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‘Isolated’ directors to get support from regional funding project

Sue Emmas, artistic director of the Regional Theatre Young Directors Scheme. Photo: Slav and Slava Kirichok
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The Regional Theatre Young Directors Scheme has launched two new projects this year, including a craft and career development programme of workshops and masterclasses.

RTYDS, which provides career development opportunities for emerging directors, has said it hopes to facilitate a nationwide community of directors in what is “often an isolated and competitive profession” with the programme.

It will involve 10 masterclasses, workshops and training sessions of one or two days for around 200 directors.

Additionally, RTYDS has also announced Elayce Ismail to be the first recipient of a paid 18-month pilot scheme, in partnership with Northern Stage, to enable an associate director to develop his or her career and learn artistic leadership skills.

RTYDS will also continue its paid 18-month assistant director residencies, this year taking place in Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Sheffield Theatres and Manchester’s Royal Exchange.

There will also be three paid three-month placements at Nottingham Playhouse, Oldham Coliseum Theatre and Salisbury Playhouse with directors Katie Brailsford, Sushil Chudasama and Hannah Petley, which are now open for application on the organisation’s website.

Additionally, Birmingham Repertory Theatre, the Dukes in Lancaster, West Yorkshire Playhouse and Eclipse Theatre in Sheffield will host a series of “introduction to directing” projects, which will support up to 40 new theatre directors to start their professional careers.

The new projects have been announced after RTYDS was awarded £185,000 from Arts Council England to build on its current programme, and to provide career development opportunities for young directors from underrepresented backgrounds.

RTYDS has now become an associate company of Manchester’s Royal Exchange, in addition to its existing associate company status with the Young Vic in London.

Sue Emmas, RTYDS artistic director, said: “There is no limit to the talent, ideas and vision of directors making work in England today.

“However, there aren’t always the opportunities that enable directors to learn skills, find collaborators and make exceptional work.

“Through our programmes, RTYDS works in partnerships to provide transformational opportunities with theatres that share our commitment to supporting talent and reducing the barriers to working in theatre.”

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