Henrik Ibsen was born of well-to-do parents at Skien, a small Norwegian coastal town, on March 20, 1828. In 1836 his father went bankrupt, and the family was reduced to near poverty. At the age of fifteen, he was apprenticed to an apothecary in Grimstad. In 1850 Ibsen ventured to Christiania --present-day Oslo --as a student, with the hope of becoming a doctor. On the strength of his first two plays he was appointed "theater-poet" to the new Bergen National Theater, where he wrote five conventional romantic and historical dramas and absorbed the elements of his craft. In 1857 he was called to the directorship of the financially unsound Christiania Norwegian Theater, which failed in 1862. In…
Michael Meyer first went to China in 1995 with the Peace Corps. The winner of a Lowell Thomas Award for travel writing, Meyer has also won a Whiting Writers' Award for nonfiction and a Guggenheim Fellowship. His stories have appeared in the New York Times, Time, Smithsonian, Sports Illustrated, Slate, the Financial Times, the Los Angeles Times, and the Chicago Tribune. He is the author of The Last Days of Old Beijing, which became a bestseller in China, and he divides his time between Pittsburgh and Singapore.
Chris Megson is Senior Lecturer in Drama and Theatre at Royal Holloway, University of London. He has taught and published widely in the field of modern drama, and is editor of The Methuen Drama Book of Naturalist Plays. Other works include: Get Real: Documentary Theatre Past and Present (with Alison Forsyth, 2011), and Modern British Playwriting: The 70s: Voices, Documents, New Interpretations (2012).
Jenny Stevens is in Associate Lecturer for the Open University and a constultant for Ofqual as well as teacher trainer and a teacher of A Level English Literature.