Charlene V. Smith

Charlene is a director, actor, and scholar living in the DC area for over a decade. She has a BA in English and Theatre from the College of William and Mary and an MLitt and MFA in Shakespeare and Performance from Mary Baldwin College in partnership with the American Shakespeare Center. She is the head editor of Rogue Shakespeare: Stagecraft and Scholarship in an Ensemble-Based MFA Company. Her article "Margaret of Anjou: Shakespeare's Adapted Heroine" appears in The Palgrave Handbook of Shakespeare's Queens. This volume won the Royal Studies Journal Book Prize for 2020. Charlene is an Equity Member Candidate, a member of the Shakespeare Theatre Association, and a former board member of the Actors' Center.


Charlene is the Artistic Director of Brave Spirits Theatre. Founded in 2011, BST stages visceral and intimate productions of Shakespeare and his contemporaries with a focus on female artists and feminist perspectives. BST focuses on verse and violence, actor, audience, and the presence and stories of women and female characters in early modern drama. BST is also committed to producing rarely seen gems of the era, by the playwrights unfortunately ignored in the wake of Shakespeare’s genius.

Charlene recently directed the Henriad for Brave Spirits Theatre: Richard II, 1 Henry IV, 2 Henry IV, and Henry V. Cancelled due to COVID, the productions were originally part of the company's two-season plan to stage Shakespeare's eight history plays in repertory.


You can contact Charlene at

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