Exploring the greatest new and classic plays


Kirsten Shepherd-Barr

Kirsten Shepherd-Barr is Professor of English and Theatre Studies at St Catherine’s College, Oxford University. She received her B.A. in English from Yale University, after which she spent a year studying Nordic Literature and Languages at the University of Oslo before earning her D.Phil. from Oxford. She has held teaching posts at the Universities of Birmingham and North Carolina State before joining the English faculty at Oxford in 2007.

Kirsten’s research interests include the relationship between modernism and theatrical performance, and more specifically for our purposes, the writings of Henrik Ibsen. Her first published book wasIbsen and Early Modernist Theatre, 1890-1900  published back in 1997, since when her other publications include The Cambridge Companion to Theatre and Science (2020), Modern Drama: A Very Short Introduction (OUP, 2016),  and Theatre and Evolution from Ibsen to Beckett (Columbia University Press, 2015), as well as numerous contributions to journals and critical collections.

Kirsten has been a guest on Melvyn Bragg’s “In Our Time” on the episode devoted to Ibsen, and has acted as consultant on productions at the National Theatre, the Oxford Playhouse, the Old Vic, and most recently her article “Challenging the Brand” appeared in the programme for the current production of Ghosts at the Globe Theatre.

Recommended Play(s)

In episode 74 Kirsten recommended Wit by Margaret Edson.

In episode 77 she recommended The Lady from the Sea by Henrik Ibsen.