Professor Elizabeth Schafer

Elizabeth Schafer

Professor Elizabeth Schafer

Professor of Drama and Theatre Studies

Phone: +44 1784 443923

Educational background

My research focusses around two main areas:  Shakespeare in production and Australian drama and theatre.  I am particularly interested in the different meanings Shakespeare’s plays acquire in different cultural locations – different times, different countries, different social structures. I have written a performance history of The Taming of the Shrew  (Cambridge University Press, 2002) and Twelfth Night (Cambridge University Press, 2009).  I have  also written on women directors and their contributions to Shakespeare theatre history, MsDirecting Shakespeare (Women’s Press, 1998).  My Lilian Baylis:  A Biography (University of Hertfordshire Press, 2006) offers a completely new view of this extremely influential woman, who was one of the founders of the National Theatre, the English National Opera, Sadler’s Wells and the Royal Ballet. 

I edited The City Wit by Richard Brome for the pioneering online edition of Brome’s complete works: http://www.shef.ac.uk/hri/projects/projectpages/rbrome.html.

I also wrote the performance history of Brome's most widely performed play A Jovial Crew. Oxford University Press will be publishing an updated and re-edited version of The City Wit in 2020.  I am also re-editing The Northern Lass for the OUP Brome edition.

In 2013 I ran 'The Mariam Project', which marked the 400th anniversary of the publication of Elizabeth Cary's pioneering play The Tragedy of Mariam in 1613.  'The Mariam Project' consisted of a series of performances and workshops culminating in a short performance on the Globe stage in December 2013.

Currently I am writing a performance history of The Merry Wives of Windsor for the Manchester University Press Shakespeare in Performance series.  I have recently edited an 'Issues in Review' for Early Theatre focussing on early modern women playwrights.

My text of a 'new' play by Shakespeare - Margaret of Anjou - co-dramaturged with Philippa Kelly, will receive its first reading in Perth WA in February 2016. 

I have supervised research degrees in the areas of Shakespeare in production; intercultural theatre; the performance of illness; Renaissance Drama;  casting practices in contemporary theatre;  the performance history of The Bacchae; Shakespeare in Japan.

I am general editor of Australian Studies an online journal hosted by the National Library of Australia.

Before joining Royal Holloway I taught for four years in the Drama department at La Trobe University in Melbourne.  I also taught at the University of Wollongong, NSW, for a year teaching English, Drama and Creative Arts students.  I have taught short courses at universities in France (UFR, Tours), Brazil (USP, Sao Paolo), Canada (Ottawa), Hungary (Debrecen), and Finland (Helsinki).

I have a PGCE in Drama and English from the University of Nottingham.

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