2008 Honorary Fellow
Jude Kelly is a noted British theatre director. After graduating from Birmingham University where she studied drama, she worked as an actress before becoming a theatre director. She was the founder of Solent People’s Theatre, was Artistic Director of Battersea Arts Centre, and was Artistic Director of the West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds from 1990 to 2002, where she established an acknowledged centre of excellence on a local, national and international scale, developing a centre for the arts with an ever-expanding policy of access for all. In her career, she has directed over 100 productions, including classical masterpieces, contemporary works, as well as operas and musicals. A number of the top British actors have worked with her – her creative interpretation and innovative style of staging is known for giving new life to productions, and this has made her one of the most prominent award-winning theatre directors in the UK.
Jude Kelly was awarded an OBE in 1997 for her services to the theatre. In September 2005, she joined the Southbank Centre as Artistic Director and is responsible for creating a unified artistic vision for the most famous cultural site in London. She is also Chair of Culture, Ceremonies and Education at the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games, 2012.
In 2002, the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts invited Jude Kelly to the School of Drama as Visiting Artist, where her lectures and workshops were met with much enthusiasm by students. She was also invited to attend the ELIA Leadership Symposium 2007 in Hong Kong, organized by the Academy, as Keynote Speaker. The Academy now awards her Honorary Fellow, in order to recognize her outstanding achievement and significant contribution to the theatre and performing arts.