Colin Ryan - Artistic Director and Interim Education Director
Colin Ryan has been an actor and company member at ASC at NJCU since 2003. At ASC, he has been seen as Henry in Henry V, Romeo in Romeo and Juliet, Orsino in Twelfth Night, Philip the Bastard in King John, and Laertes in Hamlet, as well as in company productions of The Three Musketeers, The Tempest, As You Like It and several Bare Bard staged readings. Colin has been an acting coach for ASC productions and was an Assistant Director of Hamlet, as well as the Play Master (Director) of the ASC Women's Company reading of Henry V. He frequently teaches workshops in Shakespearean text and literature at ASC's home, New Jersey City University. Colin received his Master of Fine Arts degree in Acting from the Academy for Classical Acting at The George Washington University. He has a BFA in Acting from the State University of New York at Fredonia. Colin has been a Guest Lecturer at Adelphi University’s Education Department on the subject of teaching Shakespeare. As an actor beyond the ASC stage, Colin has been seen in Macbeth (Macbeth), Othello (Iago), King Lear (Albany), Pride & Prejudice (Bingley/Wickham), The Malcontent (Malevole) This Lime Tree Bower (Frank), Waiting for Godot (Lucky), Julius Caesar (Antony) Troilus and Cressida (Achilles), Brecht on Brecht, A Streetcar Named Desire (Stanley), and She Stoops to Conquer (Tony).
Jennifer America - General Manager
Beginning as a volunteer in 2006, Jennifer has served as General Manager (2012-present) and Company Manager (2008-2012) for ASC, as well as Assistant Director on The Merchant of Venice. She has been the Production Stage Manager for As You Like It, The Merchant of Venice, The Three Musketeers, Henry V, Romeo and Juliet and Macbeth and directed the Bare Bard reading of The Tempest. With a background in design and directing from the State University of New York at New Paltz, she has assisted on various ASC at NJCU readings, lab projects and community events.
Eva Lachur Omeljaniuk - Costume Designer
Born in Katowice, Poland, Eva was raised in a stimulating artistic environment and began painting and drawing at an early age. She studied at an art school in Poland and with her father, renowned artist Zdzislaw Lachur. Subsequent study included private instruction under Maciej Lachur and Professor Boleslaw Stawinski, co-founder of the "Krakow Group" of the 1930s.
In 1981, she came to America with her husband and two sons and became a U.S. Citizen. With the birth of her daughter in 1988, she put her artistic career temporarily on hold. Her continuing goal in art is to show through her paintings her concern about the world and people. Currently, her paintings are under contract with Chamot Gallery (www.chamotgallery.com).
Eva has designed and built hundreds of costume pieces for the majority of ASC at NJCU's productions. For her costumes for the The Merchant of Venice, she received the 2009 “New Jersey ‘Tony Award’ for Best Costumes - 2008."
Anthony Bez - Music Master
ANTHONY BEZ, ASCAP composer and a recipient of a grant from “Meet the Composer”, has been the Music Master/Composer and Director of the Actors Shakespeare Company Consort since 2005. He began guitar studies at the age of five and began performing regularly at the age of nine. As a first trombonist of the Power Memorial Academy Orchestra he appeared at Alice Tully Hall annually during High School. Classical guitar debuts were made in his early teens at the Westchester Classical Guitar Society and in area churches. Since then he has performed throughout the country as well as in Europe. Mr. Bez has studied with guitarists Alice Artzt, Frank Koonce, Fredric Lehrman, Stephen Bell, Michael Dadap and Jorge Morel, among others. He has been influenced by leading classical musicians and musicians of other genres as well as attending numerous master classes. He has also distinguished himself as a Flamenco performer and has been featured as Flamenco Dance Theater’s guest soloist and accompanist. He has performed with “I Giulari di Piazza” of the St. John the Divine Cathedral in New York City specializing in Medieval, Renaissance, and Southern Italian music. He has performed off-Broadway with MCC Theater, with the DiCapo Opera, with TIPA (Towards International Peace through the Arts), with the New Jersey Shakespeare Festival as well as in the homes of renowned artists, state legislators and diplomats. Mr. Bez is a devoted teacher and has served on the faculty of the American Institute of Guitar, the Manhattan Institute of Guitar and presently at the Hudson School. His articles have appeared in Soundboard Magazine, the publication of the Guitar Foundation of America, Guitar Review and NYlon Review. He is presently the Executive Secretary on the Board of the New York Classical Guitar Society. His CD Holy Mountain of his own compositions has been featured on WNYC’s “New Sounds” and on Public Radio here in the United States and in Canada. Other productions include a CD of “Morning Services”, a follow up solo CD Return to Mountain also recorded at the Dai Bosatsu International Zendo and recordings of “Waking in New York” as well as other pieces by the internationally acclaimed composer Elodie Lauten. Professional studies took place at Berklee College of Music, Arizona State University and Mannes College of Music. Mr. Bez is a recipient of the Medal of Merit from the Costa Rican Consulate for his outstanding musical efforts in conjunction with the Rainforest Alliance.
Denise Alessandra Hurd - Fight Director
Timur Kocak - Set Design and Technical Director
Michael Hajek - Prop Master and Webmaster
Colette Rice – Artistic Director Emeritus (2001-2012)
Ms. Rice is a director, actor, teacher and singer, specializing in Shakespearean performance theory and practice. After considerable training and experience in regional theatre, opera, non-profit enterprise and business, Ms. Rice accepted the position of Producing Artistic Director of the newly-created Actors Shakespeare Company (ASC) in fall 2000. She was chosen at the unanimous request of its founders, a group of professional actors with a passion for classical theatre and a desire to form an acting ensemble that would focus on production, training and scholarship. She produced over twenty Shakespeare plays, most of which she also directed. In 2002 she launched ASC’s lauded in-school educational program for high school students, Shakespeare WINS! (Will In Neighborhood Schools). In 2003 she guided ASC in the creation of a free staged reading series known as Bare Bard. Under her leadership ASC gained admittance to New Jersey Theatre Alliance, and in 2008 was promoted to full senior member. In 2005, she began to create a partnership between ASC and New Jersey City University, which resulted in 2008 in ASC’s acceptance as a profession theatre in residence at NJCU. In 2012, Ms. Rice retired from ASC at NJCU to return to her native California and pursue other opportunities.