Francisco Torres – Artistic Director

Francisco has worked in theater and media for over 20 years. He spent time in film, television, and theater on both the East and West Coasts before settling in the Madison area.

He studied radio, broadcasting, television, and film, and worked for years on the East Coast as a director of live sporting events, teleplays, concerts, and even a cooking show. Before joining Madison Shakespeare Company in 2012, Francisco was a founding member of the Five Amazing Tacos, an improv group which performed for young audiences.

His concentration in college was radio, broadcasting, television and film, and has produced and directed several industrial videos, commercials, and films. Francisco is one of the founders of the theater production company Know Better Productions and the independent film production company Frozen Stage Films.

Jason Compton – Executive Director

Photo by Benjamin Barlow
Photo by Benjamin Barlow

Jason leads MSC’s day-to-day operations. He joined Madison Shakespeare Company as an actor, appearing in supporting roles in Julius Caesar and Antony and Cleopatra before the company went on hiatus. In the summer of 2015, Jason assembled a team of actors and directors, who revived MSC as a performing company with An Evening’s Affair.

Jason is a graduate of Northwestern University with degrees in Economics and Mathematical Methods In Social Sciences.

John Varda – Co-Founder, Dramaturg-in-Residence

John is the co-founder of Madison Shakespeare Company, along with Warren Hansen. John was the director of the first two MSC productions, Julius Caesar in July 2012, and Antony and Cleopatra in July 2013. Having come to terms with the demands of his large family, John is not actively directing, but contributes his time and energy to MSC in script selection and adaptation. He adapted the script of Romeo and Juliet produced by Madison College in 2015.

In addition to script work for MSC, John continues to work with other organizations on Shakespeare, contributing to the script of Madison Theatre Guild’s 2016 production of The Tempest and MTG’s 2017 production of Titus Andronicus. Before joining Madison Shakespeare Company, John worked extensively with Madison’s Strollers Theatre, on-stage and off, in dozens of productions.