Laura Rose (HCS Artistic and Education Director) is an experienced
actor, director, and educator who began her formal Shakespeare education while still in her
teens. She later earned an MA from the Shakespeare Institute (1993, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK),
where course work included not only criticism, bibliography, and performance history but also
workshops with acclaimed acting coaches at the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC). Professor
Stanley Wells, Co-Editor of the Oxford Complete Works of Shakespeare (1986; 2005) and then
Director of the Institute, advised her thesis, Teaching Shakespeare: Addressing Stereotypes and
Prejudice in Othello and Taming of the Shrew.
After completing coursework and comprehensive exams for a doctorate in Rhetoric (Catholic
University of America, Washington, DC), Ms. Rose pulled her education back toward
Shakespeare and Theatre. Combining her extensive education in classical and Renaissance
rhetoric with that in Shakespeare, she returned to The Shakespeare Institute in 2011 to
complete her PhD as a Split Location researcher, living part of each year in
Stratford-upon-Avon. Her dissertation, supervised by Institute Director Prof. Michael Dobson,
examines the rhetoric of performance and productions of Richard III.
Ms. Rose has performed Shakespeare and Jacobean roles at HCS, The Shakespeare Institute, the
Folger Shakespeare Theatre (Washington, DC), the College of Charleston (Summer Shakespeare
Project), Theatre/VERV, and St. Andrews College (NC). In addition to performing for other
theatres in Baltimore, Virginia, and North Carolina, she has also performed locally for PURE
Theatre, Footlight Players, and South of Broadway Theatre. She has starred or appeared in
several films (including one screened at the Cannes Film Festival, 2004), guest starred in a
History Channel television documentary, and played the lead in a television series pilot
considered by the SyFy network. She has taught Theatre at Trident Technical College, the
College of Charleston, and St. Andrews College, where she also directed.
Ms. Rose has participated in Shakespeare performance Masterclasses and workshops led by
John Barton (co-founder of the Royal Shakespeare Company), Cicely Berry (RSC Director of
Voice and Text since 1969), Andrew Wade (former RSC Head of Voice), Cathleen McCarron
(RSC Voice & Text), Struan Leslie (former RSC Head of Movement), Christopher Marino
(Shakespeare Theatre, DC), Sue Lefton (former RSC Movement director), and Tom Jordan
(RSC Fight Choreographer). She has studied Shakespeare performance history and criticism
with Robert Smallwood (former Deputy Director and Head of Education at the Shakespeare
Birthplace Trust), Russell Jackson (Allardyce Nicoll Chair in Drama and Theatre Arts and
textual advisor to Kenneth Branagh and Michael Grandage), and Gary Jay Williams (Professor
Emeritus, Department of Drama, Catholic University of America). She also attended a summer
undergraduate program (Shakespeare Text and Performance) in Stratford and London, led by
UNC-Charlotte and Catholic University.
"My lifelong love of Shakespeare was sparked at age 14, when I saw Antony Sher play Richard
III at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford. Since then, I've had the good fortune to
watch live performances launched by many renowned Shakespeare directors and actors
(including Adrian Noble, Bill Alexander, Sam Mendes, Richard Eyre, Elijah Moshinsky, Deborah
Warner, Jude Kelly, and Gregory Doran; Ian McKellan, Patrick Stewart, Mark Rylance, Ralph
Feinnes, Norman Rodway, Brian Cox, Paola Dionisotti, Jonathan Hyde, Simon Russell Beale,
Robert Lindsay, Kelly McGillis, Paterson Joseph, and many more...). Seeing really good work
like that never fails to get me excited about 'playing Shakespeare' with artists and enthusiasts in
my own town. Maybe we can spread that joy and appreciation for Shakespeare by opening
the door for others that was opened for me more than 25 years ago."
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