Meet the Graduates of Royal Central School of Speech and Drama

Central's USA-based graduates share their industry journeys

By: Feb. 21, 2024
Meet the Graduates of  Royal Central School of Speech and Drama
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The below information was provided by The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London.


From performers to stage managers to producers and writers our graduates go on to incredible achievements in film, theatre, television and more. Hear from a few of our USA-based graduates about what they’ve been up to below.

Garrett Turner graduated from Central’s MA Music Theatre course in 2014 and moved straight to New York City:

 “I started my career doing regional theatre up and down the East Coast and then I made my Broadway debut in 2021 in a new play called Thoughts of a Colored Man and in 2022 in 2023 I played Ike Turner in the original cast of the first national tour of Tina, the Tina Turner musical.”

Tom Payne is an alum of Central’s BA (Hons) Acting programme, 2005 and now resides in sunny California:

“People might know me from The Walking Dead or Prodigal Son for Fox and Sky. Next year I have a move with Blumhouse coming out called Imaginary and two movies called Horizon Part One and Two with Warner Brothers. My training at Central was invaluable to my career and I have fond memories of being there.”

Since graduating from MA Advanced Theatre Practice in 2015, Jess Kaufman has been busy with her theatre company Flying Leap Productions:

“Advanced Theatre Practice (ATP) is this incredible crash course in devised theatre, interdisciplinary collaboration and self-producing and thinking really critically about why we make new work and how we do it in a way that feels really thoughtful.

It was incredibly unique, there was nothing like it in the States and I got to connect with artists from all over the world. And when I graduated I moved back home to the New York area and I started a theatre company called Flying Leap Productions. We make experiential, interactive, site-specific theatre for kids and families around really challenging subject matter.

It’s our third year, and I’m really proud to say we’ve got our first two commissions this year. We have received some really awesome clients, are growing really fast and it’s been really meaningful to me to finally be doing what I always wanted to be doing but didn’t know it was possible until I went to Central.”

You can learn more about Central alumni and the range of courses available, including Bachelor’s degrees, graduate programmes and online short courses over on Central's website. Whichever stage you’re at in your journey, Central can help you follow your passion and further your career.

The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama is a leading UK performing arts institution, based in London. They offer bachelor’s degrees, graduate degrees and short courses across the breadth of the performing and dramatic arts. Find out more at www.cssd.ac.uk



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