Tom Stoppard Additional Biography

Biography

(Great Authors of World Literature, Critical Edition)

Catapulted to fame in 1967 with the National Theatre’s production of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (it was first produced in Edinburgh), Tom Stoppard (STOP-ahrd) emerged as a leading dramatist in the second of the two waves of new drama that arrived on the London stage in the mid-1950’s and the mid-1960’s. Writing high comedies of ideas with what critic Kenneth Tynan described as a hypnotized brilliance, Stoppard established a reputation almost immediately with dazzling displays of linguistic fireworks that evoked comparisons with Oscar Wilde, George Bernard Shaw, and James Joyce. His reinventions of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet (pr. c. 1600-1601) in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest (pr. 1895) in Travesties, and August Strindberg’s Fröken Julie (pb. 1888; Miss Julie, 1912) in The Real Thing are considered masterpieces. His linguistic caprices and his creative plagiarisms join forces with a love of ideas with which his characters play as much as they do with language.{$S[A]Straussler, Tomas;Stoppard, Tom}

Born Tomas Straussler to Eugene and Martha Straussler of Zlín (later Gottwaldov), Czechoslovakia, Stoppard was two years old when his father, the company doctor for an international shoe company, was transferred to Singapore on the eve of Germany’s annexation of Czechoslovakia. Shortly before the Japanese invasion of Singapore—during which his father was killed—he, his mother, and his brother were moved to Darjeeling, India. There Martha Straussler managed a company shoe shop; she later married Major Kenneth Stoppard, who moved the family to England in 1946. Bored by school, the young Stoppard chose not to go to a university and, instead, became a news reporter in Bristol and later a drama critic for the short-lived magazine Scene. His early writing included a novel, some short stories, and a series of short radio plays.

His major early plays (Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Jumpers, Travesties, Night and Day, The Real Thing, and Hapgood), although scintillating in their language, ideas, and plots, have frequently been criticized for the absence of emotionally credible characters and for their lack of social or political commitment. In other plays for stage and television—Every Good Boy Deserves Favour, which is about political prisoners in central Europe, Professional Foul, about freedoms in Czechoslovakia, and Squaring the Circle, about Poland’s Solidarity movement—Stoppard entered the political arena. Although active in the anticommunist human rights...

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Biography

Tom Stoppard, born in 1937, is one of the most critically acclaimed, award-winning playwrights of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. His rich multicultural background has led him to write about a very diverse number of topics. He was born in Czechoslovakia, lived in Singapore and India for a short time, and was educated in England. His birth name was Straussler, but he took the name Stoppard when his mother remarried after his father’s death. Stoppard quit school at the age of 17 and began working as a journalist. His first big success as a playwright came in 1966 with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. For the next decade, he wrote several other popular plays and translated dozens more. In 1977, after a visit to Russia with an Amnesty International member, his work took a decided turn toward the political. He began infusing most of his plays with themes about human rights. Another of his hallmarks is how he manipulates the perception of time and reality in his plays, which often deviate from a typical realistic, linear form. In addition to plays, Stoppard has written many articles and screenplays, including 1998’s Shakespeare in Love for which he won the Best Screenplay Oscar in 1999. The Coast of Utopia trilogy earned Stoppard seven Tony Awards in 2007, the most ever won for a nonmusical. Stoppard has been quoted as saying that he wrote the majority of the trilogy while listening repeatedly to Pink Floyd’s song “Comfortably Numb.”

Biography

Award-winning and critically acclaimed playwright Tom Stoppard is widely considered to be among the most influential writers of the twentieth century. Stoppard was born in Czechoslovakia in 1937. His original name was Straussler, but he took the name Stoppard after his father died and his mother remarried. Growing up, Stoppard lived in Singapore, India, and England. His multicultural background is evident in his diverse work.

In 1952, Stoppard left school at the age of 17 and became a journalist. In 1966, Stoppard had his first big success with his play Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. During the 1970s, he wrote several more popular plays and translated many more. His work became more overtly political and focused on human rights after he made a trip to Russia with Amnesty International. One of the recurrent themes in Stoppard’s work is his questioning of both time and reality. Seldom do his plays follow linear time, and one can never be certain of any “reality” a character professes.

Although he is best known as a playwright, Stoppard has also written numerous articles and screenplays, including the Oscar-winning Shakespeare in Love (1999). The Coast of Utopia trilogy has won more Tony Awards than any other nonmusical play, seven in all, including best play, best direction, best featured actor, best featured actress, best costume, lighting, and scenic design.

Biography

Critically acclaimed and award-winning playwright Tom Stoppard is often called one of the most influential writers of the twentieth century. Stoppard, born in Czechoslovakia in 1937, was originally named Straussler, but he took the name Stoppard after his father died and his mother remarried. As a child, Stoppard lived in Singapore, India, and England. His multicultural background is evident in his diverse work.

Stoppard left school in 1952 at the age of 17 and became a journalist. His first big success came in 1966 with his play Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. Throughout the 1970s, he wrote several popular plays and translated many more. Following his trip to Russia with Amnesty International, his work became more overtly political and focused on human rights.

One of the recurrent themes in Stoppard’s work is his questioning of both reality and time.  Seldom do his plays follow a linear time line, and one can never be certain of any “reality” a character professes or seems to exist in.

Stoppard has also written numerous articles and screenplays, including the Oscar-winning Shakespeare in Love (1999). The Coast of Utopia trilogy has won more Tony Awards than any other nonmusical play, seven in all, including best play, best direction, best featured actor, best featured actress, best costume, lighting, and scenic design.

Biography

(Drama for Students)

Tom Stoppard is regularly cited as one of England's greatest playwrights, alongside such national treasures as George Bernard Shaw, Oscar...

(The entire section is 571 words.)

Biography

(Drama for Students)

Tom Stoppard (pronounced Stop-pard, with equal accents on both syllables) was born Tomas Straussler in Czechoslovakia on July 3, 1937. His...

(The entire section is 429 words.)

Biography

(Drama for Students)

Tom Stoppard was born Tomas Straussler in Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic) on July 3, 1937. His family moved to Singapore in 1939;...

(The entire section is 569 words.)

Biography

(Drama for Students)

Tom Stoppard was bom Tomas Straussler on July 3, 1937, in Zlin, in the former Czechoslovakia, to Eugene Straussler (a physician) and Martha...

(The entire section is 303 words.)

Biography

(Drama for Students)

Stoppard was born as Tomas Straussler on July 3, 1937, in Zlin, Czechoslovakia. In 1939, just prior to the Nazi invasion of Czechoslovakia...

(The entire section is 342 words.)

Biography

(Drama for Students)

Tom Stoppard was born Tomas Straussler, on July 3, 1937, in Zlin, Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic). He was the second son of Eugene...

(The entire section is 313 words.)