Naked Shakespeare Ensemble Actors
Michael Levine is artistic director and founder of the Naked Shakespeare series and has acted and directed with the company since its inception in 2004, including performance installations of Cymbeline Underground and All’s Well on the Waterfront, as well as traditional productions of The War of the Roses (based on the Henry VI cycle), King Richard II, and The Merchant of Venice. He is also the co-founder of Oak Street Theatre and Acorn Productions, where has taught acting and playwriting in Portland for over 10 years.
Mike is a graduate of M.I.T., where he studied playwriting with A.R. Gurney, and acting with Kristen Linklater and Shakespeare and Company. He has worked at Portland Stage Company and the New Repertory Theatre and is a certified secondary school English teacher who last taught at Gorham High School.
Karen Ball is an actor, director, and teacher. She is on staff at Acorn Acting Academy as co-director and teacher of the Shakespeare Conservatory for teens and adults, and she is a member of the Naked Shakespeare Ensemble, in which she has played, among other roles, Lady Macbeth, Gertrude, Queen Isabella, and Macduff. With Mad Horse Theatre she performed in Shepard’s The Late Henry Moss and Durang’s Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All For You. With A.I.R.E. Theatre, she was seen in O’Neill’s Seafarer Plays, and she has appeared in Fenix Theatre Company’s Shakespeare in the Park in Twelfth Night, The Taming of the Shrew, Love’s Labour’s Lost, and Romeo and Juliet.
Michael Howard has worked with Mike Levine as assistant director of Naked Shakespeare for over 10 years. While in New York City Michael studied with Kristin Linklater and Shakespeare and Company for two years and took acting Shakespeare classes with Robert Langdon Lloyd of Peter Brooks’s company. His performance of Sir Toby Belch in Twelfth Night earned him Off-Broadway raves in 1988. In Maine Michael played Lear and Claudius at Mad Horse, Falstaff with Naked Shakespeare, Leontes from A Winter’s Tale, and revived Sir Toby with Freeport Shakespeare Festival. He directed Twelfth Night at the Stage at Spring Point and As You Like It and Antony and Cleopatra with Naked Shakespeare Company.
Mary Fraser is in her third year of study with Acorn’s Shakespeare Conservatory and has performed in student showcases and with Naked Shakespeare. Mary has also been seen with Freeport Community Players and is in an extended engagement at the University of New England directing the Student Academic Success Center there.