An initiative has been launched to support theatre graduates with mentoring, paid work and the opportunity to audition for a new rep company.
Director Adam Morley has launched the scheme, called Acting Out, to support graduates struggling to enter the industry in the wake of Covid-19.
More than 300 graduates have signed up to participate in the initiative, which is open to all institutions with a particular focus on universities and part-time training courses.
In the first phase of Acting Out, graduates will be paired with industry professionals who will mentor them.
Participants will also be linked up with venues across the UK to write, direct and perform in shows - with the aim of showcasing their skills and building new relationships.
The shows will be performed once theatres reopen, with the participants to be paid for their work.
The second phase of Acting Out will see the creation of a graduate repertory company, for which participants of the scheme will be able to audition. Further details of this are to be announced.
Acting Out will continue with a new cohort each year beyond 2020.
Morley has invested his own money into the scheme and hopes to raise further funding through other private sources.
He told The Stage: "I work in drama schools and universities as a director, and I felt that just because I’m not being paid any more to direct, that doesn’t mean the care of duty should stop.
"We have a unique opportunity to unite as an industry in a way we haven’t before, demystify the barriers to sustainability in the arts and support a generation [of theatre graduates]."
Morley added: "We can’t let a generation of students just disappear, it’s too high a price to pay."
Acting Out is run with the help of volunteers, including Hannah Rose Goalstone, Laura Shoebottom, Maya Little and Donna Baldson.
Industry supporters of the Acting Out include director and founder Diversity School Initiative Steven Kavuma, company director of Aria Entertainment Katy Lipson and company director of Intimacy for Stage and Screen Lizzy Talbot.
There are about 30 spaces left on the programme at the time of writing.