A major new training programme for future theatre leaders from minority ethnic backgrounds is being launched, part of which will create associate artistic director posts at four companies including Tiata Fahodzi and Talawa.
The scheme’s trainee artistic director initiative will offer paid, two-year residencies to theatre directors, based at one of the four companies partnering on the programme.
It is led by British-African theatre company Tiata Fahodzi, which is based at Watford Palace Theatre, alongside London-based Talawa, 20 Stories High in Liverpool and Freedom Studios in Bradford. The overall scheme is being administered by the Regional Theatres Young Director Scheme.
The programme will see the four chosen individuals work full-time at their host organisation as associate artistic directors, receiving bursaries of up to £25,000 each per year. As part of their role the associates will work alongside the executive team to establish a co-production, which they will then direct.
They will also be given mentoring by their artistic directors and boards, as well as areas of autonomy within the company to gain senior management experience and knowledge of running a theatre.
Introducing the initiative, Tiata Fahodzi artistic director and chief executive Natalie Ibu said: “We believe that the future of theatre leadership should look and feel different, that is why, with our partners, we delighted to announce the launch of this groundbreaking programme.”
The second part of the programme, called Leaders of Tomorrow, is aimed not just at directors but anyone with an interest in artistic leadership.
Successful applicants will be given free training at hubs in Manchester and Watford, with travel and expenses provided.
Participants will attend a range of workshops led by artistic and executive directors of leading theatres, the Independent Theatre Council and the four partner theatres.
Spread over the course of a year, the workshops will cover areas such as programming, implementing artistic vision, creating collaborations, fundraising, governance, financial management and contracts.
The initiative also offers access to the Regional Theatres Young Director Scheme’s career development workshops.