“It’s interesting how theatre works on you…it educates you…that’s one of the reasons why I love theatre…”

Clare Stopford is busy… always busy. If she doesn’t have a plan, she makes a plan, plans a plan. It is what has given her a brilliant career, what has stretched her, and brought her opportunities. For students of theatre, she is compelling, a mentoring example, and should be heard.

She is strongly feminist. Shortly after leaving varsity, she was given a play on rape to direct which set her on a course of finding strong female roles in theatre literature …

Clare is well-schooled in theatre. Where varsity was not enough, she studied other masters and theorists to add to her craft. Her learning has made her analytical, explorative, exacting, determined and passionate; characteristics that make good theatre and a good theatre practitioner. Characteristics that were recognised by Barney Simon who invited her to serve a term as resident and then associate director at the Market Theatre in their glory days. He was her maestro and guided her, giving her directing, workshopping, and writing skills.

He gave her the skill and confidence to challenge every play she directed and every new playwright she mentored and gave opportunities to.
With all of these up her sleeve, she returned to UCT and became a superlative lecturer, teaching all that which has kept her on fire, allowing her to pass the baton.