Backstage Academy names leadership team
Tuesday, 4 December 2018
backstageThe Backstage leadership team
UK - Live events educational facility Backstage Academy has announced its new leadership team for 2019.
The team will be headed by vice-principal Rachel Nicholson, whose arrival is the culmination of an eminent journey in the theatre world. After gaining a degree in lighting design, she was awarded a postgraduate studentship to study an MA in Theatre Practice where she specialised in Lighting and Digital Scenography. Nicholson subsequently pursued a successful freelance career, working in a variety of venues and companies including Sadlers Wells and The National Theatre as a lighting designer and technician, before returning to the education sector permanently in 2006.
Also joining is Richard Sadler as academic director. He has worked in repertory theatre, touring and the West End. He spent eight years with the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden before joining the London Bach Choir as their first professional general manager. He will drive academic enhancement and quality assurance at the Academy.
Matt Bate, director of operations and student services, joined the Academy in September 2015 from the University of Exeter, where he was vice-president and executive trustee of the Students’ Guild. At Backstage Academy, he will oversee the day-to-day operation of all courses.
Jack Scarr, marketing & commercial director, has worked in educational marketing for over seven years to apprenticeship and degree level.
Miles Marsden, industry partnerships director has been business development director at Production Park for Art, Brand & Architecture since 2010. He will oversee the Academy’s industry partnerships with leading entertainment technology manufacturers and distributors.
Commenting on the new appointments, Adrian Brooks, chairman and founder of Backstage Academy, says: “We are delighted with the team who will be guiding our academic programme through its next phase. Rachel brings a host of knowledge and experience from her time at Rose Bruford, where she was programme director and instrumental in helping that organisation navigate its way to gaining degree awarding powers and university title.
“At the same time, we welcome Richard Sadler as academic director. He joins from Leeds University of Art and brings the experience to ensure that the necessary academic rigour is in place in all the content delivery of our courses.
“These key appointments, together with those of Jack Scarr, Matt Bate and Miles Marsden, make up a strong leadership team which, with the support of the board at Production Park, will enable the Academy to achieve its next goal, which is to become the first true industry led and owned specialist university for the burgeoning live events sector.”
Located on the Production Park campus outside Wakefield, Yorks, the Academy’s undergraduate degree courses, which have been running since 2009, provide the academic and hands-on qualifications to secure a career in the booming live events industry.
(Jim Evans)

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