Meet Jonathan Rhys Williams

Tabard’s New Executive Artistic Director

With a deep background in theatre, most especially in the greater Bay Area, Jonathan Rhys Williams brings over 30 years of professional theatre management and production experience to his new position as executive artistic director of The Tabard Theatre Company, effective July 1, 2020. He takes over for executive artistic director Cathy Spielberger Cassetta, who founded Tabard in 2001, and is retiring from Tabard in June 2020.

“I am excited to take on the challenges and opportunities of taking Tabard into its third decade, building on what Cathy has accomplished in the last 19 years and the tremendous success and growth Tabard continues to experience. Tabard’s mission is unique in the Bay Area, and I am energized to explore ways to build on that even more,” Williams shared with patrons at the announcement the announcement event at Tabard Monday evening January 13.

Cathy Cassetta added, “I am deeply grateful that someone with the qualifications and experience that Jonathan has will be serving Tabard in its primary leadership position. Jonathan exceeds my hopes and expectations for Tabard’s next executive artistic director. Add to his education, experience, and expertise, Jonathan is a nice, kind, and thoughtful person who likes to laugh.

Those are all important qualities to lead any arts organization in California in the 21st century.  Interestingly, in 2002 he performed in a production at and for Theatre on San Pedro Square, long before the venue came to be managed by Tabard (and re-named Tabard Theatre in 2018). It’s a rather lovely full circle kind of thing. And that Jonathan is a Bay Area native with deep roots in the local theatre community is just icing on the cake for Tabard.” 

A Bay Area native, Jonathan returned to the San Francisco Bay Area after graduating from California Institute of the Arts in 1994, and began his career   as a professional actor and director for a wide range of local theatre companies, including TheatreWorks, San Jose Stage Company, Aurora Theatre Company, San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, American Musical Theatre, Theatre on San Pedro Square, and American Conservatory Theatre.

In 2002 Williams relocated to Sacramento where he co-founded Capital Stage Company, serving in various capacities from Director of Production to Producing Artistic Director. In 2010 Capital Stage Company moved from its original location on The Delta King Riverboat to a newly revitalized 125-seat performance space in Midtown Sacramento for which Jonathan led the construction project, acting as project manager, completing the new facility on time and on budget. In his final year as Producing Artistic Director he led the organization to become an anchor tenant of the new CLARA Performing Arts Center. In significant part to Jonathan’s leadership, Capital Stage Company is now one of the leading arts organizations in California.

Recently Jonathan has been working as a freelance actor and director in the Bay Area, working with companies like TheatreWorks Silicon Valley (Tuck Everlasting) Aurora Theatre Company (San Jose Stage Company (Disgraced and The Postman Always Rings Twice), and will be appearing in TheatreWorks Spring production of Ragtime.