Tom Regnier, President
Tom is an appellate attorney with his own practice in the South Florida area. He received his J.D., summa cum laude, from the University of Miami School of Law, and his LL.M. from Columbia Law School, where he was a Harlan F. Stone Scholar. He has taught at the University of Miami School of Law (including a course on Shakespeare and the Law) and at Chicago’s John Marshall Law School. Tom has frequently spoken at authorship conferences on aspects of law in Shakespeare’s works, and he contributed chapters to the books Shakespeare Beyond Doubt? and Contested Year. He has performed in eight Shakespeare productions. His YouTube video, “Did Shakespeare Really Write Shakespeare?” was taped at South Florida’s GableStage and introduced by award-winning director Joseph Adler. His talk on “Hamlet and the Law of Homicide: the Life of the Mind in Law and Art” was selected by the Dade County Bar Association to inaugurate its Thurgood Marshall Distinguished Lecture Series. Tom was named Oxfordian of the Year for 2016.
Don Rubin, First Vice President
Editor of Routledge’s six-volume World Encyclopedia of Contemporary Theatre series, Don Rubin has been a working scholar and theatre critic for more than 40 years. A former chair of the Department of Theatre at Toronto’s York University and a founder of York’s graduate program in theatre studies (MA and PhD), Don is a graduate of New York’s famous High School of Performing Arts and later studied Shakespeare as an undergraduate with Bernard Beckerman, author of Shakespeare at the Globe.
After graduate school and several years as theatre critic for the New Haven (Conn.) Register, he moved to Canada for a position as theatre critic for the country’s largest newspaper, the Toronto Star and later for CBC Radio. Don is the founding editor of Canada’s national theatre quarterly, Canadian Theatre Review and the editor of the standard volume Canadian Theatre History: Selected Readings. He is a past President of the Canadian Theatre Critics Association and was a long-time member of the Executive Board of the Unesco-affiliated International Association of Theatre Critics.
From 2012 through 2016, Prof. Rubin offered a senior-level undergraduate course on “Shakespeare: The Authorship Question” at York, where he is currently a Professor Emeritus. He is Managing Editor and Book Reviews Editor of the international webjournal Critical Stages (critical-stages.com) and is also a member of the Editorial Board of The Oxfordian. He credits Mark Anderson’s Shakespeare By Another Name with sparking his active interest in Oxfordian studies.
Julie Sandys Bianchi, Second Vice President
Julie Sandys Bianchi earned a Master’s Degree in Drama at San Francisco State University in 1982 and worked in a variety of theater settings in California, Colorado, Missouri and Virginia, both on the stage as an actress and behind the scenes as a designer, stage manager and theater educator. While a member of the community of Redding, California, she served on the Columbia School District Board and in St Louis County, Missouri, was a member of the University City Arts Commission. Because of her interest in her paternal heritage as a descendant of the Treasurer of the Virginia Company of London, she has over 40 years of experience as a family historian specializing in the gentry families of England and their emigration to colonial Virginia. She presented at the 2014 SOF conference in Madison on the use of DNA for solving Elizabethan ancestral mysteries and in 2016 in Boston on card-playing imagery in the First Folio. Now residing in Nashville, Tennessee, Julie is the mother of two adult children, Marieke and Paul, and the wife of Robert “Bob” Bianchi, who is a Healthcare Executive.
Tom Rucker, Treasurer
Tom is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Business School. Tom received his J.D. from the University of Oklahoma School of Law and a Masters in Taxation from William & Mary School of Law. Until he retired from the practice of law in 2010, Tom specialized in representing closely held businesses and the preparation of estate planning documents for his clients.
Bryan H. Wildenthal, Secretary
Bryan H. Wildenthal is a professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego, where he has taught since 1996. Before that, he taught at Chicago-Kent College of Law, practiced law with a major firm in Washington, D.C., and clerked for U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Frank M. Johnson, Jr., in Alabama, and Chief Justice Michael F. Cavanagh of the Michigan Supreme Court. He earned his A.B. and J.D. at Stanford, where he was an editor of the Stanford Law Review. He has published a textbook on American Indian law (Native American rights), and numerous articles in leading law reviews, on subjects including constitutional law, American Indian law, and the rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people. His most important article, on the history of the post-Civil War 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, was cited several times by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2010. He recently published an article about the surprising level of support for the Oxfordian theory on the Supreme Court during the past 30 years or so. Bryan became an avid Shakespeare fan as a teenager and got intrigued by the authorship question in 2000. He has been an active Oxfordian since 2012 and was elected in November 2016 to a 3-year term on the SOF Board of Trustees.
Walter Hurst, Trustee
Walter (Wally) Hurst studied English, Economics and Political Science at Duke University and has a degree in Law from University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law, where he served as Assistant Managing Editor of the Law Journal and authored several law review articles, including a major article on legislative intent. He earned an MA in Shakespeare Authorship Studies from Brunel University (2013) where his dissertation title was “‘What’s your authority for that statement?’ The Need for Standardized Criteria in Determining the Veracity and Validity of External Evidence in the Designation of Early Modern Authorship.” He currently serves as Director of the Norris Theatre at Louisburg College in North Carolina, which produces course-oriented shows, professional shows, and community theatre productions. His teaching experience includes courses in public speaking, acting, introduction to drama, writing, and political science. From 1997-2012 he served as Managing Director of the Lakeland Theatre Company which produced 12-14 shows per year. He has directed and acted in a number of Shakespeare productions, including Twelfth Night, Taming of the Shrew and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Richard Joyrich, Trustee
Richard graduated from Kalamazoo College and the University of Michigan Medical School and has been practicing Radiology (specifically Nuclear Medicine) for over 20 years in Detroit. He has been a regular attendee at the Stratford Festival in Ontario as well as the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and other theatrical venues and has “completed the canon” (seen all of the recognized plays of Shakespeare) at least three times. He was a contributor to the SAC Exposing an Industry in Denial campaign.
Joan Leon, Trustee
Joan attributes her initial interest in the Fellowship to her husband Ramon. As he became more immersed, she began to offer advice about fundraising (she has worked for more than 40 years as a fundraiser and program developer in the nonprofit sector). She was appointed to the SOS Board in 2010 and was elected that fall to a 3-year term. She has served as chair of the SOS fundraising and membership committee. Joan feels strongly that our best and most likely source of support is our membership. She believes that the better care we take of our members and friends the more they will ensure our survival and success, and she recognizes the value of seeking aid from foundations and other institutions.
James Warren, Trustee
James A. Warren was a Foreign Service officer with the U.S. Department of State for more than 20 years, serving in public diplomacy positions at U.S. embassies in eight countries, mostly in Asia. He later served as Executive Director of The Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training (ADST) and then as Regional Director for Southeast Asia for the Institute of International Education (IIE). He is the editor of An Index to Oxfordian Publications (fourth edition, Oct. 2017) and the author of Summer Storm (2016), a novel about the complications that arise when a university literature professor is bitten by the Oxfordian bug and begins to promote Edward de Vere’s authorship among his colleagues. He is a Fellow with the Center for the Study of the Great Ideas and the Adler-Aquinas Institute.
Follow this link to see the SOF’s Honorary Lifetime Trustees
Former SOF Trustees
John Hamill, Former President
John retired from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in San Francisco as a project manager in 2010. He attended the University of Puerto Rico, California State University, and the University of California at Davis. John has a Masters in Historical Geography and is an independent scholar who has written frequently for The Oxfordian and The Shakespeare Oxford Newsletter. When the Shakespeare Oxford Society merged with the Shakespeare Fellowship in 2013 to become the Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship, John became the newly-named organization’s first president. He received a special award from the SOF in 2016 for his roles in unifying the two organizations and establishing the Research Grant Program.
Ramon Jiménez, Former Trustee
Ramon is the author of two books on Julius Caesar and the ancient Roman Republic, Caesar Against the Celts and Caesar Against Rome, both book club selections. He has a degree in English from U.C.L.A. and lives in Berkeley, California. His articles and book reviews have appeared in The Oxfordian and The Shakespeare Oxford Newsletter, and he contributed two articles to Shakespeare Beyond Doubt? Ramon has demonstrated that several anonymous plays pre-dating the first Shakespeare quartos were likely early Oxfordian versions of canonical plays. Ramon received the Award for Distinguished Shakespearean Scholarship at the Shakespeare Authorship Studies Conference at Concordia University.
Earl Showerman, Former Trustee
Earl Showerman graduated from Harvard College and the University of Michigan Medical School, and practiced emergency medicine in Oregon for over 30 years. A longtime patron of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, after retiring from medicine in 2003, he enrolled at Southern Oregon University to study Shakespeare and to pursue his decades-long love affair with the authorship question. In recent years Earl has presented a series of papers at authorship conferences on the topic of Shakespeare’s “Greater Greek,” and he wrote the chapter on Shakespeare’s medical knowledge in Shakespeare Beyond Doubt?
Lynne Kositsky, Former Trustee
Lynne is a poet, author, and independent researcher, who recently co-authored, with Roger Stritmatter, On the Date, Sources, and Design of Shakespeare’s The Tempest. Her honors include the E.J. Pratt Medal and Award for Poetry and the Canadian Jewish Book Award for Youth. Among her books is A Question of Will, a novel for young adults on the authorship question. Lynne currently lives in Vineland, Ontario. Lynne and her husband Michael, a composer, have recently written a musical version of A Question of Will, which received a staged reading at the SOF conference in Boston in 2016.
Michael Morse, Former Trustee
Michael attended Harvard College and the University of Louisville, where he earned a B.A. degree in Philosophy and English. He earned his J.D. at the University of Kentucky College of Law, where he was a Milton M. Livingston Scholar. The following year, he started a private law practice in western Kentucky concentrating in products liability and general civil litigation in both state and federal courts. For the past several years, Michael’s research has focused largely on computer-based linguistic analysis of the “Shakespeare” canon and de Vere’s extant literary and epistolary output. He served as the first Treasurer of the unified Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship.
Cheryl Eagan-Donovan, Former Trustee
Cheryl Eagan-Donovan studied Shakespeare and wrote poetry at Goddard College, has a BS in Finance &Business Administration from Boston University, and an MFA in Creative Writing from Lesley University. Her debut documentary, All Kindsa Girls, was short-listed for the PBS series POV. She served as Board President of Women in Film & Video/New England for several years, served on the Board of Directors of The Next Door Theater, and has curated film series at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Brattle Theatre. She has written narrative screenplays, stage plays, and published articles on Shakespeare, screenwriting, and film. She teaches screenwriting, film, and drama at Lesley University and Northeastern University. Her new ten-minute play, Veritas, a send-up of Shakespeare academia, had its first staged reading at Lesley University, and her new film, Nothing is Truer than Truth, based on Mark Anderson’s book Shakespeare By Another Name, focuses on Edward de Vere and his travels in Italy. Cheryl is committed to education and serves as a mentor to elementary school students interested in media.