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BSA People

Board of Trustees

  • Alison Findlay

    Alison Findlay

    Chair

    Alison Findlay is Professor of Renaissance Drama and Director of the Shakespeare Programme at the University of Lancaster. After completing her PhD at the Shakespeare Institute, she spent a year teaching in Cross Hills School, near Skipton and then at Bretton Hall College (University of Leeds) before she moved to Lancaster. She is the author of Illegitimate Power: Bastards in Renaissance Drama (1994), A Feminist Perspective on Renaissance Drama (1999), Women in Shakespeare (2010) and Much Ado About Nothing: A Guide to the Text and the Play in Performance (2011). She co-edited Twelfth Night: A Critical Reader (2014) and is now co-editing Shakespeare and Greece, both for Arden. Alison enjoys teaching through performance, using workshops and productions, most recently Midsummer Night’s Dream in the courtyard of Lancaster Castle.

  • Coen Heijes

    Coen Heijes

    Treasurer

    Coen Heijes teaches Shakespeare, Presentism and Performance at the University of Groningen. He finished his CPA education in 1994 and holds MAs in Shakespeare Studies, Shakespeare & Theatre, English Literature, and Anthropology and completed his PhD on the impact of history and culture on communication. He wrote/edited/participated in books on the abolishment of slavery, multicultural society, diversity and leadership, stereotyping and perception, and performing early modern drama today; his latest book is Shakespeare, Blackface and Race (CUP, 2020). He is a member of the editorial board of Multicultural Shakespeare: Translation, Appropriation and Performance. He is particularly interested in topical political, social and ethical issues and how these relate to and interact with Shakespeare studies and performance.

  • José A. Pérez Díez

    José A. Pérez Díez

    Membership Officer

    José A. Pérez Díez is a Research Fellow at the School of English of the University of Leeds, where he is currently working on the new critical edition of the complete works of John Marston (Oxford University Press, 2020; Martin Butler and Matthew Steggle, gen. eds). As an editor of English Renaissance drama, he is particularly interested in the interaction between performance and the editing process. His other research activities include the study of Shakespeare in modern performance, the influence of Spanish Golden Age literature on Jacobean drama, and the works of John Fletcher. He regularly reviews Renaissance plays for several academic journals and he is Associate Editor for England of Reviewing Shakespeare.

  • Maria Shmygol

    Maria Shmygol

    Web and Communications Officer

    Maria is assistant editor of The Complete Works of John Marston (under contract with Oxford University Press, gen. eds. Martin Butler and Matthew Steggle), and co-editor, with Lukas Erne, of the German play Tito Andronico (1620), which is forthcoming with Arden Shakespeare. She is also preparing two separate editions of William Percy’s manuscript play, The Aphrodysial (1602) for the Malone Society and Digital Renaissance Editions. Maria has held postdoctoral research fellowships at the Universities of Leeds (2020-21) and Geneva (2016-2019), and is a project member of Medieval and Early Modern Orients. Maria’s research interests include textual editing, early modern drama, travel literature, and cross-cultural encounters.

  • Lisa Hopkins

    Lisa Hopkins

    Journal Representative

    Lisa Hopkins is Professor of English and head of the Graduate School. She read English at King’s College, Cambridge and then did a PhD on John Ford at the University of Warwick. She is a co-editor of Shakespeare, the journal of the British Shakespeare Association, of the Arden Early Modern Drama Guides, and of Arden Studies in Early Modern Drama. She has published extensively on Renaissance drama, principally Marlowe, Shakespeare and Ford, and is also interested in literature on screen and the work of Bram Stoker.

  • Karen Eckersall

    Karen Eckersall

    Chair of the Events Committee

    Karen Eckersall was a teacher and literature co-ordinator at a secondary school in inner city Salford. As this school is the hub school for English School Centred Initial Teacher Training in her area, she also lead sessions in active approaches to teaching literature there. She is passionate about innovative teaching and learning of Shakespeare’s work with her main focus being on Key Stages 3 and 4. She is an encourager of social mobility and an obsessive theatregoer.

  • Chris Green

    Chris Green

    Chair of the Education Committee

    Chris Green is Director of English and Drama at The Perse School in Cambridge, and Director of Studies for the annual summer schools run for international students by Cambridge Programmes at Churchill College. He is Principal Examiner for the Shakespeare component of the A-Level in English Literature for a major UK Awarding Body, and a member of OCR’s Consultative Forum for English. His publications include a series of textbooks and a departmental management guide. He writes about Shakespeare in a number of contexts, and – most recently – produced a new edition of The Merchant of Venice for HarperCollins. In addition to his charitable position at the BSA, Chris has recently carried out similar roles at the Chartered College of Teaching, the English-Speaking Union, and the Young Vic Theatre. Chris is enthusiastic about creative approaches to Shakespeare in the school curriculum, and about increasing accessibility and diversity in English and Drama.

  • Mark Thornton Burnett

    Mark Thornton Burnett

    Chair of Performance and Media Committee

    Mark Thornton Burnett is Professor of Renaissance Studies at Queen’s University, Belfast. He is the author of Masters and Servants in English Renaissance Drama and Culture: Authority and Obedience (1997), Constructing ‘Monsters’ in Shakespearean Drama and Early Modern Culture (2002), Filming Shakespeare in the Global Marketplace (2007; 2nd ed. 2013), Shakespeare and World Cinema (2013) and ‘Hamlet’ and World Cinema (2019). His co-edited volumes include Shakespeare, Film, Fin de Siècle (2000), Screening Shakespeare in the Twenty-First Century (2006), Filming and Performing Renaissance History (2011) and The Edinburgh Companion to Shakespeare and the Arts (2011). He is a Fellow of the English Association, a Member of the Royal Irish Academy and the Director of the Kenneth Branagh Archive.

