In a press statement, artistic director Michael Boyd commented, "Mark is deservedly one of Britain’s most celebrated contemporary playwrights, who will bring a great questioning spirit and a fresh theatrical intelligence to the company. I can't wait to work with him and see his two commissioned works that we have planned as part of his time with the RSC." The RSC dramaturg Jeanie O'Hare added, "Mark will be with the company at the perfect moment. He will be embedded with us throughout the year of the World Shakespeare Festival, writing a new play alongside the acting ensemble and placing the voice of a playwright at the heart of the company." Ravenhill, whose previous plays include Shopping and Fucking (Royal Court and West End), Mother Clap's Molly House (National and West End), Over There (Royal Court) and The Cut (Donmar Warehouse), has recently been working with the RSC, including curating a weekend of his favorite plays from the RSC back catalogue in rehearsed readings of Poppy by Peter Nichols and Fashion by Doug Lucie. He also hosted a public event discussing and exploring the RSC’s history of presenting new work.
In a press statement, he has said of his new role, “I will be living in Stratford for much of the year and really hope to become part of the company. I'm also looking forward to working with the RSC ensemble. Working on Shakespeare encourages actors to tell epic stories and to embrace a muscularity in their approach to language. This is a fantastic resource for a living writer to work with. It is exciting and daunting to have the opportunity to write an epic play, which the RSC is uniquely positioned to allow me to do."
The residency has been made possible by a grant from the Columbia Foundation. The RSC winter season will be announced in January 2012.