Chesapeake Shakespeare Company’s Associate Artistic Director, Gerrad Alex Taylor, has been named one of Baltimore Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” young professionals on the rise!
This group is comprised of “entrepreneurs that have made a mark not only at their individual organizations but in their industries and in the Greater Baltimore community,” according to BBJ’s announcement
in early October. A ceremony highlighting Gerrad and his fellow professionals will be held on November 18th.
Gerrad first joined CSC in 2014, in the cast of The Merry Wives of Windsor, and has performed in numerous productions since including A Christmas Carol (2014), The Three Musketeers (2016), Macbeth (2016), Much Ado About Nothing (2016), She Stoops to Conquer (2018) and most recently in Henry IV, Part One (2019). In addition to acting, Gerrad has also been assistant director on a number of productions, including Titus Andronicus (2015) and Othello (2016), eventually taking the helm to direct solo on productions including A Christmas Carol (2018) A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2018), and Dracula (2019).
In addition to CSC, Gerrad has worked as an actor, director, and educator for theaters and educational institutions across the country including the Great River Shakespeare Festival, Shakespeare Festival St. Louis, Pacific Conservatory Theatre-PCPA, Everyman Theatre, Constellation Theatre Company, Washington Stage Guild, and the Children’s Theatre of Annapolis. Gerrad is currently Full Time Lecturer in Theatre Arts at Johns Hopkins, where he oversees the acting program and helps to shepherd in the next generation of Hopkins acting students.
With his background in education, and a passion for teaching, Gerrad became Director of The Studio at CSC in 2017, overseeing camps, classes, and internships. He holds a BA in Neuroscience from The Johns Hopkins University and an MFA in Performance from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
In 2021 Gerrard transitioned from his role with The Studio to dedicate his time as Associate Artistic Director of CSC. In this role, Gerrad oversees casting of our main stage and educational productions. Additionally, he oversees outreach programs, and helps to engage our community with programs like the all-new showcase series “Classics For Your Consideration” which partners with local organizations and artists to explore what it takes to be considered a “classic” piece of theatre.
He also leads our newly formed Black Classical Acting Ensemble. The BCAE was started this past year to provide an affinity space for Black artists in Baltimore to examine the classical theatrical system and interrogate what more equitable practices may look like moving forward in the 21st century.
We are so lucky to have his energy and commitment.
Other changes at the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company include exciting new additions to our Board of Trustees, including: Geri Byrd a native of Baltimore, and a veteran strategic communicator for over 20 years; Celina Figueroa, who brings ten years of progressive HR experience as a recruiter and business partner; and Nora Brigid Monahan; a New York-based playwright, performer, and former Director of Development at The Lark. Read more about these dedicated and talented trustees below.
A native of Baltimore, and a veteran strategic communicator for over 20 years, Geri Byrd began her career in Communications and Journalism as a Publications Specialist for NASA, transitioning as a consultant for the tech industry in the 90’s. She then became a Correspondence Analyst for the US Secretary of the Treasury under the Obama Administration in ’09. Geri continues to hold a wide scope of management and Board of Trustee roles in both the private and nonprofit business sectors.
In 2016, Geri was appointed to market a City-wide commuter Initiative by the Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore, she served the Baltimore City Mayor’s Office as Director of Logistics and Special Assistant to the Mayor in 2017 and was then appointed as Deputy Chief of Staff for Administration. Geri is a graduate of the University of Maryland College Park where she received a Bachelor of Science degree from the School of Journalism. Currently she is Chief of Operations at Mayson-Dixon Companies, where she oversees the Company’s mission-driven business’.
Celina Figueroa is originally a New York native and relocated to Baltimore, Maryland two years ago. Celina joins CSC with a Bachelor’s degree in Labor Relations from SUNY Old Westbury and a Master’s degree in Public Administration from CUNY John Jay, in NY. She brings ten years of progressive HR experience as a recruiter and business partner. Most recently, with Stanley Black & Decker, where she is a Human Resources Marketing for the marketing division, she is responsible for developing & executing HR strategies for the Industrial Design, Studio and Insights + Media teams.
Nora Brigid Monahan is a New York-based playwright, performer, and former Director of Development at The Lark. Nora is best known for writing and starring in DIVA (Winner of the 2013 USolo Awards for Best Musical and Audience Choice), which was later expanded into a cult musical. Other plays include empty, Rodham/Sade, and Aunt Jack. Other musicals include Galatea (Grove/Whitman Commission), Tyrants (developed by The York Theatre, Penn State, and Goodspeed Musicals), and Little Mac, Little Mac, You’re the Very Man. Nora has appeared regularly on stage and screen since age 10. Favorite roles include Benny in A Stoop on Orchard Street, Edgar in Ragtime, and Jimmy the Newsboy in Charles Busch’s Times Square Angel, and a guest spot on Law & Order: Criminal Intent. Since then, Nora has performed all over New York, at venues including New World Stages, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, Axis Theatre, The Wild Project, and Theater for the New City. Nora joined The Lark family in January 2018 and served as Director of Development. Nora has worked with Less Than Rent, an innovative independent theater company since 2011, as an actor in numerous plays and as a playwright for two full productions, two workshops, and several readings and sketches. Currently, Nora’s patriarchy-smashing ambitions are being manifested in the Beyond the Binary Initiative, which aims to provide financial and artistic support to gender expansive theater artists.