Owen Thompson is the Artistic Director of The Schoolhouse Theater, the oldest professional theatrical venue in Westchester, New York.
He is currently in pre-production for TST's first live post-Covid production: the World Premiere of Grant and Twain by Elizabeth Diggs, starring Victor Slezak and Kevin O'Rourke. Later in 2022, Owen will have the great pleasure of directing the Westchester Premiere of John Logan's Tony and Olivier Award winning drama Red, which will mark the long awaited re-opening of the Schoolhouse Theater building.
Owen is an award-winning director whose theatrical productions
have been seen all over NYC and in regional theaters across America. He has served as the Artistic Director of NYC’s Protean Theatre Company and as Producing Director of The River Rep at the historic Ivoryton Playhouse, as well as the producer and developer of new plays for Off-Broadway's TACT (The Actors Company Theatre).
He is also an educator with two post-graduate degrees in classical dramatic literature and has taught in several institutions of higher learning, including Fordham University, Marymount Manhattan College, and CUNY’s New York City College of Technology as well as
in the New York City Public School system.
Coming up next, Owen is delighted to be returning to Brooklyn and
the storied Gallery Players to direct Federico García Lorca's gorgeous
classic The House of Bernarda Alba.
In 2020, at the beginning of the pandemic, Owen created the popular Shakespeare podcast, The Bardcast: "It's Shakespeare, You Dick!" which he co-hosts with Lisa Ann Goldsmith. The Bardcast recently received the New York Shakespeare Award for Best Podcast of 2021 and has listeners around the world. It can be heard on every major platform and at www.thebardcastyoudick.com
A long-time veteran of the New York theater scene, Owen has directed numerous Off and Off-Off Broadway shows, including his recent immersive, multi-media production of William Shakespeare’s The Tempest for the Secret Theatre at the Plaxall Art Gallery, which was nominated for a bevy of New York Innovative Theatre Awards including Outstanding Director and Outstanding Revival of a Play. At the age of twenty, he founded The Facemakers, an avant-garde theater company that flourished in the downtown NYC arts community of the 1980s and produced several celebrated shows including a notorious revival of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest starring the iconic Quentin Crisp as Lady Bracknell.
Owen also founded New York City’s Protean Theatre Company, for whom he produced and directed numerous productions including the critically acclaimed American Premiere of the previously lost Restoration Comedy The London Cuckolds, the Jacobean thriller The Revenger’s Tragedy, an evening of Shavian one-acts called George Bernard Shaw’s Fictitious History, a successful tour of Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet and Molière’s outrageous farce The Doctor in Spite of Himself, for which he also wrote a much-praised modern adaptation
Other Off-Broadway directing credits include Tennessee Williams'
mid-century masterpiece Cat on a Hot Tin Roof for the Gallery Players, Paula Vogel’s Pulitzer Prize-winning drama How I Learned to Drive at Queens Theatre in the Park, Molière’s The Imaginary Invalid for TACT (The Actors Company Theatre), Shakespeare's All's Well That Ends Well and Measure for Measure for the Hip to Hip Theatre Company, Grass Island for the Abingdon Theatre Company, and the New York Premiere of James McLure’s Thanksgiving at the Cullum Theatre at the American Theatre of Actors, to name just a few.
As Producing Director of the River Rep Theatre Company, Owen produced or co-produced more than one hundred productions over the course of two decades, several of which he directed, including Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Mikado, for which he received the Connecticut Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Director of a Musical. Other regional directing credits include Charles Ludlam’s The Mystery of Irma Vep at Connecticut’s Seven Angels Theatre, Peter Shaffer’s Lettice and Lovage starring Katharine Houghton, Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet at the North Carolina Civic Center, George Feydeau’s classic farce A Flea in Her Ear at the Ivoryton Playhouse, Larry Shue's The Nerd for the Sheboygan Theatre Company in Wisconsin, David Auburn’s Proof at the Meetinghouse Theatre in Maine, and Mark Edward Lang’s Lunt & Fontanne: the Celestials of Broadway at Classic Theatre of San Antonio in Texas.
In addition to directing, Owen has also produced many revivals in New York City, including the American Premiere of Christopher Hampton's When Did You Last See My Mother?, Joseph Stein’s Enter Laughing, Clark Gestner’s You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, Noël Coward’s Hay Fever, Eugene Ionesco’s The Bald Soprano, Bock & Harnick’s She Loves Me, and a long list of plays by George Bernard Shaw including Great Catherine, The Man of Destiny, The Dark Lady of the Sonnets, Misalliance, and Arms and the Man. He also produced several plays receiving their first New York appearances for The Actors Company Theatre.
Although he no longer appears onstage (unless asked very nicely), Owen enjoyed a lengthy career as an actor, performing major roles in dozens of productions in New York City and in regional theaters across America, playing in everything from Shakespeare to contemporary drama to musical comedy. Over a long span of time, his favorite roles have included the title character in 'Master Harold'...and the Boys, John Adams in 1776, and Sir John Falstaff in Shakespeare's Henry IV, pt.1 and pt. 2, among others too numerous to name.
Owen lives in Manhattan with his beautiful and brilliant wife Leda Zukowski, a Vice President at Morgan Stanley, their rescue cats Eliot and Harry, as well as numerous doves and a family of squirrels whom they seem to have inadvertently adopted.