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Guidelines to address ‘lack of clarity’ about director roles

Thomas Hescott. Photo: Robert Workman Stage Directors UK executive director Thomas Hescott. Photo: Robert Workman
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A “lack of clarity” about the role requirements of assistant, associate and resident directors is to be addressed in a new set of industry guidelines.

Equity and Stage Directors UK will work together on the guidelines, after concerns were raised at Equity’s Annual Representative Conference that directors are often expected to carry out responsibilities that “exceed their creative duties”.

Members at the conference voted to pass the motion, asking Equity and Stage Directors UK to work together to establish industry guidelines on the responsibilities and roles of the different positions.

The motion said: “Consistent terminology would assist the union in improving terms and conditions, developing a clear pay structure and ensuring that our colleagues are justly rewarded for their work in running what can sometimes be the most successful commercial shows in UK theatre.”

Stage Directors UK executive director Thomas Hescott said: “SDUK has seen a rise in the number of assistants, associates and residents contacting us with contractual issues, especially on long-running, high-profile productions.

“Many of these issues arise due to a lack of clarity in the role the director has been asked to take on, resulting in an inevitable lack of clarity around pay, hours and conditions.”

He added: “SDUK had already started working with their members to rectify these issues when this motion was raised at Equity’s ARC. Equity and SDUK have already spoken and are working together on this and other issues surrounding directors.”

For more coverage of the Equity Annual Representative Conference 2019, click here.

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