The American Shakespeare Center (ASC) proudly announces the appointment of Vanessa Morosco as its new Executive Director, marking a significant milestone in the organization’s journey. Following a competitive and thorough recruitment process led by the ASC Board of Trustees Search Committee, Vanessa is set to steer the ASC through the dynamic challenges facing nonprofit theaters in the U.S. today.
Bringing more than two decades of dedicated service to the ASC, Vanessa has been a cornerstone of the Center’s growth. Her diverse contributions include directing productions for resident and touring troupes, founding educational programs for community members of all ages, and establishing leadership training sessions for both international executives and Continuing Legal Education. Vanessa’s journey with the ASC began as a performer in over 25 productions on the Blackfriars Playhouse stage, dating back to our inaugural season in 2002.
Beyond the ASC, Vanessa is recognized globally for her expertise in drama-based training and development. She has worked with multinational corporations and business schools worldwide, addressing crucial topics such as Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, Unconscious Bias, and Change Management through her organization, Impact Drama. Vanessa is also the co-founder of the 50/50 Shakespeare Project™, dedicated to advancing gender equity in the workplace of Shakespeare’s plays. A proud member of Actors Equity Association and Stage Directors & Choreographers Society, Vanessa holds an M.A. in Ethics from Yale University.
Relocating from New York City, Vanessa will collaborate closely with Artistic Director Brandon Carter at Shakespeare’s American Home in Staunton, Virginia, ensuring the continued fulfillment of our vital mission at the ASC.
Kim West, Chair of the ASC Board of Trustees, shares the news: “On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I am delighted to announce Vanessa Morosco’s appointment as Executive Director of the American Shakespeare Center. Vanessa embodies the energy, hope, and joy of our mission to illuminate the plays of Shakespeare and his contemporaries, both classical and modern. Her leadership as Executive Director will help to ensure that the lights in our beautiful theater continue to burn brightly.”
Ralph Cohen, ASC Founder and Senior Advisor, shares his enthusiasm on Vanessa’s appointment: “Vanessa Morosco’s skills as an actor, a director, and an educator helped to build the ASC. How fitting—and how lucky for us, for our supporters, for Staunton, for our mission—that this brilliant woman is returning to lead the company she knows and loves so well. As the company’s founding Executive Director, I couldn’t be more hopeful about our legacy and our future than having Vanessa as my successor.”
Tiffany Stern, Professor of Shakespeare and Early Modern Drama and Deputy Director of Institute Research at the University of Birmingham U.K., expresses: “We loved and admired Vanessa Morosco as an actor. Now the best of ASC’s past returns as founding Executive Director. A brilliant thinker, a problem solver, a ‘can do’ person with vision, passion, and practicality, Vanessa will fulfill ASC’s potential now and for the future. Welcome home, Vanessa!”
Brandon Carter, Artistic Director at ASC communicates: “Vanessa’s insightful leadership seamlessly aligns with our mission, heralding an exhilarating chapter for the ASC. The prospect of having a partner in this new frontier adds to my anticipation, as together, we embark on an expedition to redefine the future of our beloved organization.”
Vanessa Morosco shares her perspective, emphasizing the significance of the ASC’s mission: “Each word in our name contributes to our distinctiveness as an organization. As the American Shakespeare Center, we share light, share ideas, share joy, and share community.”
About the American Shakespeare Center
The American Shakespeare Center recovers the joys and accessibility of Shakespeare’s theater, language, and humanity by exploring the English Renaissance stage and its practices through performance and education. Year-round in Staunton’s Blackfriars Playhouse — the world’s only re-creation of Shakespeare’s indoor theater — ASC’s innovative programming and “shamelessly entertaining” (The Washington Post) productions have shared the delights of Shakespeare, modern classics and new plays with millions over the past 30 years. Beyond the Playhouse, ASC is a hub for Shakespeare education and scholarship. Founded in 1988 as Shenandoah Shakespeare Express, the organization became the American Shakespeare Center in 2005 and can be found online at americanshakespearecenter.com and on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok.