About Festival 56
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Dexter Brigham, Executive Artistic Director
Born and raised in Princeton, Dexter Brigham spent 6 years living in New York City and working around the country as an actor in Broadway musicals and opera. The highlights of his performing career include the title role in the Off-Broadway revival of The Robber Bridegroom, the national tour of Frank Wildhorn's The Scarlet Pimpernel and Fred/Petruchio in the 2003-4 Broadway national tour of Kiss Me, Kate.
On the Festival 56 stage, Dexter has been a frequent guest artist in roles such as Jesus in Jesus Christ Superstar and Benedick in William Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing.
In New York, in 2003 he co-founded The November Ten, a theatrical production company which subsequently brought the first cast of professional actors to Princeton, where they presented Showstoppers at the Prairie Arts Center. While in Princeton, Dexter met Terri Zearing, who helped to found Festival 56 in the summer of 2004. Dexter has served as the Executive Artistic Director of Festival 56 since then.
He is the 2009 recipient of the Illinois Alliance for Arts Education Artist award.
Shannon Hill, Associate Producer
Shannon Nicole Hill is a native of Portage, MI and has been doing theatre since she was nine years old. She attended Western Michigan University, where she received her BA in Theatre Performance, BA in English Literature, and a minor in Spanish. During her undergraduate career, Shannon was lucky enough to perform at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, work with the Tectonic Project, study at Second City, and found her own improv team, which still runs to this day.
After WMU, Shannon continued on to receive her MFA in Acting at the University of Houston. In Houston, she worked professionally at Main Street Theatre and Black Lab Theatre. She was an instructor at Lone Star Community College, St. John's School, and Page Parkes School of Modeling and Acting. While primarily an actor, Shannon has also worked professionally as a director, singer, fight choreographer, and vocal coach.
In the fall of 2014, Shannon moved to Chicago to continue to her career. She has most recently worked with Polarity Ensemble Theatre, and on a web commercial for The Onion. Festival 56 credits include Rosalind in As You Like It, Gabriella in Boeing Boeing, and Florinda in Into the Woods.
In September 2015, Shannon becomes the Artistic Director of Festival 56 and we are excited to have her as part of the team.