Rose Bruford College

In 1950, Rose Bruford – a trained actress and verse and speech teacher who taught at the Royal Academy of Music – founded a unique drama school that unified theatre practice and drama education into one curriculum. She aimed to train actors who could teach and teachers who could act. Her college, dedicated at first to the training of drama teachers, officially opened on July 6, 1951 as The Rose Bruford Training College for Speech and Drama. The acting work then, as now, was based on the theories and principles of Konstantin Stanislavski.

Rose was part of a pioneering British post-war movement that saw theatre training as more than an elite, privileged activity. Her school, and its famous Theatre Arts programme, produced practitioners with an informed view of their responsibilities as communicators and educators. Graduates were teachers and theatre workers who were fluent in the theory and practice of theatre making. In 1976, the College created and began offering the first UK Honours Degree in professional acting and theatre practice.

Rose Bruford was interested in the community of theatre and the role of the theatre in the life of the community. She and every Principal to succeed her have led an institution that has produced graduates who have made significant contributions to the development of theatre production and practice and theatre education worldwide. Today, the international scope of the College is significant.

While much has changed at the College since its founding, especially with the addition of more BA and MA programmes and professional programmes in performance and technical arts, Rose Bruford’s pioneering philosophy and vision are still at the heart of its mission. Students from different walks of life study at our campus in Sidcup or by distance learning in other parts of the world. At undergraduate level, our programmes provide specialist pathways into the creative industries alongside opportunities to study particular styles and genres of theatre practice. Our postgraduate students are developing and extending their knowledge into advanced areas of theatre, theory and performance, and the postgraduate programmes we offer provide platforms for research and innovative theatre making.

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Alternative Company Names

Bruford, RBC production, Rosde Bruford School of speech and drama, Rose Bruford, Rose Bruford Actors, Rose Bruford College of Theatre & Perfromance, Rose Bruford College/Paines Plough, Rose Bruford Productions, Rose Bruford Summer School, Rose Bruford Theatre, Rose Burford College