A highly successful British theatre director and festival-winning film director.



Ryan J-W Smith is a multiple award-winning international theatre director, and festival-winning film director.

For the stage, Smith has directed critically acclaimed productions of classic plays including A Doll’s House, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and The Two Gentlemen of Verona. His highest accolades as a theatre director, however, have been for his own verse plays, Sweet Love Adieu, Love Labours Won, New World Order, The Bard Gets Hard, and MacDeth! 

Career highlights include: produced by Smith’s own Rogue Shakespeare Company, his third play, Love Labours Wonwowed huge audiences and professional critics alike for two years running in 2006/7 at the world’s largest theatre festival, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, and was awarded ‘Pick of the Fringe’ both years. In 2008, Smith’s fourth play, New World Order, a one-man show performed and directed by Smith himself, also gathered nothing but glowing reviews internationally, and was nominated for the Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award. In 2012, Smith’s short film, The Poet Cursed, written in rhyming iambic verse, premiered in the Short Film Corner at the 65th Cannes Film Festival, was an official selection at 7 other international film festivals.

In 2015, after a break from theatre, Smith revived his Love Labours Won directing and starring in a sell-out run at the 2015 Hollywood Fringe Festival. Smith was awarded the coveted International Award and an Encore Producers’ Award. In 2016, Smith returned triumphantly to the Hollywood Fringe writing, directing and starring in two new verse comedies – The Bard Gets Hard! and MacDeth! Both shows played to sold-out houses and received glowing audience and critic reviews. The Bard Gets Hard! was nominated for the International Award – it lost to MacDeth! which won the highly coveted International Award for best international show, along with another Encore Producers’ Award for Smith. MacDeth! was also nominated for the Comedy Award and, among numerous other tributes, was named one of Time Out’s ‘Shows to See’ of the festival.

Collectively, Smith’s films have received 25 international film festival wins, nominations or selections. His last short film, The Poet Cursed (2012), which premiered in the Short Film Corner at the 65th Cannes Film Festival, was an official selection at 7 other international film festivals.

Ryan directs (and writes and stars in) the forthcoming feature, 2plus2makes4, which also stars Emmy and Golden Globe winner Ed Asner, Tony-nominated Daniel Sunjata, Professor Noam Chomsky and the late and legendary Emmy-nominated Gore Vidal.

Ryan J-W Smith receiving the 2016 Hollywood Fringe International Award – an award he has won twice now in 2015 and 2016

2plus2makes4 (forthcoming feature) – teaser 1

Film Festivals

Highlights of Smith’s film accolades


View Smith’s professional film credits


“a precociously talented writer-director-actor

Edinburgh Guide

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This