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GONZAGA UNIVERSITY NEWS RELEASE
Dale Goodwin, Director
Peter Tormey, Associate Director
|Prolific Professor Pickering to Return March 20|
Ken Pickering, a professor of arts education at the Institute for Arts in Therapy and Education in London and chief examiner for drama and speech at Trinity College, London, has been chosen as a Visiting Scholar-In-Residence in Gonzaga University’s Master of Arts Program in Communication and Leadership Studies.
Pickering has successfully combined the careers of writer, theatre director and academic and is the author of 15 books on aspects of theatre, communication, and the study of drama and of a large number of widely performed stage plays and musicals. He will teach a special seminar on Leadership and Imagination and direct a reading of T. S. Eliot’s “Murder in the Cathedral,” something he has done in many of the cathedrals in Britain.
Pickering will be in residence at Gonzaga from March 20-April 1. Professor John Caputo, director of the master’s program, said a number of venues and speaking engagements will be arranged for Pickering, including a joint-reception with the communication arts faculty. Pickering was a member of the GU faculty as a visiting professor of communication and theatre in the mid-1990s.
Originally trained in drama and music at Goldsmiths’ College, London, Pickering went on to gain degrees in theatre and humanities from the Open University and the universities of Wales, Sussex and California together with diplomas in performance, teaching and directing.
He has been a constant innovator in arts education. He was the first chief examiner for the General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) drama and established the first British University degree in performing arts and the first degree with classical ballet as its core. He now serves as chief external examiner to the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts (created by Sir Paul McCartney) and as External Examiner to degree programmes at the University of the Arts, London, and the University of Kent.
His senior academic appointments have included head of theatre and performance studies at Nonington College, senior course coordinator at the London College of Dance and Drama, and professor of theatre at Gonzaga, where he taught and continues to contribute to courses in playwriting and directing.
Pickering is perhaps best known for his spectacular productions of “The Mysteries” in Canterbury and Birmingham Cathedrals and in Malvern Priory and Tewkesbury Abbey, England. He is recognized as one of the leading directors of medieval drama.
Also, he has directed an opera company and has many modern and classical productions to his credit on both sides of the Atlantic. His production of “As You Like It” at the Spokane Civic Theatre was awarded the critics’ title of “Best Production in the Northwest.”
As a workshop leader, Pickering has been in constant demand in the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany. Generations of students have used his series of cassettes titled, “Let’s Communicate.” Pickering’s acting career has included appearances with the Sherman Arena Company in Cardiff and as Becket in a special production for the Lambeth Conference of Bishops in Canterbury Cathedral, England.
His book “Drama in the Cathedral” was The London Times literary editor’s choice as “Book of the Week,” and he was librettist for the Dover Millennium Music project. He is now directing two professional productions: “Monday Nights Have to be Better for the Theatre Royal, Margate and the Old Vic” and “Vita and Harold” for a major tour. Pickering frequently directs the Jasperian Theatre company that specializes in music theatre for unusual venues and has just completed 12 years as chair of the Channel Theatre Trust, one of Britain’s most successful theatre companies.
For more information, please contact Professor John Caputo at (509) 323-6656 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.