbeth. She reprised her role as Nurse in Romeo and Juliet with Shakespeare & Company (Massachusetts), directed by Tina Packer. Glenzer has also acted with Swine Palace Theater (Louisiana) and New Theater (Massachusetts) and she appeared in the national tour of A Body in Motion, a production based on the book Transcending: Reflections of Crime Victims. Glenzer earned her BA in English and speech communications at Clemson University and her MFA in acting at Louisiana State University.

René Thornton, Jr.

Rene Thornton

René Thornton Jr. has been a company member of the American Shakespeare Center since 2004. During that time he has appeared in over 60 productions, playing roles such as Othello, Leontes, Petruchio, Pericles, Benedick, and Doctor Faustus. Prior to his tenure at the ASC, he performed at the Oregon, Utah, and Wisconsin Shakespeare festivals, and other regional theaters around the country. He has worked on the faculty of the University of Tennessee-Knoxville and taught in education programs for the ASC, as well as at the Oregon and Utah Shakespeare festivals. René holds an MFA from the Professional Theatre Training Program at the University of Delaware and a BFA in Acting from the University of Utah. He is also a member of the Actor’s Equity Association

Guest Faculty

Jeremy West

Jeremy West

Jeremy West, adjunct faculty member, is a professional actor, director, and fight choreographer. He is director of the Theatre Emphasis Program at Stuart Hall School, Fencing Instructor at Mary Baldwin, and a veteran actor of the American Shakespeare Center where he has also served as a Fight Choreographer and Assistant Director for the 2012 Summer/Fall season. Other professional acting work includes: Shakespeare Theatre, D.C.; Virginia Shakespeare Festival; Virginia Stage Company; The Shakespeare Forum; Vanguard Theatre Company, U.K.; Next Stage Theatre; and Heritage Theatre Festival among others. Jeremy is recognized with the Society of American Fight Directors and the British Academy of Dramatic Combat in multiple weapons, of which 5 have earned him “recommendation” awards from the SAFD for excellence in the performance of stage combat. He has had placements for practical training at the Globe Theatre, London and academic research at the Shakespeare Institute Library in Stratford-Upon-Avon, and was a 2007 Fulbright Finalist for the U.K. He holds an MFA in Staging Shakespeare from Exeter University, U.K. and additional training with practitioners such as: Jane Lapotaire, Emma Thompson, Gyles Block, Ralph Zito, Stewart Pearce, and Michael Kahn.

Guest Artists and Academics

Resident faculty instruction is augmented with working ASC actors, and Staunton frequently hosts guest artists and academics from around the world.

Stephen Greenblatt, Harvard University
Tina Packer, Shakespeare & Co.
Tiffany Stern, Oxford University
Scott Kaiser, Oregon Shakespeare Festival
Andrew Gurr, University of Reading
Giles Block, Shakespeare’s Globe
Peter Holland, University of Notre Dame
Lisa Wolpe, LA Women’s Shakespeare
Gary Taylor, Florida State University
Tim Carroll, Shakespeare’s Globe
David Bevington, University of Chicago
Franchelle Stewart Dorn, University of Texas, Austin