New York Shakespeare Exchange bridges cultural divides, starts conversations, promotes education, and brings communities together through diverse, classically-based programming that re-imagines how Shakespearean theater and poetry can impact our modern world.
Brimming with an unwavering sense of adventure, our work honors the legacy of the Bard while intersecting his poetry with today’s ever-changing social, political, and technological landscapes. From star-crossed lovers wooing across a crowded bar, to sonnets interpreted as independent film, to live productions that highlight Shakespeare’s verse in a contemporary context, our projects challenge expectations and lead us forward to continued innovation.
It is central to NY Shakespeare Exchange's core values that our network of artists and patrons grows to be as diverse and vibrant as the city, country, and world we call home. We believe that identity markers should never be a barrier to enjoyment of art, and therefore aim to push back against historical norms that have left some members of our community feeling less entitled to participate in Shakespeare's legacy. We recognize that as we carry that legacy into our contemporary world, it is made more potent by inclusivity.
-- To make room for perspectives that have traditionally been absent from the classical stage.
-- To deploy a diversity of social, cultural, and artistic points-of-view into our programming and by doing so create more pertinent, powerful, and challenging art.
-- To expand our audience base, particularly within communities that may feel alienated by prior encounters with Shakespeare.
-- To proactively deepen the diversity of our casting pool, and to maintain a consistent pattern of inclusion in the ensembles of artists we hire.
-- To embrace inclusivity of our company at all levels: from our production teams to our intern classes to our board of directors.
NY Shakespeare Exchange expresses diversity broadly to include individuals representing varied national origins, ethnicities, religions, ages, socioeconomic strata, gender identifications, and disability statuses.
New York Shakespeare Exchange was founded in 2009 by Artistic Director Ross Williams. From the beginning, the organization has been focused on reaching audiences in unexpected ways. As we grow, though, it has become clear that our greatest strength is the way in which our unique programming brings people together and inspires conversation. From the theatrical tightrope walked by playwright and performer Kevin Brewer in our inaugural production of his The One Man (Two Man (not quite)) Hamlet, to our most recent digitally-infused Much Ado About Nothing, our work has pushed boundaries and gotten people to talk to each other. With the addition of ShakesBEER and The Sonnet Project, we've expanded our community and increased the reach of these conversations.
We are company whose history has been about service. Service to the art and service to the community. We continue to expand our horizons and look forward to joining with more voices as we build more conversations about today, but inspired by Shakespeare.
ROSS WILLIAMS -- Artistic Director
CHARLES GRAYTOK -- Executive Director
CRISTINA LUNDY -- Associate Artistic Director
KIM KRANE -- Associate Producer
LESLIE GRAY -- Grant Writer
SHANE BREAUX -- Resident Dramaturg
KEVIN BREWER -- Resident Playwright
The NYSX Board of Directors provides oversight and guidance for the company and facilitates business development and financial solvency. To inquire about open seats and board participation contact Artistic Director, Ross Williams at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Emily Bormann, Treasurer
Stephen Hammond, Chairman
Alexis Wilpon, Secretary
The NYSX Momentum Council serves as an internal consulting group for the New York Shakespeare Exchange Board of Directors with the goal of promoting and advancing the interests and activities of the company. We are a junior board made up of a group of people who are passionate about supporting NYSX in ways that reflect our individual skill sets. Members of the momentum council are actively engaged in all aspects of NYSX, including marketing, fundraising, volunteering, and supporting to the staff and Board of Directors as needed. To inquire about joining the Momentum Council contact Artistic Director, Ross Williams at email@example.com.
Horace Allen, co-chair
Adin Heller, co-chair