Mary Irene Ryan Family Producing Artistic Director of the Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival
Grant Mudge is an actor, director, commissioned playwright, teacher, and artistic director, in which capacity he served at Richmond Shakespeare for over fifteen years, from 1996-2011. Highlights during that time included founding the summertime Richmond Shakespeare Festival at Agecroft Hall, helping to develop Richmond CenterStage and leading the company to its residency in that facility, creating a tour that would bring performances to 23 states, and more than 200,000 people with performances and education offerings.
As an actor, Mudge has performed with the Richmond Symphony, Richmond Ballet, Theatre IV/Barksdale (now VA Rep) and many others, from New York to Arizona. Performances for Richmond Shakespeare include the title roles in Henry V and Macbeth, Warwick/Poins/Glendower and The Douglas in the company's four-year project of presenting the history cycle, as well as Orsino in Twelfth Night, Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing, Trinculo/Ferdinand in The Tempest, Oberon/Theseus in Midsummer Night's Dream, Orlando in As You Like It, Petruchio in The Taming of the Shrew, and fourteen consecutive years as Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol for Two Actors.
Directing more than 30 productions, Mudge's credits include: Death and The Maiden, As You Like It, Much Ado About Nothing (four times), Romeo & Juliet (three times), Macbeth, The Tempest (twice), Love's Labour's Lost , and A Midsummer Night's Dream (three times), as well as Our Town, Les Miserables, Picasso at the Lapin Agile and Hamlet (also twice). His 2005 production of Midsummer aired on WCVE-TV PBS, and is still regularly re-broadcast. His final performances of A Christmas Carol for Two Actors also aired on regional PBS stations in 2012.
The Ryan Family Directorship was established through an estate gift from Mary Irene Ryan, a lifelong Notre Dame fan and alumna of the drama school at Carnegie Mellon University. Irene was married to the late John T. Ryan Jr., who served as a University Trustee for many years. They had six children, five of whom graduated from Notre Dame.