|Brian R. Lynner (Founding Partner): Brian has acted in over 50 productions at some of the nation’s leading theatres, including Actors Theatre of Louisville, The Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and the New Jersey Shakespeare Festival, where he also served as Musical Director, composing and directing scores for a number of plays. As the co-founder and Artistic Director for the Iowa Shakespeare Project, Brian directed productions of Romeo & Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and King Lear. He played the title role in Hamlet, appeared in productions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Much Ado About Nothing, and Taming of the Shrew, and composed original music for a number of productions. He also toured the state of Iowa, playing the title role in an original one-man show The Adventures of Mark Twain. From 2001-2003 Brian served as co-Artistic Director of The Drama Workshop, where he appeared as King Henry II in The Lion in Winter and directed The Taming of the Shrew. Recent roles include Hamm in Endgame for Repertory Theatre of Iowa, and the title role in Unexpected Company’s production of J.B. He is co-author of the company’s original works, Voices of the Civil War and Shakespeare On Love, and Hearts of Freedom for which he also composed original music.
Brian began teaching Shakespeare workshops in Iowa high schools in 1991. These workshops lead to the creation of the Iowa Shakespeare Project, and to the development of the company’s Shakespeare & You educational outreach programs, including the summer Shakespeare Conservatory, a summer actor-training program for high school students, staffed with professional actors from the Iowa Shakespeare Project summer Shakespeare In The Parks Festival. As an Iowa Arts Council Artist-In-Residence for the Shakespeare Project, Brian visited schools throughout the state, bringing Shakespeare into the classroom for thousands of Iowa students at the high school, middle school, and elementary levels.
More recently, Brian has provided private coaching services to actors looking to hone their classical acting skills, and to business people looking to improve their public speaking abilities. He has also taught acting classes for age groups from elementary school to adults for the Des Moines Schools Department of Community, Adult & Continuing Education. Brian has also taught classes as an adjunct instructor for the Drake University Department of Theatre, and is a guest lecturer on American theatre for William Penn University’s College of Working Adults.
Brian has also appeared in several independent films, including The Yoofo Club, released in 1999, and will soon be featured along with Nick Stahl and Rose McGowan in Dylan’s Wake, shot in Des Moines in 2009.
Send E-mail to Brian at email@example.com
Lisa Norris-Lynner (Founding Partner): Lisa has worked as a director, stage manager, scenic artist and designer for professional theatre companies in New York, California, Florida, Minnesota and Iowa. As co-founder and Producing Director of the Iowa Shakespeare Project, Lisa served as the producer for all of the company’s productions and the Iowa Shakespeare Festival, supervising a company of more than 30 professional Equity, non-Equity actors, technicians and student interns on a statewide tour. She also directed productions of Twelfth Night and Taming of the Shrew, and designed sets and costumes for Romeo & Juliet and a children’s production of Twelfth Night.
From 2001-2003, Lisa served as co-Artistic Director of The Drama Workshop, where her tenure included directing The Lion In Winter and designing costumes for The Taming of the Shrew, and working with a group of Des Moines area high school students to create After 9-11, an original performance piece chronicling their memories of the events of September 11. For Unexpected Company, Lisa directed and co-produced the Unexpected Company’s production of J.B. for the Westminster Fine Arts Series., and directed staged readings for the New Voices Iowa Playwrights competition. She is co-author of the company’s original works Voices of the Civil War, Shakespeare On Love, and Hearts of Freedom. Lisa has written several plays and screenplays and co-written two original musicals, including Ever After Anonymous, which premiered at the Des Moines Civic Center and had its international premiere at the Freeport Players Guild in the Bahamas in 2000. Her original screenplay Timeweaver was a semi-finalist for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Nicholls Fellowship.
Lisa began working in educational theatre in 1989 at Studio Arena Theatre in Buffalo, N.Y., where she served as production stage manager for a three-show educational outreach tour. She also directed and designed productions for Studio Arena’s Theatre School and taught classes for adults and young people. At the Civic Theatre of Central Florida’s Theatre for Young People, Lisa served as production stage manager, taught acting classes for adults and teens, and wrote Teacher Study Guides for a number of productions, including A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Lisa served as administrator for the Iowa Shakespeare Project’s Summer Shakespeare Conservatory, developed curricula for the Shakespeare & You outreach programs, and worked as an Artist-In-Residence at Iowa elementary, middle and high schools.
For the past 10 years, Lisa has served as an education and development consultant for Metro Arts Alliance of Greater Des Moines, where she helped to develop and expand the Arts On the Go (now Education on Location) program. She also helped to create and find grant funding for a number of new program initiatives including the Giants of Jazz concert and education series, GreenArts, - an education program that teaches conservation and encourages environmental stewardship through the arts, and the middle-school after-school program ArtSmart. For more than 10 years, Lisa served as an Arts Enrichment Consultant for the Des Moines Public Schools Department of Community/Adult & Continuing Education, where she developed and taught arts-oriented adult education and after-school classes. She
was a Curriculum Coordinator for the very first Des Moines Schools 21st Century Community Learning Center after-school programs, designing and supervising programs and contracting teaching artists to provide arts classes for two elementary schools and one middle school.
Lisa is the primary provider of Unexpected Company’s grantwriting and program development services to non-profit organizations; her client list includes Metro Arts Alliance of Greater Des Moines, the Blank Park Zoo, Historic Valley Junction Foundation, Stagewest, Repertory Theatre of Iowa, the Iowa Historical Foundation, Inmate Art Project, ArtStop, and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Iowa.
E-mail Lisa at firstname.lastname@example.org