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Debra Charlton

Debra Charlton Debra Charlton is the author of Holistic Shakespeare: An Experiential Learning Approach (Intellect Books 2012). Her reviews and articles on Shakespeare training and performance have appeared in numerous publications. Most recently, her chapter on Sarah Bernhardt was published in Women in the Arts in the Belle Epoque (MacFarland 2012).

Debra Charlton received her Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin with a specialization in Shakespearean theatre.  She joined the faculty of Texas State University in 1999 where she served as Director of Graduate Studies in Theatre until 2013. At Texas State, she established and supervised the production dramaturgy program at Texas State, and founded a summer Shakespeare intensive in Stratford-upon-Avon, UK.

Dr. Charlton began her career as a professional actor at Houston’s Alley Theatre.  She has since directed many productions, including King Lear, The Taming of the Shrew, Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Blood Wedding, The Importance of Being Earnest, and The Winter’s Tale.   She has also worked as a production dramaturg on many plays, including Macbeth, Much Ado About Nothing, Measure for Measure, Twelfth Night, Oklahoma!, A Little Night Music, Arcadia, The Art of Dining, and The Learned Ladies.



BWW Reviews: Betsy Horne Shines as KAT'A KABANOVA at Spoleto Festival
May 28, 2014

In her operatic debut, director Garry Hynes premiered her staging of the classic 20th Century KAT'A KABANOVA at the Spoleto Festival on May 24. Artistic Director of the Irish theatre company Druid, Hynes holds the distinction of being the first woman to win the Tony Award for Best Director of a Play (for THE BEAUTY QUEEN OF LEENANE.

BWW Reviews: Dublin's Gate Theatre Presents MY COUSIN RACHEL at the Spoleto Festival
May 28, 2014

At the Spoleto Festival in Charleston, Dublin's award-winning Gate Theatre presents a sleek and stylish rendering of Daphne DuMaurier's MY COUSIN RACHEL. Currently playing at the historic Dock Street Theatre, the suspenseful melodrama centers on a young man, Philip Ashley, who suspects his guardian's widow of involvement in her late husband's death. As Philip struggles to learn the truth, he finds himself falling under the spell of Rachel, his beautiful suspect.

BWW Reviews: A SIMPLE SPACE Thrills Spoleto Audiences
May 27, 2014

GRAVITY AND OTHER MYTHS is an Australian physical theatre troupe that redefines the boundaries of traditional circus entertainment. Featuring seven acrobats and a percussionist, the ensemble's astonishing feats of physical strength, rhythm, flexibility and precision teamwork delighted audiences at Charleston's Spoleto Festival during the festival's opening weekend.

Shakespeare Rep Reveals Fellowship Recipient
December 18, 2013

Shakespeare Rep has announced the creation of a Fellowship Program for young performers. The Shakespeare Rep Fellowship Program is an intensive mentoring opportunity for early career actors who demonstrate exceptional promise for a career in classical theatre.

BWW Interviews: Guy Roberts Discusses His Work with Prague Shakespeare Company
December 18, 2013

Guy Roberts is an actor/director with a mission. As Founder and Artistic Director of Prague Shakespeare Company, he dreams of leading his company to recognition as the premiere English-language classical theatre in continental Europe. Now in his sixth year of living and working in Prague, he has already made great strides toward that goal.

BWW Reviews: 42ND STREET Dazzles at Arts Center of Coastal Carolina
December 10, 2013

The Arts Center of Coastal Carolina has assembled a superb company of triple-threat performers for the Depression-era musical 42ND STREET. Directed by Casey Colgan, the story follows aspiring dancer/singer Peggy Sawyer, a small town girl who comes to New York with big dreams of making it on Broadway. Featuring a repertoire of familiar tunes including 'We're In the Money' and 'Lullaby of Broadway,' along with sensational tap dancing, 42ND STREET is a sparkling concoction just right for the holiday season.

BWW Interviews: J. Hernandez Discusses His Work on the Shakespearean Stage
December 5, 2013

J Hernandez never really expected to become a professional actor. 'Personally, I didn't think I was very good at it,' he laughs. Fortunately, others disagreed. Tonight, he opens in FROST/NIXON at New City Stage in Philadelphia. For Hernandez, who specializes in classical theatre, it marks a significant transition. It is his first role in a contemporary play in five years. Since gaining his MFA at the University of Virginia in 2008, Hernandez has been in steady demand on the Shakespearean stage. He will return to that familiar territory later this season in the role of Mercutio for Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre's ROMEO AND JULIET.

BWW Interviews: Jane Lapotaire Talks RICHARD II at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre
December 3, 2013

I recently sat down to chat with Jane Lapotaire in her dressing room at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre as she prepared for a matinee performance of Richard II. As we talked, Lapotaire chortled over a greeting card (sent by a long time actor friend) that featured a spotted pig wearing a crown. Lapotaire explained the joke: the pig was a Gloucester Old Spot--a sly reference to Lapotaire's role as the Duchess of Gloucester in the production of Richard II currently playing to sell-out crowds.

BWW Reviews: RICHARD II, The RSC, Stratford-upon-Avon
October 22, 2013

For his first production as Artistic Director at the Royal Shakespeare Company, Gregory Doran has staged a remarkable rendering of the historical drama RICHARD II. Directing a dream cast that includes veteran classical performers David Tennant, Jane Lapotaire, Michael Pennington and Oliver Ford Davies, Doran's production combines keen storytelling clarity and visual inventiveness.

BWW Reviews: SHERLOCK HOLMES: THE FINAL ADVENTURE Opens at Arts Center of Coastal Carolina
October 7, 2013

Mystery fans will delight in director Russell Treyz's sharp, stylish rendering of SHERLOCK HOLMES: THE FINAL ADVENTURE, currently playing at the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina in Hilton Head.

BWW Reviews: Marybeth Clark Directs 9 TO 5: THE MUSICAL at Charleston Stage
September 20, 2013

The Dock Street Theatre is a stunning jewel box set in the heart of downtown Charleston. Built on the site of a colonial era theatre, it is the home of Charleston Stage and its professional resident acting company made up primarily of young and energetic recent college graduates. Now in its 36th season, the company produces a full season of (mostly) family-friendly plays with a hefty dose of musical comedies. As its season opener, Charleston Stage mounted a spirited but uneven production of 9 TO 5: THE MUSICAL.

RICHARD II Cast Gears Up for October Opening at RSC
September 19, 2013

Rehearsals are well underway for a star-studded production of RICHARD II that opens at the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon on 10 October. The highly anticipated production, which sold out months in advance of the opening, marks Gregory Doran's inaugural production as Artistic Director.

BWW Reviews: CHICAGO Delights Hilton Head Audiences
July 22, 2013

Located on Hilton Head Island in South Carolina, The Arts Center of Coastal Carolina produces a full season of musicals and plays aimed at a dedicated audience of Lowcountry residents. The productions, which include crowd-pleasing favorites suggested by theatre-goers, feature fully professional casts drawn primarily from New York, along with a sprinkling of local performers. On a stormy Sunday afternoon, I joined several hundred patrons in attendance at the Center's production of CHICAGO, directed and choreographed by Russell Garrett, to enjoy a high quality rendering of the 1920s-era musical.

Vanessa Redgrave and James Earl Jones to Play Shakespeare's Beatrice and Benedick at London's Old Vic in September
July 21, 2013

As a dramatist, Shakespeare was the consummate master of love stories. ROMEO AND JULIET is his iconic tale of young love. His tragedy ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA concerns the ill-fated midlife romance of its real-life hero and heroine. Now, Beatrice and Benedick, the sparring adversaries of MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING, will be re-imagined as senior citizens in The Old Vic's upcoming production, which stars Vanessa Redgrave (76) and James Earl Jones (82) in the lead roles.

Shakespeare Hits Stage and Screen in Fall 2013
July 16, 2013

Several high profile Shakespearean productions gear up to hit stages and movie theatres around the globe in the latter months of 2013. Here is a preview of three of the most anticipated events to watch for in the coming months.

BWW's Shakespeare Round Up 2013
July 17, 2013

Shakespeare's popularity shows no signs of flagging, even though his 450th birthday is approaching in 2014. For fans of the Bard, here is a look at productions currently playing across the nation, as well as a sneak peek at upcoming shows.

WOLF HALL and BRING UP THE BODIES to Play at RSC's Swan Theatre
July 11, 2013

The Royal Shakespeare Company will present dual stage adaptations of Hilary Mantel's bestselling books, WOLF HALL and BRING UP THE BODIES. Adapted for the stage by Mike Poulton, Mantel's books chronicle Cromwell's rise to power during the tumultuous reign of Henry VIII.

Charleston Stage Presents Fall/Winter Season of Musicals and Family Entertainment
July 9, 2013

Led by Artistic Director Julian Wiles, Charleston Stage will present a repertoire of musicals and family-friendly entertainment at the historic Dock Street Theatre in downtown Charleston during the fall and winter season.

BWW Reviews: A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM Combines Puppets and Live Action at the Spoleto Festival
June 4, 2013

There is much to love about the innovative production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, directed by Tom Morris, that is currently playing at the Dock Street Theatre in Charleston, S.C. as part of the Spoleto Festival. A spare company of twelve actors enacts a large cast of characters with the help of puppets composed of inventive materials ranging from classical masks to simple workmen's tools. A co-production by the U.K.'s Bristol Old Vic and Handspring Puppet Company from South Africa, the production is a visual feast chock full of imaginative surprises.