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Sam Shepard

Samuel Shepard Rogers III 

(November 5, 1943 – July 27, 2017), known professionally as Sam Shepard, was an American actor, playwright, author, screenwriter, and director whose career spanned half a century. He won ten Obie Award for writing and directing, the most won by any writer or director. He wrote 44 plays as well as several books of short stories, essays, and memoirs. Shepard received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1979 for his play Buried Child and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of pilot Chuck Yeager in the 1983 film The Right Stuff. He received the PEN/Laura Pels Theater Award as a master American dramatist in 2009. Shepard died on July 27, 2017, at his home in Kentucky from complications of ALS.

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the Team

Behind ShepardFest
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Andrea McCook

Co-Creator and Executive Director

Andrea McCook, Associate Professor of Theatre Arts and Dean of Creative Arts and Letters, has been teaching at Flagler College since 1991, specializing in acting, directing, and theatre history. During her time at Flagler College, she directed numerous main stage productions, including recent productions of The Tempest, Three Sisters (KCACTF Award for Excellence in Directing), Medea, and God of Carnage and Les Liaisons Dangereuses (KCACTF Award for Excellence in Directing). Prior to her arrival at Flagler College, Andrea accumulated performance credits in television (The Guiding Light-CBS) and film (Moonchild- HBO), as well as stage credits in New York City and regional productions, with performances at NYU Graduate Acting, Columbia University Graduate Directing, San Jose Repertory Company, TheatreWorks, and Cross and Sword (Florida's State Play). Locally, she appeared onstage with The Limelight Theatre, Flagler College Theatre Arts Department, and A Classic Theatre. Andrea received her MFA from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts Graduate Acting program, studying under Master Acting Teachers including Ron Van Lieu, Michael Kahn, and Zelda Fischandler. She is a founding member of the National Alliance of Acting Teachers.

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Raines Carr

Co-Creator and Artistic Director

Raines Carr has been working in theatre, film, and television for the past three decades. He holds a BA in Theatre from Florida State University and an MFA in Directing from The University of Alabama. He spent 12 years in Hollywood working on differing projects including the development team for many animated films at Walt Disney Feature Animation and commercial casting on over 450 national, regional, and international commercials with Ocean Park Casting.   He is now a theatre director and educator with an interest in rediscovering the classics and new works of diverse authors. He discovered Sam Shepard as a teenager and fell in love with his work. From Savage/Love to The God of Hell, he has explored Shepards’ works for the past 30 years. He created Shepardfest to celebrate one of the great theatrical minds of the American Theatre. He is currently the Theatre Director at Chipola College in Marianna, FL.

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Elizabeth Thornton 

Assistant to Executive Director

Elizabeth is a senior at Flagler College, earning her BA degrees in Theatre Arts and Marketing with a double-minor and Arts and Business Administration. At her time with Flagler College Theatre Department, as has performed in shows such as The Tempest (Ariel), The Women (Edith), The Wolves (#00), and most recently was Bolette in The Lady from the Sea. Along with performing, Elizabeth manages the theatre department’s box office and social media pages. In her hometown of Orlando, Elizabeth worked with Beth Marshall Presents as well as performing at the Orlando Shakespeare Theatre and will be performing at the Orlando Fringe Festival in May. Elizabeth joined the Shepardfest team last January and is happy to be bringing back theatre! 

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Clark Levi

Assistant to Artistic Director

Clark Levi is most excited by theatre for social change, community-based arts, reinventing old works, discovering new artists...and especially art festivals of all kinds so he can’t wait to bring Shepardfest to you! Clark is a Flagler College senior pursuing his BA in theatre arts and minor in arts administration. He works around Central Florida as a producer, director, host, stage manager, creative video editor and more. He is a resident artist with Beth Marshall Presents and has worked with them consistently since the onset of covid-19, including directing New Works such as Guns in Dragonland and assisting their online Black Lives Matter demonstration. He has also worked with Orlando Fringe, League of Women Voters Orange County, Central Florida Vocal Arts, Wanzie Presents, and more in various creative capacities. At Flagler, he is producing a socio-politically focused student-led theatre initiative and recently was on the directing/devising-leadership team for their production of The Old Man and the Old Moon. After graduating, Clark is planning to work around Florida and beyond as an arts activist and grow Shepardfest to bigger and better heights!

Associate Artistic Director

Brian Niece

Grant Writing

Gabriel Grass

Community Relations

 Beth Sweeney 

Scenic and Lighting Design

Constance R. Smith