Stratford Shakespeare academy names new director

January 29, 2019

STRATFORD — The Mighty Quinn Foundation, Inc., is pleased to announce that multifaceted theater artist Benjamin Curns will be joining the team of its flagship educational theater program, Shakespeare Academy @ Stratford., in the summer of 2019 as Resident Director.

SA@S is a six-week summer theater program that uniquely combines rigorous training, ensemble collaboration, and the opportunity to rehearse and perform two Shakespeare plays in repertory on the grounds of the iconic American Festival Shakespeare Theater in Stratford, Connecticut.

Benjamin Curns is an actor, director, teacher, musician, and fight choreographer with experience in classical theater, contemporary classics, musicals, and the development of new plays. He has performed in New York and regionally and has toured the nation on several occasions.

With a background in stage combat and punk music, he’s drawn to work that is darkly comic, satirical, and iconoclastic — highly physical and fast paced, yet still attuned to delivering clear stories with powerful messages, whether socio-political or intensely personal. Ben believes the theater is America’s greatest neighborhood: an inclusive place that grows stronger through hard work, diversity, communication, and challenging oneself and others.

He earned his MFA in Acting from the University of North Carolina/PlayMakers Repertory Company (recipient of the David A. Hammond Award for Excellence in Dramatic Art), spent many seasons with the American Shakespeare Company in Staunton, Virginia, and has recently appeared on the ABC series Quantico. You can find him online at www.benjamincurns.com.

SA@S Artistic Director Sara Holdren said: “I’m more excited than I can say to be collaborating with Ben Curns on my first season as Artistic Director at SA@S. I’ve known Ben for many years (it’s Shakespeare’s fault that we met in the first place!) and he is a truly remarkable artist: A ferocious actor, a generous and rigorous director, a fight choreographer who takes care of his actors and makes them feel physically empowered and deeply connected to the story they’re telling... All of which also makes him, perhaps obviously, a great teacher. Ben will be among SA@S’s fantastic line-up of masterclass teachers in the summer of 2019, as well as directing one of the program’s two in-rep Shakespeare productions. It’s a straight-up thrill to have him on board, and I can’t wait for the students at SA@S to experience his extraordinary passion.”

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