Educational and Community Outreach Advisory Board

THIRTEEN’s Education Department assembled a National Educational and Community Outreach Advisory Board of high school educators and Shakespearean scholars. The Advisory Board convened at THIRTEEN in November 2012 to brainstorm and develop strategies for the creation of the educational content for Shakespeare Uncovered. Below, learn more about each of the Advisors.

Chris Anthony is a director, teacher, actor and administrator specializing in community-based art making. Holding an MFA from the California Institute for the Arts, she oversees SCLA’s Youth & Education programs.  From youth development for teens (Will Power to Youth) to performances for very young audiences (Moth & Mustardseed) to partnerships with veterans (Cry Havoc!), SCLA programs and productions serve a wide variety of Angelenos. Chris is honored to work with the staff, teaching artists and classroom teachers who make those programs possible. Chris began her career with the St. Louis Black Rep where she has directed Othello, Romeo & Juliet and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. She has been a guest lecturer at the UC Davis, University of Southern California, Cal State Dominguez Hills, Cal Poly Pomona and Laverne University. A former board member of TYA/USA, her other professional affiliations have included Cornerstone Theater, P.L.A.Y. at Center Theatre Group, TeAda, Plaza de la Raza, Shakespeare at the Huntington, The Actor’s Gang, and Young Native Voices.

Susan C. Biondo-Hench teaches English and directs the Shakespeare Troupe at Carlisle High School in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.  In 1984 she attended the first Teaching Shakespeare Institute at the Folger Shakespeare Library and became an immediate convert to teaching Shakespeare through performance.  Sue has served on staff for TSI 1998, 2008, 2010 and 2012; she also developed the Romeo and Juliet teaching unit in the first volume of Shakespeare Set Free; she received the first Shakespeare Steward Award for Innovative Teaching of Shakespeare in American Schools from the Folger; and she is a National Board Certified Teacher.

Josh Cabat is the Chair of English for the Roslyn (NY) Public Schools. Previously, he worked as a teacher of English and Film Studies at Roslyn High School for nine years and in the New York City public high schools for over a decade. He was the co-founder of the New York City Student Shakespeare Festival, and has been awarded three fellowships by the National Endowment for the Humanities. He has been a featured speaker at several national conferences, and has published many articles on Shakespeare and Film. He has also conducted workshops for teachers on behalf of the Folger Shakespeare Library, and is currently a Teaching Artist for the Young Film Critics program at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. He earned an MA from the University of Chicago and a BA from Columbia University.

Kevin J. Costa is the Director of Fine & Performing Arts at McDonogh School in Baltimore, MD, where he also serves as head of the drama program and leads the school’s Institute for Shakespeare and Renaissance Studies. He earned his Ph.D. at SUNY-Buffalo, with a focus on Shakespeare, Renaissance literature, and dramatic theory. Since 2006, Kevin has served as Education Director and as an artistic associate for the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company, a professional classical theatre located in Ellicott City, MD. He is also an active teaching artist for the education division of the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC. He lives on the campus of McDonogh School with his wife, Renée, and his son, Ethan.

Dr. William L. Heller has been teaching Shakespeare to students on all levels since 1992. In 2005, Bill received his doctorate from New York University’s Steinhardt School of Education, where he currently teaches graduate-level courses in English Education and School Leadership.  His dissertation study on measuring meaningful learning outcomes for elementary school students studying Shakespeare was recently published as a chapter for the book Literary Education and Digital Learning, published by IGI Global.  He has taught for the Folger Shakespeare Library’s summer Teaching Shakespeare Institute, and has delivered numerous conference presentations on using technology to teach Shakespeare.  Bill’s website  has received over 100,000 unique visits since its launch in January 2007.

Joan Langley has served as Education Director for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival since 1988, producing annual tours of Festival actors to schools throughout the western United States, leading resident workshops in Ashland for playgoers of all ages, and seminars for teachers on teaching Shakespeare. In her 25 years at OSF, Joan has developed lessons for nearly all of Shakespeare’s plays and has led workshops at the Cambridge Shakespeare Conference, Shakespeare Theatre Association of America, National Association for Humanities Education, Northwest Council of Teachers of English, among others. She has served on the Editorial Board for Shakespeare Magazine, Education Grants and Policy Panel at the National Endowment for the Arts, and Arts Across Oregon Panel for the Oregon Arts Commission. She received an MFA from the Professional Actor Training Program at Southern Methodist University and a BA in Theatre Arts from Santa Clara University.

Michael LoMonico has taught Shakespeare courses and workshops for teachers and students in 36 states as well as in Canada and England.  Since 1986, he has worked at the Teaching Shakespeare Institute at the Folger as the Institute Director and Master Teacher and. He has organized and directed week-long Folger Institutes across the U.S., and leads professional development presentations around the United States in teaching Shakespeare and integrating technology into the classroom. Michael was the guest editor for September 2009 Teaching Shakespeare edition of the English Journal. He is the author of The Shakespeare Book of Lists, published by NewPage Books and Shakespeare 101, published by Random House and was the founder and editor of Shakespeare magazine, published by Cambridge University Press and Georgetown University. He was an assistant to the editor for the curriculum section of all three volumes of the Folger’s Shakespeare Set Free series, and was also the technical editor to The Complete Idiots Guide to Shakespeare. In the digital world, he wrote the content for the Web site, “Shakespeare: Subject to Change,” published by Cable in the Classroom and several articles and lessons for “In Search of Shakespeare” for the Public Broadcasting System (PBS).  Michael is an accomplished teacher with a current adjunct professorship at Stony Brook University. He taught high school English on Long Island for 33 years.

Peggy O’Brien, Ph.D. has taught English to middle and high school students in DC Public Schools, and Shakespeare to teachers who teach all kinds of students across the US and the UK.  She founded the Education Division at the Folger Shakespeare Library, where she set the Library’s mission for K-12 students and teachers, and founded and directed the Library’s month-long, intensive Teaching Shakespeare Institute.  She is general editor of the Shakespeare Set Free series and the creator of Shakespeare: Subject To Change, an online tool that continues to happily introduce students and teachers—now in the hundreds of thousandsto the instability of the text.  She was the 2008 recipient of the Shakespeare Steward Award which recognized her outstanding contributions to the innovative teaching of Shakespeare in American classrooms.

In addition, O’Brien has spent more than a decade creating high quality media and technology content and making it available to preK-12 teachers and students, most notably as Senior Vice President for Education at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and as Executive Director of the cable industry’s education foundation.  Most recently, as Chief of Family and Public Engagement for DC Public Schools, she served on Chancellor Michelle Rhee’s eight-member leadership team, leading the most aggressive and perhaps controversial school reform effort in the country.  Currently, she is CEO of The Great Teaching Project, a new multi-dimensional initiative that captures the complexity and brilliance of exceptional teachers through film, radio, print, and social media.   This semester, at the invitation of Georgetown University, she has created and is teaching Schools of Thought: Investigations in American K-12 Education to undergraduates.

O’Brien received her B.A. in English from Trinity College in Washington, D.C., and her Ph.D. in education from American University.  She is the recipient of two honorary degrees and sits on the boards of Sage Publications and Corwin Press, and of St. Coletta’s School in Washington, DC.  She recently completed two terms as Board Chair of Trinity Washington University.


Susan C. Biondo-Hench
Josh Cabat
Kevin J. Costa
Kay Daly
Dr. William L. Heller