18-Month Residencies

We are now accepting applications from directors/theatre makers for our RTYDS 18-Month Residencies

Deadline: Monday 12 October 2020 at noon. 

The RTYDS 18-Month Residency provides paid opportunities for emerging directors to spend 18 months in a regional building-based company as a resident assistant director. Directors develop their creative skills, learn how a theatre runs and have the opportunity to make work.

RTYDS creates pathways for directors to develop not only their craft but also skills as future artistic leaders.

We are currently recruiting for 18-Month Residencies at Contact Theatre Manchester and Birmingham Repertory Theatre.

Large print, BSL, dyslexia and screen reader friendly versions of the guidance notes and application form are available below.

“RTYDS is where it really all began; it made me the director and artistic director I am today.”

Natalie Ibu (Artistic Director, Northern Stage)

Information for Directors

This is an opportunity for an emerging director/theatre maker (over 18 years of age, with no less than 18 months professional experience) to undertake high quality work-based training at one of England’s leading middle-scale producing theatre companies. Resident assistant directors are also offered an opportunity to make work at the theatre in which they are undertaking their training.

RTYDS selects up to four theatre companies to take part in this scheme and works with the artistic directors of the selected theatres to appoint the resident assistant director. In 2020/2021, the companies are Contact Theatre, Manchester, Birmingham Rep, Live Theatre, Newcastle and Curve Theatre, Leicester. We will recruit in two cohorts, beginning with Contact Theatre and Birmingham Rep in autumn 2020. We plan to launch recruitment for the remaining residencies in 2021.

You will be mentored by the Artistic Director and gain a wide range of experience. As the industry continues to address the challenges created by Covid-19 activities undertaken on the RTYDS 18-Month Residencies will vary in each theatre. Ideally each RTYDS 18-Month Residency will include assisting on productions, as well as programming, script reading and artist development. You will be given experience in all the theatre’s functions and learn about strategic planning, finance, development, producing, press and marketing, administration etc. As part of the opportunity to make work, you might direct rehearsed readings, research and development projects, young people’s work and direct a piece of work.

You can find out more about each residency in the theatre packs.

We are working in partnership with Ramps on the Moon and at least one of the four RTYDS 18-Month Residencies will be awarded to a D/deaf or disabled director/ theatre maker. We are committed to this opportunity being open to you, whatever your circumstances, including if you have been shielding or continue to shield.

The RTYDS 18-Month Residency is a paid opportunity, with each resident assistant director receiving a salary of £25,000 per annum.

The scheme is open to any professional director/theatre maker who has at least 18 months professional experience and can demonstrate a commitment to professional theatre directing. Vocational experience as part of an accredited training course at MA level can count as professional experience.

There is no upper age limit for the scheme, but directors should be over 18 and in the early stages of their career.

You should have a demonstrable commitment to a professional career as a director/theatre maker and you should have an interest in regional theatre and developing audiences.

You should be interested in gaining experience and skills through working as an assistant director as this will be a central part of the residency.

As well as directing/theatre making, you should be interested in the artistic and operational running of a theatre building, cultural leadership, and the wider role of the artistic director.

We hope that when applying, directors/theatre makers will be interested in the opportunity offered by both Contact and Birmingham Rep. However, we understand that relocation may not be possible due to professional or personal circumstances such as caring responsibilities, housing issues or access requirements. We are committed to this opportunity being open to you, whatever your circumstances, including if you have been shielding or continue to shield. During the application process there is an opportunity to let us know if you can only consider a residency at a particular theatre.

*All applicants must be resident in the UK at point of application* 

If you are unsure if you are eligible to apply, please contact the team on rtyds@rtyds.co.uk or 0161 883 0296.

You can find out more about Birmingham Rep and Contact Theatre in their packs, including what activity the 18-Month Residency at their theatres might involve, by clicking below:

Birmingham Rep Pack Cover     Contact Pack Cover

Please note that our application process has changed since we paused applications in response to the Covid-19 health emergency. Those who applied previously will need to complete a new application form.

