The most influential group of people I will ever know, and they have made me the man I am today

It seems redundant to observe how lengthy a process developing a doctoral thesis can be; more significant is acknowledgement of those people whose support has allowed these last four years at the University of Toronto travel as smoothly as they have.

First, I would like to thank the two institutions who accepted my scholarship and invited me to develop it within their auspices.  The University of Western Australia was the site of my true awakening of love for Shakespeare and drama; the University of Toronto provided the means to develop and extend my exploration in such ways that I had not dreamed possible.  I would like to thank the administration staff at the Graduate Centre for Study of Drama, particularly John Astington, whose support was critical to my transferring over to the DC, along with the patient guidance of Stephen Johnson, Luella Massey, Bruce Barton, Paula Sperdakos, and Rob Moses.  I was lucky enough to take two research trips during the course of my PhD studies.  The fantastically helpful staff at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington D.C. made the process of digging through prompt-books and Olivier’s personal documents as joyous as I had hoped.  Zoë Wilcox and the rest of the staff at the Royal National Theatre of Great Britain’s Waterloo Archive graciously allowed me extended access to Richard Eyre’s production information, and were always patient and helpful with all of my endless queries.

My friends, both in Perth and Toronto, have been hugely influential on my life over the process of writing this dissertation, and are far too numerous to mention their roles individually, but a list of names might suffice: Rochelle Côté; Chris Jackman; Patrick Robinson; Gabrielle Sugar; Dom O’Kane; Colette Gordon; Guillermo Verdecchia; Jo Jackson; James Bradshaw; Cillian O’Hogan; Lindsey Eckert; Carolyn Black; Sally-Beth MacLean; Iris Turcott; Jeremy Smith.  Two personal heroes need to be acknowledged: Kenneth Branagh, who showed me that text editing was much more than a foregone conclusion, and Charles Marowitz, who showed me that such cuts can change the game forever.  Garrick, Olivier, and McKellen, of course, hold a position of highest admiration in my heart, and much to my surprise, Cibber has taken his place of esteem alongside them throughout this process.

My supervisory committees, who span two continents, are among the most influential people in my life, and it is no exaggeration to say that I would not have stayed focused for so long without the input of Jill Levenson and Chris Wortham.  Both have had a monumental impact on me academically and personally, and to have two legends of the field show such care and expend such personal energy on my work has been truly humbling.  They have taught me well, and I trust I can carry on their examples.  My committee members, John Astington, Linda Hutcheon, and Bob White have all supported me every step of the way, and their care at proofing endless chapters has been critical to my progress.  In the lead-up to the final defence, Rob King and Charlie Keil graciously lent me their insight into cinema theory at the suggestion of my wonderful external examiner, Barbara Hodgdon: many thanks to you all.

I leave my family to last because they stand as the most influential group of people I will ever know, and they have made me the man I am today.  My sister Georgia, Grandmothers Noni and Nana, and siblings-in-law Kate, Mary, and Rob, have always loved me unconditionally, and it is with daunted humbleness that I thank you with all my heart.  My mother- and father-in-law, Jean Lashley and Jim Logue, have welcomed me into the fold over the last ten years and have made the six years since emigration a joyous process and I truly feel like I am family.  As for my parents, some of the most important lessons of my life have come from Jo and Mick Malone, and for that I am forever grateful.  My mum always told me that creatively visualising the things you really want will make them come true, so for the last four years I have visualised finishing my formal education with distinction.  My dad always told me to “never die wondering” and that “you can’t be selected if you’re not there at the end”: these pieces of advice have become something of a mantra in all aspects of my life, and particularly through grad school.

It is with infinite gratitude that I dedicate this work to my beloved parents.

Finally, of course, is my rock, my inspiration, my world: without my wife, Meg, none of this would ever have been possible.  At the dark times when we questioned whether emigrating was the right thing, when we realised just how little time we’d known each other before we married, when I decided that my acting career was over, when catastrophic rugby injuries threatened the really important things, Meg was always there, and always supported me unconditionally.  To have a woman of such infinite talent and dynamism put her own professional career on hold to support the dreams of the man she’s married is a powerful thing, and I have striven every day to live up to that.  Our family has expanded this month to include our beloved son Cormac: our old five-year plan is complete, and the next adventure has begun.  I am blessed to be able to share it with such a magnificent woman.

Contributor: Toby Malone
Source: Malone, T (2009) “Hast Thou Been Tampering?” Dramaturgical Adaptation and Richard III, PhD,University of Toronto


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