Kenneth Cavander Biography

Award-winning writer, producer, and director in the U.S. and U.K.

kenneth cavander biography image copyright dmitri cavander

Kenneth Cavander attended Bradford Grammar School, in Yorkshire, England, and Balliol College, Oxford University. While still an undergraduate he translated Euripides' Hippolytus for the Oxford University Dramatic Society's 100th major production, a version that was subsequently aired on BBC Radio. After graduation he joined the London Times as a reporter and also worked part time as assistant to film director Carol Reed.

He then joined the Story Department of the Rank Organization at Pinewood Studios, later assisting George Devine on his production of Chekhov's Platonov at the Royal Court Theatre, starring Rex Harrison.

During this period, he began to write regularly for television and film. He joined an independent film company, Eyeline Films, for whom he wrote two screenplays, Girl on Approval and The Impersonator, dramas for BBC Television, including an original, Fog Warning, and a futuristic tale, The Machine Stops, the first adaptation to another medium of a work by E.M. Forster, as well as an adaptation of Euripides' Women of Troy, the first classic Greek drama to be presented on television, and several episodes of series for BBC and Granada Television. Also commissioned but unproduced - Mr Slim (original screenplay), Seven Steps to the Moon (Granada TV Series ), The New Men (ad. from the novel by C.P. Snow)

Awarded a Harkness Fellowship of the Commonwealth Fund to pursue theatre work in the U.S. he spent time at several American regional theatres, including the San Francisco Actors Workshop.

At the completion of his Fellowship, he returned to the U.K. to work with John Barton, at the Stratford-upon-Avon headquarters of the Royal Shakespeare Company.

A second visit to the U.S. resulted in a more permanent stay, starting in New Haven at the Yale Repertory Theatre and Yale University's Department of Classics.

During this period he partnered with directors Andre Gregory and Larry Arrick in re-imagining traditional myths and legends for the theatre and was later awarded a 3-year fellowship by the Institute of Current World Affairs to pursue his interests in this area. Among the work he wrote and directed in the course of his fellowship was Boccaccio, Legends of Arthur, both with composer Richard Peaslee, Simple Gifts, based on Shaker rituals and songs, and a theatrical version of Milton's Paradise Lost.

At the conclusion of his fellowship Cavander joined PBS's Channel Thirteen in New York, to work in script development under Executive Producer of Great Performances Jac Venza. There, in addition to teleplays he wrote, Cavander was responsible for developing scripts by John Cheever, A.R. Gurney, Reynolds Price, Ann Beattie, and Louis Auchincloss.

He left Channel Thirteen to pursue his career developing and writing movies for network television, while continuing his work for PBS as a freelance writer, producer and consultant, as well as expanding his theatre work, and experimenting with other forms, in particular fiction and opera.



Master of Arts, Oxford University, England

First Class, Honour Moderations

First Class, Final Honours School of Literae Humaniores



Akroyd Scholar, West Riding, Yorkshire, U.K.

First Domus Scholar, Balliol College, Oxford University

Ireland and First Craven Scholar, Oxford University

Hertford Scholar, Oxford University

Harkness Fellow, Commonwealth Fund, U.S.A.

Fellow, Institute of Current World Affairs, New York, U.S.A.


New & Upcoming

Latest commissions, ideas, concepts, sketches, scripts under construction - Kenneth Cavander is always exploring new subject matter. Among the projects engaging him at present ... read more


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    The Curse of Oedipus

    • Nominated Best Play, Best Production, including a LA Drama Critics Circle.
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    The Tempest

    • Version of the play by William Shakesepare for contemporary audiences
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    • Arthurian legend mixes high drama, romance, and danger.
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    • The story of his struggle to solve the mystery of earthly and divine love.
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    The Greeks

    • The story of the Trojan War as dramatized in 10 classic Greek plays, with Christopher Reeve as Achilles.
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    Hawthorne Country

    • Inspired by stories by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Allison Janney and Richard Thomas starred.