Mission: We use the language of playwrights to inspire the creation of specific worlds on stage. We work to develop our artists’ skills by investing in projects that nurture and challenge our talents. We believe in the power of a shared experience between our artists and our audiences, using plays to inspire curiosity and self-reflection. American Bard Theater Company is a not-for-profit organization serving the Greater New York community.
David Carson and Montgomery Sutton in King Lear.
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
Cast - Much Ado About Nothing
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.
Board of Directors
John Shaw III Harry R. Dreizen Ann Marie Carr Cheri Wicks Erin Gilbreth
John H. Shaw III - 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 - 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.
Ann Marie Carr - is currently a supporter of Fine Arts. She is Board Secretary of the American Bard Theater Company, on the Advisory Board of the Hamptons Theatre Company in Quogue, supporter of Hip to Hip Theatre Company, Food For Thought, and the Southhampton Cultural Center's Rising Stars Program. In her previous life, she wrote television commercials for a major advertising company and had one of the longest and most successful television commericals in the history of television. Following her advertising career, she volunteered for National Public Television writing promos and working with the marketing committee. For over 5 years she served on the Marketing and Promotional Committee for the Parrish Art Museum in Southhampton, 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 has lived in New York City for over twenty 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. Now in her third decade of professional work, she has added teaching to her evolution. Erin has a BA in Musical Theater from California State University, Fullerton and an MA in Liberal Studies from SUNY Stony Brook. She specializes in heightened language and drama play with young artists and has taught in conjunction with 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. 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 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.