On Sunday, October 28, family, friends, and faculty gathered at Gloucester Gate to celebrate BADA’s Co-Founder and long-time Associate Director, Carolyn Sands, as she stepped down from regular duties at BADA, after 35 years.

Managing Director Tim Denham spoke about Carolyn’s time at BADA and her generous spirit, which the Academy will strive to embody. An excerpt of his remarks is below:

The brainchild of Carolyn and Tony Branch, some of you here will remember that the combination of Tony’s drive and vision and Carolyn’s moderating influence kept BADA afloat and thriving, through the years when it was trying to get established.

Anyone who has been on a BADA program in its 35 years will have had the privilege of knowing Carolyn. Many students have had personal experience of her endless capacity for caring, when needing medical attention and protracted visits to hospitals.

She has a generosity of spirit, in abundance which has inspired teachers, governors, staff and students over the years. BADA is felt by many students and their parents to be a family. This is very much down to Carolyn’s influence.

Now she has decided to step down from her day to day duties, she has earned a good rest. Not very likely, I know. She has family and other pursuits to keep her busy!

We will miss her hugely but happily she will continue to pop in and to help us in several ways.

Carolyn. You’ve been a huge part of our lives for so long. Long may it continue!

Some photos from Carolyn’s 35 years with BADA:


If you would like to honor Carolyn in her retirement, she has asked that donations be made to the Actors’ Children’s Trust, which you may do here.

Here’s what a few of the recent donors to the Trust had to say about Carolyn’s impact:

She is so much the spirit of BADA and her kindness and wisdom will continue to inspire us.

Nobody has been more caring of teachers, students and all in our theatre community. Thank you Carolyn.

Dear Carolyn , you are a very special lady . You have my admiration my best wishes and love.