About the Author

Dr. Mary Z. Maher has spent most of her adult life trying to prove that she is not just another ageing groupie. So, listen up while she struts and frets her hour upon this page.

She is Professor Emerita, retired from the University of Arizona and living in a small town in Oregon that boasts a Tony-award-winning Shakespeare festival and a groovy library (the Margery Bailey Shakespeare collection at Southern Oregon University’s Library). These offer fertile inspiration and profound insights into her passion, which is documenting Shakespeare through performance and, specifically, actors of Shakespeare and their work process.

She comes by her goals honestly—having taught 26 years of courses and workshops in performing Shakespeare—all the way from a Distinguished Professorship at Arizona State University to gigs at the University of London and Cambridge University. She was in NEH seminars at the Folger Shakespeare Library with Bernard Beckerman and Michael Goldman, was funded by AAUW fellowships and residencies at Centro Studi Liguri in Italy, worked on The Shakespeare Plays series at the BBC, and juried in fine arts on the USDE Jacob Javits and AAUW Fellowships programs.

She was invited into rehearsals in both of Kevin Kline’s Hamlet productions, one onstage at the New York Shakespeare Festival and also the PBS television version.  Her 50-plus articles document a number of forays into Shakespeare on film and in performance.

Three books are featured here—Modern Hamlets and Their Soliloquies (University of Iowa, 1992, Expanded Edition in 2003), an academic classic; a 2005 biography, Actor Nicholas Pennell: Risking Enchantment; and the barnstormer this year, Actors Talk About Shakespeare, Applause Books, Limelight Editions, 2009.