Mountview joint Chief Executives Stephen Jameson and Sarah Preece step down in December 2021

Mountview has today announced its joint Chief Executives Stephen Jameson, Principal & Artistic Director, and Executive Director Sarah Preece will step down in December 2021 after eight transformative years in their roles. They have overseen significant change for the drama school, most notably the realisation of a new £30-million building to match the world-class training Mountview has delivered for over 75 years.

In 2018 Sarah and Stephen opened the doors to Mountview’s purpose-built home in Peckham, south London. Their vision was to create a new-model drama school, bringing together world class theatre training at foundation, undergraduate and postgraduate level, programmes for local young people and the community, and spaces for the professional industry.

In addition, their objective was to increase diversity and break down the barriers to training. This led to the development of a national scouting network of 52 partners across the UK and the creation of the Judi Dench Fund for Access to Drama Training. As a result, in 2020 Stephen and Sarah were awarded Special Recognition Olivier Awards for their commitment to arts and arts education in Peckham and improving diversity and accessibility.

Later that year Mountview’s building was shortlisted for The Stage Theatre Building of the Year and the 2021 RIBA Regional Building Award and Sarah was named Woman in Business at the Southwark Excellence in Business Awards.

Sarah and Stephen commented:

Whilst we are very sad to be leaving this incredible organisation, it has been a real privilege to lead this powerhouse of drama training, to establish world-class facilities for developing artists and to create a genuinely porous building that welcomes the community. We are so proud to have finally found Mountview a permanent home, beautifully crafted by Carl Turner Architects and contractor Gilbert-Ash. We have achieved the creative and business vision we had for Mountview when we became its joint Chief Executives and it feels right to now make way for the next act in Mountview’s play.

We want to pay heartfelt thanks to our visionary Chair Dame Vikki Heywood and incredible Trustees, as well as those who generously support Mountview including Sir Cameron Mackintosh, Lady Susie Sainsbury, Southwark Council, the GLA, and the many trusts and foundations and individuals who supported our vision to make Mountview one of the best and most diverse drama schools in the UK.

Our particular thanks go to our incredibly dedicated and creative staff and the talented students who make Mountview what it is – world class.

Mountview’s Chair Dame Vikki Heywood commented:

Stephen and Sarah have been a formidable double act at Mountview surpassing our wildest dreams by creating a stunning new home in Peckham for vocational teaching, theatre making and community engagement during their term. The fact that they also widened inclusion, broadened the profile, delivered a new business model and established a brave new creative vision that celebrates Mountview’s past is nothing short of miraculous in these challenging times.

Everyone at Mountview will be sorry to say goodbye to these two such inspirational leaders, but they leave behind a powerful legacy and a very bright future for the school. 

Dame Judi Dench, Mountview’s President added:

Stephen and Sarah’s commitment to achieving the highest quality drama training for all has been exemplary and inspirational. I was honoured when they created a fund in my name to help the next generation of talented young theatre makers; from this acorn will grow a splendid and strong oak.

I would like to thank them for their dedication to Mountview and wish them the very best for their future.

A recruitment process to identify their successors is underway and will be announced shortly.