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Ben Spiller

Ben graduated from the Centre for the Study of the Renaissance in 2001 with an MA (Distinction) in Culture of the European Renaissance. While at the centre, he developed his keen interest in Shakespeare by exploring the playwright's work in a European context. Before this, he gained BA (Honours) in Theatre and Performance Studies, also at Warwick, where he was president of the award-winning Drama Society, with whom he acted and directed productions at Warwick Arts Centre and beyond including the National Student Drama Festival.

Working as artistic director and producer of award-winning 1623 theatre company - based at QUAD, Derby's international arts centre - gives Ben the opportunity to put into practice his passion to inspire, surprise and affect people with Shakespeare's inspirational language, vibrant characters and exciting sense of theatre.

Directing credits include: Troilus and Cressida (London 2012 World Shakespeare Festival), Emergency Shakespeare (Watch This Space Festival at the National Theatre); Shakespeare’s Summer of Love (Glastonbury Festival); Sinful ShaXXXpeare (RSC Fringe); Ha Ha Shakespeare (Derby QUAD); Midsummer Magic (World Heritage Festival); Ellen Terry - Shakespeare's Leading Lady (National Trust); Macbeth (Derwent Valley Mills); Hamlet (Poole’s Cavern); and scenes from Richard III, Much Ado About Nothing and The Tempest (Shakespeare for Schools DVD).

Acting credits include: Stand-Up Shakespeare, Hamlet, Macbeth and Sinful ShaXXXpeare (1623); The Canterbury Tales (Distraction); The Shovel (Ritz Films); The Crucible and A View from the Bridge (Warwick Arts Centre); and Shakespeare in the Hotseat (Headline History).

Dramaturg credits include: Troilus and Cressida; The Course of True Love; Sinful ShaXXXpeare; Stand-Up Shakespeare; Star-Crossed Lovers; Emergency Shakespeare; Ellen Terry - Shakespeare's Leading Lady; Ha Ha Shakespeare; Midsummer Magic; and Supernatural Shakespeare.

Writing credits include: articles in Shakespeare Bulletin, Early Modern Literary Studies and the Renaissance Journal; and an essay in 'Goddesses and Queens: the iconographies of Elizabeth I', edited by Annaliese Connolly and Lisa Hopkins for Palgrave Macmillan.

Awards include: BAFTA for Children’s Learning; Creative Industries Network Award for Best Live Event; and the London 2012 Inspire Mark for The Great Shakespearean Workout.

Further to working with professional artists on Shakespearean productions, Ben has facilitated Shakespeare workshops with people aged from 5 to 90 at all levels of ability and from various backgrounds including young people and adults with special educational needs, school teachers on their inset days and business managers on their away days.

Other experiences include: judging a regional heat of the BBC Off By Heart Shakespeare schools competition; teaching Shakespeare at the Universities of Oxford, Warwick and Nottingham; Assistant Performing Arts Officer at Arts Council England; A-level Examiner for English Literature and Drama; and facilitating Shakespeare workshops in schools, colleges, universities and youth theatres across the UK including the National Youth Theatre.

Find out more about 1623 theatre company: