John Basil has directed 27 of the 37 Shakespeare plays, many of them staged at American Globe Theatre. As a founding member, and the Producing Artistic Director, he become known for his dynamic, exciting & visceral approach which suits classical and contemporary, theater and film. During the company's 25 year run, John was also one of the directors on the NBC soap opera,“Another World”; completed seven seasons at Sarasota Opera; helped launch the Sedona Shakespeare Festival; and worked regionally, directing diverse works by Shakespeare, Gurney, and Simon. He created AGT's innovative “Playing Shakespeare Series”, and furthered his academic engagement to list numerous institutions such as Columbia University’s Teachers College. John is currently a tenured professor at Marymount Manhattan College.


Drawing on his work with actors of varied levels of classical experience, from novice to name, John co-authored his first book, “WILL POWER: How to Act Shakespeare in 21 Days” (Applause), which is now used at twelve universities. In 2020, John Basil will release “Building A Performance: An Actor's Guide to Rehearsal”.


John began as an actor, studying with Stella Adler, Uta Hagen, and Mira Rostova, referred to as  “The Three Sisters”. He went on to work the Williamstown Theatre Festival with Nikos Psacharopoulos. After studying with the Royal Shakespeare Theater’s John Barton, it all changed.

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workshops, intensives & coaching.




"John Basil is the most gifted teacher I have ever worked with.  His method takes the seemingly impossible and makes it not only understandable but wildly fun and fulfilling.  As an actor, this will teach you how to take brilliant risks, and successfully make strong choices. This technique has been invaluable to me - and translates excellently to film and TV acting."

 -Olivia Thirlby, film and television actress (Chappaquiddick; Dredd; Goliath; United 93; Juno)

John is available to teach workshops or give lectures at your school.


Using over 40 years of experience in directing Shakespeare with the First Folio, John will guide actors through the clues in Shakespeare's text, analyzing the Bard's language, and thus allowing an actor's choices to be clear and concise; creating a dynamic that is easily understood.

John's CV


Lecture Price List with full descriptions

2 Hours

Using the First Folio, students are given an overview of the textual clues Shakespeare embedded in his texts. 

$ 350

4 Hours

Out loud and on-your-feet– actors learn the beginnings of how to make the language and character one.

$ 800

1 Day (6 Hrs.)

Learn how Elizabethan actors staged and physicalized the plays, master Shakespeare's language and develop a power of understanding character development. This workshop allows for more exercises. 


Weekend (Divided into 3 Days; 8 Hrs. Total)

Find Shakespeare's rhetoric, staging and acting clues with special class on Shakespeare's Bawdy, culminating in monologue and scene work.


Private Coaching Sessions (1Hr) *

Grad school admittance to professional auditions, classical to contemporary monologues and scenes.

*Summer 2020: special rate of $50/45 mins. for Zoom coaching.  Half of this fee will go towards charity.

$ 85

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"Read Will Power if you want every day's rehearsal, from Day 1 to Day 21,

to hold remarkable insights and activities."

 -Olympia Dukakis, Academy Award-winning actress, Moonstruck


How to Act Shakespeare in 21 Days

by John Basil with Stephanie Gunning


Competition is fierce, how can an actor gain an edge?   Prepared actors make bold, unique choices and impress casting directors, gaining the performance edge.


Will Power guides the seasoned, and novice actor alike, through a lively, goal-oriented 21-day rehearsal process leading up to the moment of audition or performance. Never again be confused about where to begin, and how to follow-through in development of your Shakespearean role.


In this book, the stepping-stones to character, coded into the work by Shakespeare himself, are clearly laid out, explained, and adapted to our modern rehearsal process. Now make bold, visceral choices rooted in the text, from staging to speech and actions, and incorporate this technique into your personal approach to not just classical works, but acting.





An Actor's Guide to Rehearsal

by John Basil and Dennis Schebetta


Winter 2020




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