Great Performances: Romeo & Juliet 

TCA Panelist Bios

Air date: 04/23/2021

Great Performances: Romeo & Juliet

TCA Panelist Bios



Jessie Buckley

Actor, “Juliet”


Irish-born RADA (Royal Academy of Dramatic Art) graduate Jessie Buckley had her first starring role in Michael Pearce’s critically acclaimed and BAFTA-nominated “Beast” alongside Johnny Flynn. The film opened to rave reviews in 2018 and Buckley won the Most Promising Newcomer award at the British Independent Film Awards and Best British or Irish Actress at the Critics Circle Awards. She was selected to be one of BAFTA’s Breakthrough Brits and was also chosen as one of Screen International’s Stars of Tomorrow.

Buckley will soon begin production on Alex Garland’s “Men,” in which she will star as the lead alongside Rory Kinnear. The A24 film follows a young woman (Buckley) who goes on a solo vacation to the English countryside after the death of her ex-husband. She will also star alongside Olivia Colman in Maggie Gyllenhaal’s directorial debut “The Lost Daughter.”

She starred in Charlie Kaufman’s film “I’m Thinking of Ending Things” alongside Jesse Plemons. Her performance garnered her a Gotham Independent Film Awards nomination for Best Actress. Most recently, Buckley starred in Season 4 of Noah Hawley’s critically acclaimed Fargo on FX, alongside Chris Rock and Jason Schwartzman.

In 2018, Buckley starred in Tom Harper’s “Wild Rose” alongside Julie Walters and Sophie Okonedo, for which she earned a Best Actress nomination at the British Independent Film Awards and won the Best Actress award for BAFTA Scotland. She was also nominated for the BAFTA Rising Star award and performed a song from the film at the ceremony that year. The following year, Buckley starred in Rupert Goold’s “Judy” alongside Renee Zellweger, and she appeared alongside Emily Watson and Jared Harris in the Emmy-nominated HBO series Chernobyl.

Other film and television credits include “Doolittle;” “The Courier;” the role of Princess Marya in War and Peace (BBC) alongside Paul Dano; the historic drama series Taboo starring opposite Tom Hardy; The Last Poet (BBC), written by Peter Moffat; and The Woman in White (BBC), Wilkie Collins’ classic psychological thriller adapted for television by Fiona Seres.

Buckley’s theatre credits include two productions as part of the Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company’s inaugural season: “The Winter’s Tale,” starring as Perdita, and “Harlequinade,” starring as Muriel. Buckley starred as Miranda in Jeremy Herrin’s “The Tempest” opposite Roger Allam, which was later released as a film. Other theatre credits include “A Little Night Music” at the Menier Chocolate Factory; “Henry V” as Princess Katherine opposite Jude Law; and “Amadeus” as Constanze alongside Joshua McGuire and Rupert Everett at the Chichester Festival Theatre.


Josh O’Connor

Actor, “Romeo”


Josh O’Connor trained with the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and has garnered critical acclaim for his roles across film, television and theatre. He is also an accomplished and exhibited artist and photographer. O’Connor was named a Screen International Star of Tomorrow in 2016 and has gone on to receive two British Independent Film Awards (BIFA), a Screen Actors Guild Award, an Empire Award and two BAFTA Award nominations.

O’Connor can currently be seen starring in Season 4 of The Crown as Prince Charles. His character was introduced in Season 3 to rave reviews, a SAG Ensemble Award and a BAFTA nomination for Supporting Actor. In addition, O’Connor recently wrapped production on Eva Husson’s drama “Mothering Sunday” alongside Olivia Colman, Colin Firth and Odessa Young.

Last year, O’Connor starred as Mr. Elton in Autumn de Wilde’s critically acclaimed film adaptation of Jane Austen’s “Emma,” and in “Hope Gap” with Annette Bening and Bill Nighy, directed by William Nicholson. The film won Best Film and O’Connor won Best Actor at the Barcelona Film Festival. In 2018, he starred with Laia Costa in Harry Wootliff’s BAFTA-nominated film “Only You,” for which he won the BIFA for Best Actor. He also undertook the role of Lawrence “Larry” Durrell last year in the final season of Masterpiece: The Durrells in Corfu and the role of Marius in Masterpiece: Les Misérables.

In 2017, O’Connor starred in Francis Lee’s hugely successful, BAFTA-nominated and BIFA-winning directorial debut, “God’s Own Country.” O’Connor’s performance earned him a BIFA for Best Actor, a BAFTA Award for Breakthrough Brit, an Empire Award for Best Male Newcomer, and nominations for BAFTA’s EE Rising Star Award and London Critics Circle’s British / Irish Actor of the Year Award.

In 2014, O’Connor made his feature film debut in Lone Scherfig’s “The Riot Club” opposite Sam Claflin and Douglas Booth. He followed this up working with Stephen Frears both in “The Program” and in “Florence Foster Jenkins” alongside Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant. Other film and television credits include “Bridgend,” “Hide & Seek,” “Magnificent Eleven,” BAFTA-winning Netflix series Peaky Blinders, Ripper Street, Father Brown, Wipers Times, Law and Order, London Irish, Dr. Who and Lewis VI: Vipers.

Other theatre credits include Philip Breen and Royal Shakespeare Company’s (RSC) “The Shoemaker’s Holiday,” Angus Jackson and RSC’s “Oppenheimer,” Angus Jackson’s “Versailles” for Donmar Warehouse, and Guy Unsworth’s “Farragut North” for the Southwark Playhouse.


Simon Godwin



Simon Godwin is the Artistic Director of The Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, D.C. He was appointed in 2019 and his productions there include “Timon of Athens” and the forthcoming “Much Ado About Nothing” and “As You Like It.”

Godwin began directing at Cambridge University, where he studied English Literature. In 2001, Simon became Associate Director at the Royal and Derngate Theatres in Northampton, where he worked as the deputy to Artistic Director Rupert Goold. His productions there included “Everyman,” “Habeas Corpus” and “The Seagull.” In 2005, Godwin began a two-year postgraduate program at the London International School of Performing Arts (LISPA), where he studied physical theatre and devising. In 2008, he joined Tom Morris as the Associate Director of The Bristol Old Vic, where he directed “The Little Mermaid,” “A Kind of Alaska/Krapp’s Last Tape,” “Faith Healer” and “Far Away.”

In 2009, Godwin became Associate Director of The Royal Court. While there, he directed seven world premieres, including “Routes,” “If You Don’t Let Us Dream,” “We Won’t Let You Sleep,” “NSFW,” “The Witness,” “Goodbye to All That,” “The Acid Test” and “Wanderlust.” In 2012, Godwin was awarded the inaugural Evening Standard/Burberry Award for an Emerging Director.

Godwin made his debut at the National Theatre (NT) with “Strange Interlude,” followed by “Man and Superman” starring Ralph Fiennes. When Rufus Norris became the new Artistic Director of the NT in 2015, he invited Godwin to become part of his team of permanent Associates. Since then, Godwin has directed “The Beaux’ Stratagem,” “Twelfth Night” with Tamsin Greig and “Anthony and Cleopatra” with Ralph Fiennes and Sophie Okonedo, both of whom won 2019 Evening Standard Awards for Best Actor and Actress.

Godwin has enjoyed a long-standing relationship with the Royal Shakespeare Company. In 2014, he directed “The Two Gentlemen of Verona,” followed by an acclaimed “Hamlet,” which toured to The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and “Timon of Athens” featuring Kathryn Hunter. In 2019, Godwin made his Tokyo debut, directing a Japanese cast in “Hamlet” for Theatre Cocoon.


David Horn

Executive Producer, Great Performances

Director, Performance & Arts Programming, THIRTEEN Productions LLC

Facebook: @GreatPerformances; Twitter: @GPerfPBS


As the executive producer of the Emmy Award-winning series Great Performances, David Horn oversees the development, production and programming of WNET’s national performing arts presentations on PBS. During his 41-year tenure with the series, Horn has twice received the prestigious Peabody Award and has been nominated for a Primetime Emmy more than 25 times, winning five. In 2015, he was honored with The Drama League’s Unique Contribution to the Theater Award for his vital work in bringing New York theater to a larger audience across America.

In addition to Great Performances, Horn is the creator and executive producer of the Emmy Award-winning series NYC-ARTS, a weekly magazine program hosted by Philippe de Montebello and Paula Zahn that features the dynamic arts and culture scene in New York City. Horn is also the creator, executive producer and director of Theater Close-Up, a series dedicated to showcasing the innovative productions of New York City’s Off- and Off-Off-Broadway theaters. Horn has also directed several productions in collaboration between WNET and the subscription streaming service BroadwayHD, including the historic first live stream of the Broadway musical She Loves Me, followed by Noël Coward’s Present Laughter starring Kevin Kline, Paula Vogel’s critically acclaimed play Indecent and Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn.

After his successful productions of King Lear, Cyrano de Bergerac and Macbeth, all of which were recognized with Best Actor Emmy nominations for Sir Ian McKellen, Kevin Kline and Sir Patrick Stewart, respectively, Horn continued his commitment to incorporate Shakespeare into the Great Performances repertoire. In 2015, Horn served as executive producer alongside Sam Mendes and Gareth Naeme for the series The Hollow Crown. Produced as film adaptations of Shakespeare’s history plays, The Hollow Crown featured Jeremy Irons, Tom Hiddleston and Ben Whishaw, and was followed by The Wars of the Roses, starring Tom Sturridge as Henry VI, Benedict Cumberbatch as Richard III and an all-star cast, including Sophie Okonedo, Judi Dench and Hugh Bonneville. In summer 2019, he directed the first Great Performances live recording from The Public Theater’s Free Shakespeare in the Park since 1974, Kenny Leon’s modern production of Much Ado About Nothing, featuring an all-Black cast, including Danielle Brooks.

Horn’s extensive catalog of original productions includes creating In the Spotlight (1993), a series of primetime popular music specials, and executive producing Sessions at West 54th; he was honored with the ASCAP Deems Taylor Award for both in recognition of excellence in music broadcast programming. He was also the executive producer of two landmark miniseries for PBS: Make ‘Em Laugh: The Funny Business of America in 2009 and Broadway: The American Musical, which garnered the Primetime Emmy for Non-Fiction Series in 2005.

Horn has produced numerous classical music concerts from Carnegie Hall, as well as internationally in Vienna, Salzburg, Rome and Paris. He has also played an instrumental role in producing a variety of regional operas, many of them world premieres, in San Francisco, Santa Fe, Los Angeles, Dallas and Houston, where he won an Emmy for John Adams’ Nixon in China.

Horn’s multi-camera directing credits for Great Performances include the recent Bernstein Centennial from Tanglewood, five GRAMMY® Salute to Music Legends specials, the Joan Baez 75th Birthday Celebration, Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga: Cheek to Cheek LIVE!, Steve Martin & Edie Brickell in Concert, Great Performances 40th Anniversary Celebration, multiple Andrea Bocelli concerts including his Central Park event, Pete Seeger’s 90th Birthday Celebration at MSG, Chess in Concert, Hitman: David Foster & Friends, We Love Ella!: A Tribute to the First Lady of Song, South Pacific at Carnegie Hall, Michael Bublé: Caught in the Act, Josh Groban Live at the Greek and many others. From 1981-1983, Horn produced the series In Performance at the White House.