Professor Elizabeth Schafer

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 different view of this extremely influential woman, who has a claim to be seen as a founder 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:

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 2017.  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 and editing an 'Issues in Review' for Early Theatre focussing on early modern women playwrights.

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.

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