The Board of Trustees of the Saratoga Shakespeare Company (SSC) is pleased to announce that Marcus Dean Fuller is the new Executive & Artistic Director, as of October 1, 2019.
Marcus Dean Fuller is an actor, writer, director and producer with over twenty-five years’ experience working in film, television and stage. He is a company member of the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, a freelance writer and director who has helmed productions such as The Tempest and Macbeth. He earned his MFA from Yale School of Drama.
Marcus Dean Fuller succeeds Executive Director, Barbara Opitz, and Artistic Director, Lary Opitz who co-led the Company since 2012. Both Barbara and Lary are looking forward to serving as members of Saratoga Shakespeare’s newly formed Artistic Advisory Board, along with SSC founder William Finlay, and national leaders including: James Bundy, Dean, Yale School of Drama; Evan Yionoulis, Director of Drama, Juilliard; and Bonnie Monte, Artistic Director, Shakespeare Theater of New Jersey.
The Saratoga Shakespeare Company, founded in 2000, is Saratoga County’s only professional theatre company. SSC founder William Finlay commented: “I could not be more pleased that Marcus is assuming the Artistic Directorship role for the Saratoga Shakespeare Company. His exciting artistic vision and consummate professional experience will most certainly bring the company that I began and ran for many years into a new and vibrant era that I had originally envisioned, and that Saratoga deserves.”
Saratoga Shakespeare is a member of the International Shakespeare Theatre Association and is one of only four Shakespeare companies in the country that provides free and open access professional productions in public parks.“
I am deeply humbled by the opportunity to serve this organization and lead the Saratoga Shakespeare Company into its twentieth season.” Fuller stated, “I do not see Shakespeare’s work as a ‘sacred’ text but as a roadmap for our lives. It reminds us that as we struggle with the same themes and challenges that collectively we always have; love, death, turbulent politics, that to get through this play called life we need each other. The performing of Shakespeare is nothing less than the celebration of the human condition engaging us not just as individuals but as a community.”
Marcus Dean Fuller has created an ongoing partnership with the Saratoga Performing Arts Center. This past summer marked his directorial debut with the SSC which included performances of The Tempest which were presented in and around the reflecting pool located on the SPAC grounds.
Fuller’s first order of business as Artistic Director is to ensure Saratoga Shakespeare will continue to seek out new and exciting collaborative partnerships with local arts organizations, as it has done with SPAC and RadialArts, as well as maintain their long-standing partnership with Skidmore. SSC has forged a strong relationship with Skidmore College’s Office of Special Programs, enabling students from top national colleges and graduate schools to receive academic credit for their work in Saratoga Shakespeare’s Professional Internship Program. Skidmore has also provided affordable intern room and board, rehearsal space, and actor and staff housing. The SSC Professional Internship Program involves approximately twenty college and graduate students each year presenting free innovative productions of classic works.
Fuller is an actor, writer, director and producer with over twenty-five years’ experience in the entertainment industry. He most recently directed a production of Macbeth at Union College. Other theater directing and producing credits include Small World, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, It’s a Wonderful Life Radio Play, I Remember Me, An Enemy of the People and The Importance of Being Earnest. In 2017, Dark and Stormy, an original play written, produced and directed by Fuller premiered at the White Heron Theater on Nantucket. Also, he produced the world premiere of Evanston Salt Costs Climbing. He has taught at Skidmore College, RPI, Rutgers, and Union College.
His work as an actor includes the Broadway-preview of The Great Game; Off Broadway and regional productions include Something Romantic This Way Comes, Enchanted April, Shakespeare in Love, The Misanthrope, King Lear, Pride and Prejudice (Shakespeare Theater of New Jersey); Coriolanus and Julius Caesar (Shakespeare NYC); The Black Dahlia, The Psychic Life of Savages(us), You Can Never Tell (Yale Repertory Theater); The Winter’s Tale (Milwaukee Shakespeare Theater); and King Henry IV, Part I and II (Pasadena Shakespeare Theater). Additional Shakespeare roles include Hamlet and Orsino (Twelfth Night), and roles in The Tempest and All’s Well that Ends Well. He has performed in productions of Peer Gynt, In the Heart of America, The Task, Banditos, Last of the Chatterbox Wolves, and Love-All.
In 2008 he founded Compass Entertainment to develop and produce independent film, theater and media. His produced films include Ping Pong Summer with Susan Sarandon, Dial a Prayer with William Macy and Brittany Snow, Darkness Rising and One Fall. His original screenplay for One Fall was awarded a permanent place in the Margaret Herrick Library by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Steven Greenblatt, Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees, stated: “To have a theatre professional as talented and intuitive as Marcus leading SSC, is both gratifying and inspiring, especially as we enter into our 20th anniversary season and look ahead to what will surely be a bright future for the Company and for the presentation of world-class theatre in the Capital Region.