'Directing is not easy, but harder still to come across is the opportunity to learn how to direct. Directing has been the carrot at the end of the stick, the thing that you aspire to, that pushes you forward but is ultimately out of reach. The RTYDS paid placement with a company and the opportunity to learn is a godsend to young aspiring directors like myself. To be able to do it at Contact, my local theatre, is even better.'
Elmi Ali, RTYDS Three-Month Placement at Contact, Manchester.
RTYDS has announced new placements for theatre directors from under-represented backgrounds at twelve theatres across England including Contact.
RTYDS will support seven talented directors from under-represented backgrounds to have a paid three-month placement at their local theatre, where they will develop their directing skills, gain experience working on professional productions and develop confidence and contacts. The directors and theatres are: Elmi Ali at Contact, Manchester, Alix Harris at the Barbican Theatre, Plymouth, Nikki Hammond at Core at Corby Cube, Leah Francis at Mind the Gap, Meghan Doyle at Northern Stage, Newcastle, Monique Touko, Royal Exchange Manchester and Omari Swanston-Jeffers at West Yorkshire Playhouse.
In addition five theatres will host Introduction to Directing projects, supporting up to fifty new theatre directors: ARC Stockton in association with Little Cog, Gecko Theatre, Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse Theatres, Nuffield Theatre, Southampton and Theatre Royal Wakefield.
Sue Emmas RTYDS Artistic Director said “From Newcastle to Plymouth, RTYDS is creating pathways for talented directors from under-represented backgrounds to build professional careers and addressing the imbalance of opportunities between London and the regions. We are working with some theatres for the first time - Barbican Theatre in Plymouth, Core at Corby Cube, Mind the Gap, Gecko, ARC and Nuffield as well as building on established working relationships – for example West Yorkshire Playhouse hosted an Introduction to Directing project last Autumn where they met Omari Swanston who they are now supporting with the Three-Month Placement.”
Regional Theatre Young Director Scheme (RTYDS), is the UK’s most influential training scheme for emerging directors. It brings together up-and-coming directors with the UK’s leading regional theatre companies, and is particularly focused on directors who live outside London and are from communities presently under-represented in theatre. Opportunities are provided through its three programmes: Introduction to Directing; Three-Month Placements; and 18-Month Residencies.
RTYDS originated in the 1960s, and alumni include Rupert Goold, Michael Boyd, Vicky Featherstone and Matthew Xia. Completely re-devised in 2014 by Artistic Director Sue Emmas, it is dedicated to increase diversity in the profession. The scheme is supported by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and Arts Council England to offer opportunities to directors at the early stages of their theatre careers.