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The Nashville Shakespeare Festival Staff

Denice Hicks (Artistic Director) has been working for The Nashville Shakespeare Festival since 1990 as an actor, director, teaching artist, and has held the position of Artistic Director since 2005. Educated at Point Park University in Pittsburgh, she moved to Nashville in 1980 to perform at Opryland. Denice was an original company member of the Tennessee Repertory Theatre, and was among the founders of both the Darkhorse Theater and of People’s Branch Theatre. An Ingram Fellowship award winner, and advocate for Arts in Education, she has edited and directed touring productions of Shakespeare’s works, developed and facilitated workshops for students of all ages and designed and implemented the NSF Apprentice Company Training and Shakespeare Allowed! programming. Her work has been praised by the Tennessean,, Nashville City Search, The City Paper, and the Nashville Scene, from which she has received “Best Actor” and “Best Director” acknowledgments. In May 2012, she spent 3 weeks in England as a Guest Instructor for a Cooperative Center for Study Abroad program.

Nettie Kraft (Education Director) graduated with an MFA from Roosevelt University's CCPA in Chicago where she interned at Steppenwolf with Tracy Letts, Amy Morton, and many other amazing artists on a production of Betrayal, by Harold Pinter. Prior to that, while attaining her BFA from the University of Colorado at Boulder, she worked with the Colorado Shakespeare Festival and began a theatre company which produced six plays in two years and was counted a critical success. She has studied abroad in England, and lived all over the United States, all in preparation for her move to Nashville. While in the great state of Tennessee she has been in several commercials and seen on stage for the Tennessee Women's Theatre Project, Actor's Bridge Ensemble, and the wonderful Nashville Shakespeare Festival! Currently she is teaching at Belmont University, MTSU, TSU, and Watkins College as well as starting another theatre company, The Five Dollar Recession Theatre Company.

Robert Marigza (Operations Manager) first became involved with NSF as an actor in the 1994 production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Over the years, he has served The Festival as actor, stage manager, technical director, crew, production assistant, and teacher. Since 2005, he has been the fulltime Operations Manager of the company and Producer of Macbeth, The Merry Wives of Windsor, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Hamlet, Coriolanus, Richard III, Shakespeare’s Case, Complete Works, The Taming of the Shrew, The Tempest, Love’s Labor’s Lost, Romeo & Juliet and Julius Caesar. As an actor, Robert has also worked with Nashville Children’s Theatre, People’s Branch Theatre, Mockingbird Theatre, Tennessee Repertory Theatre, Green Room Projects, and Actors’ Bridge Ensemble, as well as in commercials and independent films.

Rickey Chick Marquardt (Development Director) is a Nashville native. She holds an A.A. from Aquinas College, Nashville,Tn., a BA with Honors in Speech and Theatre from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and a J.D. from the Nashville School of Law. She served Third National Bank as Vice President and Legal Counsel, and through the Office of the Attorney General she enjoyed 18 years of service to the State of Tennessee. She has devoted countless volunteer hours to fundraising and friendraising in the arts with groups including: The Nashville Shakespeare Festival; The Oxford Imps, Oxford, England; The Independent Drama Society, Boston, Mass.; Circle Players, Nashville; the Clarence Brown Theater, Knoxville; Montgomery Bell Academy; Harpeth Hall; Room in the Inn; and most recently The Musical Heritage Center, Pegram, Tn. Upon retirement from the practice of law she joined Aquinas College as Director of Development and Community Relations contributing to the development of two major acquisitions for the college, one locally and one internationally. Rickey is the mother of four grown sons, three of whom are triplets. Her sons live, work and thrive respectively in: Boston, Mass.; Dublin, Ireland; London, England and Berlin, Germany.



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