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27th August, 2021

Central welcomes its new Principal, Josette Bushell-Mingo OBE


Central is delighted to welcome its new Principal, Josette Bushell-Mingo OBE, who takes up her post from Monday 16 August, 2021. 

Josette, who was appointed Principal by Central’s Board in February 2021, joins the School from Stockholm University of the Arts where she was Head of Acting. 

Originally from the United Kingdom, Josette says that she is very happy to be back home in London and that “I look forward to starting to meet you all from this week”. 

Professor George Caird, who served as Interim Principal prior to Josette’s arrival, said “I am delighted to be handing over to Josette after an exciting year with Central.  With Josette’s arrival, a new era begins.” 

Josette Bushell-Mingo is an award-winning actor and director whose 40-year career has included performances with the Royal Shakespeare Company, the National Theatre and the Manchester Royal Exchange.  She was nominated for an Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her role as Rafiki in the West End production of The Lion King, a role which she originated, and she devised and starred in the internationally acclaimed production Nina: A Story about Me and Nina Simone.  

As a director, Josette Bushell-Mingo was Founder and Artistic Director of PUSH, a Black-led theatre festival with the Young Vic Theatre.  Through her work with PUSH, she was awarded an Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to the arts, a Judy Cramer Award for Innovation, and the Southbank Cultural Diversity Award.    

For 13 years, she was also the Artistic Director for The National Touring Swedish Deaf Theatre ensemble Tyst Teater, where her work focused on fostering the understanding, respect and potential of sign language arts and the artistic, linguistic and cultural rights of the deaf.  

Born in London and based in Sweden since 2005, she is an active spokesperson for inclusive arts and politics.  She co-founded PUSH’s sister organisation in Sweden, TRYCK, which works to inspire and challenge the artistic and cultural representation of Afro-Swedes and African descent artists on national stages in Sweden.  

She has served on the board of the Swedish Film Institute, as the chairwoman for CinemAfrica, a Swedish Non-Profit organisation devoted to celebrating African and Diaspora film culture, and is Patron of the Unity Theatre, Liverpool.  

As a director and teacher, Josette travels internationally giving lectures and workshops in the creation of sign language theatre, cultural diversity challenges and inclusion, and has taught in Stockholm, Malmö and Luleå theatre schools, LAMDA, the London College of Fashion, and New York University’s TISCH School of the Arts amongst others. 

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