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 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

  • Two people dressed in black and white kneel on either side of a glowing white cube. they both have their hands over a large egg, which rests on top of the cube.

Four RTYDS Three-Month Placements announced for 2022-23

We are pleased to announce four RTYDS Three-Month Placements that will take place in 2022-23, in which early career directors and theatre makers will gain invaluable experience, spending focused time within a theatre company and developing their skills. Four projects will be delivered by partners Prime Theatre, Paines Plough, ThickSkin Theatre and Tobacco Factory Theatres. Morgan Thomas will assist Prime Theatre on a professional tour of Windrush by Paula B.Stanic, a show for young audiences, as well as a large-scale youth theatre production that is yet to be announced. Coventry-based Joelle Ikwa will be assisting on three new plays by critically-acclaimed [...]

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Our partner theatres include: