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Oxford School of Drama founder George Peck to step down as principal

George Peck George Peck
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George Peck has announced his retirement as principal of the Oxford School of Drama, the institution he founded 33 years ago.

Kate Ashcroft, who was executive director for 20 years until last year and is now the drama school’s head of marketing, will also leave at the same time.

Peck founded the Oxford School of Drama in 1986 after several years of running summer courses to university students in the city, and now runs a range of programmes including a three-year acting course.

Peck said: “In 1986 I wanted to build a school that offered a contemporary and creative approach to actor training. Looking back it is astonishing to realise how much has been achieved in so short a time. It’s been a huge privilege to work alongside so many talented tutors and students and we are all immensely proud of the work the graduates are doing in the industry. It is, and will, I am certain, continue to be, a truly inspirational and vocational school.”

Peck and Ashcroft will both leave the organisation in August 2019, and recruitment for a new principal will start this month.

The school’s chair, Peter Wilson-Smith, said: “George has created a remarkable drama school with a unique character and a reputation for nurturing exceptional talent. The many Oxford School of Drama alumni now enjoying success in the profession is testimony to the quality of the organisation that he and Kate Ashcroft have guided and developed over more than two decades.

“It is a challenge replacing an inspirational founder but we have an outstanding team of tutors and staff in place who will continue the OSD tradition as we embark on the search for a successor.”

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