Jim Warren is the Founding Artistic Director of the American Shakespeare Center. He directed the ASC’s first show, Richard III (in which he played Buckingham), and a total of 128 productions, including 32 of Shakespeare's 38 plays; he produced and cast over 280 shows during his tenure. Jim co-founded the ASC in 1988 as the traveling troupe Shenandoah Shakespeare Express. He grew the ASC annual touring scope from fourteen performances of Richard III in Virginia to over two hundred performances of three full-length Shakespeare plays and one modern classic in six countries during 1995; by the end of the millennium, the ASC had also performed in 47 states and one U.S. territory. In 2001, the ASC opened the Blackfriars Playhouse, the world’s only re-creation of Shakespeare’s indoor theatre. In 2008, Governor Tim Kaine awarded Jim Warren and Ralph Alan Cohen the Virginia Governor’s Award for the Arts.
Before retiring from the ASC in 2017, Jim created Shakespeare’s New Contemporaries, a groundbreaking undertaking to develop a new canon of 38 plays that are inspired by and in conversation with Shakespeare’s work; it’s an opportunity for playwrights of every gender, race, and creed to partner with Shakespeare and become the next generation of the world’s greatest playwrights.
After a 29-year run of guiding the ASC from startup to international acclaim, Jim is pursuing new opportunities as a consultant, director, and educator while writing a book about the first three decades of the bellwether company he started. He is a member of the Theatre Communications Group and Shakespeare Theatre Association who now enjoys traveling the country making art, sharing his experience and expertise, and empowering a new generation of actors to explore the text and make the most of every moment.
Tom is a passionate Stratfordian and lifelong performing arts veteran – actor, director, producer, and writer – as well as a marketing and financial executive with a 20+ year track record of business management. A member of Actors Equity, Tom is a Founding member of Original Binding Productions in New York City, and is an alumnus company member of the American Shakespeare Center, the National Shakespeare Company, Hudson Shakespeare Company, CT Free Shakespeare, Prospect Theater Company, the Arena Players, and many more. He has appeared in over 100 productions since graduating with degrees in Theatre and English from Alfred University. Tom and Jim first partnered in 1998, when Tom performed as Christopher Sly and Baptista in Taming of the Shrew, and Friar Laurence in Romeo and Juliet, under Jim's direction, for the Shenandoah Shakespeare Express 10th Anniversary "Tough Love" Tour.
Tom also has an extensive business background in financial services, television production and more. As Chief Marketing Officer for Finance of America Tom managed multi-million dollar budgets for one of the nation’s largest non-bank lenders, and produced some well-known TV advertising campaigns, including reverse mortgage commercials starring silver screen legend Robert Wagner.
After performing at the American Shakespeare Festival Theatre in 2012, Tom fell in love with Stratford and its history. Upon leaving NY, Tom and his wife, actress Maryellen Molfetta, decided to make Stratford their home, and work toward re-establishing Stratford as a national destination for the arts. Tom served as Artistic Director for the 2019 Phoenix Festival on the Shakespeare Theatre Grounds, to bring art from the ashes. For his dedication to the town and the arts and culture festival, he was awarded a citation from Mayor Laura Hoydick.
Planner, Co-founder Festival Stratford
Career PR Professional
President, IMCD Lighting
TD for TheatreSquared - Tony Award Winner for Regional Theatre
Timber Design & Construction Advisor
Builder, London Globe
Co-Founder, CT Free Shakespeare
CEO Curtis Stout
Founder, Stratford Forward
Career Theatre Professional and Educator
Additional Advisors to the
American Globe Center include:
Megan Bonneau McCool
Rosemary Martin Hayduk