Scholar in Residence

Jeff Watkins


Jeff Watkins

The Grand Valley Shakespeare Festival welcomes accomplished actor and director Jeff Watkins. Jeff Watkins, President and Artistic Director of the Atlanta Shakespeare Company at the Shakespeare Tavern, studied theater with Paul Baker at Trinity University where he received his degree in 1978. In 1984, after training and working throughout the United States and Europe, he moved to Atlanta, GA and became Artistic Director of the Atlanta Shakespeare Company (ASC). In 1995, under Watkins’ direction, ASC became the first American Company to perform on the stage of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London, England. In 1999, Watkins oversaw ASC’s $2.1 million dollar capital campaign to purchase, renovate and expand ASC’s performance facility. In ‘03, he staged an American first: four Shakespeare history plays in chronological order with the same company of actors playing their characters throughout all four plays. Richard II, Henry IV: Part 1, Henry IV, Part 2, and Henry V played to sold-out houses. Since taking the helm of the Atlanta Shakespeare Company, Watkins has directed more than 85 main-stage productions, including more than 60- by Shakespeare. He has also appeared as an actor in more than forty productions. In March of 2011 the Atlanta Shakespeare Company became the first American company to have produced the entire 39 play Shakespearean Canon (the 36 plays in the First Folio of 1623, Pericles, Edward III and The Two Noble Kinsmen).Watkins is a leader in the Original Practice movement in America and is currently President of the international Shakespeare Theater Association. He lives in Decatur, GA with his wife Jay and their two children.

Please Plan to Join Us  

Watkins' presentation promises to be both an enjoyable and enlightening way to spend the afternoon.



Free Public Presentation – “The Five Keys to Understanding Shakespeare”

September 27.....................................4 p.m.
Alumni House and Visitor Center
Allendale Campus
Reception preceding the presentation, 3 p.m.


Page last modified March 13, 2014