Three-Month Placements for new Directors 2017-06-06T12:22:28+00:00

Three-Month Placement

For early career directors from backgrounds currently under-represented in theatre

A young director addresses her audience

Applications are now open for theatres to apply to A Three-Month Placement – deadline 3rd July 2017

“I remain so grateful to RTYDS for the first real step in my career, and believe that I would not have been able to make my progress in the industry since without that first experience. Having worked at the Octagon, and been stamped with the RTYDS reputation, I suddenly became eligible for every job I’ve since applied for!”
Jocelyn Cox, on her Three-Month Placement at Octagon Theatre Bolton


The Three-Month paid placement allows theatre companies to host a new director at the very start of their professional directing career. The director will spend three months learning about the role and skills of a theatre director. This can be a full time commitment or structured as a more flexible longer placement. RTYDS offers theatre companies up to £5,000 to host a Three-Month Placement in their organisation.

Information for Theatre Companies

This opportunity is for a new director (over 18 years of age) at the very start of their professional directing career. They may have taken part in an Introduction to Directing project or they may be a new director the theatre has come across through other outreach work or training.

The new director will spend focused time with the theatre company learning about the role and skills of a theatre director. The attachment should last for the equivalent of three months full time. This can be a full time commitment or be structured as a more flexible longer placement if this suits the needs and commitments of the director. The placement should be tailored to their needs but still paid at the equivalent of the full time rate.

Up to £5,000 is available to cover the costs of the placement. We expect that at least 80% goes directly to the participant and any other costs relate directly to supporting the placement. The director should be paid no less than £334 per week or part-time equivalent.

The placement is for adults over 18 years of age from backgrounds currently under-represented in UK theatre as a result of barriers arising from social, gender, financial, ethnic, cultural, geographic or educational disadvantage or disability. In this aspect of our work we are particularly keen to encourage companies to support BAME and disabled directors at an early stage of their development. There is no upper age limit.

Companies should be clear when applying about the nature of the barriers their proposed director is facing in particular how gender or geography is a barrier to a particular individual’s career development. Although women are under-represented in theatre at a senior professional and leadership level, they are well represented among early career theatre directors.

The new director will have had limited opportunities to make their own work, work as an assistant with professional actors, or study directing in an educational context. However, they should able to demonstrate a commitment to a career in theatre directing. This is the chance for the placement to gain first-hand experience in a professional but supported environment.

The director should live near to the company and should have demonstrated a specific interest in directing rather than in performing or any other theatre art.

If the theatre does not have an obvious candidate to nominate it might be useful to consider running an Introduction to Directing project first.

If a director has specific additional needs that may require additional support to enable them to attend the placement, please get in touch with RTYDS to discuss how we might be able to help.

The programme is for professional producing theatre companies based in England (outside London), that have a practicing artistic director, a track record of education and outreach work and knowledge of artist development. The companies can be touring or building-based and of any scale. Companies can also apply as consortia, so for example a touring company can apply in partnership with a theatre.

Companies can apply to more than one RTYDS programme at the same time. In this case, the company will need to make clear how the strands of work would complement and support each other and also demonstrate that there is capacity to support more than one initiative.

This placement is a way of supporting a director at the very start of their professional development. We encourage the company to design a placement that best suits the director’s needs. The placement might involve observing rehearsals, assisting on participation work, shadowing members of staff etc. Learning about the director’s role in the leadership and operation of the company is also important.

You need to deliver your placement within six months of your proposal being accepted.

The Three-Month Placement is not transferable – the award is based on the specific opportunities laid out in the application and the participation of the director attached to the application

Please download an Application Form

Companies should submit a short CV of the new director and explain how they might contribute to our objective to find directing talent within new, or under-represented communities. Theatres should submit a short activity plan explaining what the placement would include.
You should email your application to: rtyds@rtyds.co.uk.

Once your application has been received we may be in touch for an initial discussion to talk through your application and we will also arrange to talk to the director.

Applications are assessed on the basis of:

  • the quality of the proposal and benefit to the new director
  • the track record of people involved
  • the background and experience of the new director

In each round we will aim for a geographical spread of theatres and a mix of smaller and bigger companies

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.

The deadline is 12.00 midday on Monday 3rd July 2017. Once you have submitted your application you will hear within a month of the deadline if it has been successful.

All applicants must be resident in the UK.

If you would like to have a chat before expressing an interest in taking part, please contact Davinia Jokhi (Project Producer) or ring 0161 883 0296

All applicants must be resident in the UK.

Download Three-Month Placement Information for Theatre Companies and Application Form

Guidelines for Directors

Participants for the Three-Month Placement are recruited directly by participating theatre companies. No professional experience is needed to take part. Participants should be over 18 years of age, live locally to the theatre, and want to know more about directing in theatre.

If you are interested in doing a Three-Month Placement in a theatre, we recommend that you talk to your local professional theatre to see if they might apply to host one.

Rachel Ross, on her Three-Month Placement at Nottingham Playhouse:
“I have learnt that many directors have to adapt to the needs of their actors to enable them to put on the best show possible. Since starting the placement, I feel that not only has it helped me enhance my skill base but my confidence has grown too. I also feel being supported by Nottingham Playhouse has given me the confidence to pursue more opportunities as I continue my career in the future.”

Bristol Old Vic:
“Sarah often, unconsciously at times, acted as a role model for our younger theatre-makers, or theatre enthusiasts who hadn’t necessarily gone to drama school, by demonstrating that there are other routes into professional theatre and your attitude and approach can be just as important as your experience and background.”

Three-Month Placements

“The time I spent at The Nuffield Theatre in Southampton equipped me, not only with skills for the rehearsal room, but also skills needed to lead a company. Most valuable of all though was the opportunity to try ideas, succeed and sometimes fail, within a supportive, creative environment.”

Robin Belfield
Theatre Director & writer

Three-Month Placements have been hosted in partnership with: