"Marvelous" -F. Kathleen Foley, LA Times


  • Broadway World Nominee- Best Leading Actor "Measure for Measure"
  • Bay Area Critics Circle Nominee- Best Actor, "Twelfth Night" and 3 for Best Ensemble (Travesties, Importance of Being Earnest, Twelfth Night)
  • Broadway World Nominee- Best Leading Actor "Travesties", Best Featured Actor "Macbeth" and Person To Watch 2010
  • Richard Connema- Top Ten Outstanding Actors 2010, Top Ten Productions 2008- "Amadeus", 2009- "Twelfth Night" and "The Importance of Being Earnest", 2010-"Travesties"
  • San Francisco Bay Times- 3rd best show of 2010 "Travesties"

Twelfth Night, Independent Shakespeare Company

"William Elsman's marvelous Malvolio is a highlight.  Elsman's loosey-goosey turn entails plenty of repartee with the audience." 

-F. Kathleen Foley, LA Times

"Elsman's every onstage appearance triggers uproarious laughter from the audience, thanks to his dynamism as the unsuspecting Malvolio."

-Lara J. Altunian, Stage Raw

Macbeth, Sacramento Theater Company

"With his tall stature and dark searing eyes, William Elsman is unmistakably Macbeth ... his later decent into madness, as his power hungry killing spree begins to weigh heavy on his soul, was decidedly believable."  

-Bev Sykes, Sacramento News & Review

"Elsman conveys pure intimidation as he rages and spews invective."

-Mitchel Benson, Sacramento Bee

Measure for Measure, Independent Shakespeare Company

"Elsman's Angelo is effective as the unquestionably righteous ruler who speedily betrays his beliefs and standards when lust rears its ugly head."

-Michael Van Duzer, Showmag.com


Much Ado About Nothing, Independent Shakespeare Company

"As Villainous Don John, William Elsman infuses his menace with drollery."

-David C. Nichols, LA Times

"William Elsman earns boos and hisses for his villainous portrayal of Don John, a deliciously evil malcontent who will use any means necessary to gain the upper hand."

-Ellen Dostal, Broadway World

The Merry Wives of Windsor, Santa Cruz Shakespeare

"The Role of foppish Frenchman Doctor Caius gives comic genius and festival glen alum William Elsman ample chance to shine."

-Traci Hukill, Hilltromper

"The hysterical William Elsman [...] channels both Peter Sellers and Sasha Baron-Coen in mangling the King's English."

-Christina Waters, Good Times

Julius Caesar, Marin Shakespeare Company

"William Elsman is a slick, slightly smug Antony, and even in mourning seems to be pondering what's in it for him. The show's high point comes in Antony's "Friends, Romans, countrymen" funeral speech. It's impassioned, at times testy and sometimes almost playful as Elsman's Antony cagily manipulates public opinion against Brutus with honeyed words."

-Sam Hurwitt, Marin Independent Journal

"William Elsman’s Mark Antony knows how to be above it all [...] and knows how to show us that he knows it. His Mark Antony is a brilliant, carefully constructed piece of art and craft that works at every level. Mark Antony’s ‘honorable man’ speech was well paced, well balanced and meaningful. It was a delight to get some clear understanding of Mark Anthony’s intention here, whereas before most other actors seemed to be happy to leave the irony out. Here Elsman pours it on."

-Dave Fickbohm, Theaterkat

The Importance of Being Earnest, Marin Shakespeare Company

"Elsman in the protagonist role of Jack nee Earnest has a crisp delivery well suited to project meaning into Wilde’s words even when they are supercilious."

-Kedar Adour, For All Events

Little Shop of Horrors, Sacramento Theater Company

"William Elsman is evil personified as he gyrates around the stage in black leather, alternately taking quick sniffs of laughing gas and wielding a huge drill with which to work on Seymour’s mouth."

-Bev Sykes, The Davis Enterprise

Amadeus, Marin Shakespeare Company

"As played by William Elsman, in deft changes from the elderly Salieri to the scheming Viennese court composer, the suspense holds up, the jealousy is gnawingly real and his intense listening makes Mozart's melodies sound new and revolutionary."

-Robert Hurwitt, SF Chronicle

Henry V, Shakespeare Santa Cruz

"William Elsman as the French Dauphin can absolutely do no wrong. His portrayal of the hot-headed, vain prince is gymnastically rich and inventive."

-Christina Waters, santacruz.com

The Taming of The Shrew, Shakespeare Santa Cruz

"Hortensio (William Elsman) has a powerhouse voice but is hilariously hopeless in his attempts to woo Bianca while disguised poorly as a one-eyed music teacher."

-Alexandra Heeney, The Stanford Daily

Much Ado About Nothing, Marin Shakespeare Company

"Elsman is tall and graceful and speaks with authority and respect for everyone around him. Even at his worst moment in the play, Elsman’s Don Pedro is still the best man on stage."

-Jack Morgan, playshakespeare.com

Twelfth Night, Shakespeare Santa Cruz

"William Elsman is terrific as his foppish cohort, Sir Andrew Aguecheek, commanding every inch of his stage space with his big, yet precise comic gestures and powerful voice."

-Lisa Jensen, Good Times

Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, The San Francisco Playhouse

"William Elsman, one of the best Shakespearean actors in the Bay Area, gives a great performance as John C. Calhoun and is also a rocking good drummer in the band."

-Richard Connema, Talkin' Broadway

Travesties, Marin Shakespeare Company

"Rubber-faced William Elsman perfectly captures the main character, diplomat Henry Carr, as both young man and old. He uses his entire body to enormous advantage, including a gymnastic tongue that doubles as a polisher of Stoppard's gems and a prop."

-Woody Weingarten, Marinscope

Macbeth, Marin Shakespeare Company

"The tall imposing Elsman plays Macbeth as a despicable powerful Machiavellian egomaniac. He controls the stage with dynamism revealing believable inner turmoil, handling Shakespeare’s dialogue with authority."

-Kedar Adour, For All Events

Man of La Mancha, The Mountain Play

"William Elsman's Don Quixote is exactly as hammy and lovable as he should be."

-Chris Jensen, SF Weekly

Sherlock Holmes- The Final Adventure, Sacramento Theater Company

"Elsman is a delight to watch as Holmes, drawing conclusions about a person’s life and change of habits from clues (such as which side of the face is more poorly shaved). He is totally in command at all times, striding about the stage puffing on his calabash pipe and issuing orders."

-Bev Sykes, The Davis Enterprise