Shakespeare on the Sound
Claire Shannon Kelly (Artistic Director)
Claire is also the director of the 2017 production of Macbeth, 2018’s Midsummer, and 2019’s Twelfth Night. From 2011-2015 Claire worked at Shakespeare on the Sound as Artistic Associate and Director of Education. For Shakespeare on the Sound’s main stage she has directed Hamlet, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, which won the BroadwayWorld CT award for Best Ensemble Cast in a play, and As You Like It. Educationally, Claire just finished directing a 5 person A Midsummer Night’s Dream. She co-created and directed Shakespeare on the Sound’s K-5 touring production Let’s Play Shakespeare!, directed their anti- bullying program Speaking Daggers, and devised and directed a children’s version of All’s Well That Ends Well. Currently she is in development of two new plays: The Family and Wordsmith. She has worked at the Guthrie Theater, the Shakespeare Theater of New Jersey, the Ordway Music Theater, and the George Street Playhouse among others. Additionally, Claire is a Teaching Artist and has taught theater to students from pre- school through high school. She traveled to Africa in August 2017 & 2019 where she taught and directed Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Livingstone, Zambia. Claire has holds a Masters of Arts degree from New York University in Educational Theater.
Lorah Haskins (Managing Director)
Lorah came to Shakespeare on the Sound in the fall of 2015 as a board member and became Board President in 2018.
She grew up in a small town in Wisconsin and later attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she received bachelors degrees in Acting and Communications.
Lorah is also a photographer, singer, actor, and owns The Studio for Performing Arts in New Canaan. And she makes the world's best chocolate chip cookies.
Nick Urda (Director of Educational Outreach)
This is Nick’s fourth year with SOS’ educational department; he has been heading the apprentice program for three years and is entering the second year as the Director of Educational Outreach.
Nick came to SOS as an actor in our educational program Speaking Daggers and has been seen on our stage as Valentine in The Two Gentlemen of Verona and most recently Macduff in 2017’s production of Macbeth.
He continues those duties in addition to his directorial work. This past spring, Nick co-directed the educational tour of R+J4EVR, an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. He also directed this year’s tour of Shakespeare in 30 Minutes: Twelfth Night. As a performer, Nick has been acting professionally on stage and on screen for the past 14 years. Nick’s credits include Federico García Lorca in Olives and Blood (CT Rep) and The Off-BWay premiere of The Preacher and The Shrink, as well as working with such companies as Northern Stage, Two River Theatre, Shakespeare Theatre Co, DC and The Royal Shakespeare Company. He holds a BFA from Marymount Manhattan College as well as completing the fellowship with The Shakespeare Theatre Co, DC. He can be seen on film in Strawberry Flavored Plastic, which was recently released by Breaking Glass Pictures on May 7th, 2019.
Catherine McElaney (Administrative Assistant)
Catherine is a theatre artist currently based in Connecticut. She recently graduated from Montclair State University with her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting and a minor in Classics. Catherine was an acting apprentice with Shakespeare on the Sound in 2017, performing in the pre-show as Macbeth in Macbeth. Educationally, she is a teaching artist for The Studio for Performing Arts in New Canaan.
Artistic Leadership History
Steven Yuhasz (Executive Director, 2013 – 2015)
Steven produced Streakin’ and Pterodactyl Island Off Broadway and The Visit, The Normal Heart, and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas for The Actor’s Fund of America on Broadway. He is a Founding Producer of the New York Musical Theatre Festival has been the Associate General Manager for Papermill Playhouse, Producing Director for Capital Rep and oversaw the transition of the New Apollo Theatre in NYC to the Academy as the Creative Producer. He has directed Off Broadway Flamingo Court with Anita Gillette and Jamie Farr, and worked at numerous regional theatres around the country including Goodspeed, The Westport Playhouse, Casa Manana, Ogunquit Playhouse, The Dallas Theatre Center and The McCarter Theatre. He has appeared on Broadway in Peter Pan with Sandy Duncan, and Zorba with Anthony Quinn.
Joanna Settle (2009-2012)
Joanna Settle, Artistic Director from 2009-2012, directed A Midsummer Night's Dream, Othello, Much Ado About Nothing and Romeo and Juliet. Under her leadership, the company received widespread national recognition for artistic excellence. Her collaborations with artists including composers Stew and Heidi Rodewald and designer Andrew Lieberman created Shakespeare on the Sound as a home for adventurous work. She also founded the Apprentice Company in 2009, mentoring 52 developing artists who were apprenticed directly to members of the company and herself through her tenure.
Ezra Barnes (1996-2008)
Ezra Barnes, founding Artistic Director 1996-2008 both directed and performed in the company's work over the course of his successful 13 year tenure. Together with members of the community, Ezra created the tradition of Shakespeare on a summer night in Rowayton. Very quickly audiences grew in Pinkney Park to capacity, thrilling families and friends with the stories year after year. Under his leadership, and in collaboration with then managing director Mary Osborne, the company expanded to include performances in Greenwich in 2007.