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- Agent: Jean Diamond
William Scoular is a stage director, writer and filmmaker.
He was born in Glasgow, Scotland, and is a graduate of Oxford University where he read English at Lincoln College.
He first attracted attention for his assured direction of a professional production of The Importance of Being Earnest at the New (formerly Apollo) Theatre, Oxford while he was still an undergraduate. He was soon directing productions on both sides of the Atlantic, praised for their clarity and vision. His acclaimed production of Samuel Beckett's Footfalls (starring Elizabeth Shepherd and Jennifer Phipps) was invited to the prestigious World Stage Festival (Toronto) and his production of Berkoff's Women (with Linda Marlowe) at the New Ambassador's Theatre in London's West End received unanimous rave reviews. "With William Scoular's direction, Linda Marlowe goes not just for Berkoffian hyperbole, but also for a more sophisticated syncopation, feasting and nibbling her way through the various texts" (London Evening Standard). "A five star night" (The Daily Mail).
While critics argued about the misogynistic nature of the play itself, Scoular's production of Gardner McKay's Toyer (with Alice Krige and Al Weaver) in London’s West End was uniformly praised: "The greatest strength of William Scoular's well-paced production is the acting ... An intense, superbly acted thriller" (Daily Express). "For the 90-minute duration of William Scoular's finely judged production, you're held in thrall" (Daily Telegraph). "The audience madly applauded William Scoular's menacing production" (London Evening Standard). "Chilling thriller that made my blood run cold" (Daily Mail). "A brutal cat-and-mouse game smoothly packaged in William Scoular's production" (The Guardian).
In North America Scoular directed Keith Carradine and John Goodman in the world premiere of Ed Graczyk's My Time Ain't Long: The Jimmy Rogers Story, and Elizabeth Shepherd and Graham Harley in Alan Bennett's A Cream Cracker Under the Settee, Waiting for the Telegram and Playing Sandwiches. Other world premieres include Ashlin Halfnight's God and Hockey and Answering Bell. Scoular's Canadian premiere of Gardner McKay's Seamarks (with Maurice Good and Elizabeth Shepherd) was hailed by the Toronto Star as "a triumph ... one of the best productions it's ever likely to have under William Scoular's deft direction."
Equally at home with contemporary and classical theatre, Scoular's other directing credits include: Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Side by Side by Sondheim, The Importance of Being Earnest, High Life, Tape, You Can't Take It with You, Woman in a Monkey Cage, A Walk in the Woods, West Side Story, Cabaret, Oklahoma!, Oliver!, Kiss Me, Kate, Spring Awakening, Hamlet, Othello, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Romeo and Juliet, Henry V and Macbeth.
Apart from numerous music videos and commercials, Scoular's work in film includes the screenplay for the award-winning Canadian movie The Death and Life of Nancy Eaton starring Jessica Paré, Brendan Fletcher (Gemini for Best Actor) and Alice Krige, and the documentary Passage to Sydney, a profile of British equestrian legend Emile Faurie.
He is the author of Not An Ordinary Place, Secret Agent: The Life of Harry Somers, and co-author (with V. H. H. Green) of the Canadian bestseller A Question of Guilt.
A respected acting teacher, Scoular is the head of drama at St. Andrew's College, Ontario, where he has directed more than twenty productions and is the founding artistic director of Focus, an annual festival of new plays. The videos he produced and directed for the college won the prestigious CASE Grand Gold award in 2011.
After a successful theatrical release in the summer of 2019, Scoular's feature film, Survival Box, has since been sold to over 40 countries worldwide. He is currently in pre-production for his next feature, Northbound, starring Stacy Keach.