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Elizabeth Murphy,
Co-Founder, Managing and Co-Artistic Director


Jesse Maclean,

Co-Artistic Director

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Elizabeth Murphy is the Co-Artistic director and Co-Founder of Shakespeare by the Sea.  Trained as an actor, she has worked from Vancouver to Halifax.  For Shakespeare by the Sea she has directed The Mercy Seat, The Taming of the Shrew, Othello, Love's Labour's Lost, Twelfth Night, The Complete Works of Shakespeare, Abridged,  Measure for Measure, The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Much Ado About Nothing, The Merchant of Venice,  Antony and Cleopatra, I Am My Own Wife, As You Like It, All's Well That Ends Well, and Othello for a second time. She was nominated for a Merritt award for her direction of Othello and The Merchant of Venice.   She received the Mayor’s Award for contribution to the Arts.  She is a past Chair of Theatre Nova Scotia.  

Elizabeth can be reached at

Jesse MacLean is a director, performer and sound designer based in Halifax. He has served as Co-Artistic Director of Shakespeare By The Sea for eight seasons and has directed over 30 productions for SBTS including Hamlet, Comedy of Errors, Julius Caesar, and King Lear. Since 2003, Jesse has led the company’s collective creation efforts, developing hit musical adaptations such as Robin Hood, Alice in Wonderland, Wizard of Oz and Pinocchio. His work has been acclaimed by critics as “Electrifying”... “Epic and imaginative”… “a potent combination of wide-screen spectacle and hushed, intimate drama”... “daring, thoughtful, with an extraordinary dedication to the text.” 


Jesse has toured extensively across North America and Asia with the internationally acclaimed Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia. His evocative sound designs have been used in productions for Neptune Theatre, SBTSHalifax, The Chester Playhouse and Eastern Front Theatre. Jesse has been a guest faculty member at Bishop’s University in Quebec, directing productions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Richard III. In the fall of 2019, he was named the Programming Director of the The Chester Playhouse, in Chester NS.

Jesse can be reached at


Drew Douris-O'Hara,
Artistic Associate


Jade Douris-O'Hara,
Resident Artist & Studio Director


Drew was Shakespeare by the Sea's youngest ever company member at the age of twelve and has been making theatre ever since. Credits include Theatre Aquarius, Neptune Theatre, Driftwood Theatre, Humber River Shakespeare, LiveBait Theatre, OneLight Theatre, Carousel Players, Lost and Found, Upper Canada Repertory Company, and over 30 productions for Shakespeare by the Sea. Drew is a Resident Artist of Toronto’s critically acclaimed Shakespeare BASH’d, for whom he has been an actor, director, producer, script editor and text coach. Drew served as Artistic Director of Toronto’s Everybody to the Theatre Company and co-created the original musical And Now, the End for Toronto’s SummerWorks Festival. Drew holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Ryerson School of Performance, where he graduated in 2014 and was the inaugural recipient of the Des McAnuff Award for Excellence in Classical Theatre.

Any questions for Drew can be sent to

Jade Douris is a Toronto born-and-raised, Halifax-based actor, choreographer, singer, dancer, and instructor. She is the Studio Director and Resident Artist at Shakespeare by the Sea, where she has spent four seasons. Recent acting credits include Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, Biron in Love’s Labour’s Lost, Bianca in Othello, and Tinkerbell in Peter Pan (SBTS), Celia in As You Like It and Viola in Twelfth Night (Shakespeare BASH’d), Amy in A Different Kind of Job (Theatre Aquarius), and CBC’s According to Kids. As a dance, musical theatre, and acting teacher for young people, she has taught at several studios in the Toronto area, including the Groove School of Dance, Star Potential Studios, the Toronto StageCoach Schools, the Upper Canada Repertory Company, and Sean Boutilier Academy of Dance. Her professional choreography credits include four seasons at Shakespeare by the Sea, several works for Shakespeare BASH’d, Dauntless City Theatre, and Shakespeare at Play. In 2018, she became a Resident Artist of Shakespeare BASH’d, winner of NOW Magazine’s Readers’ Choice Award for Best Site-Specific Theatre Company in 2018 and 2019. She received a Merritt Award nomination for Best Choreography in 2019. Jade was a 2019 nominee for Best Theatre Actor in The Coast's Best of Halifax.

Any questions for Jade can be sent to

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