Surrey’s most influential theatre people: Movers and Shakers 2013
PUBLISHED: 14:15 02 July 2013 | UPDATED: 14:15 02 July 2013
In recent months, team Surrey Life has been busy speaking to our contributors and industry experts from around the county to get a feel for just who makes Surrey tick
A real tour de force on the local theatre scene, Betty Laine is the principal of the famous performing arts school, Laine Theatre Arts in Epsom, which she founded in 1974. Today, the college boasts an enviable list of alumni that includes Victoria Beckham, Ruthie Henshall and Summer Strallen, among many others. An influential voice in the performing arts training process, the Epsom resident is also a member of the Grand Council of the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing. In 2002, she was awarded the OBE for services to musical theatre. She is also a vice president of the Children’s Trust in Tadworth.
Under the leadership of artistic director Stephen Unwin, the Rose Theatre in Kingston has become one of the region’s leading cultural centres since it first opened its doors in 2008. Offering a rich programme, it combines the highest artistic standards, pulling in such esteemed actors as Dame Judi Dench, with a commitment to learning, having strong links to Kingston University, and also stages its own acclaimed productions. Among the 53-year-old’s many other achievements, he founded English Touring Theatre in 1993, has written eight books and has been a visiting professor at both Cambridge University and the University of California.
Founded in 1935, the GSA (Guildford School of Acting) recently entered a whole new era, having become part of the University of Surrey in January 2010 when it moved to its purpose built headquarters at Stag Hill. At its helm since April 2012, Terrie Fender has been instrumental in updating and refocusing the GSA for the future, with the introduction of new and successful foundation courses for acting and musical theatre; the development of a market-leading MA portfolio; and setting up new consultancy relationships with industry professionals.
Keep on moving
Of course, any such list is subjective and many more could have featured within these pages. Get in touch with your Movers & Shakers, the people who influence how we all live in Surrey, on facebook.com/SurreyLife and twitter.com/SurreyLife and maybe you’ll see them included next time round!