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SANTA CRUZ SHAKESPEARE 2015 39 Aphra Behn 1640 1689 was the first professional woman playwright in English history. Not much is known about her early life but she served as a spy for the ousted King Charles II in Antwerp and was thrown into debtors prison when unpaid for her services. Upon release she vowed never to depend on anyone for money again. Her first play was performed in 1670 The Rover played in 1677 and was extremely successful. She wrote between fifteen and eighteen plays numerous novels including the extremely popular Oroonoko and poetry. Her work was considered scandalous and sexually deviant not necessarily because of content but rather because she was a female writer. After her death she descended into obscurity and has only been rediscovered in the past few decades as a voice of the Restoration. Pierre Corneille 1606-1684 began his playwriting career out of boredom at his daily work. With his first comedy a surprise hit he turned to writing full-time and is most well-known for the controversy surrounding his play Le Cid a success with audiences but banned by the Acadmie Franaise for not following the neo-classical unities of the time. Though not as well known in later years Corneilles writing and technique influenced a new generation of French playwrights including Molire the tragedian Jean Racine Marivaux and Beaumarchais. DAVID IVES is the author of All In The Timing Venus In Fur both the celebrated play and the Roman Polanski film Time Flies Lives Of The Saints New Jerusalem Ancient History and Is He Dead adapted from Mark Twain. David Ives has also done what he calls translaptations plays that combine translation and adaptation The Liar The School For Lies and The Heir Apparent translaptated respectively from Corneille Molire and Regnard. He is a former Guggenheim Fellow in playwriting and lives in New York City. William Shakespeare 1564 1616 was an English poet and dramatist widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the worlds pre-eminent dramatist. He was born in 1564 in the town of Stratford-upon-Avon. Between 1585 and 1592 Shakespeare began a successful career as an actor and playwright in London. He was also one of the seven sharers who built and owned the Globe Playhouse in 1599. Shakespeare produced most of his known work between 1589 and 1613. Shakespeare retired around 1613 having written 38 plays 154 sonnets two long narrative poems and several other poems. He died in 1616 and was buried in Stratford-upon-Avon. His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright. the playwrights Santa Cruz Shakespeare is proud to be a member of The Shakespeare Theatre Association STA. For more information visit