Performers Derek Jacobi and Patricia Hodge  are to judge this year’s Royal Theatrical Support Trust director award scheme.
The winner of the scheme, which is in its second year, will direct a full-scale production of a classic play at Nuffield Southampton Theatres and Theatr Clwyd in 2018.
The winning production will also be produced by English Touring Theatre, and will also be staged at venues across England.
Tamara Harvey, Richard Twyman, Samuel Hodges and Danny Lee Wynter complete the selection panel.
Candidates are asked to submit a vision for a radical reworking of a classic British or European play in response to contemporary issues. They must already have a track record of professional directing experience.
The scheme is run by the Royal Theatrical Support Trust and partners with a different regional theatre each year. It will make a grant of £50,000 to NST towards the cost of the production.
Chairman of the RTST Geoffrey Cass said: “The award reflects the mission of the RTST to support British theatre in multiple ways. The 2017 RTST award winner will have the thrill and satisfaction of seeing his or her work on the stages of NST, Theatr Clwyd, and touring venues of ETT. Last year we had 97 entries for the 2016 award. This year, the prize for the winner is even more exciting.”
Samuel Hodges, director of NST, said: “With the UK more segregated than ever before, this is a critical time to call the next generation of directors to boldly engage with our current state of the nation. We want the production to play to the width and breadth of the British Isles.”
The winner of the inaugural award in 2016 was Kate Hewitt , chosen by a selection panel including Ian McKellen and Penelope Wilton. Her production of Nina Raine’s Tribes will run at the Sheffield Crucible’s studio theatre from June 29 to July 22 2017.
The closing date for 2017 applications is March 20.