The Humanitas Visiting Professorship in Drama brings playwrights, actors, and directors to share their craft and explore the rich thought-provoking field of the theatre.

The Visiting Professorship in Drama is hosted by Brasenose College, Oxford. During the years 2010-2013 the professorship was generously supported by Eric Abraham. From 2014 onwards it has been made possible by the generous support of André Hoffmann.

Tom Stoppard 2015-2016

Tom Stoppard is one of Britain’s leading playwrights and screenwriters. He has received one Academy Award and four Tony Awards.

Tom Stoppard’s most recent play is The Hard Problem. His plays include Rosencrantz And Guildenstern Are Dead, After Magritte, Every Good Boy Deserves Favour (with André Previn), and Dogg’s Hamlet, Cahoot’s Macbeth. His most recent work for BBC television was Parade’s End (Ford Madox Ford), and his original television play Professional Foul won awards from BAFTA and the Broadcasting Press Guild.

Tom Stoppard’s most recent play is The Hard Problem. His plays include Rosencrantz And Guildenstern Are DeadAfter MagritteEvery Good Boy Deserves Favour (with André Previn), and Dogg’s Hamlet, Cahoot’s Macbeth. His most recent work for BBC television was Parade’s End (Ford Madox Ford), and his original television play Professional Foul won awards from BAFTA and the Broadcasting Press Guild.

Screenplays include Anna KareninaBrazilEmpire Of The SunBilly Bathgate, and Shakespeare In Love (with Marc Norman), for which he won an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, the Broadcast Film Critics and American Guild Awards for Best Screenplay 1998. He directed and wrote the screenplay for the film of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, which won the Prix d’Or at the Venice Film Festival 1990.

David Edgar 2014-2015

David Edgar is a British playwright and writer.

In his week of events, playwright David Edgar used his Humanitas residency to explore the causes and consequences of the anti-writer trend.

Along with David Greig, April de Angelis, Howard Brenton and Bryony Lavery he asked is the anti-writer trend really happening? And do the charges against the playwright stack-up? Can playwrights work effectively in a collective framework? What effect is the controversy having on training, on the profession of playwriting, on criticism and the theatre as a whole?

In the closing symposium he was joined by Michael BillingtonChris GoodeLiz Tomlin and Rachel De-lahay to discuss ‘Plays for Today’. The various responses offered suggested that whilst the act of creating plays is indeed alive and kicking, the concept of a singular playwriting entity is perhaps becoming outmoded by the newer idea of devising– something which offers a more collaborative– and perhaps democratic– approach to playmaking.

Greg Doran 2012-2013

Greg Doran is the Artistic Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Gregory Doran began his series with an ‘In Conversation’ with Sir Antony Sher. Doran and Sher shared anecdotes of their career putting on Shakespeare together, and treated the audience to a dynamic exposition on how to keep Shakespeare’s works fresh, relevant, and authentic in the modern age.

Doran’s second ‘In Conversation’ was with television director John Wyver, titled From RSC to BBC: re-conceiving two recent RSC productions. During the week Doran held two Acting Masterclasses, with student actors in front of a live audience. Doran gave the students and audience the unique experience of seeing how he analyses and rehearses Shakespeare’s text with the RSC actors.

Doran concluded his tenure with a symposium titled Pushing Shakespeare Off His Pedestal. Doran was joined by Professors Laurie Maguire and Jonathan Bate to discuss whether Shakespeare dominates the literary canon and theatrical repertoire in ways that are not always beneficial.

Vanessa Redgrave 2011-2012

Proclaimed by Arthur Miller and Tennessee Williams as “the greatest living actress of our times”, Vanessa Redgrave is an English actress of stage, screen and television.

Vanessa Redgrave’s Visiting Professorship series was entitled ‘Theatre and Politics Today’. She spoke with deep feeling and great thoughtfulness on human rights, poverty, law and the ownership of land, and their relevance to Shakespeare’s plays. Her familiarity with the detail, stage dynamics and performance history of Shakespeare’s plays made her insights into how they should be performed, their potential resonance, and her own personal connection with the texts particularly compelling.

Athol Fugard 2010-2011

Athol Fugard is a South African playwright and novelist.

Identified by Time Magazine as “the greatest active playwright in the English speaking world” Athol Fugard is known for his deeply rooted and controversial anti-apartheid dramas.

Raised in Port Elizabeth since the age of three, Fugard deems himself the mongrel son of an English speaking father of Polish/Irish descent and an Afrikaner mother. Before becoming a playwright, young Fugard traveled through Africa, worked on a merchant ship, and served as a clerk in the pass-law court where he witnessed, first-hand, the extremities of Apartheid.

As a playwright, Fugard has come into much conflict and controversy. He has been subjected to government surveillance, restricted in his play development and travel by the South African government, and has been able to collaborate with several native, black South Africans to create confrontational and necessary theatre about the curse and price of apartheid both in South Africa and abroad.

 

  • Share :