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Those friends thou hast, and their adoption tried,

Grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel.


New Mexico Shakespeare Festival Staff


Artistic Director: Peter Shea Kierst


Peter S. Kierst is an actor, director, and theatre facilitator. He has served in various capacities at theatres around Albuqueruqe for over 30 years, as Artistic Director at the Vortex in 1978-1980, Artistic Director at Albuquerque Little Theatre 2006-2007, board member and Secretary at the Vortex since 2014. He has directed numerous shows, including Romeo and Juliet, RichardI III, Henry IV and Henry V,  Julius Caesar, The Importance of Being Earnest and many others. He is a professor of Political Science at UNM and is a retired lawyer.

Executive Director/Vortex Theatre Board: Leslee Richards

Leslee Richards is an actor, director and designer.  Most recently, she was seen as Mrs. Stanley in The Man who Came to Dinner at the Vortex, a very different character from the Wicked Witch of the West (The Wizard of Oz, ALT) or Abbess Agatha (Incorruptible, Mother Road). She co-directed The Taming of the Shrew for Shakespeare on the Plaza in 2015, A Midsummer Night's Dream in 2011 and Macbeth in 2013. Other favorite directing projects include Sex with Strangers, The Motherf**ker with the Hat (The Vortex), and Pride and Prejudice and Rabbit Hole (The Adobe). She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Vortex. When not at a theatre, she works with her husband at the family business, Sun Tours.



Founder: David Richard Jones

David Richard Jones taught Shakespeare, as well as modern and contemporary drama, at the University of New Mexico for over forty years.  He was the founding Artistic Director of “Will Power,” The Vortex Theatre’s summer Shakespeare repertory in 2010 and of the New Mexico Shakespeare Festival in 2014 and 2015.  His directing experience includes professional, community, and educational productions of many Shakespeare plays, including three versions of Hamlet, two of As You Like It, plus King Lear, Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, Titus Andronicus, and Much Ado About Nothing.  He is the author of Great Directors at Work (University of California Press) and editor of New Mexico Plays (University of New Mexico Press).


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