Executive Director


Having grown up in Flagstaff, Dawn’s lifelong dream has been to bring her passion for Shakespeare to her beautiful hometown. Dawn has a Master’s Degree in Shakespeare in Performance from the American Shakespeare Center in partnership with Mary Baldwin College and a BFA in Theatre Performance from the University of Wisconsin. She worked for five years as an actor and the Director of Education for Southwest Shakespeare Company in Mesa, Arizona. Dawn is thrilled to see her dream realized with the help of Jesse James Kamps, our talented Artistic Director; Christine Schmidle, our hardworking Director of Development; and the overwhelming support and enthusiasm of the Flagstaff arts community, without which this dream could never have come to fruition. She thanks most especially the audiences who make Flagstaff Shakespeare Festival not only possible, but meaningful.

Jesse James Kamps

Artistic Director


Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, Jesse has been working in classical theater for over twenty years and currently works as an Associate Artist with Southwest Shakespeare Company, having performed in over twenty productions for the company in the Phoenix area. He was a founding company member with Cleveland Shakespeare Festival for four seasons and a member of Great Lakes Theater’s acting company for two seasons before settling in Arizona. As an actor, he has performed in twenty-four of Shakespeare’s thirty-seven plays and has worked with Ensemble Theatre, Signstage, Deaf West Theatre, and Borderlands Theater. Favorite credits include Much Ado About Nothing (Benedick)A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Bottom), Hotspur in Henry IV Part 1(Hotspur), and King John (Hubert), as well as Amadeus (Mozart), The Seagull (Treplev), She Stoops to Conquer (Tony Lumpkin), and Uncle Vanya (Vanya). Jesse is thrilled to have the opportunity to bring Shakespeare to the beautiful city of Flagstaff.

Christine Headshot

Christine Schmidle

Director of Text and Production


Christine Schmidle is working as Deputy Text Associate at Shakespeare’s Globe in London. She received her MFA at Mary Baldwin College. Christine’s acting experience includes various roles at the American Shakespeare Center, the Pocket Theater in Stony Brook, and the Airport Playhouse. In Germany, she worked at the Shakespeare Festival in Neuss and the Theatre of Krefeld as Assistant Director. She has been published in the Shakespeare Bulletin with “Bilingual Hamlet: Der Bestrafte Brudermord in the 21st century,” and she translated “Der Bestrafte Brudermord” into English for Hidden Room’s puppet show, which is currently touring Europe.

Board of Directors

Julie Hammonds



Ron Borkan

Vice President

Eli Cohen


Lauren McKean



Lisa Jobin

Board Member


Juanita Heyerman

Board Member

Meet the founding artists

This dedicated group of founding artists saw the potential in FlagShakes and helped us to see that vision come to life. We’re forever grateful. These are the founding artists who made FlagShakes possible:

(Left to Right) Isak Bond, Maureen Ryland, Stefano Coaloa, Dawn Tucker, Andy Cahoon, Megan Lindsay, Christine Schmidle, Alex Oliver, John Way, and (on the floor) Noah Brown, Marshall Glass