On Monday 10 December, Central hosted its annual Graduation Ceremony at The Royal Festival Hall.
533 graduates across undergraduate, postgraduate and research courses donned caps and gowns and crossed the stage of the Royal Festival Hall to receive their Central awards in front of their family and friends.
Awarded on the day were:
Central also presented eight new Doctors of Philosophy awards to Charlotte Winslow Bence, Jonathan William Davison, Daniel Felstead, Helen Mary Tulloch Murphy, Adelina I-Zheng Ong, William Manolis Pinchin, Farokh Soltani Shirazi and Alan Howard Taylor.
Many of the new class of graduates have already embarked upon their careers and are achieving amazing things in the industry, from starting their own theatre companies and consulting businesses, to creating work at venues including The Royal Court, The National Theatre, The Yard, The Globe, and The Park as well as in the West End. They are the directors, producers, designers and makers; they are the writers, movement and voice specialists, teachers and academics who will go on to shape the future of our art forms. Their work utilising the power of theatre to improve lives at home and abroad continues to set the standard in the field of applied theatre and makes a positive impact daily on communities around the world.
Of their time at Central, graduates said:
“Central is the finest theatre institution in the world. I feel lucky to have spent three wonderful years here” – Fin Ross Russell (BA (Hons) Drama, Applied Theatre and Education)
“[Central was] a place to grow, to discover and to find what’s inside of me” – Anibal Miranda (MA Music Theatre)
“A home to London” – Hannah Wescombe (BA (Hons) Drama, Applied Theatre and Education)
“The best drama school in the world, I learnt surrounded by the most talented theatre makers of my generation – who are now my lifelong friends” – Imelda Mejia-Osornio (MA Applied Theatre)
“It was one of the best years of my life. I have learnt so much about my industry and about myself. It has been truly life-changing” – Talia Meyerowitz-Katz (MA Creative Producing)
“Probably the most challenging thing I’ve done in my life but 100% worth it. Grateful for and to the lecturers/facilitators on the course for the profound knowledge they shared and the change it has enabled” – Lindsey Fooks (MA Drama and Movement Therapy)
“Central means acceptance, love of theatre and going beyond. I really felt a member of a joyful and exceptional community here at Central” – Pauline Jonniaux (MA Acting)
“[It gave me] friendships and the confidence to pursue the career I love” – Matthew Carter (MA Music Theatre)
Alongside welcoming a class of new graduates, the School was delighted to award Honorary Fellowships to Paulina Garcia and Tanika Gupta MBE, and an Honorary Doctorate of Literature was awarded to Talia Rogers.
Paulina García is a Chilean actress, director and playwright, renowned for her work in film, theatre and television. Her best-known role, in Sebastián Lelio’s film Gloria (2013), won her a Silver Bear for Best Actress at the Berlin Film Festival, as well as the Pedro Sienna and Platino Awards in the same category. More recently, Paulina appeared in the first two seasons of Narcos, a series produced by Netflix, in which she played Pablo Escobar’s mother, and alongside Greg Kinnear in Ira Sachs’s film Little Men (2016), for which she was nominated in the Best Supporting Female category at the Independent Spirit Awards.
“I have been looking for some time to express what I feel with this recognition in right and just words, which of course wander between surprise and honour but I still find them insufficient. I can say: I deeply appreciate this recognition from Royal Central. I can also say that it makes me happy and I am proud that a School of this importance recognizes an actress from a distant country, from a poor and convulsed continent where so many migrate looking for real opportunities. Or say, for example, that I never thought about awards because I'm busy solving the small and immense problems that the characters mean. And all that I could say is true because it is extraordinary to receive a prize for doing what I like the most: to be happy because that's what I am, that's what I do: to be selfishly happy. And if what I do stops making me happy I would stop acting immediately. Five more words: from the heart, thank you.” - Paulina García
Tanika Gupta MBE has written over 20 stage plays that have been produced in major theatres across the UK and has written extensively for BBC Radio drama. Tanika has won several awards, including the John Whiting Award for The Waiting Room, the Asian Women Of Achievement Award, the BBC Audio Drama Award for Best Adaptation for A Doll’s House and the Amnesty International Media Awards for the radio play Chitra. In 2008 she was awarded an MBE for Service to Drama and in 2016 was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.
“I am thrilled to be receiving an Honorary Fellowship from Central. I have been teaching the odd workshop or module at this wonderful college for several years and each year am more and more impressed by the quality of the writing of the students. I learn as much from them as they do from me.” – Tanika Gupta MBE
Talia Rogers is the Publishing Director of Digital Theatre. From 1991 – 2015 she was Publisher for Theatre and Performance Studies at Routledge, taking the book list from a handful of titles to the market leader in the field during that time. Her publishing was instrumental in the emergence of ‘performance studies’ and she helped launch the renowned journal Performance Research in the mid-1990s. In 2012 she and Robert Delamere created the Routledge Performance Archive, the world’s first multimedia online collection of curated materials for teaching theatre and performance studies. Talia is a trustee of Flute Theatre: Shakespeare for Inclusive Audiences.
“I’m delighted, surprised, and very honoured to be awarded an honorary doctorate by Central. I’ve been lucky enough to work with some of the world’s leading scholars and practitioners on books and journals in theatre studies, and am now working with many of the same people to develop Digital Theatre’s education offering. Amidst all the turmoil and disruption happening around us it’s exciting to have this opportunity to reflect, and to look both back and into the future of Further and Higher Education for theatre and performance studies.” – Talia Rogers
The Honorands join with Central in congratulating the newly graduated Class of 2018 and in wishing them success in their future careers. Wherever their future takes them after graduation, they will always remain an important part of the Central network, and Central is committed to ensuring that graduate's links with the School do not end at graduation, but are carried throughout their lives. For more information on the support and benefits available to Central alumni, please visit the Alumni Association page.
I am thrilled to be receiving an Honorary Fellowship from Central. I have been teaching the odd workshop or module at this wonderful college for several years and each year am more and more impressed by the quality of the writing of the students. I learn as much from them as they do from me.
Tanika Gupta MBE