Jim Warren is the Artistic Director and Co-Founder of the American Shakespeare Center. He directed ASC’s first show, Richard III (in which he played Buckingham), and, by the end of the 2015/16 artistic year he will have directed 134 ASC productions, including 33 of Shakespeare’s 38 plays. Non-Shakespeare directing credits include: Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, Arms and the Man, Wittenberg, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (three times), The Roaring Girl, Tartuffe, The Santaland Diaries, his own adaptation of A Christmas Carol, Les Liaisons Dangereuses, Saint Joan, She Stoops to Conquer (twice), The Knight of the Burning Pestle (twice), The Complete Works of Wllm Shakespeare (abridged), The Three Musketeers, Greater Tuna, Return to the Forbidden Planet (twice), Cyrano de Bergerac (twice), The Rehearsal, Wild Oats, The Fair Maid of the West, The Importance of Being Earnest, Tamburlaine the Great, ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore, The Lion in Winter, The Duchess of Malfi, and the world premiere of The Twelve Dates of Christmas by ASC alumnus Ginna Hoben.
Jim co-founded the ASC in 1988 as the traveling troupe: Shenandoah Shakespeare Express. Jim has helped the ASC touring season grow 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; in addition, by the end of the millennium, the ASC had performed in 47 US states, the District of Columbia, and one US territory. In 2001, the ASC opened the Blackfriars Playhouse, the world’s only re-creation of Shakespeare’s indoor theatre.
Jim has worn many administrative and artistic hats with the ASC throughout its quarter of-a-century history. Early on in the ASC’s development, Jim acted, directed, booked the shows, and ran the office out of his apartment. Now he’s part of the management team that runs the company while he also oversees the artistic endeavors of the ASC and its Blackfriars Playhouse. He conducts auditions across the country; casts actors for a touring troupe and two resident troupes; directs several plays each year; hires guest directors, and oversees the direction of all the shows in each repertory once the shows begin their performance runs.