Russell Blackwood, Company Founder and Director
Russell Blackwood usually directs Thrillpeddlers' plays, but giddily hits the boards when the right role comes along. He also enjoys fostering the company's collaborations with such notables as playwrights Clive Barker and Eric Bentley, Grand Guignol historians Mel Gordon and Agnes Pierron as well as pop culture icons like topless pioneer Carol Doda, Warhol Superstar Holly Woodlawn, and queer Marlboro Man Christian Herron. As a freelance director of theatre and opera, his productions have played South Africa, Taiwan, London and throughout the U.S. from New York City to Alaska. West Coast credits include the premieres of Scott O?Hara?s Ex-Lovers and Kate Bornstein?s Strangers in Paradox for Theatre Rhinoceros, The Two Gentlemen of Verona and The Taming of the Shrew for the Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival, Medea for Shotgun Players, and Starship Shakespeare for Shakespeare Festival/L.A.
In addition to directing, during his decade-long affiliation with San Francisco Shakespeare Festival he also produced Free Shakespeare in the Park, the Gershwins' Oh, Kay! (winner of 6 Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Awards) and the Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival. As a visiting guest artist for academic theatre and opera programs, he directed productions at University of San Francisco, American Conservatory Theatre, U.C. Berkeley, Avila College, and Technikon Pretoria in South Africa. From 1996 2000 he was a resident stage director for both San Francisco Conservatory of Music and the Bay Area Summer Opera Theatre Institute. Russell is a graduate of Boston University School for the Arts BFA Acting program.