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 and Theatres

Introduction to Directing

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

Assistant Directors

Participating theatres host a paid work placement for an exciting emerging director 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 changed my life – it’s the best scheme of its kind”

Rupert Goold
Artistic Director, Almeida Theatre

Latest from RTYDS

  • A group of actors in costume on-stage for Treasure Island. A woman holding a drum stands at the front.

Four new RTYDS Assistant Director opportunities announced for 2021-22

Today, we have announced four new RTYDS Assistant Director opportunities hosted by partner theatre companies: Octagon Theatre Bolton, Open Clasp Theatre Company in Newcastle, Pilot Theatre Company in York and Queens Theatre Hornchurch. These four new projects are part of the ten RTYDS Assistant Director opportunities we are offering in 2021-22, alongside Eastern Angles, Freedom Studios, Mind The Gap and Wise Children, which were announced in summer 2021. One more project will be announced in the coming months. These Assistant Director opportunities were created in direct response to the Covid-19 pandemic, providing more assistantships across a year, with many of them advertised to make [...]

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Our partner theatres include: