David Carson and Montgomery Sutton in King Lear.
American Bard Theater Company is a not-for-profit organization serving the Greater New York City community.
Our mission is to excavate the language of playwrights and create thought-provoking, self-reflective productions that illuminate issues relevant to underrepresented voices. We work to develop our artists’ skills by investing in projects that nurture and challenge them.
Vision: American Bard Theater Company approaches each play based on text analysis technique shared by the 14 individuals who studied Shakespeare together and wanted to create greater opportunities to perform. In our first few years, we presented various works by William Shakespeare in the “First Folio” text analysis style. Just like Shakespeare’s own troupe of actors, we maintain that “the play’s the thing” and root all our artistic choices back to the language in the script, with respect to the punctuation and word choice in order to guide our storytelling. By working through the lens of the playwright’s language and its structure to shape the actions on the stage, much as Shakespeare’s players did 400 years ago, we keep our rehearsals and performances targeted at creating the playwright’s unique world through cadence, intonations, and emotional energy evoked by the “music” of the script.
Cast of Pericles, Prince of Tyre
The assembly of a strong and varied artistic family is of utmost importance to the company and has been a goal
from our first production. In this tradition, Erin Gilbreth and Cheri Wicks, both founding members, now serving as
Co-Producing Artistic Directors, continue as advocates for women, the LGTBQ community and people of color. We actively pursue projects that will expand the company’s family to include more artists from these groups. Approximately 35 actors, designers and stage hands, who participate in the annual production and/or staged readings, represent the varied landscape of New York theater artists. Many of these artists return for appropriate projects in subsequent seasons, strengthening their bonds with the company.
Cast - Much Ado About Nothing
Board of Directors
John H. Shaw III (President) - is an accomplished investment banker and entrepreneur who has advised and raised public and private capital for acquisition vehicles and growth companies across multiple industries in the U.S., Europe and Asia. Prior to joining Maxim, Mr. Shaw was a senior officer in equity capital markets at Deutsche Bank from 2007-2012 where he was responsible for managing the bank’s special purpose acquisition company practice globally. While at DB, he led the origination and execution of SPAC IPOs
raising $3.2b of gross proceeds and the execution of successful business combinations in transactions
with an aggregate enterprise value of over $7b. Prior to DB, Mr. Shaw co-founded the boutique investment bank Legend Merchant Group, which he led as President and co-Chairman from 2002-2007. In his role at Legend, Mr. Shaw drove the growth of the firm from 5 to over 50 professionals and built its advisory and capital markets practices, which led or co-managed over 50 financing transactions ranging in size from
$2m to $375m.
Harry R. Dreizen (Vice President) is a lawyer with over twenty-five years experience. For the last fourteen years Mr. Dreizen has served as General Counsel and Executive Vice President of The Moinian Group, a privately-held national real estate company. Prior to joining The Moinian Group, Mr. Dreizen was in private practice, specializing in real estate transactions and commercial litigation. Mr. Dreizen obtained his Bachelor's degree from Harvard College and his J.D. from Hofstra School of Law.
Ross G. Hewitt (Treasurer) is a retired physician and an award-winning film producer who, in the past, has served the arts as Business Manager and Board President of Ujima Theatre Company in Buffalo, New York, and as Board Treasurer and President of the Arts Council of Buffalo and Erie County. He has also been a peer reviewer of new plays for Repertorio Espaniol and the American Bard Theater Company in New York City. He currently serves on the Board of the Lakeside Theater Company in Toledo, Ohio and as a volunteer for Island City Stage in Wilton Manors, Florida. He is a founding member of the American Bard Theater Company, and sometimes works professionally as an actor, director, playwright, screenwriter and producer.
Ann Marie Carr (Secretary) is currently a supporter of Fine Arts. She is Board Secretary of the American Bard Theater Company, formerly on the Advisory Board of the Hamptons Theatre Company in Quogue, supporter of Hip to Hip Free Shakespeare in the Park Theatre Company, Southampton Arts Center, the Southampton Cultural Center's Rising Stars Piano Program, former member of the Playwrights First play reading/contest group, Member of the Amateur Comedy Club, and presently on the Board of the Rogers Memorial Library Foundation in Southampton, NY. In her previous life, she wrote television commercials for a major advertising company having one of the longest and most successful television commercials in the history of television. Following her advertising career, she volunteered for National Public Television writing promos working with the marketing committee. For over 5 years she served on the Marketing and Promotional Committee for the Parrish Art Museum in Southampton, New York. She holds a BA degree in Journalism with a minor in Theatre Arts. She has an MA degree in Drama and English Literature.
Erin Gilbreth (Acting Secretary) has lived in New York City for nearly thirty years. The first ten brought lots of travel as she worked in regional theaters, across the country on a national tour and internationally as an entertainer on a cruise ship. The next ten years brought studies in classical acting with John Basil and Patsy Rodenburg. In her third decade of professional work, she added teaching to her evolution, specializing in drama play with young artists and teaching for Hip to Hip Theatre Company and Riverdale Children’s Theater in New York and with her mentor, Tony nominee Lara Teeter, in his audition workshops in St. Louis. As she enters her fourth decade of theater work in NYC, Erin is focusing on leadership as a producer of independent theater in our post-pandemic landscape. She has a BA in Musical Theater from California State and an MA in Liberal Studies from SUNY Stony Brook. She is a Founding Artist with American Bard Theater Company. www.eringilbreth.net
Cheri Wicks is an actor and a founding member of American Bard Theater Company. She is an avid supporter of theater in NYC and Montana, her home state. After high school, Cheri studied dance in New York and returned to Montana where she was a choreographer and dancer with the Montana State University Dance Company. Cheri continued honing her production skills as an assistant on the ASMSU (Associated Students of Montana State University) Campus Entertainment-Lively Arts and Lectures. Transferring to the University of Oregon, she continued to perform, worked as the Performing Arts Coordinator for the U of O Cultural Forum, and finished her B.A. in English Literature. In New York, Cheri works in theater, film, and television - her love of performing and producing continues to grow. www.cheriwicks.com