We will now be recruiting over two cohorts. In the first cohort, we will be looking for 18-month resident assistant directors for Contact Theatre, Manchester and Birmingham Rep. The applications for the second cohort will open in 2021.

To apply for a residency, please complete the following forms and return them to application@rtyds.co.uk :

Please note: large print, BSL, screen reader friendly versions of this form, and a version based on the British Dyslexia Association Style Guide are available on a further tab.

Deadline for applications is noon on Monday 12 October 2020.

Prior to the application deadline, there will be a Q&A session to answer any questions you may have about completing your application form or more generally about the RTYDS 18-Month Residency. This will be held on Tuesday 22 September 2020. Please follow RTYDS social media or sign up to our mailing list for further details. A recording will be made available, which will be BSL interpreted and a transcript can also be provided.

In addition, we will be offering pre-interview workshops for shortlisted directors/theatre makers to prepare for their interviews.

RTYDS will endeavour to proceed with the recruitment timeline as laid out in the guidelines, application and recruitment process detailed here for the 18-Month Residences. However, due to the wide-ranging effect of COVID-19 on the theatre industry in general and the participating theatres specifically, we cannot at this time guarantee we will not need to pause, postpone or halt the process. We will monitor the situation closely and respond as necessary to the ongoing and developing government guidance. This may result in changes in circumstance for RTYDS and the partner theatres. We will keep all applicants fully aware of any changes and our endeavours to deliver the timeline as laid out.

Data Protection

By submitting an application form to us, you acknowledge that we will process and retain your personal information. We will also keep your equal opportunities form for a period of up to one year, after which point the data will be anonymised and aggregated for monitoring purposes. For further information see our latest privacy policy.


Tuesday 22 September 2020 – 18-Month Residency Q&A with Sue Emmas (via Zoom) – SIGN UP HERE


All applicants will be invited to take part in a 10 minute, one on one, informal conversation with a member of the RTYDS team (made up of directors and theatre makers who have taken part in an RTYDS scheme). We want to make sure that the recruitment process in not purely paper based.

These meetings will take place via Zoom. If, for any reason, attending a meeting via Zoom isn’t possible, please let us know on the sign-up form (e.g. you have limited access to broadband or due to health conditions).

This conversation will supplement your application and help us get to know more about you and your work, so we encourage you to find the time for this brief chat. We will have a variety of days and time slots available in the week commencing 19 October.

Shortly after the deadline we will contact you with instructions on how to book yourself onto an application meeting. You will be able to tell us about any access requirements when you book so that we can arrange appropriate provision.

First Interviews will take place on Tuesday 1 and Wednesday 2 December 2020

Second Interviews will take place on Friday 18 December 2020

The residencies will start sometime between January and April 2021. We are committed to this opportunity being open to you, whatever your circumstances, including if you have been shielding or continue to shield, therefore, the start date will be at the mutual agreement of the resident assistant director, the theatre and RTYDS.

Here you can find our forms and website guidance in large print, BSL and screen reader friendly versions, and versions based on the British Dyslexia Association style guide:

Information forms

British Dyslexia Association Style – 18-Month Residency 2020 – Information Form

Large Print – 18-Month Residency 2020 – Information Form

Screen Reader Friendly – 18-Month Residency 2020 – Information Form

BSL – Information for Directors:

Application Forms

British Dyslexia Association Style – 18-Month Residency 2020 – Application Form

Large Print – 18-Month Residency 2020 – Application Form

Screen Reader Friendly – 18-Month Residency 2020 – Application Form

BSL – Application Form:

Equal Opportunities Monitoring Forms

British Dyslexia Association Style – Equal Opportunities Monitoring Form

Large Print- Equal Opportunities Monitoring Form

Screen Reader Friendly – Equal Opportunities Monitoring Form

We welcome applications in any format accessible to you, including written English, an audio recording or video (BSL/spoken). You can let us know if none of these formats work for you. If you have any access requirements to complete your application, or would like some more information before submitting your application, please contact: Manli Siu, rtyds@rtyds.co.uk or call 0161 883 0296.

Information for Theatre Companies

This is an opportunity for a building-based theatre company to benefit from having an emerging director spend 18 months working with you and developing their craft as a director, learning about the operations of the building and addressing issues of cultural leadership.

