Max Stafford-Clark joined the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, in 1966, where he was Artistic Director, 1968–70. As Director of the Traverse Workshop Company, 1970–74, he specialised in new plays. That provided a foundation for his work with Joint Stock Theatre Croup, which he co-founded in 1974. Joint Stock developed the workshop approach by which writers collaborated with actors in researching the subject of their plays (explained below). This was the means by which some of the most important plays of the 1970s were produced, including David Hare’s Fanshen, Brenton’s Epsom Downs, and Caryl Churchill’s Cloud Nine. Stafford-Clark continued his association with those writers during his period as Artistic Director of the Royal Court Theatre, 1979–93. Notable successes during that time included Churchill’s Serious Money (1985), which also evolved out of a workshop, and Brenton’s 3 Plays for Utopia, which featured the first production of Greenland (1988). In 1993 Stafford-Clark co-founded an independent company, Out of Joint, with Sonia Friedman. Since then he has been responsible for commissioning the writing and production of some of the most important new works of the 1990s, including Mark Ravenhill’s Shopping and Fucking (1995) and Caryl Churchill’s Blue Kettle (1997).
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