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Philippa Kelly

Philippa Kelly has a PhD in Shakespeare and began her career as a professor in Australia. She moved twelve years ago from Australia to live in America with husband, composer Paul Dresher, and son Cole. She is Resident Dramaturg at the California Shakespeare Theater and has served also as production dramaturg for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Word for Word Theater, and the University of California, Berkeley. She writes program articles for every Cal Shakes production, and her recent book, The King and I is a meditation on Australian identity through the lens of Shakespeare's King Lear. The book has been celebrated for its poignant and humorous exploration of Australian life, and for its illumination of various contemporary social attitudes toward those on the fringes of society. With Lydia Garcia of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and with the support of a Mark Bly Creative Capacity grant from the LMDA, Philippa is co-writing an online handbook on diversity in dramaturgy. She is also writing a book on feminist dramaturgy with Laura Hope (contracted by Ashgate Press).

Contemporary Ophelia
Essay

Contemporary Ophelia

Rebuking the Broken-Winged Bird

10 May 2015

Dramaturg Philippa Kelly considers new interpretations of Ophelia.

To be Lear in the 21st Century
Essay

To be Lear in the 21st Century

24 November 2014

Brains tend eventually to shrink and atrophy, edging us further from—or closer to—our true, instinctual responses. It’s a lucky few who, to the very end, are cognitively able to match the sum of their remaining parts. “I think, therefore I am” takes on a whole new meaning in this twenty-first century, when the intact minds of human beings—those cores of sentience moderated by reason—will likely be long outstripped by medically renovated bodies.