One of the most successful theatre directors in the United Kingdom is getting ready to take on her next role - as a Visiting Professor of Drama at Kingston University. With more than 25 years in the industry under her belt, Jude Kelly will lend a hand behind the scenes, offering students advice about ways to improve their performance technique.
The artistic director and chief executive of the West Yorkshire Playhouse for the past 12 years, Kelly is well known for her productions, some of which have also had top billing in London's West End. As well as receiving an OBE for her services to theatre, she has also picked up the prestigious Olivier Award for Outstanding Musical for her production of Singin' In The Rain.
Committed to nurturing young talent, Kelly is excited about her new links with the University. It was up to the industry to promote cutting-edge performance to keep the theatre alive, she said. "Encouraging young actors and actresses to be experimental with their work is an important way of investing in a first class theatre for the future." Head of Drama Frank Whately believes Kingston students will benefit enormously from Kelly's wealth of experience. "We are privileged to have the opportunity to work with such a talented director and one who has so brilliantly taken theatre to the people and brought people to the theatre," he said.
Kelly is not the only high-profile figure from the world of drama to be associated with the University. Leading British director Sir Peter Hall is currently Kingston's Chancellor. Drama undergraduates, meanwhile, have enjoyed a string of successes since the Degree's launch last year, including a highly-acclaimed season at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and parts in performances at the Royal Opera House.
Bridge - The Kingston University magazine