After undergoing a national search for a new Artistic Director, Actors’ Shakespeare Project announced today the choice of Allyn Burrows for the position. Burrows, who has held the position of Acting Artistic Director for the past five months, will assume the permanent role of Artistic Director immediately. Cynthia Good, a long time board member and Chair of the Search Committee, expresses A.S.P.’s delight at the choice of Burrows, saying, “Allyn embodies the aesthetic and working vision of A.S.P. He comes to us understanding the vibrancy of the language of Shakespeare and the collaborative nature of our work with the company and the community. He will help us move into the next phase of our future.”
With the appointment of Burrows, A.S.P. makes a strong statement about the distinct role our Resident Acting Company (RAC) plays in the organization. The RAC serves as the core casting pool and creates a body of work together over time, but they also collaboratively shape each season and help determine A.S.P.’s vision and direction. In an age of dwindling resident companies, A.S.P. has put a stake in the ground—it does not view the actor as a journeyman or as replaceable. Instead, A.S.P. views the RAC as its foundation and core asset, one that sets A.S.P. apart, makes our work artistically stronger and contributes to Boston by providing a home for fine actors who are also teachers, playwrights and producers. A.S.P. is reinvesting in this group by selecting Burrows, a founding member of the acting company, and a leader and accomplished actor within the theater community, as our new leader. RAC member Bill Barclay comments, “Allyn is a true consensus builder. He naturally cultivates personal relationships with people quite quickly, a quality which I hope will soon lead not only to a much larger extended family for A.S.P., but a deeper well for idea generation, talent cultivation, and an appetite in our company and in the public for riskier Shakespeare on stage”.
Burrows notes “I’m honored and humbled to assume the artistic helm at Actors’ Shakespeare Project. My colleagues here at this intrepid company are an amazing group of theatre artists, individually and collectively, and I’m thrilled to undertake, with them, the challenges of bringing the works of the greatest author and others to the best audience anywhere.” Under his leadership, A.S.P.’s next season promises to feature the company. It also includes projects that bring a renewed commitment to Shakespeare’s language and storytelling– Burrows is requiring both text and vocal coaches be part of every production team. A.S.P. plans a feast of Shakespeare histories to start off the season, and then is cooking up a more experimental set of projects in the winter. Under Burrows, season planning has energized the whole company; the full 2010-2011 season will be announced later in March.
A.S.P. is also known for its itinerancy, innovative neighborhood work and community building. This particularly intrigues Burrows, who has deep roots in this area. After graduating from Boston University, he cut his teeth in such local theatres as A.R.T., Merrimack Rep, The Lyric Stage, and The New Rep before heading off to New York to pursue a career Off-Broadway and in regional theatres around the country. His work as a company member, Artistic Associate, and Board Member at Shakespeare & Company in Lenox mean Burrows, an Eliot Norton Award Winner, has worked extensively in Massachusetts, brings great experience with the canon, and a wealth of long term relationships with some of the area’s best Shakespearian actors and he plans to bring in as guest artists over the next few seasons. Burrows also seeks to incrementally expand A.S.P.’s acting company to better reflect the diverse audiences of Boston. Says Burrows, “We’ll continue to seek a variety of ways and places for Shakespeare’s words to resonate, connect, and make an impact in the Boston area community.”
Burrows joins Executive Producer, Sara Stackhouse, and Project Director, Lori Taylor, in leadership of A.S.P., which, after blasting into the scene in 2004, has become a unique part of the Boston theater landscape during its first six seasons. We look forward to sharing the next phase of our work with you.
The Actors’ Shakespeare Project