Michael Cordner (Principal Investigator) is Ken Dixon Professor of Drama and one of the co-founders of the University of York’s Department of Theatre, Film, Television and Interactive Media, where he was its first Head of Theatre. His main research and teaching interests lie in English drama 1580-1737, theatre, film and television comedy, and the development of the theatre in the UK in the second half of the 20th century until today.
He has published editions of seventeen plays, and was General Editor of OUP’s World Classics Oxford English Drama until 2009. All his current work relates to the interaction between scripts and performance and seeks to explore performance traditions, historical circumstances, performer training, company identities, and reception circumstances, as well as the words committed to the page by individual dramatists. In his view, study of the masterpieces of 17th-century theatre is meaningless unless influenced by practical experience of the plays in rehearsal and performance. This has prompted his productions of comedies by Middleton, Marston, Vanbrugh, Shirley, and Dryden in the Department over the last few years.
Mike regularly advises national companies, conducting workshops and helping with textual preparation. Most recently he worked closely with Simon Godwin and Patrick Marber on the NT 2016 production of Farquhar’s The Beaux’ Stratagem, and in 2019 with Philip Breen on the RSC’s The Provoked Wife.
Dr Ollie Jones (Co-Investigator) is Lecturer in Theatre with the University of York’s Department of Theatre, Film, Television and Interactive Media (TFTI). He is a theatre historian and director working primarily on early modern touring theatre, theatre architecture and performance. His work necessitates a holistic and truly interdisciplinary approach, combining methodologies from archaeological, historical, literary and theatrical academic traditions. He directed scenes from The Troublesome Reign of King John at the Guildhall in Straford-upon-Avon as part of his doctoral research, and has since collaborated extensively with Mike Cordner on productions in TFTI, including The Dutch Courtesan, Hyde Park, and now Shakespeare’s Rivals.
Since 2009 Ollie has been a Research Associate and member of the Architectural Research Group at Shakespeare’s Globe. He has consulted on the Shakespeare North and Rose Revealed projects.