Christopher Edwards, New Artistic Director at Actors Shakespeare Project

by Kathy Eddy
Christopher V. Edwards
Christopher V. Edwards

Actors’ Shakespeare Project (ASP) in Boston, recently announced Christopher V. Edwards as the company’s new Artistic Director. Edwards previously served as artistic director at Nevada Conservatory Theatre for three years, and for 14 years prior to that worked as Associate Artistic Director and Director of Education with the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival. 

Edwards, a director, actor, fight choreographer, and educator, received a rousing ASP welcome during the company's Shakespeare’s Solstice reception at deCordova Sculpture Park & Museum Rooftop Terrace in Lincoln, MA. The special evening, hosted by ASP Board Member James Burke and his wife Laura, featured performances by ASP Resident Acting Company members. He will take over Artistic Director duties for ASP in August after directing William Shakespeare’s Long Lost First Play (abridged) at the Utah Shakespeare Festival in July.

“We are ecstatic that Chris will be joining us as ASP’s third Artistic Director,” says Executive Producer Kimberly Dawson. “His spirit and energy, approach to Shakespeare, and experience working with companies of actors prove that he is the perfect person to steward ASP into the next chapter of our history. I can think of no one better matched to be at the helm, and I very much look forward to working with him to build on ASP’s success for years to come.”

“I have had a long distance crush on Actors’ Shakespeare Project for some time,” says Edwards. “ASP has an impressive local and national reputation for its stage work and educational programming. We share a common appreciation for heightened texts and their insights, and a focus on getting to the heart of every story—to encourage actors and audiences together to become more empathetic human beings. I am thrilled to be getting back to Shakespeare, and eager to again work with a resident acting company as demonstrably committed to their craft as ASP’s.”

He adds, “Boston is one of America’s most vibrant arts communities, especially for professional theater. My wife is an actress and educator and my daughter is interested in the arts. As urbanites at heart, we eagerly await the hustle and bustle, diversity of ideas, devotion to sports teams, and the charm and history of this city and its people—almost as much as I look forward to working with the company to write the next chapter in its inspiring story.”

During his time as Artistic Director of Nevada Conservatory Theatre (NCT) in Las Vegas, he produced over 25 plays and directed five productions over three seasons. Prior to becoming Artistic Director, he guest-directed Arcadia and Seven Guitars. During his tenure, Edwards created the Homegrown + Organic Playwrights Festival, a community based new works initiative for local playwrights which helped to develop plays that moved on to other theaters and festivals around the country. Prior to moving to Las Vegas, he was the Associate Artistic Director, Director of Education and Apprentice Training Program and a 14 year company member with The Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival in Cold Spring, New York, where he directed and acted in over 30 productions. While freelancing in New York City, Edwards co-founded Point of Entry Theater, an education-based company dedicated to introducing inner city youth to heightened texts, both classical and contemporary. This work included classics and Hip-Hop Theatre adaptations of classics in collaboration with Lincoln Center’s Meet the Artists Program.

Edwards has worked as a director or actor in London’s West End, Off-Broadway, The National Theatre of Oslo in Norway, John Houseman’s The Acting Company in NYC, HERE Arts Center, in NYC, Dorset Theatre Festival in Vermont, Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland, The Helix in Ireland, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Ubu Rep. in NYC, The Flea Theater in NYC, Cleveland Playhouse, Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, Hip-Hop Theatre Festival in NYC, Utah Shakespeare Festival, SOHO Rep in NY, Penumbra Theater and the Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis amongst others.

As an educator, he created and headed the professional apprentice training program at the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, and was an Assistant Professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, an adjunct faculty member at Montclair State University in New Jersey, and Visiting Faculty at Bennington College in Vermont.  Edwards received his MFA from the University of Minnesota in Association with the Guthrie Theatre, and relocates to Boston with his wife, Jennifer Rohn and daughter Anya.