The RTYDS Board selects the host theatre companies to take part in the scheme, and RTYDS works closely with the artistic directors to recruit a resident assistant director through an open application process.

In an exciting new initiative, we are working in partnership with Ramps on the Moon and at least one of the four RTYDS 18-Month Residencies will be awarded to a D/deaf or disabled director / theatremaker.

Funding: RTYDS provides a sum to each theatre company for the 18-month period. This is to cover a salary of £25,000pa for the director and is inclusive of any costs.

The residency is for emerging directors with not less than 18 months’ professional experience and demonstrable commitment to a career as a director. Vocational experience as part of an accredited training course at MA level will count as professional experience.

They will have an interest in regional theatre and developing audiences. As well as directing, they will be interested in the artistic and operational running of a building, cultural leadership and the wider role of the artistic director.

For the director, the 18-Month Residency is a chance to progress both their practice and artistic evolution and be a catalyst for a step change in their development.

There is no upper age limit, but the director must be over 18 years old and resident in the UK at point of application.

This residency opportunity is aimed at professional building-based producing theatre companies in England (outside London), with a practicing artistic director, a track record of education and outreach work and of artist development. Mid-scale touring or peripatetic producing companies may be considered in exceptional circumstances and they can apply as a consortium partner or in partnership with a building-based theatre.

You can take part in more than one of our programmes at the same time. If you do so, you need to make clear how the strands would complement and support each other and demonstrate that you have the capacity to support more than one initiative.

The artistic director is required to take an active part in the selection process of candidates alongside the RTYDS. They will be required to consider up to 100 long listed applications and select and interview a shortlist of 20 directors in a two-stage interview process.

We expect that the successful participant will be mentored by the artistic director and gain a wide range of experience including assistant directing on productions, programming, script reading and artist development. They will be given experience in all the theatre’s departments and learn about finance, development, producing, press and marketing.

The residency will start in September 2020 and the participant must be offered a professional production as part of the residency. The production should involve professional actors and a full creative team.

Your application with be assessed on the basis of:

  • The quality of the proposal
  • The benefit to the emerging directors
  • The commitment and experience of the company
  • Experience of artist development

Each year we aim for a geographical spread of theatres and a mix of smaller and larger companies across all the RTYDS programme strands.

Decisions will be made by the Board of RTYDS.  Individual Board members are not involved in considering applications from theatres to which they are personally connected.

Applications are now closed for this residency.

More information 18-month Residency 2019 – Information for Theatre Companies Autumn 2019

If you have any questions about this programme, please contact Manli Siu, Project Producer on manlisiu@rtyds.co.uk or on 0161 883 0296.

The deadline for 18-Month Residency applications was noon on Monday 13 January 2020. We are no longer accepting applications for this round.

If you would like to have a chat about the 18-Month Residency  please contact Gina Fletcher, Executive Director on 0161 883 0296 or ginafletcher@rtyds.co.uk

Our other programmes

Current 18-Month Residencies

  • Portrait of Jay Crutchley

    Jay Crutchley at Tobacco Factory Theatre

    About Jay Crutchley

    Jay Crutchley trained at the Liverpool institute for Performing arts and has a background in devising, facilitating and Directing. Jay was part of the Birmingham Repertory Theatre’s Foundry programme for emerging directors in 2016.

    Jay is currently directing Revealed at Midlands Arts Centre a new piece of writing by Geese Theatre’s Daniel Anderson and has recently finished directing Arinze Kene’s Little Baby Jesus (Birmingham REP) and he has directed The Cage by Abraham Adeyemi for Enter Stage Write for Apples and Snakes at Birmingham REP’s poetic theatre makers course directing One day at a bus stop by Sujana Upadhyay and Casey Bailey’s Grime boy.

    As an Assistant Director Jay worked on The Boys Project:The undergrowth at the Royal Court.

    As a Drama facilitator Jay has predominantly worked with Free Radical part of the Beatfreeks Collective, Women and Theatre, Worcester Arts Partnership, Warwickshire & West Mercia Probation Trust, Birmingham Hippodrome, Midlands Arts Centre and the Birmingham REP.

