Craiova International Shakespeare Festival Prize

Michael Dobson in Romania

In recognition of his services to Shakespeare studies worldwide, of his determination to establish and maintain close links between the academy and the Shakespearean stage, and in celebration of the close links between Craiova and the Shakespeare Institute, Professor Michael Dobson, Director of the Shakespeare Institute, has been named as the 2020 winner of Romania's prestigious Craiova International Shakespeare Festival Prize.

Professor Dobson has thereby added his name to a list of previous winners which includes Declan Donellan, Thomas Ostermeier, Krzysztof Warlikowski, and our own Professor Sir Stanley Wells.

With its major biennial international Shakespeare festival taking place at a theatre right next to its university, Craiova has a certain natural kinship with Stratford, where this university's Shakespeare Institute has long studied, advised and assisted its neighbouring Royal Shakespeare Company.  The Institute library supports Craiova University's 'Shakespeare Corner,' the only designated specialist Shakespeare library in South-East Europe; in 2016 the Institute designed an exhibition about the stage history of the Shakespeare canon for the Craiova theatre's foyer; and many Institute research students have visited the Craiova festival to study the work of major international theatre troupes. (in 2016, for instance, Dr Rosie Fielding was able to interview Yukio Ninagawa's Saitama Arts company, for which she has subsequently worked as a translator).  At a time when live theatre is mainly paused throughout the world, Craiova's 2020 award recognizes the important role played now and always by theatre scholars, whose continuing documentation and analysis of great live productions of Shakespeare is helping to keep at least the idea of in-person performance alive.   

The award ceremony can be seen here: