Artistic & Education
Steven is the Founding Artistic Director of Commonwealth Shakespeare Company (CSC). At CSC he has been directing Free Shakespeare on the Boston Common productions since 1996, including Richard III, Love’s Labour’s Lost, King Lear, Twelfth Night, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Coriolanus, All’s Well That Ends Well, Othello, The Comedy Of Errors, As You Like It, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Taming of the Shrew, Hamlet, Much Ado About Nothing, Macbeth, Henry V, The Tempest, Julius Caesar, and Romeo & Juliet. In collaboration with Boston Landmarks Orchestra, he directed A Midsummer Night’s Dream, featuring the Overture and Incidental Music of Felix Mendelssohn, as well as concert stagings of The Boys from Syracuse and Kiss Me Kate at Boston’s iconic Hatch Shell. For CSC he has also directed one-night-only readings of iconic plays featuring Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Paul Rudd, Blair Brown, Tony Shalhoub, Leslie Uggams, David Morse, and Jeffrey Donovan among others. He also conceived and directed Shakespeare at Fenway an evening of Shakespeare scenes performed at Boston’s iconic Fenway Park, featuring Mike O’Malley, Neal McDonough, Maryann Plunkett, Jay O. Sanders, Kerry O’Malley, Seth Gilliam, Zuzanna Szadkowski, and Jason Butler Harner.
In collaboration with Google, he recently adapted and directed a first of its kind virtual reality film of Shakespeare’s Hamlet starring Jack Cutmore-Scott, Jay O. Sanders, Brooke Adams, and Faran Tahir. Other CSC works include his recent critically acclaimed production of Ariel Dorfman’s Death and the Maiden, the world premiere of Jake Broder’s Our American Hamlet, and the world premiere of Robert Brustein’s The Last Will. He directed Péter Eötvös operatic treatment of Tony Kushner’s Angels in America (U.S. Premiere) and Thomas Adès Powder Her Face for Opera Boston, The Turn of the Screw at New Repertory Theatre, Santaland Diaries and Chay Yew’s Porcelain at SpeakEasy Stage Company, Top Girls and Weldon Rising at Coyote Theatre, and The L.A. Plays by Han Ong at A.R.T. HIs New York City credits include the New York Musical Theatre Festival production of Without You, written and starring Anthony Rapp. The production has been seen in Boston, Edinburgh, Toronto, London, and Seoul.
He received the prestigious Elliot Norton Award for Sustained Excellence, as well as for Best Production, Twelfth Night, Outstanding Director, A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Best Production, Suburbia; Best Solo Performance, John Kuntz’s Starf***ers (which also won Best Solo Performance Award at New York International Fringe Festival). His feature film “The Autumn Heart”, starring Tyne Daly and Ally Sheedy was in the Dramatic Competition at the Sundance Film Festival.
Adam Sanders is the Associate Artistic Director at Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, theater-in-residence at Babson College. He serves as director of the Apprentice Program, and is the director and originator of CSC2, a cohort of early-career actors. Directing credits for CSC include: Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Julius Caesar (CSC2 Company), Symphonic Shakespeare, (in collaboration with Boston Landmarks Orchestra at the Boston Hatch Shell); co-director: Kiss Me Kate, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and The Boys From Syracuse (also BLO/Hatch Shell collaborations), co-director/dramaturg: Shakespeare and Leadership (2013 – 2017), and CSCs unprecedented Shakespeare at Fenway performance in 2014; director: Shakespeare and the Law (2017). At Babson College, Adam is the Associate Director of the Sorenson Center for the Arts where he supports the artistic development of undergraduate students within a business focused curriculum. Adam holds a Master of Arts in theater education from Emerson College and is a Master of Business Administration candidate at Babson College.
Victoria Townsend is a Boston-based director, teaching-artist and occasional performer. In addition to her work on artistic programing for CSC, she also serves as the Academy Coordinator for the Apprentice Program and CSC2 as well as work on many other educational programs. Directing Credits: Emerging Playwright’s Festival (Wheelock Family Theater), Cosi Fan Tutte New England Conservatory’s UGOS Program, The Memorandum (Flat Earth Theater). Assistant Directing Credits: Fear and Misery in the Third Reich, Kiss me Kate, Romeo and Juliet and Shakespeare and Leadership (CSC) and L’Egisto (NEC/UGOS). She has also served as a teaching-artist for Watertown Children’s Theater and Live Arts Education. A Massachusetts native, Victoria currently resides in Woburn and is a graduate of Saint Michael’s College in Vermont with a degrees in Theatre and English Literature.
Abigail (Abi) Rollins joined the staff at CSC in 2010 as General Manager, before being promoted to Managing Director in 2017. Abi holds degrees in Dance and Psychology from Kenyon College, and a Master’s in Arts Administration from Boston University. Prior to her tenure at CSC, she spent several years in New York City where she held positions with Trisha Brown Dance Company and Danspace Project at St. Marks Church. Her other professional credits include internships or part-time positions with the American Dance Festival, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Boston Ballet, and Lyric Stage Company of Boston, where–while working in the Lyric’s box office–she had the good fortune to meet her husband, Matt.