  • Portrait of Sameena Hussain

    Sameena Hussain at Leeds Playhouse

    About Sameena Hussain

    Sameena Hussain is a theatre maker and artist based in West Yorkshire. She has worked with various theatres, arts organisations and communities. The majority of her work is rooted in community theatre; it has always been about getting to know the community, tell their stories and engaging them in creative experiences. Sameena is passionate about making theatre a safe space, enabling dialogue and connection; a place to not only build a community but for it to thrive. She uses drama as a tool to engage people in creativity and play and her theatre background is in psychophysical training and ensemble work.

    She was the Trainee Director (JMK Trust) at the Leeds Playhouse Autumn 2018: Assistant Director on Road, A Christmas Carol (Dir. Amy Leach) and Europe (Dir. James Brining)

    She has been Youth Theatre Director at Lawrence Batley Theatre, Assistant Director on The Jungle Book (Dir. Adam Sunderland) and Jack and the Beanstalk (Dir. Joyce Branagh).

    She trained with OBRA theatre who’s practice combines technical craftsmanship with psychophysical practice and heightened language.
    Artist at OBRA Theatre, Verd De Gris Arts, Chol Theatre, Hoot Creative Arts and Lawrence Batley Theatre.

  • Portrait of Madeleine Kludje

    Madeleine Kludje at Birmingham Repertory Theatre

    About Madeleine Kludje

    Madeleine Kludje trained at the Brit School of the Performing Arts and has a background in performing, devising, facilitating and directing. Madeleine is currently directing a devised piece for the new entrance opening of the Victoria and Albert Museum with young people from Emergency Exit Arts and has recently finished directing Check The Label by Eno Mfon for Talawa First and Fable, a new piece written by Luke Barnes in response to A Man of Good Hope that saw Madeleine directing young people in London, New York and Cape Town.

    Madeleine has also assisted on numerous projects at the Young Vic including, the Boris Karloff trainee assistant programme for the devised piece called The Web directed by Ria Parry and the full scale parallel production of The Scottsboro Boys with the Young Vic’s under 18 participants directed by Natasha Nixon as well as assisting Dawn Reid on Little Red Riding Hood at Theatre Royal Stratford East. In addition Madeleine is also a drama facilitator working predominantly with Talawa Theatre Company, Young Vic, Old Vic and EEA.

  • Portrait of Nicola Miles-Wildin

    Nicola Miles-Wildin at Manchester Royal Exchange

    About Nicola Miles-Wildin

    Nicola Miles-Wildin’s directing credits include: Bingo Lingo (co-director/Wild N Beets), Disability Sex Archives, Two Can Toucan (TwoCan Theatre), Nana’s Jumble (Kazzum). Staff Director on Mosquitoes (Dorfman, National Theatre). Associate Director on Tommy (Ramps On The Moon National Tour). Assistant Director credits: The House of Bernarda Alba (Graeae/Manchester Royal Exchange), Lost and Found (GDance), Blood Wedding (Graeae/Dundee Rep/Derby Theatre), Waiting Game (Kazzum), Wheels on Broadway (Graeae). Nicola is an Associate Artist for Kazzum and GDance.

    In 2014 Nicola co-founded TwoCan, Gloucestershire’s first professional disabled-led theatre company. Nicola is thrilled to be at Manchester Royal Exchange as Resident Assistant Director – such an amazing vibrant venue to be part of.

  • Portrait of Taio Lawson

    Taio Lawson at Sheffield Theatres

    About Taio Lawson

    Taio Lawson was born and raised in South London. After co-founding Metal Mouth Theatre as a teenager and making shows in fringe venues in the South of England and internationally, Taio was the Boris Karloff Trainee Assistant Director and Jerwood Assistant Director at the Young Vic (Sizwe Banzi is Dead, Life of Galileo), and a Resident Director at the Almeida Theatre, (assisting on They Drink it in the Congo and Oil). He has directed plays and rehearsed-readings at the Cockpit, Rhoda Mcgaw Theatre and Bush Theatre.

