Teaching Artist Roster
Sam Ashdown is a professional actor, teacher, writer, and fight director. He has played such roles as Hamlet for the Nashville Shakespeare Festival and Henry V for the Tony award winning Utah Shakespeare Festival. Other regional credits include the Gulfshore Playhouse, the Shakespeare Theater of New Jersey, People’s Light Theater, Northlight Theatre, TimeLine Theatre Company, Writers Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, American Players Theatre, Montana Shakespeare in the Schools, and Montana Shakespeare in the Parks. In 2016, he founded the short film production company, “Strange Trio Productions”, which has produced 5 original short films, and in 2018 he appeared in a leading role in the award winning independent feature film,“Ruin Me”. As a teacher, he’s taught Acting for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and was invited back as a Guest Lecturer in 2015. He’s designed and taught stage combat workshops for the Montana Shakespeare Festival, Utah Shakespeare Festival, and the University of Montana Western. In New York City, he was self-employed as a Shakespeare audition coach, successfully coaching students to book work at venues such as the Globe Theater in London, as well as various graduate programs across the country. Currently, Sam is teaching and text coaching the Apprentice Company for the Nashville Shakespeare Festival and this winter will be playing the title role in the Festival’s production of Macbeth. Sam received his MFA from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and his BFA from Southern Oregon University.
Kim was born and raised in the UK and trained at Mountview Academy (Judi Dench - President). She studied classical theatre under the tutorship of Nikolas Simmonds (National Theatre, Bristol Old Vic), and Thelma Holt (National Theater, Peter Hall Company) and has worked with Sir John Mills and Royal Shakespeare founder Clifford Williams. Her first professional job after leaving drama school was playing Edgar in King Lear with the Orange Tree Theatre in London. She has since played Juliet in Romeo and Juliet at the Judi Dench Theatre in London, Helena in All’s well That Ends Well in London (directed by Clifford Williams) as well as many other classical roles. Her experience on London’s West End stage includes originating the role of Linda Gail Lewis in the hit musical Great Balls of fire and playing Patsy Cline, Tammy Wynette, kd lang, Barbra Orbison and a few other legends in various rock and roll/ country musical offerings. She played the lead in Blood Brothers for Bill Kenwright both in the West End and on National tours and has worked extensively as an actress in both regional and European theaters. Kim has adapted and directed Much ado About Nothing, A Midsummer’s Night Dream, Taming Of The Shrew and The Tempest professionally. Kim is now a regular staple on the Nashville stage and her credits include Becky in Becky’s New Car, Ursula in Vincent in Brixton, Jordan in The Piper and Margery in Hand to God for Actor’s Bridge. Baker’s Wife, Mdm Thenardier, Mrs Cratchit and many others for Studio Tenn. As a director Kim has worked for Actor’s Bridge and Studio Tenn on Time Stands Still, My Fair Lady, Spamalot, Gaslight and as a writer/collaborator/performer on The Frozen Moment. Kim is often asked in Kroger if she’s ever met the Queen! She actually has!
Carrie works with the Nashville Shakes team primarily as the Marketing Director, but is thrilled when she gets to jump in as an actor, teaching artist, or fight choreographer. Before Nashville, she lived and worked in NYC and LA as an actor, fight choreographer, and stage combat teacher for over 15 years, teaching at places like AMDA (NY&LA), Broadway Classroom, The School for Film & Television, NYU (guest teacher), and Yale (guest teacher). She is also a singer and mom to her two amazing daughters, Octavia and Phoenix.
Katie is thrilled to be a part of the Nashville Shakespeare Festival team and to combine her love and appreciation for Shakespeare, theater performance, and education. Katie earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Musical Theatre from the University of Miami and went on to tour state-wide as an actor and educator with the Merry-Go-Round Playhouse out of Auburn, NY. In Nashville, she has directed and music directed first through fourth-graders for Acting Up!, hosted at Julia Green Elementary School, where professionalism, creative thinking, and self-expression are taught through music, theater, and dance. Katie continues to perform with several theater companies around Nashville and enjoys yoga and dancing.
is a displaced Texan residing in West Nashville. She has a B.F.A. in Theatre Performance from Belmont University, and has been performing around the city of Nashville in various productions with Studio Tenn, Nashville Repertory Theatre, and the Nashville Shakespeare Festival.
Jonah M. Jackson is a Tennessee native with a BFA in Acting and Directing from Lipscomb University. He has worked regularly with the Nashville Shakespeare Festival since 2015, with production credits including Romeo & Juliet, Macbeth, The Winter's Tale, Antony & Cleopatra, The Comedy of Errors, King Lear, and Henry V. He has also worked professionally with Nashville Repertory Theatre and Studio Tenn, and has been a Teaching Artist with NSF since 2017
Dr. David Landon
David Landon is a Registered Rodenburg Teacher and has worked with Ms. Rodenburg for many years. As an actor, he has performed extensively in university and professional theatre, with the New York, Alabama, and Nashville Shakespeare Festivals, and the New Orleans and Provincetown Tennessee Williams Festivals. His deep interest in actor training has led him to seek out such outstanding and knowledgable teachers as Michael Howard (founding member of the Actors’ Studio), Marsha Haufrecht (Lee Strasbourg’s close associate), Katharine Sergava (esteemed dancer and and actor; student of the New York Russians: R. Boleslavsky, A. Jiilinski, & M. Chekhov), Jacques Lecoq, Monica Pagneux (Peter Brook’s movement coach), and Phillippe Gaulier (teacher of Emma Thompson, Sacha Baron Cohen, and the actors of the Theatre of Complicité), among others. David is the Bishop Frank A. Juhan Professor of Theatre Arts Emeritus at Sewanee: the University of the South, and is a member of Actors Equity, and Sag-Aftra. An honors graduate of Harvard, he has a Phd. with a concentration in Renaissance poetry from Vanderbilt. He was a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow-in-Residence at Princeton where his research topic was “actor training and the teaching of the humanities.”
Nashville credits include: A Midsummer Night's Dream (The Nashville Shakespeare Festival); Othello (The Nashville Shakespeare Festival); As You LIke It (The Nashville Shakespeare Festival); Frost/Nixon (Studio Tenn); The Diary of Anne Frank & Becky Shaw (Actor’s Bridge); Director: End Days (FDR). Broadway: War Horse (Lincoln Center). Some Shakespeare credits include: Othello (Epic Theatre Ensemble); Macbeth (Repertory Theatre of St. Louis); Othello (Shakespeare on The Sound); Merry Wives of Windsor, Measure for Measure, All’s Well That Ends Well, Pericles, Much Ado & Hamlet (The Old Globe); The Merchant of Venice, Troilus and Cressida, Twelfth Night, Hamlet, Macbeth, Much Ado, & Winter’s Tale (The Boston Publick). His original work includes The Jewish Independent & Jester’s Dead (A Top Gun Shakespeare mash-up performed at The PIT in NYC); TV and Film: Devious Maids, Law & Order: CI, The Good Wife, & Elementary. Nat graduated with an MFA in acting from The Old Globe.
René is a professional actor, director, acting teacher, writer, producer and film maker. He earned his MFA in Acting from the University of Washington, Seattle. He has been a guest teacher and teaching artist at the Yale School of Drama (Beinecke Fellowship), Syracuse University, Seattle University, Vanderbilt University, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Actor’s Bridge Ensemble, Nashville Shakespeare Festival and the Nashville Children’s Theatre. He is currently the Theatre Program Director at Rocketship United Academy. René appeared on Broadway in The Wild Party directed by George C. Wolfe. In seven seasons as an acting company member of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival notable roles include Angelo in Measure for Measure, the Bastard in King John, Tybalt in Romeo and Juliet, Palo in Gibraltar, the Tiger in Tracy’s Tiger, Juan José in American Night: The Ballad of Juan Jose (a role he also performed at the La Jolla Playhouse, Kirk Douglas Theatre in Los Angeles and the Yale Repertory Theatre . Other credits include José María Herédia in Niagara: A Pan-American Story for Propeller Arts Projects, Toronto, Magaldi in Evita at Studio Tenn, Wahab/Nihad in Scorched at Syracuse Stage, Rene Flores in Lydia at the Denver Center Theatre Company, Leonardo in Blood Wedding at The Guthrie Theater and Kansas City Rep., Great the magician in Orange Lemon Egg Canary at the Actor’s Theatre of Louisville, Al in El Paso Blue at the Off-Broadway Summer Play Festival NYC, Nino in Electricidad at the Mark Taper Forum. Film credits include In America directed by Jim Sheridan, In the Weeds, Race with the Devil, Closer, Keep Your Distance. TV credits include Quick Draw, 24, CSI: Miami, Chappelle’s Show, Third Watch, Days of Our Lives.
Jordan Scott is a local teaching and performing artist who is proud to have been involved with various companies and schools such as Nashville Shakespeare Festival, Nashville Children’s Theatre, Street Theatre, Bethlehem Players, Pull-Tight Theatre, Currey Ingram Academy, and O'More College of Design. Jordan received her BA in Drama from the University of Arkansas with an emphasis in Acting. After graduating, she moved to Seattle, Washington and helped teach Improvisation with the Seattle Children's Theatre. In 2016, Jordan served as an Advisor for the Junior Youth Actors Guild in Franklin. Jordan also specializes in teaching various baking and cooking classes in the community to students of all ages.
Duties for NSF include Apprentice Company Director, Voice and Text Coach, Teaching Artist, Head of School at Nashville Shakes and more. He earned a BFA from Texas State University and an MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. As an actor, teaching artist, and/or voice & text coach, Santiago has worked at The Oregon Shakespeare Festival, American Players Theatre, Illinois Shakespeare Festival, Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, Muse of Fire Shakespeare, Door Shakespeare, Writers Theatre, Forward Theatre Company, Definition Theatre, TPAC, NCT, Nashville Rep, Shakespeare Rep, The Theatre Bug, and From the Branch of which he served as its artistic director for 6 years. Santiago also works as an adjunct professor at Lipscomb and MTSU. He is the recipient of the Horton Foote and Robert Yeager Award for directing as well as the Advanced Opportunity Fellowship.
David has over 20 years experience in Nashville as a stage manager, actor, fight choreographer, director, and teacher.
Sarah Katherine Zanotti
Sarah Katherine Zanotti is an actress and teaching artist who has had the pleasure to teach with NSF through their partnership with Backlight Theatre Productions. She previously directed and choreographed students at the Florida Repertory Theatre Education Department. While at the Florida Repertory Theatre Sarah performed two touring TYA productions for nine months reaching over 25,000 students across Southwest Florida. Sarah graduated from Lipscomb University with a BFA in Musical Theatre and currently lives in Nashville Tennessee.