  • Eleanor Rycroft

    Eleanor Rycroft

    Chair of Honorary Fellowships Committee

    Eleanor Rycroft lecturer in Theatre and Performance Studies at the University of Bristol. Originally a theatre director, she played a key role in large-scale practice-based research projects such as ‘Staging the Henrician Court’ and ‘Staging and Representing the Scottish Renaissance Court’. She has conducted a number of written and practical studies on early modern performance, most recently a co-edited special issue of Shakespeare Bulletin on ‘(Re)constructed Spaces for Performance: Research in Practice’ and a Research-in-Action workshop at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse entitled ‘Walking the City in the Indoor Playhouse’. She teaches and practices early modern drama at Bristol and programmes seasons for the Wickham Theatre. She is currently writing a monograph on facial hair and the performance of early modern masculinity to be published in 2019.

  • Paul Edmondson

    Paul Edmondson

    Shakespeare Birthplace Trust Representative

    Paul Edmondson is Head of Research and Knowledge and Director of the Stratford-upon-Avon Poetry Festival for The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. He has published numerous articles and books on Shakespeare and speaks at academic conferences and Shakespeare events around the world. He is Chair of The Hosking Houses Trust for women writers and a priest in The Church of England and serves at St Andrew’s Church, Shottery.

  • Simon Smith

    Simon Smith

    Shakespeare Institute Representative

    Simon Smith is Associate Professor of Shakespeare and Early Modern Drama at the Shakespeare Institute, Stratford-upon-Avon, and the Department of English Literature, University of Birmingham. He researches early modern drama, music and sensory culture. His monograph, Musical Response in the Early Modern Playhouse, 1603-1625 (Cambridge, 2017), won the Shakespeare’s Globe Book Award and the University English Book Prize. He has edited three essay collections, most recently Playing and Playgoing in Early Modern England (Cambridge, 2022; with Emma Whipday). Current projects include a Leverhulme-funded study of playgoing, pleasure and judgement. He has acted as a historical music and theatre consultant to the RSC, Shakespeare’s Globe, the Independent and the BBC adaptation of Wolf Hall, and acted as music director for several research productions of early modern plays and masques.

  • Sue Best and Phil Bowen

    Sue Best and Phil Bowen

    Joint Elected Members

    Phil’s first acting job after training at Webber Douglas was to play the back legs of the Donkey in ‘Puss in Boots’ at Leatherhead. His subsequent career ranged from touring Shakespeare worldwide with Michael Redgrave, then with The London Shakespeare Group for the British Council, to seasons at Regent’s Park and playing Hamlet for Michael Bogdanov at the Old Vic.

    Sue’s acting career spans appearing in Dr Who to playing Shakespeare in heritage sites. As a Director she ran the W.11 Children’s Opera, taught at Hounslow Borough College, worked as Staff Producer at the Royal Opera House and with Michael Bogdanov as his Assistant Director for the English Shakespeare Company, where she met Phil. Together they formed the Charity Shakespeare Link, engaging with Shakespeare’s words and vision not only through teaching and performing but as a medium for communication and debate.

    Now based in mid Wales Shakespeare Link continues to explore the plays whilst hosting an eclectic mix of theatre, workshops, music and community events at its flagship Willow Globe Theatre.

  • Thea Buckley

    Thea Buckley

    Minuting Secretary

    Thea Buckley is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at Queen’s University Belfast, mentored by Professor Mark Thornton Burnett on the project ‘South Indian Shakespeares: Reimagining Art Forms and Identities’. Thea has previously worked for the Shakespeare Institute, British Library, Royal Shakespeare Company and Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, co-edited the Shakespeare Institute Review and published work in A Year of ShakespeareCahiers Élisabéthains (2013); Multicultural Shakespeare (2014); Reviewing Shakespeare (2015); and Shakespeare and Indian Cinemas (2019).

BSA COMMITTEES

Four committees with delegated authority report to the Board: Events, Education, Performance and Media, and Honorary Fellowships. Trustees are elected every three years. If you would be interested in joining either the Board or one of the committees, let us know by getting in touch via the Contact Us form.

Education Committee

  • Chair: Chris Green
  • Wendy Lennon
  • Helen Mears
  • Sarah Olive
  • James Stredder
  • Fiona Williams

Events Committee

  • Chair: Karen Eckersall
  • Susan Anderson
  • Paul Edmondson
  • Trevor Griffith
  • Peter Smith
  • Marion Wynne-Davies

Media and Performance Committee

  • Chair: Mark Thornton Burnett
  • Sue Best 
  • Phil Bowen
  • Eleanor Rycroft
  • Alasdair Craig
  • Mark France
  • Dugald Bruce-Lockhart
  • Andrew French
  • Nora Williams
  • Andrea Montgomery
  • Steve Purcell
  • Rachel Chung
  • Zoe Hudson
  • Sangeeta Datta

Honorary Fellowships Committee

  • Chair: Eleanor Rycroft
  • Paul Edmondson
  • Alison Findlay 
  • Andrew Gurr
  • Tracey Irish
  • Paul Prescott
  • Miranda Fay Thomas
  • Ramona Wray
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