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Paul Prescott

Professor of English and Theatre and Director of English Honors Program


Professor Prescott joins UC Merced from the English and Comparative Literary Studies program at the University of Warwick, UK, where he taught for fifteen years and was a two-time winner of the Warwick Award for Teaching Excellence. His main research interests lie in Shakespeare in performance, Applied Shakespeare, eco-Shakespeare, theatre history, the theory and practice of arts criticism, festival culture, and undergraduate pedagogy. He has taught and acted Shakespeare in the UK, Japan, Morocco, China, Cuba, Australia and North America, and is also active in script adaptation for professional Shakespeare productions; he has recently adapted the text for productions such as The Merry Wives of Windsor (Illinois Shakespeare Festival), Othello (Montana Shakespeare in the Parks), Measure for Measure (Shakespeare in Paradise, Nassau, Bahamas), and for the National Theatre's 2018-19 production of Macbeth, directed by Rufus Norris and starring Anne-Marie Duff and Rory Kinnear (Olivier Theatre and UK tour). In 2017, he co-founded Shakespeare in Yosemite, and in 2019, the EarthShakes Alliance.

Professor Prescott has published and collaborated on a number of books, including: Arden Performance Editions: Othello. Editor. Bloomsbury, 2018; Shakespeare on the Global Stage: Performance and Festivity in the Olympic Year, edited with Erin Sullivan. Co-author of Introduction and solo author of chapter 'Shakespeare and the Dream of Olympism'. Bloomsbury, 2015; Reviewing Shakespeare: Journalism and Performance from the eighteenth century to the present. Cambridge University Press, 2013; A Year of Shakespeare: Reliving the World Shakespeare Festival, edited with Paul Edmondson and Erin Sullivan; introductory essay on history of theatre criticism; reviews of Macbeth and Troilus and Cressida). Bloomsbury, 2013; and Shakespeare on European Festival Stages (Bloomsbury, 2021) with Florence March (Montpellier) and Nicoleta Cinpoes (Worcester).

Current international collaborative projects include 'Macbeth in European Culture' (co-investigators: Juan Cerda (Murcia) and Maurizio Calbi (Palermo)) and 'Cymbeline in the Anthropocene' (multiple investigators, project lead Randall Martin (New Brunswick)).

At UC Merced, Professor Prescott teaches Advanced Shakespeare, Introduction to Shakespeare, Introduction to Theatre and Performance, Shakesepare and Ecology, Theatre and Ecology, Introduction to World Drama, and courses on performance in the Interdisciplinary Humanities graduate program. 

Updated 2021