Ross Williams – Artistic Director/Executive Producer
Ross Williams founded New York Shakespeare Exchange in 2009 as a vehicle for engaging new audiences with classical theater. He is a director, teacher and performer committed to the development of highly theatrical work. In 2011 Ross adapted and directed NYSX’s critically-acclaimed production of Shakespeare’s The Life and Death of King John about which Adam Feldman of TimeOutNY remarked, “This young company is not only promising, It’s DELIVERING.” Ross’ longtime collaboration with playwright Kevin Brewer has provided him the opportunity to direct many original works including Island; Or, To Be or Not to Be (NYSX, 2012); The One Man (Two Man (not quite)) Hamlet (NYSX, spring 2010); and, Jinx in the 2004 Strawberry One-act Festival (1st place). In the spring of 2005 he adapted and directed an acclaimed ensemble-based production of Hamlet for Dreamscape Theatre, NYC. Ross’ concept production of Verdi’s Rigoletto (with scenic designer and NY Shakespeare Exchange contributing artist Jason Lajka) was chosen for a New York exhibition of the 2008 International Ring Award for emerging opera directors & designers. Ross has appeared on stage throughout North America; most notably he originated the role of Gimli the battle-axe wielding dwarf in the world premiere of The Lord of the Rings musical extravaganza in Toronto. As a teacher Ross focuses on exploring the nuances of classical text with authenticity and emotional connection. He has taught in Toronto, Cleveland, Dallas and in NYC with Judith Shakespeare, Actors Shakespeare, New York Shakespeare Exchange and Red Bull Theater. He holds an MFA from the Cleveland Play House Professional Actor Training Program, and a BFA from Southern Methodist University.