London Faculty: Spring and Fall Sessions

Directing the Actor

Joseph A. Adesunloye

Joseph A. Adesunloye is an award-winning British/Nigerian writer-director-producer whose work crosses film and TV. He was selected for Locarno Film Festival’s - Locarno Pro First Look on UK Film 2023, for his new feature VANILLA starring Yann Gaël (1899, Saloum) and James Smith (The Favourite, The Thick of It).

Joseph was nominated for the BFI IWC Schaffhausen Filmmakers Bursary Award at the 60th BFI London Film Festival. In 2017 Joseph was longlisted ‘Best Debut Screenwriter’ at BIFA.

His second feature FACES premiered at the Durban International Film Festival in 2018, where it was nominated for ‘Best International Feature’, and won ‘Best Feature’ at the Durban LGBT Film Festival; the film stars Terry Pheto from Oscar winning Tsotsi.

He has written several commissioned TV scripts and currently has several TV projects in development.

Joseph guest lectures at the University of the Arts London and for the NYU Tisch School of the Arts at the National Film & Television School (NFTS).

He is a member of BAFTA and Directors UK and has been a trustee at the Film and TV Charity since 2019. Joseph Co-chairs the Film and TV Charity’s Inclusivity Committee with playwright and screenwriter Juliet Gilkes Romero.

Playwriting in London

Course faculty for the fall study abroad program Playwriting in London.

Alexandra Wood,
Intermediate Playwriting

Alexandra Wood (she/her) is a playwright from London. Her plays include Descent (due to be released Oct 21 on Audible); The Tyler Sisters (Hampstead); Never Vera Blue (Futures Theatre/Edinburgh Fringe); The Human Ear (Paines Plough); Ages (Old Vic New Voices); a translation of Manfred Karge’s Man to Man (Wales Millennium Centre); Merit (Plymouth Drum); The Initiate (Paines Plough, winner of a Scotsman Fringe First); The Empty Quarter (Hampstead); an adaptation of Jung Chang’s Wild Swans (Young Vic/ART); The Centre (Islington Community Theatre); Unbroken (Gate); The Lion's Mouth (Rough Cuts/Royal Court); The Eleventh Capital (Royal Court) and the radio play Twelve Years (BBC Radio 4). She is a past winner of the George Devine Award and was playwright-in-residence at Paines Plough in 2013. Her plays are published by Nick Hern Books.

Clare Bayley,
Intermediate Playwriting

Clare Bayley is an award-winning UK writer for stage and radio. Plays include The Container (Fringe First Award and Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award winner); The Enchantment (National Theatre); Blue Sky (Hampstead Theatre and Cardiff Sherman Theatre); On The March (an Oxford Playhouse commission). Forthcoming projects include After The Peace showcase at the Criterion Theatre in December 2018.

Clare mentors on the playwriting MA at Central School of Speech and Drama and teaches Creative Writing at London South Bank University. She is a Fellow of the Royal Literary Society and former Theatre Editor of The Independent newspaper.

Screenwriting in London

Course faculty for the fall and spring study abroad program Screenwriting in London.

Mark Boutros,
Advanced Screenwriting

Mark Boutros is a working screenwriter who has written on CBBC's The Dumping Ground and Lagging, as well as on Sky One's sitcom starring Romesh Ranganathan, The Reluctant Landlord. A one-off story about Muhammad Ali he co-wrote for the Urban Myths season on Sky Arts was part of the International Emmy nominated series, and he is developing a mini-series with Raindog Films. He has also script-edited on a UKTV pilot called Perfect, and was a story consultant on some of bestselling author Adam Croft's Knight and Culverhouse series. He used to be a producer on comedy panel shows.

Shakespeare in Performance at RADA

Faculty for the fall and spring study abroad program Shakespeare in Performance at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.

RADA Faculty

Vivian Munn is the Course Director for Shakespeare in Performance.

Vivian Munn

Vivian Munn trained at RADA, under Hugh Cruttwell, and for 20 years worked extensively as an actor in the UK and abroad. His theatre work includes London’s West End, Royal Shakespeare Company, English Shakespeare Company, Young Vic, and seasons with various regional theatres and national touring companies.

Vivian has directed a wide spectrum of plays from the 16th century to the present day and was artistic director of Odd Sok Productions from 2004 - 2009. He has taught at several British drama schools and is an Academy Associate Teacher at RADA, working on the BA (Hons) in Acting, Foundation, and Short Courses programs. 

In 2015, he accepted the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s artist residency at Newhouse Center for the Humanities, Wellesley College, Massachusetts, USA, and in 2017, directed a third-year production of Present Laughter by Noël Coward at WAAPA, Perth, Australia.

Vivian’s recent RADA productions have included King Lear, Macbeth, and Julius Caesar for the NYU, All’s Well That Ends Well as part of the BA (Hons) in Acting Shakespeare for Young Audiences schools tour, and premiere productions of Of Blood by Christopher William Hill, Down The Hatch by Frances Poet, The Word by Nell Leyshon, Our Father by Deborah Bruce, and Broken Pieces by A.C. Smith for the RADA Elders Company, 2012 - 2018.

Vivian is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy - Advance HE - FHEA UKPSF.

Additional Faculty at RADA

Other faculty vary from semester to semester according to the needs of the students we are working with. Previous tutors have included:

Andrew Charity (Singing / Masque)

Andrew is a freelance conductor and pianist. He studied at Kings College London/Royal College of Music/London Opera Centre, and has directed choral singing at RADA for many years, especially now on short Shakespeare courses. In recent years, he has conducted and played for many small opera companies, and is currently Musical Director for the North Wales Opera Studio. He also has a large choral and orchestral repertoire, and enjoys accompanying solo singers in recitals.

Andy Hinds (Acting Verse)

For ten years Artistic Director of Classic Stage Ireland, Andy has directed at Dublin’s Abbey and Gate Theatres, Galway’s Druid Theatre, Glyndebourne, Lyric Theatre, Belfast, Wexford Opera, Scottish Opera, London’s King’s Head and Soho Theatres, and for some time was Associate Director at The  Bristol Old Vic. His productions include The Bacchae, Macbeth, As You Like It, The Winter’s Tale, Fidelio, La Cenerentola, Mother Courage, The Revenger’s Tragedy, All’s Well That Ends Well, Twelfth Night, Julius Caesar. A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Iphigenia in Aulis, Agamemnon, Oedipus the King... 

His plays include October Song (Published: Carysfort Press, Ireland); The Starving - revived as Sea Lavender (Carysfort Press); Morning, Afternoon and Evening (Published by Oberon Books, UK.) Bloodties (trilogy of three one-act plays – Focus Theatre/New Theatre, Dublin); Crystal’s House - Project Arts Centre, Dublin; First of the Day for RTE Radio.   

Andy has taught in London at RADA (on audition panel for many years), Rose Bruford, The Actors’ Centre,  Shakespeare’s Globe and The National Theatre School of Canada; and in Dublin, with the Gaiety School of Acting, Trinity College, and the Classic Stage Ireland Acting Studio. He has taught the MA in European Theatre at UC Dublin, and made his own debut as an actor (2013) in his play, Morning and Afternoon (The New Theatre/ Project Arts Centre, Dublin/ Edinburgh Festival Fringe/Tristan Bates Theatre, London and Lyric, Belfast.)    

Andy has written the following books: Acting Shakespeare’s Language, Bloomsbury/Oberon, UK, Aeschylus' Oresteia Trilogy (verse translation), Bloomsbury/Oberon, Euripides’ Iphigenia in Aulis (verse translation), Bloomsbury/Oberon.

Andrew Cuthbert (The Acting Voice)

Andrew trained at RADA and has worked extensively in theatre: in repertory, on tour, in the West End and at the National Theatre, as well as on the fringe. He has also worked in film, TV, radio and voiceover. Recently Andrew was Elias of Dereham in a film celebrating the 800th anniversary of the signing of Magna Carta. He performs his own poetry at venues in London and Dorset. In between acting jobs Andrew has taught at RADA for 25 years, on their BA Acting course and the Short Courses.

Angela Gasparetto
(Expressive Movement)

Angela is a freelance movement director and teacher originally from Nova Scotia, Canada. Angela’s training background is in conservatory acting, physical approaches to acting, movement improvisation and Corporeal Mime.  Angela holds an MA in Movement Studies from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. Former posts include Head of Movement on Italia Conti's Acting BA course (2007-2012), and Course Director of the Two-Year Rep Actor Training programme at Fourth Monkey (2012-2017).  Angela has a passion for inclusive practice and is Director of Movement for Separate Doors. Angela's professional movement direction credits include Octopolis (Hampstead Theatre); The Wonderful World of Dissocia (Stratford East), The Suspicious of Mr. Whicher (The Watermill Theatre); The Long Song and Macbeth (Chichester Festival Theatre), Frankenstein (Royal Exchange Theatre).

Claudia Harrison (Prose Scenes)

After a degree in Drama from The University of Birmingham, Claudia graduated from RADA in 2000. As an actor she has worked for over 20 years in TV, Film, Theatre and Radio. Her most recent roles include Humans for channel 4 and Carmine in The Silent Approach Plays. She can currently be seen playing Princess Anne in the last two seasons of the Netflix series The Crown. 

Alongside Acting, Claudia is an Academy Associate Teacher for RADA and continues to collaborate with young actors and performers in Drama Schools and Universities across the country. During Lockdown she wrote and devised a film with furloughed film students and 200 primary school children for which they were nominated for Drama Inspiration of the year award at The National Education Awards. Whilst this is her proudest moment, keeping a sourdough starter alive for 12 years comes a close second.

Cory Hippolyte
(Shakespeare our Contemporary)

Cory Hippolyte trained as an Actor graduating from Guildhall School of Music and Drama on the BA Acting course in 2020. Since graduating, he has appeared on The Globe Stage in King Lear (2022) and in African Queens: Njinga by Jada Pinkett Smith for Netflix and Wings, which was selected by BFI London Film Festival.  He is also a Facilitator for The Unicorn Theatre, Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Yard, Half Moon, Soho Theatre, Shakespeare's Globe, as well as a Writer and Co-Director of devised shows for The Kiln Youth Theatre Companies. He has worked as Assistant Director on Twelfth Night (2021), Antony & Cleopatra (2022) and Comedy of Errors (2023), for Rutgers Conservatoire at The Shakespeare’s Globe, Hansel and Gretel (2023) at The Shakespeare's Globe, The Inquiry (2023), for Chichester Festival Theatre and The Tempest (2023), for Regents Park Open Air/Unicorn Theatre. Previously Assistant Directed Sarah Joyce and Lilac Yosiphon at Guildhall.

Trilby James (Masque)

Trilby read Drama at Bristol University before completing the three-year Acting Course at RADA.  She has worked extensively as an actor in theatre and television. In 2000 she also began working as a freelance director and teacher at several leading drama schools including RADA, where she is now an associate teacher. She has been a script reader and dramaturg for Kali Theatre Company, directed Stateless by Subika Anwar for Kali at The Tristan Bates Theatre and has directed several play-readings for their 'Talkback' seasons. Other directing projects have included A Cold Season in Calcutta by Elizabeth Kuti at The Mercury Theatre Colchester and Pop by Shivaun Woolfson at The Tristan Bates Theatre and JW3 Centre. She has also edited the Contemporary Monologues and Contemporary Duologues books in the Good Auditions Guides series from Nick Hern Books. Upcoming projects include a new play by Jess Tucker Boyd which has been supported by Actors East, and a new work resulting from a collaboration between Elizabeth Kuti and Shelley King which will explore the history and diaspora of Anglo Indians across the globe.

Zhenya Leverett (Fight Scenes)

Zhenya was classically trained as an actress in Russia and worked in theatre and film in Moscow  before moving to the UK in 2015.  In London, she qualified as a teacher with The British Academy  of Stage & Screen Combat and now teaches sword fighting and unarmed combat at RADA, Royal Central and YATI. She is a fight coordinator (IDFIGHT) and has choreographed fights for a number of theatre productions, including Cinderella (English Touring Opera), La Liberazione Di Ruggiero (Longborough Festival Opera), Ben Hur (Abbey Theatre), Prize Fights (RADA), Light Shining in Buckinghamshire (Young Actors Theatre Islington).  Zhenya is an action performer (BAFTA-winning TV series Killing Eve) and works professionally as an actress at the Xameleon Theatre in London.

Brigid Panet (Sonnets)

Brigid trained in ballet, then as an actor at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. She acted professionally in theatre and TV for 15 years before teaching and directing in all the major London drama schools. She has been a director and associate teacher of acting at RADA for over 20 years. Brigid has taught and directed in Canada, Brazil, USA, Belgium and Ireland. She devised and directed three Shakespeare tours for the National Theatre Education Department, directed a National Theatre tour of ‘Fanshen’, taken many workshops for the National Theatre Education and the National Theatre Studio. Brigid’s book, Essential Acting, on her teaching process, was published by Routledge in 2003; the revised second edition was published in 2015. As well as her work at RADA, Brigid has taught on the MA in Actor Training at Central, given regular workshops in ‘Line Learning with Confidence’ at The Actors Centre and took annual ‘first week’ workshops for BA in Acting students at The Lir in Dublin.

