Theatre News

David Harewood and Cynthia Erivo appointed RADA President and Vice President

The duo take over from Kenneth Branagh

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David Harewood and Cynthia Erivo, © Helen Murray

RADA (Royal Academy of Dramatic Art) has announced the appointment of David Harewood as president and Cynthia Erivo as vice president, succeeding Kenneth Branagh who served in the role of president for nine years. The transition is effective immediately.

The honorary positions serve as active supporters of the academy, its students, faculty, and broader community through contributions, advocacy, and awareness-raising efforts.

Branagh said as he departs: “It has been a privilege to serve RADA, and it is a thrill to welcome the brilliant David Harewood and Cynthia Erivo to their new roles at the academy. My congratulations and gratitude for the partnership of these exceptional talents helping to shape RADA’s exciting future, and my profound thanks to the Academy’s remarkable staff and students from whom I have learned so much.”

Harewood added: “I am extremely delighted to be stepping into the role of president of RADA alongside the wonderful Cynthia Erivo. As a former student at RADA and somebody who has enjoyed both the highs and experienced the lows of this industry, I feel I am ideally placed to help these young people navigate the sometimes difficult path from students to professionals, by bringing all the knowledge and experience I’ve learnt over a 30 year career. I very much look forward to beginning this new journey and playing a small role influencing so many young and talented individuals.”

Erivo continued: “I am thrilled to be joining David and the whole team at RADA as the Academy’s vice president. Having trained at the academy, I am acutely aware of how important a strong support system is; when it comes to education in the arts, it is by no means easy. I have been lucky enough to spend some time with the students at RADA, teaching and the lessons have been enlightening, heartwarming and heartbreaking, all at once. I’m excited to be able to spend more time with them, helping them along their path, to their careers in the outside world. My hope is that I can play a valuable role in strengthening the new talent of tomorrow.”