WE HAVE CHOSEN...TO BE.
Sheila Snow Proctor is Co-Founder/Executive Director of Chickspeare. She has been an actor/director/producer in Charlotte, NC since 1998. She has played many of Shakespeare’s iconic roles such as MacBeth, Orlando and Puck among others. She has worked with many local theatre companies including Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte, Donna Scott Productions, Starving Artists and Queen City Theatre. Over the years she has been a four time award recipient of Metrolina Theatre Association’s Best Actress in a Comedy and Best Director awards. She has received Best Actress in Comedy and Best Director awards from Creative Loafing and was a Creative Loafing Critic’s Pick for Actress of the Year. Sheila has served as Chickspeare’s Executive Director since 2012 and is successfully leading the company to venues across the NC region, facilitating opportunities for female actors to play parts otherwise unavailable to them and giving Chickspeare audiences a chance to see women in powerful, engaging and bold roles.
Chickspeare® is an all-female Shakespeare Company that started performing shows in 1998 at (the now defunct) Johnson Beer Company in Charlotte, NC. While over the years they have become best known for their Shakespeare “abridging/fast-forwarding/rewinding” brewery shows, they have also produced numerous full-length productions including MacBeth, As You Like It, Twelfth Night, Julius Ceasar, and Winter’s Tale.
Following the closing of Johnson Beer, Chickspeare® produced shows in different Charlotte spaces, finally landing in a familiar brewery setting at NoDa Brewing Company where it began its ChicksBEER series in 2012. In 2013, Chickspeare® produced Twelfth Night at Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte.
As an all-female Shakespeare Company, Chickspeare® has been breaking gender barriers, giving women the opportunity to explore characters not otherwise available to them in most modern productions of Shakespeare. Chickspeare’s shows are not merely passive theatre experiences; indeed, they engage the audience and provide a creative, provocative environment for female actors to explore and experience Shakespeare’s plays. This desire to break down gender barriers for women in Shakespeare fuels the next stage of Chickspeare’s future. While the company continues to be a vehicle for women and girls to explore their performance of Shakespeare’s roles, the company plans to promote the development of new plays, providing the voices of female playwrights the opportunity to create new work based on Shakespeare’s plays. To learn more about Chickspeare®, read about them in Shakespeare and Gender in Practice by Terri Power. A part of the Shakespeare in Practice series, it explores theoretical and practical approaches to performing gender in contemporary Shakespeare productions.
Joanna Gerdy is a founding member of Chickspeare and serves as Artistic Director. She is an actor, director, educator and playwright working in the Charlotte theatre community since 1994. Her directing credits for Chickspeare include: MIDSUMMER ABRIDGED, SHAKESPEARE’S R&J, HAMLET (part of the ChicksBeer series, in collaboration with NoDa Brewing Company), TWELFTH NIGHT (a co-production with Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte), HENRY IV, MACBETH and QUICKSPEARE. Gerdy has performed with the Warehouse Performing Arts Center in Cornelius, Children’s Theatre of Charlotte, Theatre Charlotte, The Actors’ Gallery, and Chickspeare. Shakespeare acting credits include: Queen Elizabeth in RICHARD III, Jacque in AS YOU LIKE IT, Amelia in THE COMEDY OF ERRORS, Hippolyta in MIDSUMMER, Olivia in TWELFTH NIGHT, and Antony in JULIUS CAESAR. Previously, as an Artistic Associate at Children’s Theatre of Charlotte, Gerdy directed, performed in, and wrote for both Main Stage and professional touring company productions. CT directing credits include: Wiley and the Hairy Man, Harry the Dirty Dog, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Beauty and the Beast, and The Prince and the Pauper. At Children’s Theatre, Gerdy also developed and directed Shakespeare in School, an adult professional touring company and educational residency program funded through the Arts and Science Council (ASC). Gerdy has attended the actor training program at Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, MA. In 2015, she participated in La MaMa Experimental Theatre’s La MaMa Umbria International Theatre Directors’ Symposium in Spoleto, Italy.
Anne Lambert is an actor, director and regional theater producer, and a founding member of Chickspeare, Charlotte’s all-female Shakespeare company. Anne served as Chickspeare’s Managing Director from 1998 to 2006, and produced many Chickspeare productions including: AS YOU LIKE IT, HENRY IV, OTHELLO/DESDEMONA, QUICKSPEARE, TWELFTH NIGHT and HOP, DROP & PLAY. As an actor, Anne has performed with Chickspeare (Sir Toby Belch, Bottom), Theatre Charlotte, Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte, BareBones, Davidson Community Players, CAST, and the Warehouse Performing Arts Center. Under her independent banner, Charlotte’s Off-Broadway, she produces and directs contemporary theater. Recent COB shows include: I’LL EAT YOU LAST, RAPTURE, BLISTER, BURN, STONES IN HIS POCKETS, and THE SMELL OF THE KILL. Anne graduated from Davidson College and studied Kabuki theatre in Tokyo, Japan on a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship. She has worked for more than 20 years as a professional development and major gifts officer at arts and culture institutions in Philadelphia and Charlotte including: Pennsylvania Ballet, the Franklin Institute, Charlotte Ballet, Charlotte Repertory Theatre, and the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture. Anne is currently the Grants Manager for McColl Center for Art + Innovation in Charlotte.