O'Hare of Royal Shakespeare Company to head School of Drama playwriting department

Jeanie O’Hare of the Royal Shakspeare Company (RSC) has been named as the chair of the Department of Playwriting at the Yale School of Drama, announced Dean James Bundy. Her three-year term will begin on July 1.

Jeanie O'Hare
Jeanie O’Hare

“Jeanie O’Hare has distinguished herself as a unique and profoundly accomplished theatre artist,” said Bundy. “For nearly 20 years, she has cultivated relationships with playwrights from around the world and developed work that has been produced and celebrated internationally. I am certain that her vital creative intelligence and generous collaborative spirit will inspire not only the playwriting department, but also the entire Yale School of Drama community.”

O’Hare has served as company dramaturg at the RSC since 2005. There, she has been responsible for dozens of commissions that have brought the works of living playwrights back to visibility within the company’s repertoire. These include plays by such writers as debbie tucker green, David Greig, Natalia Vorozhbit, and Roy Williams, as well as the recent “Matilda The Musical by Dennis Kelly with music and lyrics by Tim Minchin. She also brought playwrights into the RSC for extended residencies through the RSC/Warwick International Playwright in Residence program; forged an alliance with LAByrinth Theater Company in New York City; and conducted play development workshops at the University of Michigan, among many other projects.

Prior to her work at the RSC, O’Hare served as literary manager for Hampstead Theatre for four years, and worked for seven seasons in the artistic and literary offices of the Royal Court Theatre. She trained as a sculptor at the Falmouth School of Art in Cornwall, and is a writer of fiction.

“I am delighted and honored to join Yale School of Drama,” said O’Hare. “I have long been aware of Yale as the proving ground of some of the best talent emerging in American theatre. I have spent nearly 20 years working with writers in the profession and Yale has consistently earned its reputation as a hotspot of exciting new writing.

“Over the last four years Paula Vogel has been raising the bar of Yale playwriting ever higher, inspiring a brilliant cohort of writers,” she added. “I hope by developing closer professional ties and mapping shifts in theater practice I can lead the playwriting program toward a new era in theater-making; encouraging young artists to become the kind of industry-ready playmakers who can really make a difference.”

O’Hare will participate in the admissions process and planning for the incoming class of 2015 and beyond. The department she will head includes Paula Vogel, the Eugene O’Neill Professor (Adjunct) of Playwriting, and Kenneth Prestininzi, associate chair. The current School of Drama playwriting faculty also includes Michael Korie, Lisa Kron, Lynn Nottage, Frank Pugliese, Sarah Ruhl, Rachel Sheinkin, and Deborah Stein.

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Steven Padla: steven.padla@yale.edu, 203-432-1574