Joanna Read

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Joanna Read (born 8 March 1968)[1] is a British theatre director and librettist. In 2010, she became the first ever female Principal of the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA).[2]


Read read Drama at Bristol University from 1986 to 1989, directing her first few productions whilst doing her degree. Having worked on the fringe and at Sheffield in her early years (occasionally in stage management, although she also participated in the Channel 4 Regional Directors Programme), she soon joined the Education team at the Young Vic for a year, and following that became the Head of Education and Participation at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre from 1993 to 1997, where she created a successful and wide-ranging education and outreach strategy and commissioned and directed new writing. She was then Chief Executive and Artistic Director of the Salisbury Playhouse from 1999 to 2007. Under her leadership, the Playhouse became one of the leading regional producing theatres of the last decade. She steered the theatre to a position of financial stability, while also leading a successful major capital development programme. She was then an Associate Director of the Octagon Theatre Bolton from 1997. More recently, she has worked as a freelance director and writer for Edinburgh Festival Theatre, the Young Vic London, the New Vic Theatre in Newcastle Under Lyme, The Watermill West Berkshire Playhouse, The Mill at Sonning and the Watford Palace Theatre, amongst others.[3] As a librettist, her works include a musical version of Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities, for which Howard Goodall composed the music.[4] Read will take up her position at LAMDA in August 2010.


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