Francesca Roche (Dance / Masque)

Francesca teaches Actors period dance, movement and musical theatre at RADA. She trained at the BRIT School, before studying Musical Theatre at Doreen Bird College, receiving a first-class BA (Hons) Degree. She has completed The LABAN GUILD Creative Dance course and  is a trained PARA Dance inclusive dance instructor. 

Francesca enjoys using historical dances to examine what a particular period has to offer an actor in terms of access to the world they wish to inhabit but also hopes that by examining the dances and stories from the past this will spark inspiration for new stories to develop. 

Francesca enjoys making dance inclusive and accessible for all and has combined her practice as a performer with workshop leading, teaching and community outreach projects. 

Adrienne Thomas (Voice Into Text)

Adrienne has a History degree from Oxford University and trained as an actor at the Central School of Speech and Drama (CSSD). She has appeared in a wide variety of modern and classical plays in the West End and throughout the UK, including Stephen Daldry’s Search and Destroy at the Royal Court. She also appeared in Charlton Heston’s A Man for All Seasons for US television. She returned to CSSD to study on their postgraduate voice course, and more recently trained as a Linklater designated teacher. She now works mainly at RADA and the British American Drama Academy. She has also taught regularly in the US on a Shakespeare conference and was invited with RADA colleagues as artists-in-residence at Wellesley College, Massachusetts. In addition, she gives private coaching to actors and works with corporate clients. Her great love is working with students to explore the relationship between practical voice work and the use of language in revealing character and emotion.

Francine Watson Coleman
(Modes and Manners)

Francine is a Movement Director and Dance Consultant of international standing. She trained at the London College of Dance and Drama and later at the Mozarteum in Salzburg. Whilst a dancer with the Salzburg Opera Ballet, she was leading dancer and choreographer with the Franz Tenta Renaissance Consort. On returning to the UK, Francine was appointed Lecturer in Dance at Christchurch University in Kent.  Francine gained an MA with Distinction in the faculty of Philosophy at the University of London working in the field of the uses of imagination in theatre performance. She was Artistic Director of Studies at LCDD, and went on to direct the MA in Dance Studies at Laban London, where she also lectured in Postgraduate Philosophical Aesthetics. She is a specialist in Period Movement and Dance and in period-specific movement, style, and codes of behaviour as they relate to the meaning of play texts and their performance. She has worked with a wide range of theatre and opera companies, including the RSC, Young Vic, Shared Experience, Donmar Warehouse, Theatre Alive, Chichester Festival Theatre, Oxford Playhouse, Theatre Royal Northampton, Orange Tree, Abbey Theatre Dublin, Semperoper Dresden, David Dawson productions.

She also gives master classes, workshops and coaches established actors in physicality and text. Francine was Guest Artist in Acting with Sachsische Semperoper Ballet Dresden. At Dresden she co-directed three Classical full-length ballet productions (scenario and mis-en-scene) and coached the Company in expressive action.  While serving on a number of UK National Arts bodies, Francine has undertaken the validation of theatre, dance and music academies and has held several Senior External Examiner posts to Dance and Theatre faculties. She was Chairwoman of the Society for Dance Research UK 1998-2007. Francine has a long association with RADA. She has been a Movement and Dance Tutor at RADA since 1986, was Senior Movement Director and is now Period Movement and Style Teacher.  In 2019, Francine was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in recognition of outstanding contribution to the dramatic arts.

Where possible, the RADA also invites guest actors and directors to contribute their experience of working professionally with Shakespeare. 

Television Writing in London

Faculty for the spring study abroad program Television Writing in London.

Yolanda Mercy, Writing the TV Pilot

Yolanda Mercy is an award-winning British Nigerian writer and performer. Her TV writing work has been nominated for a BAFTA, WGGB and Broadcast Award.  She also won the Edinburgh TV festival/New Voices "Debut TV Writer award." Yolanda originally began creating work within theatre, and has expanded her practice to TV, film, and audio. Passionate about stories and communities, Yolanda always makes sure that alongside her creative practice she works within the community; this is usually done through leading workshops, mentoring and joining advisory boards to help support the creative industries.  

Companion Courses

Companion course faculty for the fall and spring study abroad programs Screenwriting in London and Shakespeare in Performance at RADA.

Jon Hammond, British Cinema

Jon Hammond is a filmmaker of thirty years’ experience and a film educator of more than twenty.

