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Tom Stoppard, Playwright

Tom Stoppard

Photo source: Matthew Lloyd / For the Times

Sir Tom Stoppard was born Tomás Straüssler July 3, 1937, in Zlín, Czechoslovakia. He grew up in Singapore and India during the Second World War and moved to England in 1946 with his mother and stepfather, his own father having been killed in Singapore. Educated at schools in Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire, he became a journalist working for the Western Daily Press (1954-8) and the Bristol Evening World (1958-60), and became theatre critic for Scene magazine in London (1962-3). He began writing plays for radio and television, including The Dissolution of Dominic Boot (1964), A Walk on the Water, televised in 1963, and The Stand-Ins, later revised as The Real Inspector Hound (1968). Albert's Bridge (1968) was first broadcast by BBC Radio in 1967.

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (1967) premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 1966. The play came to the attention of Kenneth Tynan, then working for the National Theatre, and it was produced at the National in 1967 and on Broadway in 1967, winning a Tony Award for Best Play (USA) in 1968. The Real Inspector Hound was first staged in 1968, followed by productions of Albert's Bridge and If You're Glad I'll Be Frank, both in 1969.

His play Jumpers (1972) was staged at the National Theatre in 1972 and his adaptation of Lorca's The House of Bernarda Alba was first performed in the same year. Travesties (1975) was first staged by the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1974, transferring to New York in 1975 where it won a Tony Award for Best Play. Every Good Boy Deserves Favour (1976) was inspired by his friendship with Viktor Fainberg, who had been imprisoned in Czechoslovakia by the Soviets, and Stoppard began to speak out on behalf of dissidents including the Czech playwright Vaclav Havel, who had been charged with subversion. Professional Foul (1978) was written for Amnesty International's Prisoner of Conscience Year in 1977.

On the Razzle, adapted from Johann Nestroy's Einen Jux will er sich machen, was staged at the National Theatre in 1981, followed by The Real Thing in 1982. He was on the board of the National Theatre from 1989-2003. His trilogy of plays set in 19th century Russia, The Coast of Utopia (2002), was first staged at the National Theatre in 2002, and was produced at Shotgun Players in 2013 and 2014.

Arcadia (1993) received the Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Play (1993) and has been nominated for two Tony Awards (1995 & 2011).

Tom Stoppard was knighted in 1997. He lives in London. His latest plays include Heroes (2005), Rock 'n' Roll (2006) and The Hard Problem (2015). He has written the screenplays for adaptations of Anna Karenina (2012) and Tulip Fever (2014), and co-wrote the screenplay for Shakespeare in Love (1998).

The Cast

Gabriel Christian, Valentine Coverly
Justin DuPuis, Ezra Chater
Jessma Evans, Hannah Jarvis
Max Forman-Mullin, Septimus Hodge
Dean Koya, Gus/Augustus Coverly
Aaron Murphy, Bernard Nightingale
Adam Niemann, Captain Brice
Danielle O'Hare, Lady Croom
Amanda Ramos, Thomasina Coverly
Gianna DiGregorio Rivera, Chloe Coverly
David Sinaiko, Jellaby/Richard Noakes

The Crew

Cliff Caruthers, Sound Designer
Patrick Dooley, Director
Perry Fenton, Assistant Director
Dave Garrett, Dramaturg
Brooke Jennings, Costume Designer
Liz Johnson, Production Assistant
Heather Kelly-Laws, Stage Manager
Devon LaBelle, Props Designer
Allison Paraiso, Choreographer
Kathleen Qiu, Costume Design Assistant
Sarina Renteria, Lighting Designer
Adeline Smith, Scenic Charge Painter
Lynne Soffer, Dialect Coach
Caitlin Steinmann, Master Electrician
Deanna Zibello, Set Designer

†Member of United Scenic Artists Local 829

The Sponsors

Production Sponsors

Naomi Janowitz & Andrew Lazarus
Richard Nelson & Janice Berman
Ragesh Tangri & Daralyn Durie
Richard & Kate West

2018 Season Sponsors

Peet's Coffee & Tea
Carol Amyx & Donald Kaufman
Kitty Bosher
DeYoe Wealth Management
Craig & Kathy Moody
Guy Tiphane