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Maggie Saxon

Maggie Saxon is one of the country's most influential arts professionals and has made a valuable contribution to the cultural life of Staffordshire.

After an initial career in banking, Maggie was appointed Finance Manager at the Royal Exchange Theatre. She spent five years in Manchester before being appointed General Manager of the Victoria Theatre in Stoke-on-Trent.

During this time, Maggie worked alongside the late Peter Cheeseman CBE, to help project manage the creation of The New Victoria Theatre – a £3.2 million new-build theatre-in-the-round.

She said: "I had always wanted to work in the theatre. I was inspired during school where I was encouraged and supported by an influential teacher who showed me all the different opportunities to be had in theatre.

"The official opening of The New Vic by Princess Margaret was a significantly proud moment for me. This moment, alongside the work we were doing with the community to ensure the theatre was embedded in the region, made me feel very fortunate to be part of that.

Maggie remained in the Potteries for 13 years before becoming the Managing Director of West Yorkshire Playhouse where she led the company out of financial crisis with the support of ACE stabilisation programme. She was subsequently Executive Director of Chichester Festival Theatre.

Maggie is the immediate past President of the Theatrical Management Association, as well as having served on its Council and various committees. She is a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute and of the Royal Society of Arts and an Associate of the Institute of Bankers.

As Executive Director of Skillscene, a voluntary organisation which encompasses trade associations and unions, Maggie had also been a leading figure in national initiatives to improve and encourage the professional development of individuals working in technical theatre.

"Skillscene is designed for people who are skilled workers within technical theatre, but this skill is not formally recognised. We aim to help the continuing professional development of the workforce and to unite the sector to build national strategies to get skill recognised."

Between 2012 and 2014, she became an Associate of Creative Process; a company supporting apprenticeships in advertising, media and creative sectors. During this time, she became a Creative Programmer for Vivacity Key Theater.

Alongside her creative career, since 2002, Maggie has been the managing director of Creative Concepts, her own consultancy.

The award of Honorary Doctor of Staffordshire University is bestowed upon Maggie in recognition of her services to theatre and performing arts.

Photo of Maggie Saxon

Maggie Saxon was bestowed the award in 2012

I'm deeply honoured, the Potteries is very special to me and I was fortunate to meet such wonderful people and watch firsthand the positive changes in the area during my time here.

Maggie Saxon