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The Academy Appoints Mr Ben Sumner as Dean of Theatre and Entertainment Arts

3 Jan 2020



The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts (HKAPA) is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr Ben Sumner as Dean of Theatre and Entertainment Arts, with effect from 6 January 2020.


Mr Sumner started his teaching career in 1987 at Guildhall School of Music and Drama (Guildhall) in London. In 1990 he joined the HKAPA as Senior Lecturer in Technical Management where he remained for 12 years. He moved to the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts in Perth, Australia as Programme Director (Production, Design and Arts Management) in 2002. In 2007 he returned to Guildhall where he became Vice Principal and Director of Production Arts, a position he held until rejoining HKAPA this year.


Mr Sumner has developed a distinguished career in the field of theatre technical arts and the higher education sector. With over 40 years of extensive experience in the UK and internationally, he has worked in corporate events, dance, drama, musical theatre, circus, opera and television.


Mr Sumner has also been involved in major curriculum development, validation and re-validation exercises and external examination throughout his academic career at prestigious performing arts conservatoires, including the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA), Royal Scottish Conservatoire, the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA), and HKAPA.


Trained in Stage Management at the Central School of Speech and Drama, Mr Sumner holds an MBA in Education Management from the University of Leicester, and is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy as well as National Teaching Fellow in the UK.


HKAPA Director Professor Adrian Walter warmly welcomes Mr Ben Sumner to the Academy, noting, “With his global connections and networks, and extensive experience in both performing arts education and the creative industries, I believe that Mr Sumner will take the School of Theatre and Entertainment Arts to yet another level in its ongoing development, building on the strong and effective work of his predecessors.”





About The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts (


The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts (HKAPA), established by Government Ordinance in 1984, is a leading tertiary institution in the performing arts in Asia. It provides professional undergraduate education and practice-based postgraduate studies. The study encompasses Chinese Opera, Dance, Drama, Film and Television, Music, and Theatre and Entertainment Arts. Its educational philosophy reflects the cultural diversity of Hong Kong with emphasis on Chinese and western traditions, and interdisciplinary learning. In the QS World University Rankings announced in 2019, the Academy is ranked the 1st in Asia and the 13th in the world in the Performing Arts category.