Changing the face of theatre in the UK

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RTYDS is the UK’s foremost programme of paid professional development for theatre directors. We offer bespoke training opportunities to artists from the earliest stages of a career right up to leadership development.

Portraits of five gender and racially diverse Artistic Directors

RTYDS programmes for Directors, Theatre Makers and Theatres

Introduction to Making

Intensive practical training to discover if directing or theatre making might be a future career. Aimed at under-represented adults who live locally to participating theatres or theatre companies, have a specific interest in originating work, and limited access to arts, training and employment. Read more

Three-Month Placements

Participating theatres host a paid work placement for an exciting early career director or theatre maker from an under-represented background at the start of their professional career. Read more

18-Month Residencies

RTYDS places talented emerging directors in theatres as paid Resident Assistant Directors where they develop their skills and learn what it takes to run a regional theatre. At the end of the residency they direct their own show. Read more

Associate Artistic Director

A full time, paid 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. Read more

We work in partnership with theatres around the country, enabling talented artists to build their craft and develop their leadership skills. We are particularly focused on directors who live outside London and are from communities presently under-represented in theatre.

Founded in 1960, the scheme has helped launch the careers of many of Britain’s leading Artistic Directors and freelance directors including Rupert Goold (Almeida), Lorne Campbell (National Theatre Wales), Elizabeth Newman (Pitlochry Festival Theatre), Vicky Featherstone (Royal Court), Natalie Ibu (Northern Stage), Matthew Xia (Actors Touring Company); freelance directors include John Tiffany, Christopher Haydon and Rebecca Frecknall.

Matthew Xia, Assistant Director & Gemma Bodinetz. Photo © Robert Day

Photo: © Robert Day

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

Natalie Ibu
Artistic Director, Northern Stage

Latest from RTYDS

  • A hand holding a black and white photo of Annie Castledine along with an empty prosecco glass

Announcing the inaugural Annie Castledine Award

Photograph by David Monteith-Hodge - Photographise Today, we announce the Annie Castledine Award in memory of the inspirational director. Annie was an exceptional director as well as a fierce supporter of early career artists. For over 20 years she supported our work in seeking out and nurturing directors at the early stage of their careers and developing their skills and experience. She was a vital part of RTYDS as a mentor, advocate, and patron. To celebrate her legacy we are dedicating an 18-Month Residency in her name and we are pleased to announce that the first recipient of the award [...]

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Our partner theatres include: