• Oxford University Dramatic Society. An amateur theater clubfounded in 1885 by a group of Oxford undergraduates that includedArthur Bourchier, who would later become manager of the Garrick Theatre.Until 1939 female roles were always played by professional actresses.The society is respected for its presentations of Shakespeare andother classics, which are often directed by professionals. OUDS isnow based in the renovated Oxford Playhouse, which reopened in 1992.

    Early OUDS productions had their share of mishaps. Duringa performance of Shakespeare's King John in 1891, the combinedBritish and French armies (60 performers) were trapped on stage whena drawbridge would not lower. Later in the play the actors playingKing John and King Philip became hooked together by their chain armourduring their quarrel scene and had to leave the stage like Siamesetwins.