Giles Block

Giles returns to the American Shakespeare Center after directing Henry V for the 2007/08 ASC on Tour and The Tempest for the 2006 Blackfriars Summer/Fall Season. For the last ten years, Giles has worked at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London. While there he has directed Antony & Cleopatra, Hamlet, and Troilus & Cressida, the last of these was performed using original Shakespearian pronunciation. The rest of his time there has been spent in undertaking text work with the acting companies on close to twenty other productions. Giles began working in the theatre as an actor and later moved into directing. For three years, he was Associate Director at Ipswich Theatre; he spent seven years at the National Theatre and for a period of about twenty years was a frequent visitor to Japan where he directed for the Shochiku Theatre Company Macbeth, King Lear, Hamlet, and Richard III, as well as a handful of non-Shakespearean plays. Giles has frequently had he good fortune to work in the United States. While with the National Theatre, he worked as Assistant Director on the Broadway productions of Bedroom Farce and Amadeus – both directed by Peter Hall; and in 1989 was Peter’s Associate Director on the Broadway production of The Merchant of Venice, starring Dustin Hoffman. Earlier, Giles had directed A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Dallas, Pennsylvania, and before that a Twelfth Night for LSU. In the 60’s, just out of University, he was part of a British Company that came to Chicago with three Shakespeare plays; it was a wild, joyous, unforgettable time and having arrived in this country from culinary-challenged Britain, he still remembers the taste (and the size) of his first real American hamburger.