The Fools & Kings Project is dedicated to bringing accessible, engaging theatre to New York City and its surrounding areas, with an emphasis on Shakespeare and other classical texts. Simple yet compelling design, combined with a fast-paced, high-stakes approach creates powerful, enticing productions which attract the expert and novice alike.
OF FOOLS & KINGS
Separated by half a country for a year, we found that our love of Shakespeare and a very Grecian-looking park in NYC sparked a strong desire to put up A Midsummer Night's Dream...and soon.
As we discussed more and more plays, and half-joked about doing ALL of Shakespeare's work, the joke eventually became: "Why not?" Once we had accepted that we were now destined to produce these shows, we realized that we needed a name. After a lengthy debate, we finally settled on The Fools & Kings Project.
The project's name was born of a fascination with Shakespeare's approach to class, and how it formed the actions of his characters. Many times in his plays, the kings and other members of the upper class behave ridiculously, while the fools and lower classes prove to be the true sages. The Fools & Kings Project will explore that dichotomy throughout the Bard's body of work.
-Vanessa & Melissa
"Jesters do oft prove prophets." -King Lear, Act V, Scene iii
The Magic Makers
The amazing people who work with us
Shann Smith (Social Media and Marketing Director) is an obnoxious daydreamer who spends way too much time on his laptop. He graduated from the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in 2015, and has been trying to carve his niche in the business ever since. When he's not writing plays and spec scripts, he's doing everything he can to get his own company off the ground. He likes to think of himself as the occasional actor, and has appeared in a few things - including an amazing production of Comedy of Errors - but he's realized he prefers to stay behind the curtain. During his time on said amazing production, he met and immediately clicked with Vanessa and Melissa and knew that they were going to work together again. Now, after spending last year producing and promoting two shows with two amazing teams, he's excited to bring all that he's learned to the F&K family.
Chelsea Rowe (Show Photographer) started with The Fools and Kings Project in their premiere production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream", but soon found a new role as their show photographer. With training and education from The International Center of Photography, Chelsea's specialty is in portraiture and nature.
Julie McNamara (Production Intern) Julie is thrilled to be working with Fools and Kings! Coming from the musical theater world, she is enjoying learning all she can about the Bard. With a degree in classical voice performance, Julie has always been oddly fascinated with complicated text, intricate love stories, and old- fashioned clothing. Favorite theater credits include Blue Fairy in Pinocchio, Madame Aubert in Titanic, Fairy Godmother in Shrek, and several new play festivals with TheAlphaNYC. Julie also greatly enjoys performing for and with kids, and mostly recently played a misfit toy aboard the "North Pole Express" this past holiday season. Originally from Boston, she holds a Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance from Westminster Choir College, and currently studies improv at the Magnet Theater. When not onstage, she enjoys practicing and teaching yoga, knitting obsessively, and baking (and then eating most of the dough).