The residency, which has been made possible by a grant from the Columbia Foundation, will consist of a 12-month contract beginning in January 2012.
Having come to prominence with his 1996 play Shopping and F**king, Ravenhill's well known stage works include Some Explicit Polaroids which was staged in the West End and on tour by Out of Joint's Max Stafford-Clark and Mother Clap's Molly House which was first produced by the National Theatre in 2001 under the direction of Nicholas Hytner.
Ravenhill said of his new role: "I will be living in Stratford for much
of the year and really hope to become part of the company. I'm also
looking forward to working with the RSC ensemble.
"Working on Shakespeare encourages actors to tell epic stories and to embrace a muscularity in their approach to language. This is a fantastic resource for a living writer to work with. It is exciting and daunting to have the opportunity to write an epic play, which the RSC is uniquely positioned to allow me to do."
He has already been involved with the company as part of its 50th birthday season. In July, he worked with an ensemble of actors to curate a weekend of his favourite plays from the RSC back catalogue, including rehearsed readings of Poppy by Peter Nichols and Fashion by Doug Lucie. He also hosted a public event discussing and exploring the RSC’s history of presenting new work.
RSC artistic director Michael Boyd said: “Mark is deservedly one of Britain’s most celebrated contemporary playwrights, who will bring a great questioning spirit and a fresh theatrical intelligence to the company. I can't wait to work with him and see his two commissioned works that we have planned as part of his time with the RSC."
RSC dramaturg Jeanie O’Hare added, “Mark will be with the company at the perfect moment. He will be embedded with us throughout the year of the World Shakespeare Festival, writing a new play alongside the acting ensemble and placing the voice of a playwright at the heart of the company.”
Ravenhill follows in the footsteps of previous writerts in residence including Lee Hall, Tarell Alvin McCraney, Zinnie Harris, Liz Lockhead and David Greig.