Jonny Bussell has been appointed as programme leader for the BA (Hons) degree in Acting for Stage and Screen. Launching in September 2018, the students will develop the craft of performing on stage and screen.
Jonny, from Yarm-on-Tees in the North East of England, has worked in the acting industry for over 11 years and in the teaching profession for over seven years.
After graduating from Newcastle University with a First in Philosophy, Jonny went on to study for an MA in Acting at Arts Educational Schools London. He has since worked as an actor, writer and director predominately in the north east, performing in plays such as ‘Revenger’s Tragedy’ at the Arc Theatre in Stockton and ‘The Government Inspector’ at the Newcastle Theatre Royal
As a writer Jonny was part of Live Theatre’s Writer’s Group 2011 and his first full length play ‘The Centre’ was produced at Arc in Stockton. His play ‘The Bag’ toured the North East and Scotland with Northumberland Theatre Company. He was the writer of ‘Just Checking,’ an Arts Council funded play in conjunction with Vivid Theatre Company and Newcastle University which was performed at Northern Stage and Arc.
Alongside his new role at CCAD, Jonny is currently working as a director for the Arts Council funded play ‘Bankers,’ which explores the 2008 banking crisis and growing use of food banks, and plays at the Alphabetti Theatre in Newcastle this month.
Jonny began his education career in 2011 as a lecturer in acting at Newcastle College, becoming Programme Leader for BA Hons Acting and Performance Practice.
On his appointment to CCAD and taking the lead on a new course, Jonny said: “Setting up the new BA Hons Acting for Stage and Screen demonstrates how ambitious the college is. I’m incredibly excited about the collaborative nature of the courses, with the acting students having the opportunity to work with their peers to create exciting new films and plays. Coming from Teesside I’m delighted that we have the opportunity to bring top quality actor training to the region.”
Bringing his industry experience to the role, Jonny hopes to enhance the development of the programme by exploring current industry trends.
“With our strong links at Arc in Stockton as well as Alphabetti Theatre in Newcastle, we will be working closely with the touring companies that will be performing in these venues. I am also keen to create a programme of guest speakers from a host of theatre and film companies.
“I also have a passion for new writing, classical theatre and physical theatre so we can offer students a wide range of skills development within their training. Ideally we are looking for students with passion for acting and are open to new ideas and ways of working so we can make exciting new works.”
Pat Chapman, Vice Principal (Employability and External Relations), said: “Our new degree programme, which has a focus on the stage and screen industry, builds on our track record and responds to what industry figures have told us are the skills needed to sustain this growing and exciting industry in the northeast and the UK as a whole.
“Jonny brings a combination of real world experience, and academic rigour which is vital to preparing our students as work ready professionals, and giving us the ability to offer great collaborative opportunities with theatres and production companies.
“The development of a full suite of stage and screen degrees together with our new theatre, film and TV studios and other technical facilities, offers a fabulous opportunity for students to work together across programmes – collaborating in just the same way they will when they join the business.”