Mary Oliver

Rose Bruford College (@rosebruford), one of the UK’s leading theatre and performance institutions, is delighted to announce the appointment of their new Vice Principal (Academic). Mary Oliver will take up the role on 1 June 2021, following the departure of the previous Vice Principal, Dr Andrew Walker. She joins as Bernardine Evaristo OBE begins her role as President of the College.

Mary Oliver is coming to Rose Bruford from her role as Professor and Dean at the Arts University Bournemouth where she has been leading the School of Media and Performance and has helped take the university to its recent success as the top specialist art and design university in the UK.

A pioneer of immersive and digital performance as writer, performer and producer, her extensive portfolio of original devised theatre work has been performed internationally. Mary Oliver’s previous academic posts include Head of Media at Manchester Metropolitan University, where she was instrumental in the creation of the new School of Digital Arts at the Manchester School of Art. She was awarded a National Teaching Fellowship in 2013 for Innovative Pedagogy in the teaching of contemporary performance and has led learning and research developments across a range of subject disciplines relevant to Rose Bruford’s current portfolio.

A key part of Mary’s academic leadership has been to develop strong industry partnerships; future proofing learning to ensure graduates are gaining skills which are shaping the future of the creative sector. A drive for innovation, particularly in the digital space, are also key elements of the training currently being undertaken at Rose Bruford College.

Mary Oliver said, “I am delighted to have the opportunity to join the progressive leadership team at Rose Bruford and bring my innovative approach to the teaching of theatre and performance. With the recent launch of the Centre for Digital Production, as well as the new BA in Theatre and Social Change, Rose Bruford are actively enhancing their portfolio offer and reaching out to new and diverse communities of learners and I am excited to be part of these developments”.

Principal Clarie Middleton, who joined Rose Bruford in 2018 from her previous role of Chief Executive of Hackney Empire, is spearheading the College’s mission to create the change-makers of the future.

Clarie Middleton said “our goal is to achieve social as well as cultural impact through delivering the highest quality vocational training and education and shaping graduates who are creative, empowered, employable, inclusive and diverse, ethical and intercultural in outlook. Mary Oliver’s appointment is a key part of that vision, and we’re thrilled that she will help drive our strategic transformation in the years to come, both in terms of the growth and development of the curriculum, and in student numbers at all levels.”

Chair of the Rose Bruford College Board of Governors, Monisha Shah, said, “The Board of governors are delighted to welcome Mary Oliver to this key appointment, which will enhance and strengthen the existing team led by Clarie Middleton. Our priority for Bruford is a focus on consistently high academic quality with strong student outcomes, widening participation and supporting good mental health and wellbeing. We know that Mary brings brilliant and highly relevant experience and insight from her academic and creative work, and we are excited about the next phase of growth and development of this great College”.

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