Kingston students will soon be treading the boards at the Rose of Kingston Theatre. Confirmation that Kingston Council has put in place arrangements to fund the interior fit-out and completion of the theatre means that the University will soon be able to launch its Master of Fine Arts in Classical Theatre. The two-year postgraduate course has been created for the University by its Chancellor, distinguished British theatre director Sir Peter Hall, who has championed the cause of Rose of Kingston for several years and was appointed its Director nearly three years ago. The degree will provide a practical apprenticeship for the next generation of stage actors, directors and designers. Lecturers on the course will include Sir Peter Hall, as well as actors and directors from the Kingston Theatre Company and staff from the University’s Drama Department.
Once open, the Rose of Kingston’s repertoire will include both classical and contemporary work. “Rose of Kingston is a very special performance venue and will be a centre of excellence and entertainment not only for our local audience but also for the wider theatre-going public,” Sir Peter said. “If we add the small band of student actors from the University’s new Masters programme to the Rose’s own company of actors, we have the real possibility of handing on classical theatre techniques to future generations.”
The theatre-owning partnership, created by the University and Kingston Council, will also provide investment opportunity for organisations and individuals according to Professor David Miles Kingston’s pro vice-chancellor for external affairs and business development. “The opening of the theatre will be a major cultural step forward for Kingston,” Professor Miles said. “It offers a great opportunity for the University to develop its work in drama and the performing arts, and will help realise our aspiration to deliver a centre of international quality and renown.”