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Royal Shakespeare Company

Doran Named as New RSC Artistic Director

Chief Associate Director Gregory Doran has been selected to succeed Michael Boyd as artistic director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, taking up the role at the annual general meeting in September.

“Greg Doran is a perfect choice for the RSC and is well known to all our audiences,” said RSC Chairman Nigel Hugill in a statement announcing the appointment. “His long history with the company is testament to his great skill as a director, his deep understanding of Shakespeare, and a true commitment to theatre-making. He has directed many award-winning productions and seasons at the RSC, and taken our work right across the world, receiving recognition for his talent as far afield as the United States, Japan, Spain, and South Africa, as well as in the UK.”

In his statement, Doran said he was delighted by the appointment. “I joined the RSC 25 years ago, first as an actor, then as assistant director, and then chief associate, so I guess if my appointment represents something, it represents a long-term commitment to the disciplines and craftsmanship required to do the astonishing plays of our ‘Star of Poets,’ William Shakespeare.”

Michael Boyd described it as “fantastic news” and said he was “very pleased to be leaving the Company in such good hands.”

The position was publicly advertised late last year. The selection panel included Nigel Hugill, Deputy Chairman Susie Sainsbury, CBE, and Board members Gilla Harris, Genista McIntosh, and David Tennant, who consulted widely before reaching a decision.

Doran began his career with the RSC as an actor in the 1987–1988 season, becoming an assistant director in 1989. He was made an associate director in 1996, and became chief associate director in 2006. He is an honorary fellow of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, and in 2011 was awarded honorary doctorates by the University of Nottingham and the University of Bristol.

He is currently directing Julius Caesar for the World Shakespeare Festival and The Orphan of Zhao. His most recent RSC productions include Written on the Heart, Cardenio, Morte d'Arthur, Twelfth Night, Hamlet, A Midsummer Night's Dream and Love's Labours Lost. Other productions for the Company in the UK and internationally include Macbeth, Antony and Cleopatra, Coriolanus, All's Well That Ends Well, The Taming of the Shrew (and The Tamer Tamed), Much Ado About Nothing, The Winter's Tale, Othello, Merry Wives the Musical, The Merchant of Venice, As You Like It, King John, Timon of Athens, All Is True (Henry VIII), Venus and Adonis (in collaboration with The Little Angel Theatre), Rostand's Cyrano de Bergerac, Oroonoko by Biyi Bandele (after Aphra Behn), The Odyssey adapted by Derek Walcott, Jubilee by Peter Barnes, and The Canterbury Tales in an adaptation by Mike Poulton.

In 2002, Doran led a season of five seldom-performed Jacobean and Elizabethan plays and directed The Island Princess by John Fletcher. Doran and the company enjoyed a sell-out season at The Swan Theatre in Stratford and a run at the Gielgud Theatre in London's West End, and received an Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement of the Year. In 2005, he led the Gunpowder season in the Swan, directing Ben Jonson's Sejanus in that season of neglected Jacobean works.

His production of Hamlet, with David Tennant in the title role, won The Whatsonstage Best Regional Production and Theatre Event of the Year in 2009. His filmed version of Hamlet (BBC2/Illuminations) was broadcast in the UK on Boxing Day 2009 and in the United States on PBS. His other film works include Macbeth (Channel 4/Illuminations) and A Midsummer Night's Dreaming (BBC4 documentary based on research for his own production); and he directed extracts from various Shakespeare plays for Michael Wood's BBC series, In Search of Shakespeare. Illuminations will also film his World Shakespeare Festival production of Julius Caesar, which will be broadcast on BBC4 as part of the BBC's Shakespeare season for the Cultural Olympiad.

With the British Library, Doran compiled two highly successful CDs of extracts from live recordings of great performances from Stratford since the late fifties: Essential Shakespeare LIVE! and Essential Shakespeare ENCORE!

His writing credits include Woza Shakespeare! co-authored with Antony Sher about their production of Titus Andronicus in South Africa in 1995, The Shakespeare Almanac in 2009, and Shakespeare's Lost Play: In search of Cardenio in 2011.

March 23, 2012

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