The Artistic Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC), Gregory Doran, has announced his resignation after 35 years with the company.
He will remain Honorary Artistic Director until the end of 2023 and will direct production as part of the 400th Anniversary of Shakespeare’s First Newspaper next year, his fiftieth production for RSC.
“It has been a true privilege to be part of the incredible team leading this great company through its last decade of challenge and achievement,” Doran said of his decision.
“We have come a long way in making our theater more inclusive, accessible, diverse and accountable, but there is always more to do and I hope everyone who succeeds me is happy to continue this work.”
Doran was appointed artistic director in September 2012 and in his first production of the role directed David Tennant in Richard II, which moved to the Barbican Theater and was the first RSC production to be shown live in cinemas around the world.
Shriti Vadera, President of RSC, said: “Greg’s unparalleled knowledge of Shakespeare’s plays has created many unforgettable productions on our stages over a span of 35 years that are an extraordinary contribution to RSC.”
Sir Kenneth Branagh said Doran was “a remarkable servant of Shakespeare and the RSC. His legacy is a commitment, passion and incredible love for the playwright, the company, and the people.”
During his decade as Technical Director, he has led the company’s turnover through a number of historic moments and through the challenges of the COVID pandemic.
His 2018 production of Troilus and Cressida was the first gender-balanced RSC in a Shakespeare play on the main stage and featured the first disabled actor to play the company’s leading Shakespeare, with deaf actress Charlotte Arrowsmith as Cassandra.
In 2016, he directed Shakespeare’s Live! Broadcast on BBC on the occasion of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death with the participation of a number of RSC alumni.
Together with Owen Horsley in June 2021, he directed a transcript of Part One of Henry VI, which invited audiences within the full training process for the first time in the company’s history.
Other productions include the world premiere of David Walliams’ The Boy in the Dress in 2019, Death of A Salesman with Harriet Walter and Antony Sher, and The Witch of Edmonton with Elaine Atkins in the title role.
Erica Wiemann, who has held the position of Acting Technical Director since September 2021, will continue in this role while looking for a replacement.
The announcement came Friday as Dame Judi Dench and Branagh unveiled a restored 18th-century statue of Shakespeare in Stratford-upon-Avon ahead of the poet’s birthday.
The memorial was donated by famous Shakespearean actor David Garrick to Stratford City Council in 1769.
“This is the statue brought back to the position in which I first saw it when I came here when I was 17,” Branagh said. “I got up on the A34 and drove around town yesterday and looked at all the things associated with the famous guy, and that was one of them.
“And thanks to the efforts of the people here in Stratford-upon-Avon, Shakespeare has come home.”
The city launched an appeal to help raise the £45,000 needed to renovate the statue, which included actors, businessmen and locals reading the complete works of Shakespeare at Town Hall within 12 days in March.
Dench and Branagh also gained town freedom for their contribution to Shakespeare, and exercised their freedom by grazing sheep on Sheep Street outside Town Hall.