Acclaimed Artistic Director Gemma Bodinetz Appointed to Lead School of Drama, Dance, Production and Film at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Acclaimed Artistic Director Gemma Bodinetz Appointed to Lead School of Drama, Dance, Production and Film at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Published: 18/11/2021

Leading theatre director Gemma Bodinetz, who was central to the transformation of Liverpool’s iconic Everyman Theatre and European City of Culture celebrations, has been appointed to lead the training of the next generation of actors, dancers, creative producers and filmmakers at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Gemma will take up the post of Director of the Conservatoire’s School of Dance, Drama, Production and Film in January and is committed to RCS being a world-leading centre of excellence for ‘exciting and diverse artists who will transform the cultural landscape’.

Commenting on Gemma’s appointment, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Principal, Professor Jeffrey Sharkey said:

“We are absolutely thrilled to welcome such an inspiring artistic practitioner and leader as Gemma Bodinetz to RCS. Gemma brings a real understanding of the industry-connected skills young artists require to thrive and contribute effectively to the creative landscape.

“She also brings a passion for the vital contribution that an arts education environment like ours can make to the arts being more responsive, more diverse and more inclusive.”

 Dr Lois Fitch, Deputy Principal of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, said:

“Gemma’s long-standing commitment to theatre direction and production, her artistic network and her passion for developing and sharing the stories of artists of all backgrounds, will be an exciting addition to the learning environment at RCS. 

“Her creativity, supported by a rich and sustained experience of the highest quality practice and sense of ambition, brings exciting opportunities for learning and development and we look forward to warmly welcoming Gemma to this community.”

Reflecting on her appointment, Gemma Bodinetz said:

I’m delighted and honoured in equal measure to be joining this prestigious and amazing house of creative learning in the role of Director of the School of Drama, Dance, Production and Film. The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland has a superb heritage of international excellence and I look forward to working with the students, staff and Board to ensure that our intake, programmes and practice are open to the widest demographic of students and are equitable, inclusive and forward-thinking.

“In these complex times, I want to ensure that our students thrive whilst they are with us and leave resilient, empowered and fully prepared to be the artist they dreamt of becoming when they first stepped through our doors.’”

Throughout a remarkable career as a practitioner, Gemma has championed new works for many of the UK’s leading commissioning theatres including London’s Royal Court, Bush Theatre, Hampstead Theatre and the National Theatre, where she was a staff director.

Appointed Artistic Director of Liverpool’s Everyman and Playhouse Theatres in 2003, Gemma co-led the transformation of the theatres to be among the most exciting commissioning houses in the UK and a central part of the City’s 2008 European City of Culture celebrations. In a dazzling programme for the European City of Culture, she enticed back a stellar cast of Everyman and Playhouse alumni including the late Pete Postlethwaite as King Lear. In 2010, Kim Cattrall was cast as Cleopatra with Jeffery Kissoon as Anthony under the direction of Dame Janet Suzman.

Gemma and her team also orchestrated a memorable farewell to the original Everyman Theatre and delivered a £28 million campaign to rebuild it. In 2014, the Everyman Theatre was re-opened to critical acclaim including winning the prestigious Stirling Prize.

A graduate of Trinity College Dublin where she read Drama and Classics, she started her career in London as an assistant director to a range of leading figures in theatre including Harold Pinter, Sir Richard Eyre, Sir Trevor Nunn and Howard Davies.

Following three years as a staff director at the National Theatre, Gemma became part-time associate director at the Hampstead Theatre and a freelance director directing a range of productions including Yard Gal (Royal Court and MCC, New York), Hamlet (Bristol Old Vic), Guiding Star at the National Theatre, Luminosity (Royal Shakespeare Company), Breath, Boom (Royal Court) and Caravan at the Bush Theatre before she joined Everyman and Playhouse where she was Artistic Director from 2003-2020.

In 2014, Gemma was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of Liverpool John Moores University for her outstanding contribution to the cultural life of Liverpool and awarded a Companionship at LIPA in 2015. She was voted Artistic Leader of the Year 2017 by Hope University, Liverpool and won Best Director at the UK Theatre Awards for artistic directorship of the Everyman Company 2017.

The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland is ranked in the Top Three globally for performing arts education (QS World University Rankings) and in 2022 celebrates its 175th anniversary.

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