Heather Darrow is the Director of Marketing for Commonwealth Shakespeare Company in residence at Babson College where she also oversees marketing for BabsonARTS. Previously, she was Development Director for New Repertory Theater which included overseeing the 30th Anniversary Campaign. Before that, she was with Broadway Across America-Boston (now Broadway in Boston) as Associate Marketing Manager before assuming the role of Marketing Director and supporting the marketing efforts of touring Broadway productions. Her career began at New York City Opera where she spent 5 years in the Marketing Department. Originally from Upstate New York, Heather is an occasional performer, regular baker, and the mother of two boys.
Erin Coffey has been in the role of Director of Development at Commonwealth Shakespeare Company since December 2017. Prior to coming to CSC she spent two years at Boston Lyric Opera as the Associate Director of Major Gifts and prior to that was at the Celebrity Series of Boston for five years as their Manager of Annual Giving. She is an active member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and Women in Development of Greater Boston. She holds an M.S. from Boston University in Arts Administration, where she also received a Certificate in Fundraising Management.
Julia Kohl joined the staff of Commonwealth Shakespeare Company as Development Associate in April 2015. Now, as Manager of Annual Giving and Events, she is responsible for managing CSC’s Annual Fund program and all grants under $5,000, as well as coordinating all development special events. Previously, she was Corporate and Foundation Relations Associate, and later Development Associate, for Old Sturbridge Village, a living history museum in Sturbridge, MA. Before that, she was a Grant Research Assistant in the Office of Institutional Advancement at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. A Massachusetts native, Julia currently resides in Wayland and is a graduate of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts with a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology.
Janet Goff works on planning all the details of the annual Gala, Opening Night of Free Shakespeare on the Common, and other significant CSC events. Previously, she was Director of Special Events and Project Sponsorships for New England Conservatory for over 11 years, where she organized an extensive roster of events from the annual “A Feast of Music” gala to pre-concert receptions, dinners, and special projects such as NEC’S “Evening in Valhalla” that featured stars of the Metropolitan Opera in a semi-staged act from Richard Wagner’s Die Walkure and associated festivities. She also organized NEC’s corporate sponsorship initiative. Over the course of her tenure at NEC, Janet raised over $8 million in scholarship support. Prior to her years at NEC, Janet was Assistant Director at the Harvard Museum of Natural History, where she planned such events as the Flower Power gala with Martha Stewart as Honorary Chair; a series of symposia on Climate Change and Loss of Species and Habitats with such luminaries as Vice President Al Gore, and Harvard President Larry Summers. Janet was responsible for creating a facilities rental program at the HMNH that developed into a major revenue stream. Originally from the Boston area, Janet attended Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, where she was a College of Letters major with a focus on French language and civilization. She currently lives in Newton with her lynx-point Siamese cat Ninigret and two evening gown closets. She loves to dance, bake, read, and listen to music, especially opera and heavy metal.
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Katalin (Kati) Mitchell is the Media Relations Representative at CSC. She retired from her position of Director of Press and Public Relations of the American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.) in 2017 after twenty-seven years in charge of national and international press relations, publications, and promotions for the A.R.T. Mainstage productions and offerings on its second stages, as well as the A.R.T./MXAT Institute for Advanced Theatre Training; she also collaborated with New York producers and publicists on the transfer of several A.R.T. productions to Broadway. She worked with major international theater and film artists, and was instrumental in maintaining the theater’s institutional image under three Artistic Directors. Previously Kati served for seven years as the Executive Director of the early music ensemble The Boston Camerata, managing the general operation of internationally-acclaimed early music ensemble, including their touring and recording projects. She was a founding member of the arts advocacy group, the Boston Arts Marketing Alliance, where currently she holds the post of President. Kati was born in Hungary and raised in Brazil, and has made Boston her home for over 40 years.
Kristen Mazzocchi is an experienced arts educator, director and production manager. After graduating from Boston College with a BA in Theatre and Economics, she began her career at The Wang Center for the Performing Arts (now the Boch Center) as an Associate in the Arts Education Department. She went on to work as Production Manager for the Celebrity Series of Boston where she also served as Operations Director of AileyCamp Boston, a summer dance camp for 80 middle school aged students from the Boston Public School system. Kristen’s passion for education inspired her to earn a Master’s degree in Arts Education from Harvard University, and then to take a position as the Director of Educational programs for The Celebrity Series of Boston. Kristen is currently a freelance teaching artist, director and production manager working with many schools and arts organizations including New England Conservatory of Music, Improv Asylum, Needham Public Schools and Next Generation Theatre Company. She also serves as Chair of the Needham Cultural Council.
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Featured Photo: Kati Mitchell, Abi Rollins, and Steve Maler-Photo by Nile Hawver/Nile Scott Shots