Whit Hertford

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Whit Hertford
Whit bricklane.jpg
Hertford in East London UK
Occupation Theatre director, writer and actor

Whit Hertford is an American theatre director, writer and actor.


Artistic Director of the UK based theatre company, Riot Act. Recently served as an Associate Director at Theatre N16 in South London. He received his MFA in theatre directing from The University of Essex's East 15 and studied in Moscow at the Russian Academy of Theatre Arts (GITIS). Quickly established himself in the London fringe theatre as an efant terrible with a penchant for adapting and directing resuscitations / redefinitions of classic plays. Known for a style and approach based in European avant garde realism. He is a member of the Young Vic Directors Programme and was an invitee of Toneelgroep Amsterdam.

Recent directing credits include his radical adaptations of Chekhov's The Seagull and Ivanov, retitled, The Misbegotten Hope of the Dirty Bird (or A Meditation on the Proper Use of Firearms in Dramatic Literature)* and Poor Bastard (A Triumphant Guide to Midlife Crisis). His newest Shakespearean adaptation, Høüses, is an immersive LGBTQA version of Romeo & Juliet. Additionally, he directed the 2016 critically acclaimed contemporary production of Henrik Ibsen's The League of Youth (in only its third UK production since publication in 1870) and a London fringe sellout run of Coverage, a newsroom retelling of Julius Caesar - both by Canadian playwright Ashley Pearson. Other directing credits include the debuts of his original plays: Dóttir - a bleak tragedy that explores seven of Shakespeare's motherless daughter archetypes, Lunatic a nü gothic psychological thriller which focuses on the therapeutic sessions of Dr. Seward and Renfield from Bram Stoker's Dracula, Anatomy of Arithmetic, Bloke and Hero & Leander - adapted from Marlowe.

Whit has also directed at the Arcola Theatre and Southwark Playhouse in London. He served as an Associate Director at The Courtyard Theatre, in Hoxton East London where he was artistic director of Versions, a month long festival of classical adaptations and devised theatre in commemoration of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare.

As a playwright his other plays include: The Heimrich Maneuver, Endangered Species, The Space Program, Stockholm Syndrome, Høüses - a new site specific version of Romeo & Juliet, Hateful Deeds a restructuring of Richard III and his third Chekhov adaptation, a new version of The Cherry Orchard, entitled Spoilt Fruits (Dispatches from the Intersection of Class, Real Estate and Dead Children).

He holds a BFA from the Actor Training Program conservatory at The University of Utah (US).

{*archived in the British Library}

Directing credits[edit]



  • Lunatic by Whit Hertford, based on Bram Stoker's Dracula, Theatre N16, Balham South London
  • The League of Youth by Ashley Pearson after Henrik Ibsen, Theatre N16, Balham South London
  • Anatomy of Arithmetic by Whit Hertford, The Courtyard Theatre, Hoxton East London
  • Coverage a new version of Julius Caesar by Ashley Pearson, The Courtyard Theatre, Hoxton East London
  • Dóttir by Whit Hertford, The Courtyard Theatre, Hoxton East London


  • The Misbegotten Hope of the Dirty Bird an adaptation of The Seagull by Whit Hertford after Chekhov, The Courtyard Theatre, Hoxton East London
  • Bloke by Whit Hertford, East 15, Essex UK
  • Hero + Leander by Whit Hertford adapted from the poem by Christopher Marlowe, East 15, Essex UK
  • 13 by Mike Bartlett (asst. dir.), East 15, Essex UK
  • Bricks and Bones by Hannah Roger (co-dir.), Arcola Theatre, East London
  • Holy, Holy, Shadow devised by The Stage Standard + Concierge Theatre, London, UK

Additional directing credits

  • Fool For Love by Sam Shepard, The Stage Standard, Salt Lake City, UT
  • Bright Ideas by Eric Coble, University of Utah (regional debut)
  • Twelfth Night by Wm. Shakespeare (asst. dir), Salt Lake Shakespeare, Salt Lake City, UT

Film and television[edit]

His film career spans three decades and began at an early age, most notably with his appearance in Steven Spielberg's Jurassic Park.

In 2009 he co-founded the independent film company Sneak Attack with director Ryan Darst. Their American New Wave award-winning short and full-length films (written by Hertford) have screened at festivals all over the US and Europe, including the premiere of the revenge film Wildlife at Cannes Film Festival (2015). The production shot all on location in rural Utah and co-stars Jon Heder and is scored by Joshua James.

In 2014 he received Best Actor awards for his work as geneticist Jesse Darden in the science fiction independent feature film The Perfect 46[1] from the Other Worlds Film Festival in Austin, Texas and Filmquest Film Festival in Salt Lake City, Utah.

In 2015 he portrayed the role of iconic cult leader and convicted killer Charles Manson in the coming of age 1960s era thriller Prettyface.

From 2005 to 2011, he was a member of the Upright Citizens Brigade in Los Angeles as a sketch writer, performer and improviser. During that time he recurred as "Officer / Detective Ross" on the FOX comedy Raising Hope and as the tyrannical rival choreographer Dakota Stanley during the first season of Glee. Other TV credits include Psych, various appearances on Conan and as the voice of Cadet Kryze on Star Wars: The Clone Wars.



External links[edit]