Professor Richard Beacham, a native of Virginia, did his BA in History and Classics at Yale College (class of 1968). He subsequently earned his DFA in a 4 year taught course at the Yale School of Drama, focussed upon dramatic literature, theatre history, criticism and dramaturgy. There his dissertation supervisor was Robert Brustein and he was privileged to work for 3 years as the personal research assistant of Dr. Alois Nagler, the founder and “godfather” of theatre historical studies as an academic discipline (Theaterwissenschaft) in North America.


In 1976 he was appointed lecturer at the University of Warwick, where together with Professor Michael Booth and Clive Barker, he helped to found and shape its School of Theatre Studies, and where he worked as lecturer, senior lecturer, reader and professor for some 30 years. He has also taught as a visiting professor at Yale and the University of California, Santa Barbara and worked as a Resident Scholar at the J. Paul Getty Museum in California. While there he oversaw productions at the Getty Villa, Malibu of ancient comedy including his own translation of Plautus' Casina professionally presented upon a replica temporary stage based upon his research.


Over the course of his career Professor Beacham has been intensely involved in theatre practice, directed and translated ancient plays, including works by Plautus, one of which was performed professionally in a staged reading in the Olivier Theatre at the National Theatre, London. He has also produced an extensive range of digital outputs both as web-based resources and as a series of educational theatre historical DVDs marketed worldwide.


He is an authority on ancient theatre, and has written The Roman Theatre and Its Audience (Harvard), and Spectacle Entertainments of Early Imperial Rome (Yale). He has also published his translations of Roman comedy (Methuen and Johns Hopkins). He is currently working with Dr Hugh Denard on the forthcoming publication, Living Theatre: Roman Theatricalism in the Domestic Sphere (Yale).

Professor Beacham  is the English language authority on the work of the early twentieth-century theatre designer and visionary theoretician, Adolphe Appia, on whom he has published three books, and numerous articles. His German language book on Appia, Adolphe Appia: Künstler und Visionär des Modernen Theaters (Alexander Verlag) was published in September, 2006.


Details of these books are in the books section of this website


 In recent years Professor Beacham has been a pioneer in leading the application of advanced information technology, especially 3-D visualisation, to the research of historic theatre sites and stage settings, as well as more broadly material cultural heritage. In September 2005, together with his research team (who had worked with him at Warwick by then for some 10 years) he moved to the Centre for Computing in the Humanities (now the Department of Digital Humanities) at King’s College London. There over a period of 6 years he  consolidated and extended the work and reputation of his research team, the King’s Visualisation Lab, as a world leader in its field. He continues actively to conceive and lead work in the field of 3-D visualisation, and to seek opportunities to extend it through collaborative projects.


·         Professor Beacham  convened, helped to draft and now co-chairs “The London Charter for Computer-based Visualisation of Cultural Heritage” a major internationally esteemed and greatly influential benchmark.


·         He has helped to conceive, plan and create both UK and international networks of research and communication, e.g. The 3-D Visualisation in the Arts Network and the EU sponsored Virtual Museums Transnational Network of Excellence, V-Must.


·         He was the co-ordinator and director of the Theatron Project, an EU sponsored online module comprised of numerous computer-based 3-D models and associated research materials for theatres, ancient and modern. More recently together with his team he greatly extended this research as a “virtual world” in THEATRON 3. For his work on Theatron he was honoured as a “Laureate” under the  Computer World Honour’s Programme for “visionary use of information technology”.


·         Together with Prof. James Packer he was a director of the Theatre of Pompey Project, the first comprehensive scientific survey and investigation of Rome's earliest permanent theatre.


·         As director of a project sponsored by the Leverhulme Trust, he led the work of his research team to the completion of an extensive, highly accurate interactive 3-D model of the Roman Villa of Oplontis, working with Prof. John Clarke, of the University of Texas on the first comprehensive study and publication of this site, the largest and most sumptuously decorated ever found.


For details of these and other projects see the “Projects” section of this site.


Professor Beacham’s work includes 7 single-authored books, a further major co-authored work now pending with Yale University Press, and some 60 articles and book chapters. In the past decade he has secured several million pounds in external grants and led numerous  major international multi-disciplinary research collaborations supported by such funders as The Getty Trust, The Metropolitan Museum N.Y., The NEH, The AHRC, The JISC, the RSC Stratford, Kew Gardens, The Mellon Foundation, The Leverhulme Trust, and The European Commission. He has given an extensive series of keynote addresses and invitation lectures.


Details of these grants and of other activities are included in the CV section of this site.