Oxford Playhouse and University of Oxford

The University of Oxford is a major funder of Oxford Playhouse, providing an annual grant to support the theatre's growing activities. St John's College owns the Playhouse building, and leases the auditorium and adjoining offices to the Playhouse Trust. The University of Oxford owns the Burton Taylor Studio, which the Playhouse manages for the University.

Oxford Playhouse and The University of Oxford work together in creating opportunities for student drama throughout the year. Students produce work for both the main stage and the Burton Taylor Studio.

On the main stage, Oxford Playhouse offers six performance slots to University of Oxford students each academic year, two each term. There isn't a drama course at the University, and yet students have unrivalled opportunities to work in a professional middle-scale theatre during their time in Oxford. They have professional support and training from the Playhouse team in areas including acting, design, production management, finance, marketing, press and pr.

Oxford Playhouse manages the Burton Taylor Studio for the University of Oxford. In the last twelve months nearly 500 students have acted in 200 performances of 84 different plays to audiences of 7,200 people. It is a great space to explore, learn and experiment; an ideal training and play ground for those who are starting out in drama or who want to hone their skills.

The Playhouse continues to support graduates entering the theatre profession after they've left the University, providing mentoring, bursaries, making introductions and providing professional employment. Many alumni keep strong links with the Playhouse including Erica Whyman, Alan Bennett and patrons Michael Palin and Samuel West.

The Playhouse team work with the University Access team and individual colleges to run workshops, tours and subsidised or free trips to the theatre for school-children visiting Oxford. The theatre also provides training opportunities and work placements to students through the University Careers Service and various student groups including KEEN.

The English Faculty works closely with the Playhouse, most recently collaborating on a symposium on Irish Cultural Identity, featuring internationally renowned academics, theatre practitioners and writers, during the visit of Druid Ireland’s The Playboy of the Western World. The Bodleian Library has hosted two Playhouse Plays Out shows by The Globe in the Old School's Quadrangle, with accompanying pre-show talks from members of the English Faculty in Convocation House.

Student Information - OP Main Stage



If you are a University of Oxford student and want to find out more about opportunities at the Playhouse and Burton Taylor Studio, please contact Ellie Keel, Student Drama Officer on drama.officer@admin.ox.ac.uk.

A more detailed history of the Playhouse, including the relationship with the University of Oxford.