Joanna Read is stepping down as principal of LAMDA to become chief executive of the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre.
She joined LAMDA in 2010 and will leave the organisation in January 2019 to join the Guildford venue.
Yvonne Arnaud Theatre chairman Julian Bird praised Read’s “knowledge of the sector, her passion for regional theatre and her vision for Guildford’s historic theatre”.
Read said the drama school had been a “privilege and a delight to lead”, but that she was looking forward to returning “full-time to theatre again”. Prior to joining LAMDA, she was chief executive and artistic director of Salisbury Playhouse.
Alongside the role of chief executive at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, she will also be theatre director.
Read said she would ensure the theatre continued to thrive and that she would be developing “an engaging and exciting programme of work for its audience”.
LAMDA chairman Shaun Woodward described Read as an “outstanding principal”. Under her leadership, LAMDA has undergone a £28.2 million redevelopment project in which 10 rehearsal studios were built, alongside two theatres.
She has also introduced new courses, including a master’s in classical acting.