Meet the Executive Team
Founder, Artistic Director
Before becoming the founder and artistic director of Classics on the Rocks, William Downes spent years honing his craft in and around New York City. He’s been fortunate to have participated in master classes with Cecily Berry, John Barton, and Barry Ingraham. He's had the honor of playing some of Shakespeare's most delightful clowns such as Dogberry (Much Ado About Nothing) Dromio of Syracuse (Comedy of Errors) Touchstone (As You Like It) and Launce (Two Gentlemen of Verona). On the more serious side, he's played such intricate roles as Macbeth (MacBeth) Othello (Othello) Roderick (Double Falsehood) and Petruchio (Taming of the Shrew) On the directing side, he has directed Classics on the Rocks’ mainstage productions of Julius Caesar, Twelfth Night, and The Winter’s Tale. He also teaches master classes on the use of cue scripts, and First Folio acting technique. As Artistic Director of Classics on the Rocks, he presents the plays of Shakespeare and his contemporaries as they are, not what we think they should be. With no hidden agenda, we focus on the characters, and relationships that are at the core of these plays, that continue to resonate with us and remind us of what it means to be human. In addition to his work with Classics on the Rocks, he does private verse coaching - for more info on that visit https://www.williamdownesversecoach.com/
While Sharon’s love for performing began with a passion for musical theatre, in college she developed a profound love for classical works spanning from the ancient Greeks through the works of that well-known man from Stratford. She graduated from UCLA with a BA in Theatre in 2005, packed up her bags and moved to the Big Apple. She then spent her time traveling around with a few children’s theatre tours and various odd productions in NYC. Most recently she could be found performing as Hermione in Classics on the Rocks' production of The Winter's Tale (and earlier, Rosalind in As You Like It). Prior to that she worked extensively with the Oxford Shakespeare Company in some of Shakespeare’s finest female roles; Kate in Taming of the Shrew, Gertrude in Hamlet, and Cleopatra in Antony & Cleopatra. She is thrilled to be a founding member of Classics on the Rocks and share her passion and knowledge with others.
Victoria Gomez Wood
After graduating with her BFA from Emerson College, Victoria returned home to New York to be a part of the classical theatre scene. After playing such roles as Viola (Twelfth Night), Mistress Ford (The Merry Wives of Windsor), Lady MacDuff (Macbeth), Nerrissa (The Merchant of Venice) and Puck (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), she is now pursuing her Masters of Public Administration at Baruch College. Victoria has been doing Shakespeare shows with Will and Sharon for the last 5 years. Now being on board with Classics, she hopes to help the company grow and fulfill its mission to the fullest extent. Victoria would like to make a special thank you to Richard Harden, who has given her the tools and the confidence to endure this endeavor with all of her heart.
Resident stage manager and associate producer for Classics on the Rocks, Samantha takes pride in keeping this lovable group of actors in line, on time, safe, and organized. Originally from Massachusetts, Samantha transplanted to NYC a few years ago and quickly found a her place within the theatre community stage managing for companies such as Onomatopoeia Theatre Company and Strindberg Rep - but Classics on the Rocks will always be home.