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Regional Theatre Young Director Scheme expands programme with £450,000 ACE grant

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Arts Council England has given the Regional Theatre Young Director Scheme £450,000 to expand its programme and attract more applicants from diverse communities.

The initiative, which awards bursaries to emerging directors for them to work with a UK theatre, has increased the programme this year to offer four 18-month placements.

It has also added a second strand of the scheme, in which six entry-level directors will be offered financial support for three-month placements in regional theatres.

This part of the initiative aims to engage young people from a broad range of social, ethnic, educational and cultural backgrounds who are new to directing.

For the next three years, the RTYDS will fund and support regional theatres to run annual participation projects to find these young people from local communities.

Former trainees of the RTYDS include Royal Court Theatre artistic director Vicky Featherstone, former Royal Shakespeare Company artistic director Michael Boyd and Glasgow’s Citizens Theatre’s artistic director Dominic Hill.

RTYDS chair and Young Vic associate artistic director Sue Emmas said: “Artists from certain social, cultural and educational backgrounds have been long under-represented in the arts, and the reinvigoration of RTYDS demonstrates our deep commitment to developing the diversity of our theatres.

“Over the next three years we are determined to ensure that at least 25% of RTYDS participants are from diverse communities, a figure that represents a 10% increase on the past five years.”

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