The American Friends of LAMDA is a US-based independent, non-profit 501(c)(3) which supports the work of LAMDA.

Since its founding in 1994, The American Friends of LAMDA (AFLAMDA) has supported the training of American students at LAMDA with scholarships and financial aid, while also contributing to the enhancement of the school's facilities and development in other areas.

LAMDA believes that drama has the power to transform lives and wants more people to share in this experience through training, qualifications, work, productions and facilities. The American corporations, foundations and individuals that support AFLAMDA share this belief in the power of the dramatic arts to move, inspire, and challenge people, as well as society as a whole, and recognise the contribution the Academy makes to enhance the lives of its students and audiences.

AFLAMDA, LAMDA and the US-UK Fulbright Commission each year enable a student from the US to study for LAMDA’s MA in Classical Acting for the Professional Theatre.  This scholarship honors not only the great actor, John Wood, but also the growing trans-Atlantic bond between the US and US.

Individuals with a passion for the arts, and corporations and foundations with a commitment to them, are of vital importance to the continued success of AFLAMDA. As a US-based charity, American taxpayers will find donations to AFLAMDA tax-deductible. Learn more on the Support AFLAMDA page.

The charity has its own Board of Directors.



Shaun Woodward is now Chairman of LAMDA in the UK and Chair of the US American Friends of LAMDA. He chaired the  Act Now!, raising nearly $40m to rebuild LAMDA 's home in London. Shaun was a Secretary of State in The British Government and concluded the Northern Ireland Political Process talks as part of the Peace Process.

He was previously Minister for the Arts and Creative Industries, implementing the Film Tax Credit which hugely boosted film production in the UK.

Shaun was a British Member of Parliament from 1997 to 2015.

He was the first Chairman of English National Opera's Capital Campaign to rebuild ENO's performing home at The London Coliseum.

After studying English at Cambridge University, he was a reporter and producer for ten years for BBC TV News, Current Affairs and was a documentary film maker.

Shaun has taught at Harvard and London Universities. He serves on many Arts and Human Rights Boards. He lives between London and New York. He is a Member of the Board of the Hamptons International Film Festival and has been its Honorary Chairman.

JEFFREY HARDY (Vice-Chairman)

Jeffrey trained at LAMDA and has had an international career as an actor. He was a member of New Shakespeare Company of San Francisco, worked in London’s West End, repertory theatre in the UK, Off-Broadway and toured in the US, Austria, Germany, Sweden and Australia. With Dame Judi Dench, he was a founding Director of The Royalty Theatre Company. He has taught Shakespeare for the Actor in London, Australia and New York and is an adjunct professor at the New York Institute of Technology. He is also a working attorney.

Katherine (Agnew) Channon

Katherine is an Artist and is delighted to join the American Friends of LAMDA board continuing a long family legacy of supporting charities in the visual and performing arts. Katherine worked in property development in Ireland for ten years before eight years working for CBS news in London.  She currently lives and works in Essex, England where she runs an events company.


Brian Cox, CBE., is a LAMDA alumus. He is known for his work with the Royal Shakespeare Company, where he won an Olivier award for his portrayal of Titus Andronicus. Later, he achieved acclaim for his starring role in King Lear at the Royal National Theatre in London. He has appeared in many television shows and films including RushmoreSuper TroopersX2: X-Men United as William Stryker, and Troy as Agamemnon. Brian recently achieved notoriety for his performance of Winston Churchill in the 2017 film Churchill and will soon to appear in the HBO series Succession. Brian lives in New York and London.


Joanna is Principal and Chief Executive of LAMDA, The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. A theatre director by profession and previously Artistic Director of Salisbury Playhouse, Joanna took up the position at LAMDA in July 2010 with a brief to raise the international artistic and education profile of the Academy. Under her leadership, the organisation embarked upon a successful £28.2 million capital programme to build 10 rehearsals studios, two theatres and a TV suite for LAMDA, which was completed in summer 2017.  

She has developed international relationships for the Academy, increased the touring work of the school, forging relationships with City College New York, UCLA, Moscow Arts Theatre School amongst others.
Prior to LAMDA she was Chief Executive and Artistic Director of Salisbury Playhouse. Under her leadership, the Playhouse became one of the leading regional producing theatres of the last decade. She is currently a Board member of the Regional Theatre Young Directors Scheme, Arts Council of England, NPO Sector Support Agency, is President of Guildford Shakespeare Company and is an external Examiner for the LIR Theatre Academy, Trinity College Dublin.