Our success stories

What participants say about the scheme

Matthew Xia Associate Artistic Director at Manchester Royal Exchange:
“I can honestly say I don’t think I would have been eligible for this position without the time spent getting to understand the region [as part of RTYDS], ‘regional’ theatres in general and the role they serve in their locale. This placement has completely reframed my understanding of the necessity of theatre and the people it is for. It’s given me such a rich experience of what it takes to make theatre for specific buildings and audiences and also what it takes to run and programme those buildings.”

Jo Newman, Resident Assistant Director Salisbury Playhouse (now Wiltshire Creative) 2014-2016:
“Being part of the Regional Theatre Young Directors’ Scheme is such a valuable opportunity and I can quite honestly say that it has changed my life. After the first six months I have learnt so much and have been involved in activities ranging from artistic programming to community projects, have had the opportunity to work as an assistant director and work alongside some of the industry’s leading creatives in addition to having the space and time to develop my own practice as a director. Regional theatre is really important to me and it is fantastic to be part of the life of such a brilliant venue and work with Gareth Machin, artistic director, to gain an insight into how it is run.”

18-Month Residency participants

  • Portrait of Julia Thomas

    Julia Thomas at Curve Theatre, Leicester

    About Julia

    Julia Thomas is from Llanelli and was resident director at the National Theatre Studio in partnership with National Theatre Wales earlier this year. For National Theatre Wales Julia has been Emerging Director on A Provincial Life and Assistant Director on Iliad.  Julia has directed at various Welsh theatres including Blue/Orange at Sherman Theatre and Fun Palaces at Wales Millennium Centre.

  • Portrait of Lekan Lawal

    Lekan Lawal at Derby Theatre

    About Lekan

    Lekan Lawal is from London and trained at LAMDA. He recently worked as an associate for The Big House and is currently working on Measure for Measure at the Young Vic.

  • Portrait of Ben Occhipinti

    Ben Occhipinti at Octagon Theatre, Bolton

    About Ben

    Ben Occhipinti is from Wiltshire and worked with Salisbury Playhouse on several productions including Spread a Little Happiness and Jack and the Beanstalk, he has a passion for music theatre and opera and recently directed La Rondine with Iford Opera.

  • Portrait of Daniel Bailey

    Daniel Bailey at Birmingham Repertory Theatre

    About Daniel

    Daniel Bailey took part in the Young Vic’s Introduction to Directing and went on to be Director in Residence at the National Theatre Studio. He has developed work with theatre companies including Talawa, Paddington Arts and the New Vic Theatre.

  • Photo of Rebecca Frecknall

    Rebecca Frecknall at Northern Stage (recipient of the Christopher Whelen bursary)

    About Rebecca

    Rebecca Frecknall was recipient of the National Theatre Studio’s Resident Director Bursary and was awarded one of the Jerwood Assistant Director Bursaries at the Young Vic. She has directed work at Southwark Playhouse, Greenwich Theatre and the New Diorama.

  • Photo of Jesse Jones

    Jesse Jones at Royal & Derngate, Northampton

    About Jesse

    Jesse Jones is the Co-Artistic Director of The Wardrobe Theatre in Bristol which he founded in 2011. In 2013 Jesse was Assistant Director to Bijan Sheibani on the National Theatre’s production of Emil and the Detectives.

  • Photo of Jo Newman

    Jo Newman at Salisbury Playhouse (now Wiltshire Creative)

    About Jo

    Jo Newman is Co-Artistic Director of Birmingham based Tin Box Theatre Company and has developed work at theatres including Birmingham REP, mac, Battersea Arts Centre and New Diorama Theatre. Jo was a member of the REP Foundry, Birmingham REP’s Artists Development programme.

“The value and cultural importance of the scheme cannot be underestimated. The opportunity to be immersed in all areas of the theatre business and creation of work is unrivalled. There is no doubt in my mind that, without this extraordinary chance, I would not have had the experience or confidence to the director I am.”

Vicky Featherstone
Artistic Director, Royal Court Theatre

18-Month residencies have been hosted in partnership with: