Ms Read will lead the Academy from September, succeeding Peter James who is stepping down after 16 years.
Announcing the news, LAMDA Chairman Luke Rittner said: “We are delighted to have found Joanna Read. Her appointment follows an extensive search for a suitable candidate who would combine artistic flair and experience with strong business acumen and the vision to drive LAMDA forward, building on Peter's success. Joanna possesses all of these qualities in abundance and makes LAMDA history as our first female Principal.”
Joanna Read (pictured right) brings 20 years of experience in the profession to the role. As Chief Executive and Artistic Director of the Salisbury Playhouse between 1999 and 2007, she steered the theatre to a position of financial stability, while also leading a successful major capital development programme. The Academy believes this tenure, combined with her recent experience as a freelance director, lecturer and tutor, will make Joanna an ideal successor to Peter James.
Commenting on her appointment, Ms Read said: “LAMDA is a world class drama school and a much loved institution. I am delighted to be offered the opportunity to lead the Academy through its next stages of development. I look forward to working with its talented students and committed staff, who make the Academy such a power house within the industry.”