Professor David Wiles

Emeritus Professor of Drama


I am a historian of the theatre, which means that I am someone who wants to understand the present, because it is the past that has made each of us who we are. Undergraduate teaching has always informed and stimulated my research, while postgraduate supervision has opened up countless new horizons.

My main historical areas of specialism have been the theatres of Greece and Elizabethan England, and important themes in my work have been performance space, masked acting, festival, and the function of theatre in society. I have always resisted limiting myself to one historical period in order to take a broader view of how theatre has evolved. My current research focus is the history of premodern or ‘classical’ acting.