Stephen Simms

Director of Birmingham School of Acting (BSA), Professor of Actor Education

Birmingham School of Acting

Stephen is the Principal of Birmingham School of Acting, one of the UK's leading conservatoires of acting, where he is also the Head of Acting. He is also Professor of Actor Education, the only person to hold this position in the country. He directs and teaches on the acting courses at BSA. Recent full-scale productions include Shakespeare's 'The Winter's Tale' and 'Two Noble Kinsmen', Beaumont and Fletchers' 'Philaster', Buchner's 'Woyzeck' and Wedekind's 'Lulu'. Most recently he has directed the award-winning musical 'Spring Awakening', 'The Revenger's Tragedy', 'Total Eclipse' and 'A Clockwork Orange'.


Stephen is a graduate of Bristol University and an Honours graduate of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA), where he received the George Bernard Shaw scholarship, the Beerbohm-Tree Prize, and the RADA Silver medal. He went on to join the Royal Shakespeare Company with whom he acted for several years in Stratford-upon-Avon and London. His time at the RSC gave him the privilege of solo work training with Cicely Berry and John Barton. He has performed in a large number of cities around the world, both with the RSC and the British Council. Roles include Lysander in 'Midsummer Night’s Dream', Feste in '12 Night', Kent in 'King Lear', and Duke of York in 'Henry VI'.


Stephen has worked as a director and drama tutor with the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, and as a member of the acclaimed theatre group “Actor’s from the London Stage” he performed and delivered lectures and workshops at universities across the USA, including Ohio, Memphis, Texas, Virginia, Boston, and Pomona LA.

Work With Industry

Stephen has appeared in London’s West End, various television series, and major international feature films, including Kenneth Branagh’s “Henry V” and Ben Elton’s “Maybe Baby” (Hugh Laurie/Joley Richardson/Emma Thompson). He was also a member of Declan Donnellan’s multi-award-winning “Cheek by Jowl “ theatre company. Stephen has played a wide variety of classical and contemporary roles in British reparatory and festival theatres, working with leading directors such as Adrian Noble, John Caird, Jude Kelly, and Katie Mitchell.