The Actor’s Craft

Bringing a Character to Life

A Digital Series

Hosted by CSC Founding Artistic Director Steven Maler

How does an actor take words on a page and bring a character to life on stage? It’s a complex and little-understood bit of alchemy that requires training, experimentation, and just a bit of magic. The Actor’s Craft series explores this process with accomplished guest actors who have developed their own uniquely personal relationships with the works of Shakespeare, facing and conquering the complexity of some of his most towering characters.

Each event in the series includes performances of passages from a play, interspersed with lively and provocative discussion of how each actor brings his or her own personality and world view to the interpretation of the character.

All events begin at 7:00 p.m. Events are free of charge, but advance registration is required and a donation of $10 per event is suggested.  A VIP post-show reception with the artist(s) is available with a donation of $100.  Reception is limited to the first 25 participants to sign up.  Dates, topics, and speakers subject to change.  

Seth Gilliam on Macbeth, October 29


The series opens with Seth Gilliam, who performed the title role in CSC’s production of Othello in 2010 and returned for our Theater in the Rough performance of Yasmina Reza’s Art in 2015. He is well known to audiences everywhere from his work on HBO’s “The Wire” and the AMC drama “The Walking Dead,” among a long list of film and TV credits. He will be sharing his view of Macbeth, both the play and the man, and the challenges he faces in preparing to inhabit the character on stage.


Next Up: Janet McTeer and Jason Butler Harner on Beatrice and Benedick from Much Ado About Nothing, December 3

Additional dates and guests in this series coming soon!


Seth Gilliam

Seth Gilliam is best recognized for the role of Sergeant Carver on HBO’s critically acclaimed series, “The Wire,” and for his work as Father Gabriel Stokes on AMC’s cultural phenomenon, “The Walking Dead.” Other notable feature credits include the beloved Starship Troopers with Neil Patrick Harris and Casper Van Dien; Courage Under Fire with Denzel Washington, Meg Ryan and Matt Damon; as well as Did You Hear About the Morgans?; Punks, Jefferson in Paris, and the Sundance Grand Jury Prize-winning film, Personal Velocity: Three Portraits.

Gilliam landed his first recurring television role portraying Aaron Dexter on the classic hit series “The Cosby Show.” Additional television credits include a break-out performance on HBO’s “Oz,” “Teen Wolf,” “Assault On West Point,” “Bronx Is Burning,” “The People vs. Leo Frank;” and guest starring roles on “Homeland,” ”Damages,” “Nurse Jackie,” “Law & Order,” “Law & Order: Criminal Intent,” “CSI: Miami,” “Person of Interest,” “Criminal Minds” and “The Good Wife.”

No stranger to theatre, Gilliam has also appeared in numerous stage productions including King Lear, Othello, Father Comes Home From the Wars, Topdog/Underdog, Romeo and Juliet, Girl Gone, and Richard III, to name a few.

Gilliam is a graduate of S.U.N.Y. Purchase.

Creative Team

Steven Maler

Steven Maler 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 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.

In a joint venture between CSC and Google, he most recently directed a Virtual Reality adaption of Hamlet entitled Hamlet 360: Thy Father’s Spirit, which is currently available for viewing on Boston public media producer WGBH’s YouTube channel.

Other CSC works include the 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 Peter Eötvös’s operatic treatment of Tony Kushner’s Angels in America (U.S. Premiere) and Thomas Adès’ Powder Her Face, 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 by and starring Anthony Rapp. The production has been seen in Boston, Edinburgh, Toronto, London and Seoul.

He received the 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.

Jenna Worden
Production Manager
Jenna Worden
Production Manager

Jenna Worden is delighted to return to CSC, where she works most often as a Stage Manager. Favorite CSC credits include Birdy, Universe Rushing Apart, and Our American Hamlet. Jenna also works with Brian O’Donovan to present both A Christmas Celtic Sojourn and The Rockport Celtic Festival.  Additional regional credits include New Rep Theatre, Gloucester Stage Company, Phoenix Theatre, and Childsplay AZ. She earned both her BA in Theatre Studies and BSEd in History from Northern Arizona University, and is constantly looking for new ways to teach and be in conversation with the past. Proud member of Actors’ Equity Association.

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