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Oxford University Dramatic Society

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Oxford University Dramatic Society

The Oxford University Dramatic Society (OUDS) is the principal funding body and provider of theatrical services to the many independent student productions put on by students in Oxford, England. Not all student productions at Oxford University are awarded funding from the society; however it is rare, for example, for any student production at the Oxford Playhouse not to receive substantial funding from the society. The society funds many types of shows, mostly at the Oxford Playhouse, Burton Taylor Theatre, and the individual college theatres such as the Moser Theatre at Wadham and the O'Reilly Theatre at Keble. All productions put on by Oxford University students can use the society's services, such as the website, the wardrobe, and advice from the committee.

The Society supports a competition for Freshers (Cuppers), held in Michaelmas Term and a New Writing Festival in Hilary Term. OUDS also supports an annual National UK Tour, which culminates in a long run at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and, jointly with Thelma Holt, a Shakespeare production which tours Japan, with preview performances in the UK.

The society was founded in 1885 by Alec MacKinnon.

During World War i, when some 200 Belgian refugees came to Oxford, the society lent its room to a 'Belgian Club'.


Many famous actors have participated in OUDS productions. For example, in 1907 professional actresses Lily Brayton and her sister Agnes appeared as Katherine and Bianca in The Taming of the Shrew; John Gielgud made his directing debut at OUDS in 1932 with a production of Romeo and Juliet in which he enlisted professional actresses Peggy Ashcroft to play Juliet and Edith Evans to play the Nurse. Another notable production was when Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor appeared in a production of Dr. Faustus in 1966 with undergraduates in the supporting cast.

Past members and people associated with OUDS productions include:

* Note that women could not formally join OUDS until the 1960s. Diana Quick was the first female OUDS President.


Oxford University Dramatic Society Wikipedia

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