Maggie Saxon, Interim Executive Director at Vivacity Key Theatre, has been awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Staffordshire University in recognition of her services to theatre and performing arts nationally.
Maggie’s doctorate recognises the role she played alongside the late Peter Cheeseman, in project managing the creation of the New Victoria Theatre, which continues to make a valuable contribution to the culture of North Staffordshire and subsequently as one of the UK’s most experienced and successful cultural managers. It also recognises her contribution to the training and continuing professional development of people working in technical theatre through her position as Executive Director of Skillscene.
Maggie has spent the majority of her working life producing theatres in management capacity.
After an initial career in banking, Maggie was appointed Finance Manager at the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester. She spent five years in Manchester before being appointed General Manager of the Victoria Theatre in Stoke-On-Trent, where she worked alongside Peter Cheeseman to project manage the creation of a new multi-million pound theatre in the round, The New Vic.
From usher to finance director and beyond, Maggie Saxon just couldn’t stay away from theatre and her dramatic change of career showed that banking’s loss was theatre’s gain.
Professor Ray Johnson, Film Heritage and Documentary at Staffordshire University, said: “Maggie Saxon is one of the country’s most influential arts professionals. She is clearly a ‘Theatre’ person.”
Maggie said about her recognition: “It is for me the most thrilling and humbling at the same time.
“I had always wanted to work on 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.”