RTYDS Associate Artistic Director

An opportunity for directors with a strong professional track record of making work and a desire to learn about leadership and to make significant work on the mid-scale

HANG Rehearsal Photos Credit : The Other Richard

The RTYDS Associate Artistic Director Scheme

This is a remarkable opportunity for a building-based theatre company to partner with RTYDS and to benefit from having an experienced director with a strong professional track-record in residence for 18 months. The Associate Artistic Director will develop their craft as a director while learning about the role of an artistic director in cultural leadership.

In 2019/20 RTYDS will select one theatre to take part in the scheme from September 2020 and will work closely with the chosen theatre’s artistic director to identify the Associate Artistic Director in an open selection process.

There are few opportunities for directors to learn about the challenges and demands of the role of artistic director. This strand of RTYDS’s work reflects our strong commitment to the development of artistic directors as cultural leaders. There continues to be a significant lack of diversity in those who lead organisations and there is a pressing need to provide progression routes for talented people from backgrounds that continue to be under-represented in the arts.

My RTYDS placement threw me into the heart of one of the UK’s top producing theatres, allowing me a rare and thorough insight into the role of the Artistic Director and the importance of Regional theatre. The 18-month bursary allowed me to focus fully on my craft and ambitions as an artist and gave me the opportunity to direct my first professional production. The RTYDS is one of the most important and influential schemes of its kind and joining its alumni was a turning point for me in my career.Rebecca Frecknall, RTYDS Alumni 2015

This is an opportunity for a building-based theatre company in England to partner with RTYDS and to benefit from having an experienced director with a strong professional track-record in residence for 18 months. The Associate Artistic Director will develop their craft as a director while learning about the role of an artistic director in cultural leadership.

It is essential that the Associate Artistic Director has a demonstrable and substantial impact on their host organisation, but we also want to provide an opportunity for the director to impact on the wider theatre industry. To achieve this the Associate Artistic Director will spend some of their working time with RTYDS over the course of the 18-month residency. The director will represent both the host theatre and RTYDS at a national level contributing to debates and initiatives that make theatre more representative and inclusive.

The Associate Artistic Director will be a full-time equivalent role, split between the host theatre and RTYDS. The ratio of working time is expected to be 70% with the host theatre and 30% with RTYDS, with timings to be agreed so as to suit the theatre’s planning cycles and the Associate Artistic Directors directing and project commitments. When the Associate Artistic Director is working directly with RTYDS, the focus of the work will be nationwide, with some tasks being undertaken remotely. This will not have to take place in Manchester.

The Associate Artistic Director will be offered a salary of (up to) £30,000pa pro rata for the 18-month period, to which the host theatre will contribute £10,000. The balance of the salary, minimum employers pension contribution and employer’s national insurance will be provided by RTYDS.

We acknowledge that the Associate Artistic Director needs to fit within the existing structure of the host organisation, therefore the role title may need to be discussed with the selected theatre.

The theatre will integrate the Associate Artistic Director in the senior management team and deliver opportunities to develop knowledge, experience and skills in:

• Artistic leadership; building internal and external relationships as a senior manager
• Making work on a scale they haven’t previously
• Programming; creating dialogue with audiences
• Fundraising
• Public funding, stakeholders, financial planning
• Governance
• Artist development/commissioning of work
• Creative learning/outreach

Time working with RTYDS will provide the Associate Artistic Director with opportunities to:

• Deepen their understanding of the ecology of the UK theatre industry and create relationships with buildings and companies across England
• Build a national network of connections
• Contribute meaningfully to the debate on equality, inclusion and diversity at a national level
• Instigate and lead initiatives that make theatre more representative and inclusive
• Experience leadership and governance in a small sector support organisation and contribute to strategic planning at a national scale

This residency opportunity is aimed at professional, building-based, producing theatre companies in England (outside London), with a practising artistic director, a track record of education and outreach work and a commitment to 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.

Theatres can apply for more than one of RTYDS’s 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 the capacity to support fully more than one initiative.

Working alongside RTYDS, the Artistic Director is required to take an active part in the selection process for candidates. They will be required to consider all applications and select and interview an agreed number of directors in a two-stage interview process. We expect that the successful participant will be mentored directly by the Artistic Director and Executive Director (or equivalent) and gain a wide range of experience.

The host theatre will need to be willing to provide a director with the opportunity over 18-months to:

• Become a member of the senior management team
• Contribute to the conception/development and delivery of the theatre’s artistic vision and programme
• Make work on the mid-scale (a chance to make work that is a step change; whether this is characterised by the size of the stage, production values and resources, cast size, the stature of the actors, the complexity of the design, prominence within the programme/season etc.)
• Deliver a distinct project that drives a strategic objective of the theatre. An example might be a discrete creative project, establishing a new strand of work, expanding an existing department e.g. literary etc.

The residency will start in September 2020 and the RTYDS Associate Artistic Director must be offered at least one fully resourced professional mid-scale production as part of the residency.

Your application with be assessed on the basis of:

• The quality of the proposal
• Demonstrable commitment and ability to provide a mid-scale show opportunity to the director
• The level of support and engagement available to the RTYDS Associate Artistic Director from the Artistic and Executive Directors (or equivalent)
• The commitment and experience of the theatre at all levels, including board, to inclusion, equality and diversity
• Understanding of the role of RTYDS
• Understanding of and commitment to leadership development

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 for this programme are now closed. The deadline for theatres and companies to apply for this round was 30 September 2019.

There will be an open call-out for directors in November 2019.

Deadline for applications has now passed.

If you have any questions or queries regarding the RTYDS Associate Artistic Director please contact Davinia Jokhi, Project Producer on 0161 883 0296 or daviniajokhi@rtyds.co.uk

We are happy to answer questions at any point up to the deadline. If you would like to have a chat before submitting your application please contact Davinia Jokhi, Project Producer, or ring 0161 883 0296.

Information for Directors

This paid residency is for a director with a strong professional track record to enable them to develop their craft as a director and experience of artistic leadership.

More information will be available for directors about the scheme and how to apply in November 2019.

“There is no doubt in my mind that without this extraordinary chance I would not have had the experience or confidence to be the director I am or to have set up the National Theatre of Scotland.”

Vicky Featherstone
Artistic Director, Royal Court Theatre