Rob Pensalfini

Rob was one of QSE’s founders and has been Artistic Director since 2001. His directing credits for QSE include As You Like It (2002), The Comedy of Errors (2005), Twelfth Night (2008, 2016), The Two Gentlemen of Verona (2012), the award-winning A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2013), Hamlet (2018), the premiere of Michael Futcher’s The Blood Votes (2018), and Romeo & Juliet (2021). He has appeared in numerous Shakespeare roles including Coriolanus (2003), Benedick (2007), Sir Toby Belch (2008), Touchstone (2009), Richard III (2010), Shylock (2011), Launce (2012, alongside his dog Gumnut), Prospero (2014), Titus Andronicus (2015),Leontes (2018), Falstaff (2019), Macbeth (2020), and Friar Laurence (2021). Rob also composes and plays music for most of QSE’s productions.

Rob has directed QSE’s Shakespeare Prison Project from its inception in 2006 to 2019, and has directed eight inmate productions. He has also visited other Prison Shakespeare programs in the USA and Italy, which resulted in his 2015 book, Prison Shakespeare: for these deep shames and great indignities.

Rob is also Associate Professor in Linguistics and Drama at the University of Queensland. He completed his doctorate in theoretical linguistics and Australian Aboriginal languages at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1997. He has published several books and about twenty articles on aboriginal languages, and half a dozen articles on theatre and actor training. He is one of only nine people in Australia certified by Kristin Linklater to teach the world-renowned Linklater voice method and now trains other teachers. He has performed and/or taught professionally with Pilgrim Theatre (USA), Shakespeare & Company (USA), Zen Zen Zo, Power of Will, and the Queensland Theatre Company. Rob was inducted as an Arts Queensland Culture Champion in 2013.

Rob is a member of MEAA (Equity).