Shakespeare for Everyone


Deborah Wright Houston, Artistic Director


Kings County Shakespeare Company was founded in Brooklyn in 1983 by Co-Artistic Directors, Deborah Wright Houston and Liz Shipman, at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden in celebration of the Garden's Shakespeare Day. Our audiences reflect the cultural diversity of our Brooklyn community, a rich and unique population we are proud to serve.

The Company was created to bring gifted, well-trained actors together with the people of Brooklyn. Our mission is to serve Brooklyn and its visitors by presenting well-crafted, affordable and provocative productions of Shakespeare's plays as well as other classics from world literature.

Since classic plays, the most outstanding works of any culture or generation, are an integral part of our worlds collective humanity, we seek to reinvigorate them for a new generation and make them available and accessible to all. For this reason, we produce our annual Shakespeare Festival of two to four classic plays and our outreach programs in often-frequented traditional and nontraditional performance venues: the Prospect Park Bandshell, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and most recently, in our new home at St. Francis College in Brooklyn Heights, which is accessible by public transportation to people in all five city boroughs.

To further support our mission, we utilize the talents of the very best theatre professionals available through Actors Equity's non-traditional casting service and through agent submissions. We offer educational outreach programs for children, teens and adults, provide comprehensive training programs for future theatre professionals and encourage community participation in all our activities.


Founder & Artistic Director
Actor & Director
Costume Designer
Board Member

Ms. Houston holds a Bachelor of Music Degree from the Hartt College of Music and received her classical theatre training at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London, and at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. She received acclaim in New York for the dual roles of Thaisa/Marina in the Jean Cocteau Repertory Company’s Obie-Award winning production of Pericles.

For KCSC: Lady Macbeth, the Princess in Love’s Labours Lost, Celia in As You Like It, Isabella in Measure for Measure, Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing, Hermione in The Winter’s Tale, Emilia in Othello, Gertrude in Hamlet and Titania in an Unrehearsed- Shakespeare production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

Directing for KCSC: The Tempest, The Two Gentleman of Verona, The Comedy of Errors, Romeo and Juliet, Middleton & Rowley’s The Changeling, Richard Brinsley Sheridan’s The Rivals, and a staged reading of Marivaux’s The Triumph of Love at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. For the Classical Brunch Reading Series, she has directed The Birthmark and Shaw’s Saint Joan.

Ms. Houston was a 1989 recipient of a Woman of Influence Community Service Recognition Award from the Brooklyn YWCA. Currently, she teaches voice & speech and acting for the Saturday school at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and is an adjunct professor of classical acting in the communications department at St. Francis College. (AEA)

Festival Manager
Master of Arms
Properties Director

Ms. Chin has been an Artistic Associate of the Kings County Shakespeare Company since 1986 and has worked on over 30 productions. She is the company Fight Director, choreographing or overseeing all the various acts of staged mayhem with which Mr. Shakespeare is so rife; she also teaches swordsmanship and deportment and maintains the company’s period weapons collection. Additionally she helps with the construction and care of the company’s costumes, props and various aspects of set design and construction.

In her spare time she is the costumer for the Pieter Claesen Wyckoff Farmhouse Museum in Brooklyn, and, for the past 17 years, has mounted Halloween events for the Brooklyn Parks Department in Prospect and Marine Parks. Work with other theatre companies (in many of the above categories) include Theatre Ten Ten, the T. Schreiber Studio, The Caldwell Theatre Company, Distilled Spirits Theatre Company, The Oasis, Blackberry Productions, Theatre Labrador, and others.

Choreographer and Movement Coach
Board Chair

Ms. Schwartzman made her KCSC debut in the 1992 production of Romeo and Juliet.  She has since appeared as Ariel in The Tempest, Moth in Love's Labour's Lost, First Fairy in A Midsommer Night's Dreame and Nicka and Sugarsop in The Taming of the Shrew.  She has served as choreographer and/or assistant director on numerous KCSC productions.

As either a performer or director, she has worked with Meredith Monk, Ping Chong, Blondell Cummings, Remy Charlip and Alyson Pou.

Ms. Schwartzman is currently collaborating with Liz Shipman, former on KCSC Associate Artistic Director on The Creation Project, the inaugural production of Theatre Internationale which hopes to premiere the piece as part of KCSC's 2005 season.

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