Starting at the BBC, he progressed from there to graduate from the U.K.’s National Film & Television School. Since then he has been a freelance editor working in the U.K. and internationally on fiction and documentaries, in TV, and features. Recent credits include the features Our Sister Mambo (2015) for Singapore’s Cathay films, directed by Golden Horse winner Ho Widing, and Remittance (2015), a low-budget film exploring the lives of Filipina domestic workers, directed by Joel Fendelman and anthropologist Patrick Daly.

Concurrent with his editing, Jon has taught at a variety of film schools and institutions in the U.K. and around the world including the NFTS, the LFS, the LFA and Royal Holloway in London, the Internationale Filmschule in Köln, Germany, and the Cinemalaya Institute in Manila, Philippines. Jon has previously taught in Cuba at L’Escuela Internacional de Cine y Televisión, in San Antonio de los Baños, where he ran an annual editing workshop from 1999 to 2009. Most recently Jon was head of editing at the U.K.’s Northern Film School in Leeds from 2016-2018.

From 2008 to 2015, Jon was a full-time Assistant Arts Professor in the Graduate Film department at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts Asia. He was Interim Chair in 2010 and Head of Editing from 2011. He taught every student who passed through the school. During this time, student films won prizes at Cannes, Sundance, Slamdance, Tribeca, Busan, and three Directors Guild of America awards.

Ellis Jones, Theatre in London

Ellis has overseen the training of many of today’s most exciting British actors. At the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art he was Head of Acting 1993 to 2003, and as Vice-Principal (1998 to 2003) he was co-creator of Shakespeare in Performance, the highly successful collaboration between RADA and NYU Tisch London. More recently he has served as Creative Director of RADA’s Enterprise Company, producing educational and corporate projects, including British classical theatre productions on the Cunard transatlantic liner, the Queen Mary 2. He has starred in a number of situation comedies on the UK ITV channel and in televised Shakespeare productions, including as The Fool in King Lear for ITV, and as Elbow in Measure for Measure for the BBC. He was awarded an Arts Council Associate directorship, subsequently directing shows throughout the UK, and was Artistic Director of the theatre at Keswick, Cumbria. He worked as Consultant Director for acting programs at Tisch Asia in Singapore, and as a Visiting Director of the Shanghai Theatre Academy directed Taking Steps - the first-ever Mandarin-language production of a comedy by Britain’s most successful playwright, Sir Alan Ayckbourn. He is the creator of the on-line training resource Teach Yourself Acting and of its widely read blog.

Varsha Panjwani, Studies in Shakespeare

Dr. Varsha Panjwani is the host and creator of the award-winning Women & Shakespeare podcast and the author of Podcasts and Feminist Shakespeare Pedagogy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, forthcoming 2022). Her teaching and research focus on the way in which Shakespeare is deployed in the service of diversity and how that, in turn, invigorates Shakespeare. She has published on these topics in journals including Shakespeare SurveyShakespeare Studies, and Multicultural Shakespeare, and in edited collections such as Shakespeare, Race and PerformanceShakespeare and Indian CinemaEating Shakespeare: Cultural Anthropophagy as Global Methodology, and The Arden Research Handbook to Shakespeare and Adaptation.  She the co-editor of Re-contextualizing Indian Shakespeare Cinema in the West: Familiar Strangers (London: Arden, forthcoming 2023) and a special issue of Multicultural Shakespeare.

She was one of the principal organizers of the multi-grant-winning conference and film festival, ‘Indian Shakespeares on Screen’ in collaboration with the BFI Southbank and Asia House (UK), and the National Film Archives of India and INOX Movies (India). She has won grants from the Folger Shakespeare Library, the Society of Theatre Research, and the Society of Renaissance Studies and prizes for digital innovation in Shakespeare teaching. She has been invited for public and research lectures by numerous institutions such as the Royal Shakespeare Company, Shakespeare’s Globe, The Shakespeare Institute, the Jaipur Literary Festival at the British Library, the London School of Economics, the University of Cambridge, and the University of Oxford.

Richard Williams, Arts in London

Has taught at Liverpool Hope and Manchester Universities and directed at many British drama schools. He was artistic director of the Oxford Stage Company, Liverpool Playhouse, and the Arts Theatre in London. He has directed over 200 productions, ranging from the West End to opera and children’s theatre, and his own plays have been produced professionally in London. He is the course director of Foundation Studies in Performance at the Drama Centre in London and associate artistic director at Anvil Arts Theatre in Basingstoke, England.