Rose Bruford College’s governors, professors and academics were joined by the Worshipful Mayor of Bexley, Howard Marriner to celebrate the graduation of over 130 students.
Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Arts with Honours, Postgraduate Certificates in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education and Master of Arts were conferred to students from the School of Design, Management and Technical Arts and School of Performance.
Addressing the audience via an audio link from New York, Rose Bruford College President, Sir Richard Eyre congratulated the graduates and stressed the important role each of them has in shaping the future of the arts;
“Every one of you here today will have acquired the knowledge that the potential of every individual can be fulfilled through education and through the arts.”
The ceremony also included the conferral of the following six Fellows and Honorary Fellows in recognition of their contribution to the Theatre and Performance industry; Juliet Ace (Fellow), Richard Mangan (Fellow), Katie Mitchell, OBE (Honorary Fellow), Jenny Sealey, MBE (Honorary Fellow), Mike Simpson (Honorary Fellow) and Rae Smith (Honorary Fellow).
In his address, Professor Michael Early, Principal and Chief Executive of Rose Bruford College said;
“The work of the graduating students over the past year has been magnificent, demonstrated in numerous individual projects and group collaborations that have informed each graduates professional practice and hopefully prepared them for long and distinguished careers in the industry.”
Juliet Ace (Fellow)
Born and raised in Llanelli, Wales, Juliet attended Rose Bruford College of Speech and Drama in 1958/1959. She graduated to pursue both a teaching and acting career. Juliet was an educational specialist, working with children who had special needs and then with local community drama groups. She began writing plays in 1976 after taking part in an Arvon Foundation Writing Course in Devon.
Juliet has written for stage, screen and television and has contributed many original scripts and dramatisations to BBC Radio Drama in many genres and styles and over a long career, including the Archers.
Richard Mangan (Fellow)
Richard Mangan was born in Lancashire and trained at Rose Bruford College from 1961 to 1964. After working in regional theatre for three years, he joined the newly formed National Theatre as an Assistant Stage Manager under Sir Laurence Olivier. He remained there for thirteen years as a Stage Manager and Administrator before returning to Rose Bruford College where he was a Tutor/Director before becoming Head of the Technical Theatre Course. He held a similar position at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
For over twenty years he was Director of the Raymond Mander and Joe Mitchenson Theatre Collection, one of the country's largest theatrical archives. During this time, he edited Notes from the Gods, a record of John Gielgud's early theatre-going and was later asked to edit Gielgud's letters, a four year task culminating in their publication by Weidenfeld & Nicolson in 2004.
Katie Mitchell, OBE (Honorary Fellow)
Katie Mitchell, a graduate of Oakham School and Magdalen College, Oxford, founded Classics on a Shoestring on the London Fringe in the late 1980s, and has been an Associate Director at the Royal Shakespeare Company, The National Theatre and the Royal Court Theatre. She was awarded an OBE in 2009 for services to drama. She has recently been directing productions at Berlin’s Schaubühne Theatre and for European opera companies.
Jenny Sealey, MBE (Honorary Fellow)
Jenny Sealey has been Graeae’s Artistic Director since 1997. Graeae is a force of change in world-class theatre, breaking down barriers, challenging preconceptions and boldly placing disabled artists centre stage. In 2009, she was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Honours and became an Artistic Advisor for Unlimited 2012 Festival. Jenny is fuelled by her passion to find a new theatrical voice across the ‘aesthetics of access’ (sign language and audio description, diverse physicality and differing voices etc), from the very beginning of the artistic process.
In 2012 she co-directed the London 2012 Paralympic Opening Ceremony alongside Bradley Hemmings (GDIF). She also won the Liberty Human Rights Arts Award and was named on the Time Out London and Hospital Club h.Club100 list of the most influential and creative people in the creative industries.
Mike Simpson (Honorary Fellow)
Mike Simpson is Technical & Design Director, Philips Lighting Ltd and past President, Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE). Over a distinguished career Mike has worked on the preparation of international lighting standards and presented many papers at national and international lighting conferences. He has held executive roles with the Institute of Lighting Engineers (ILE) and the Society of Light and Lighting (SLL).
Rae Smith (Honorary Fellow)
Rae Smith is an Olivier, Tony and OBIE award-winning British designer who works regularly in a wide variety of styles and genres. This diversity has taken her from Slovenia to Broadway and work in all stage genres.
She has designed an array of productions both for the National Theatre and Royal Shakespeare Company.
Current Exhibitions include The Art of Warhorse at the illustration cupboard. And The Horse at War at The Lightbox. Rae has recently completed a 24m long drawing to commemorate the World War 1 Centenary.
Image of 2014 Stage Manager Graduates kindly supplied by Michael O'Reilly.