LAMDA Launches West Coast Patrons Program

On Wednesday October 10, LAMDA Alumnus John Lithgow and LAMDA Chair The Rt Hon Shaun Woodward launched the American Friends of LAMDA (AFLAMDA) West Coast Program at the drama school’s annual US showcase in West Hollywood.

LAMDA is committed to selecting the most talented students, regardless of background or financial circumstance. Patrons will join the program for $1500 or $2500 a year, with their support contributing to LAMDA’s Scholarship Fund to assist American students.

The launch took place at LAMDA’s annual Los Angeles showcase where graduating students perform to leading professionals, actors, producers and agents. Joanna Read, Principal of LAMDA said, “LAMDA inspires and trains the next generation of exceptional dramatic artists and technicians - no matter who they are, where they come from or their financial circumstances. American students have been studying at LAMDA since the 1950s and so I am delighted that AFLAMDA’s West Coast Program will help to support talented American actors and theatre makers continue to experience LAMDA’s world-class training.”

Multi-Award winner John Lithgow (The Crown), who graduated from LAMDA in 1969 and is a Genesis LAMDA Network Mentor said, “This is a much needed opportunity for young American drama students who hope to come to London and study full time at one of the best drama schools in the world. I should know – it’s where I began life as a professional actor. LAMDA’s training still informs every acting job I do.”

The American Friends of LAMDA has supported the training of American students at LAMDA since 1994, providing scholarships and financial aid, and widening access to people from all backgrounds and economic circumstances. The West Coast Program will help increase the number of scholarships and bursaries offered specifically for American students.

Speaking at the launch, Chair of LAMDA and former British Secretary of State The Rt Hon Shaun Woodard said, “A fifth of all LAMDA students are American and every year we are able to offer a place to the most outstanding students who apply for LAMDA. This level of intensive training and work is inevitably costly and we want to build a Scholarship to help out American students. Ensuring future students can be given the best formal drama training is core to our mission and making sure that these young people will always be chosen by their talent and not their backgrounds means we will continue to train the most diverse and best students from the USA.”

Every year LAMDA auditions over 400 young people in seven major American cities for a place on its highly sought after full-time courses, with approximately one in five of its students coming from the USA. LAMDA alumni born or living in the USA include David Abeles, James Bundy, Brian Cox, Tony Goldwyn, Zeljko Ivanek, Stacey Keach, Dana Ivey, Swoozie Kurtz, John Lithgow, Benito Martinez, David Oyelowo, Rico Ross, Rita Wilson and the late Barbara Tarbuck.

More information about AFLAMDA can be found at

More information about the Genesis LAMDA Network can be found