Tom Stoppard announced as next Cameron Mackintosh Visiting Professor

Tom Stoppard announced as next Cameron Mackintosh Visiting Professor

We are pleased to announce that Sir Tom Stoppard OM CBE FRSL will succeed Claude-Michel Schönberg as the next Cameron Mackintosh Visiting Professor of Contemporary Theatre.

The Chair of Contemporary Theatre, founded through a grant from the Mackintosh Foundation, is to promote interest in, and the study and practice of, contemporary theatre. The professorship has allowed a unique opportunity for students to interact with renowned theatre veterans since 1990. Previous Visiting Professors include Simon Russell Beale, Stephen Fry and Dame Diana Rigg.

Sir Tom Stoppard is a prolific screenwriter and playwright who has won an Academy Award and four Tony Awards over his long career in stage and screen. Born Tomáš Straussler, Stoppard’s family fled Czechoslovakia before Nazi occupation and arrived in Britain at the end of the Second World War. Stoppard began his career working as a journalist and theatre critic in Bristol before becoming a playwright and has since gone on to write over 30 plays and over a dozen screenplays.  Most famous for plays such as Arcadia and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead and films such as Shakespeare in Love and Anna Karenina, Stoppard’s work often focuses on themes of human rights and political freedom. His latest film, Tulip Fever, will be released later this summer and features Academy Award winning Alicia Vikander. He was awarded a CBE in 1978, was knighted in 1997 and was awarded the Honorary Doctor of Letters from the University of Oxford in 2013.

Commenting on his appointment, Tom said: “Cameron is someone I have known and admired from our early days in the theatre. To occupy a “visiting chair” in his name is a special delight, particularly at Oxford where my plays have been performed by undergraduates for so many years.”

The Master of St Catherine’s College, Professor Roger Ainsworth, said: “We are honoured that Tom has agreed to take up the Cameron Mackintosh Visiting Professorship of Contemporary Theatre next year. We are absolutely delighted to be welcoming such a pioneering and widely-admired intellectual playwright into the College community, and we eagerly look forward to receiving his great artistic insight and wisdom over the next academic year.”

Stoppard will take over the post in October and his inaugural lecture will be held in autumn 2017.

Image Credit: Matt Humphrey