Company Leadership

Stephen Ponton

Stephen Ponton, ISC's Artistic Director, has acted as the group's general artistic and administrative leader since arriving in Ithaca in 2001. He has directed most of the company's shows while supervising and producing others.

In addition to his directing, Stephen has presented scholarly research on Renaissance, Medieval, and modern theatre at academic conferences; placed as a finalist in national screenwriting competitions; and taught extensively in the areas of Shakespeare, theatre, and film studies.

Prior to re-entering the theatrical and academic worlds, Stephen was a Navy medic and lived in Europe for several years. He has maintained a lifelong interest in health and fitness and is certified as a strength and conditioning specialist and a personal trainer.

Dave Dietrich

Dave Dietrich is an émigré from Baltimore, Md. to Ithaca. He received his first experience with acting while getting his bachelor's degree from Towson University, taking two introductory courses. He now lives in the rural Town of Enfield, near Ithaca, in an old farmhouse. Dave loves animals, singing, reading, daydreaming about great square-rigged sailing ships, wondering if he shouldn't have been born in 1604, but, more than anything, his wife, Joan. He is an owner and cook at Moosewood Restaurant.

Dave did not perform on stage until the age of 49, when he got to play the part of Corin in Black Umbrella's production of Shakespeare's As You Like It. Last summer, nine years later, he performed in his 17th play, portraying Theseus in A Midsummer Night's Dream. Most of his work has been in free, outdoor, summer Shakespeare, a form he loves and is devoted to. He was lucky enough to have performed in Ithaca's old Firehouse Theater in Shakespeare's Measure for Measure and as the ghost of Jacob Marley in A Christmas Carol. He has performed on the main stage of Cornell University's Schwartz Center, playing several small roles in Inherit the Wind. He has performed in original pieces by local playwrights Kathy Kramer and Judith Pratt. In the hurly-burly of grass roots theater, Dave has built sets and props, painted, decorated, and made costumes. He joined the Red Bull Players, now the Ithaca Shakespeare Company, during the early planning for Antony and Cleopatra in 2003, and has been involved in every production since. He currently serves as the President of ISC's board of directors.

Judith Andrew

Judith Andrew is a native of Pittsburgh, PA and has been living in Ithaca since 1974. After acting throughout her college years, she came to Ithaca to work with the Crystal Theatre, which performed in a renovated barn on Bostwick Road. A few years later, she joined Central Casting Theatre, which produced contemporary American plays on Old Taughannock Boulevard. There, until 1985, she acted (The Art of Dining, The Woolgatherer, 5th of July, and others), directed, and produced, with, among others, her husband since 1975, Robert Andrew. In 1988, Robert and Judith's son Benjamin was born and their theatre life gave way to happy years of parenting a fascinating young boy.

Fourteen years later, Judith returned to acting. Her first role after this long hiatus was Lady Macbeth in Black Umbrella's production of Macbeth. The following year, she acted in Fifth Floor Production's The Dodgson Girls, by Natalie de Combray, and in 2005, she was cast for the first time in a Red Bull Players production, playing Elizabeth in Richard III. Her other roles with the Red Bull Players, now known as the Ithaca Shakespeare Company, have been as a player in The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, Abridged; Gertrude in Hamlet; Goneril in King Lear; and Titania in A Midsummer Night's Dream. In addition to acting with the company, she has been a member of the core production staff. Judith also acts with Ithaca's Wolf's Mouth Theatre Collective and Theatre Incognita.

In "real life," she works in the music department of Ithaca College Library, continues to love being a wife and mother, and will most likely never live anywhere else other than her beloved Ithaca.