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Before 2023 draws to a close, we wanted to share some highlights from the year.

This year we secured our ongoing status as a world-leading training provider with the Office for Students. This critical funding allows us to maintain our current specialist theatre production and actor training and make vital investments in the development of current courses and postgraduate provision. In September, we were awarded Gold, the highest award, in the Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (TEF), recognising excellence in the quality of our teaching, learning environments and student outcomes.

This was a busy year for our students, creative teams, staff and partners: 16 stage productions, three short films, a technical exhibition, Escape Room, Lighting Showcase, live concert, talks, Shakespeare Schools tours, and European festivals.

We commissioned three original short films that received awards and were included in festivals around the world including the New York International Film Awards, Venice Shorts, London Film and Television Festival, Montreal International Black Film Festival.

In May, the Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company announced their production of King Lear at the Wyndham’s Theatre in association with RADA. The production of King Lear featured an all-RADA cast, with technical graduates also working on the project.

At our graduation ceremony in July, we welcomed RADA graduate Kathryn Hunter and playwright Winsome Pinnock as RADA Honorary Fellows.

We continued to offer online, blended and in-person Short Courses to participants from around the world, launching our Part-Time Blended Foundation Course in Acting. We successfully piloted our first in-person Short Course outside London in July, Fundamentals of Classical Acting at the Manchester Royal Exchange.

Through our Access and Participation projects we continue to work with young people currently underrepresented at RADA and the creative industries.

In October we launched RADA Connect, a programme to support prospective students all the way through their application process, reducing financial barriers to applying, helping applicants feel prepared for their interview or audition, and building community and connection to help create a sense of belonging.

We also announced a new partnership with Theatre Royal Stratford East and Backstage Niche for Young Technicians, a free 12-week introductory course for 16–21-year-olds giving students the opportunity to develop practical skills in stage management, lighting and sound with industry professionals.

We partnered with Bloomsbury Methuen to launch their first book in The (Incomplete) Lit in Colour Play List, a series of books celebrating plays by writers of colour for 11-18 year olds. RADA graduates performed scenes from the anthology at an event held in RADA Studios Theatre in November.

This year we were also delighted to welcome eight new trustees to RADA’s Council, who between them bring expertise in the areas of higher education, social policy, equality, diversity and inclusion and finance. Our new appointments included Miranda Wayland, Head of International DEI Strategy and content at Prime Video and Amazon Studios.

We ended 2023 with our successful Big Give Christmas fundraising campaign, led by actor, playwright, graduate and Council member Lolita Chakrabarti as ambassador. We’re incredibly grateful for the donations to this campaign that help to sustain the development of diverse talent and ensure RADA’s students are industry-ready so they can influence positive change in the creative industries and society.

We are planning another busy year ahead and look forward to sharing updates in 2024.