Jon Ciccarelli - Artistic Director
Jon has been overseeing programs at Hudson Shakespeare Company since 1997 when he first partnered with company founder L. Robert Johnson on two summer productions of "Romeo and Juliet" and"Macbeth". Since that inaugural summer, Ciccarelli has overseen developing the company from a Jersey City/Hoboken based company to include venues in other New Jersey communities such as Hackensack, Fort Lee, and Kenilworth and also Stratford, CT. While Ciccarelli has produced the Bard's better known titles, he has pushed to expose audiences to Shakespeare's lesser done works such as 2004's "Coriolanus", 2007's "Two Noble Kinsmen", 2008's "King John", 2011's "Timon of Athens", 2012's "Cardenio", and 2015's "Arden of Faversham". He has a B.A. in Communications from Seton Hall University where he trained under Gilbert Rathbun and has also trained under Vivienne Heilbourne and Bernard Lloyd at the Royal Shakespeare Company. Some of his directing credits include: "Much Ado About Nothing","Hamlet", "Othello", "Macbeth", "Henry V", "Cymbeline", "Pericles", "Henry VIII", "Timon of Athens", "Cardenio", "King Lear", "Troilus and Cressida", and an All-female "Julius Caesar". Notable Acting credits: Title roles in "Cyrano de Bergerac", "Macbeth", "Titus Andronicus", "Hamlet", "Richard III", Benedick in "Much Ado About Nothing", and Iago in "Othello".
Noelle Fair - Managing Director
Noelle received her MFA from the University of Exeter in Staging Shakespeare. She taught classes there in both Shakespeare Scene Study, Verse technique, and Voice. She has worked and trained at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and The Royal Shakespeare Company.
She has directed several productions for Hudson Shakespeare Company including A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Taming of the Shrew, As You Like It, Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, Spanish Tragedy & Pericles: Prince of Tyre. Other directing credits include You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown! (Hackensack Cultural Arts Center), 4:48 Psychosis (University of Exeter), and Timon of Athens (Exeter Northcott Theatre).
As an actress, Noelle has been apart of two WORLD/NYC Premieres in Bekah Brunstetter’s Fat Kids on Fire (Original Cast “Bianca” published by Playscripts, Inc.), John Reed’s All the World’s a Grave (Original Cast – “Guildenstern” published by Penguin Press). She has appeared Off-Broadway, regionally, and in the UK. Favorite roles include King Lear (Regan), Timon of Athens (Flavius), Proof (Catherine), Henry VIII (Katherine of Aragon), As You Like It (Celia), Eleemosynary (Artie),
Fight Choregraphers - Disptach Combat Collective
Conor Mullen, Callan Suozi-Rearic and Madeline Emerick. Collective they are known as Disptach Combat Collective. We have been working with them for a little over a year and are thrilled to welcome them back for another season.
Disptach Combat Collective is a unique group of people who met as friends and decided to establish a theatre company rooted in supporting companies choregraphing safe fights using techniques supported by master teachers.
They offer everything from fight choreographing for shows, to school workshops. They bring to the room a sense of joy and play. We met them during their initial establishment and are thrilled to see their growth. To learn more about them, please check out their website.
L. "Luther" Robert Johnson - Founder
Although he got a start as an actor in school, he hung up those aspirations until his 30s when he went to work part time as a techie for such companies as Riverside Shakespeare, New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players and All Souls Players. At these companies, he learned the ropes of not only how to light and rig shows but the business that goes along with running a company of players from season to season. Luther worked for several years in the Jersey City community theatre scene as an actor and backstage assistant and served on the boards of Attic Ensemble and Civic Theatre of Hudson County before striking out on his own. As he once mentioned in a interview to the Jersey Journal:
"I noticed that when you were on one side of the Hudson you couldn't walk five feet without finding a company of actors doing Shakespeare," he said. "But on this side of the river there was nothing."
So in 1992, Luther got together with several theatre friends and colleagues mounted a staged reading of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” in Hamilton Park in Jersey City with 13 people on stage on 5 in the audience. Undaunted, he continued to mount modern day productions such as “Driving Miss Daisy”, “12 Angry Jurors” and Agnes of God in a variety of civic venues under the name Patchwork Theatre Company and Shakespeare titles such as Taming of the Shrew under Hudson Shakespeare Company in parks in Jersey City and Hoboken. Ultimately, the summer touring shows proved the most popular and all shows (modern and Shakespeare) are produced under the Hudson Shakespeare Company brand.
In the late 1990s Luther met and partnered with Jon Ciccarelli where the duo expanded the company’s touring venues to include several sites in northern New Jersey such as Hackensack, Fort Lee, Kenilworth, West Milford and also to Stratford, Connecticut. The pair also committed themselves to not limiting the company’s repertoire to the “usual Shakespeare suspects” of Romeo and Juliet but bringing modern, Greek and lesser done Shakespeare titles to the public’s attention such as Luther’s version of Antigone. The company’s philosophy of pushing nontraditional casting in regards to gender and ethnicity in Shakespearean roles also held sway as Luther put it: "It doesn't matter to us,". There's not enough of that being done”
In 2010, Luther untimely passed away from complications of Diabetes but his vision of promoting new generations of artists from different backgrounds continues with his philosophy: “A kid sees us, our show, and thinks, ‘hey I can do that’. You don’t have to limit yourself. You can be anything you bloody well want to be!”