Deborah Shaw joined the RSC to direct the Complete Works Festival in 2006. She seeded, developed and showcased productions from Russia, China, the Middle East, South Africa, Italy, Germany, South America, Japan, India and the USA as well as commissioning work from UK companies including Kneehigh and Forkbeard Fantasy.
She has an honorary doctorate from Oxford Brookes University and an MA from Cambridge University. She is an external examiner for MMU's European Theatre MA and she has contributed to the European Culture Forum and international symposia on Arab Theatre and the recent initiative on EU/Russian cross-cultural collaboration. She is a founder member of the Baghdad-based Iraqi Theatre Company.
For the RSC she has directed Oxygen by Ivan Vyrypaev in Late Night Young Russia, in collaboration with Top 9, Russia's world champion B-boy crew and Moscow's DJ Hobot (Stratford-on-Avon and LIFT); Nothing Like The Sun, curated by Gavin Bryars and presented in collaboration with Opera North (Stratford-upon-Avon, QEH and Ghent) and she directed young people from Birmingham's Gallery 37 in a collaboration on Two Gentlemen of Verona with Brazil's Nos Do Morro.
She set up and Chaired Stratford's Cultural Consortium and initiated the RSC's Creative Projects programme, bringing UK and international artists and practitioners to develop work with the ensemble. She led the final season in the Swan Theatre before it closed as part of the redevelopment, bringing Silviu Purcarete to the RSC to direct Ionesco's Macbett and co-producing Margaret Atwood's Penelopiad with Canada's National Arts Centre.
Before joining the RSC, Deborah produced theatre in London and New York and was Director of the Bath Shakespeare Festival, Artistic Director of Chester Gateway Theatre and Associate Director of Watford Palace Theatre. Over 30 directing credits include: Noel Coward's The Young Idea, Declan Donnellan's Vanity Fair, Jo Orton's Loot, several of Roy Hudd's pantomimes, a tour of High Society and new plays including Mick Martin's A Weekend in England and James Robson's Mr Wonderful. She has co-written and directed family musicals The Lost Dragon and the TMA award-nominated The Phoenix and the Carpet with Scott Ramsay and Neil Brand and she adapted and directed Sheridan's The Scheming Lieutenant, Buchan's The Thirty-Nine Steps and a musical version of Jules Verne's Around the World in Eighty Days.
She is now Director of the World Shakespeare Festival which the RSC is producing as part of the official culture programme for the London Olympics in 2012.
Read Deborah's blog on the World Shakespeare Festival website