Artistic Associates

Providing access points for potential directors and theatre makers

RTYDS is looking for two part-time Artistic Associates to work closely with us over a 12-month period.

As a company, we want to make working in theatre as a director or theatre maker more accessible and for the routes in to be more transparent. We know there are barriers. We’ve had some success in providing these opportunities and we’ve been lucky enough to support artists such as Natalie Ibu, Matthew Xia, Nickie Miles-Wildin, and Daniel Bailey. We can’t claim their talent, but we have played a small part in their creative journey.

A central aim of our program is to enable and encourage those who don’t see themselves currently represented as directors or theatre makers to take that first step. To provide routes in, ways to expand knowledge and skills and networks that will enable artists to start and stay working in theatre.

In close collaboration with the Artistic Associates, we want to discover how we can best reach those directors and theatre makers that experience barriers and inequality because of race, gender identity, educational background, class or disability. We believe that this is a process that needs to be designed together, and the individuals that help us achieve this should be freelance artists because their knowledge, skills, creativity and lived experience needs to sit at the heart of the change we are trying to make.

We are excited to involve the Artistic Associates in this strategic planning from the very outset.

As our name suggests, we are committed to providing support to artists who live and make work outside of London – to rebalance the focus of resources and opportunities. But, unlike our name, we have no focus on age – the artists we work with are over 18 years of age but there is no upper limit.

The deadline for expressions of interest is Wednesday 12 May at noon.

Download the full Information Form here

Please find accessible versions of the forms in the ‘Accessible forms’ tab below.

We are also happy to receive video, audio, and BSL expressions of interest. Please send your video (approximately two minutes) via WeTransfer or a Dropbox link to application@rtyds.co.uk.

As a company, we want to make working in theatre as a director or theatre maker more accessible and for the routes in to be more transparent. We know there are barriers. We’ve had some success in providing these opportunities and we’ve been lucky enough to support artists such as Natalie Ibu, Matthew Xia, Nickie Miles-Wildin and Daniel Bailey. We can’t claim their talent, but we have played a small part in their creative journey.

A central aim of our program is to enable and encourage those who don’t see themselves currently represented as directors or theatre makers to take that first step. To provide routes in, ways to expand knowledge and skills and networks that will enable artists to start and stay working in theatre.

In close collaboration with the Artistic Associates, we want to discover how we can best reach those directors and theatre makers that experience barriers and inequality because of race, gender identity, educational background, class or disability. We believe that this is a process that needs to be designed together, and the individuals that help us achieve this should be freelance artists because their knowledge, skills, creativity and lived experience needs to sit at the heart of the change we are trying to make.

We are excited to involve the Artistic Associates in this strategic planning from the very outset.

As our name suggests, we are committed to providing support to artists who live and make work outside of London – to rebalance the focus of resources and opportunities. But, unlike our name, we have no focus on age – the artists we work with are over 18 years of age but there is no upper limit.

We wish to appoint two Artistic Associates.

Salary £13,000 for the 12 months.
Status Part-time, fixed term contract.
Start Date This is negotiable, but we hope summer 2021.
Hours This is flexible and would work around other commitments including regular work, productions. It would be the equivalent of 2.5 days a week spread over the 12-month period.
Benefits Company pension, operated by NEST. Employees pay in 4% of qualifying earnings. Additionally, RTYDS will contribute by matching the employee’s 4%. All employers must provide a workplace pension scheme. RTYDS makes a higher contribution than the minimum required.
Holiday 33 days per annum time; so as a part time employee the Associate Artist will be entitled to 16.5 days of annual leave (inclusive of statutory bank holidays allowance).

Important Information

The role of the Artistic Associates is to:

  • Make connections in communities currently under-represented in theatre. Our existing offer to these communities includes town hall meetings, practical skills based projects that provide an introduction to directing and making, Satellite Groups that provide ongoing support and dialogue and Craft and Career projects sharing knowledge and expanding networks. We would like to connect more deeply with communities currently under-represented in theatre, both through these existing offers and new approaches. The Artistic Associates would also design and deliver their own programme in consultation with the Artistic Director.
  • Connect with theatres and companies and be a conduit between them and new directors/theatre makers.
  • Feed into our strategic thinking at a time when the world is changing and we are planning for the future, enabling us to be better placed to respond to how the theatre industry recovers and doesn’t reset to the old normal.
  • Put artists and communities at the heart of the organisation.
  • Establish artist-led spaces that are safe space for sharing, support and connection.
  • Act as ambassadors for RTYDS schemes and encourage artists to apply for the paid opportunities to make sure progression routes are clear and well sign posted.

This is just a starting point and the roles will evolve once the artists are appointed – it will be tailored in relation to their interests, values and skills. We realise that real change takes time, and with the Artistic Associates, we will establish clear and achievable aims and outcomes for the 12-month period. We want the Artistic Associate to be creative in their approach and to think freely, we are breaking new ground together.

We want each Artistic Associates to nominate a community of artists* who are presently under-represented in theatre that they want to reach out to and support. In the selection process we would ask the artist to identify the community that fits their practice and social, political, cultural connection – this of course can be intersectional. They might have a specific geographical connection initially but this could develop into having a national scope.

* Communities might be defined by support of, for example, Deaf and disabled artists, Queer Womxn and non-binary artists, Black, South East and East Asian artists, South Asian artists, working, benefit, criminal underclass artists and also intersectional. An example of a community could be any of the following: South Asian artists based in Yorkshire; LGBTQIA+ Deaf and disabled artists nationally; trans artists making performance art. We also understand that within a community, certain members may be disproportionately affected or under-represented and this might be reflected in the Artistic Associates’ nomination.

We have connections with companies as varied as Contact Theatre, The Curve, Northern Stage, Middle Child, 20 Stories High and we would hope to work with these partners to expand the networks of the Artistic Associates and also the early career directors they are connecting with and supporting.

We are not expecting the Artistic Associates to achieve all of this on their own. The team at RTYDS will provide practical support, connections, a sounding board and resources – including a budget. There will be some administrative support, but you will need to be happy to provide some self-administration as we are a small team.

We hope the Artistic Associates will start working with us in the summer of 2021. We know that juggling a freelance career is challenging and we will work flexibly around regular commitments and productions.

As a company we work on a national scale, but you can choose to work in a locally defined area.

RTYDS is based in Manchester but we work remotely, and the Artistic Associates may come to Manchester for in-person company meetings but this is again flexible and not expected. RTYDS will reimburse travel and subsistence expenses.

The Artistic Associates will be line managed by the Artistic Director or Associate Artistic Director.

Quantifying level of experience is always tricky, but we want to give some sense of what you might have done so far in your career without being prescriptive.

You will have made work and be confident in your practice as a director / theatre maker. You will have skills and experience that you can offer to artists at an early stage of their artistic development. You will be happy to share your experience, skills, knowledge through running a workshop, offering one to one chats, and facilitating spaces for discussion.

Most importantly, please don’t self-censor – those who think they don’t have enough experience or have a sense of imposter syndrome are probably the people that should apply. If you don’t see yourself represented in who makes theatre, who runs theatres or companies, or features in stories you will know how best to encourage others to step into a space that doesn’t at the moment feel welcoming to them.

The Artistic Associates themselves may want their own mentorship, support or personal development. The RTYDS team will support the Artistic Associates throughout the 12 months and we really want this to be a learning opportunity for all.

If you have any questions, please email rtyds@rtyds.co.uk.

RTYDS Artistic Associates Q&A held on Monday 26 April 2021, via Zoom webinar.

Sue Emmas (Artistic Director), Anthony Lau (Associate Artistic Director) and Gina Fletcher (Executive Director) answer questions about the new RTYDS Artistic Associates opportunity.

BSL interpreters – Sarah Cox and Lauren Lister.

Captions are available on YouTube.

Applying for the role

We want to make the recruitment process as inclusive and stress free as possible and we understand the time and energy it takes to apply for opportunities like this. It is important that we have enough understanding and detail to make an informed decision, but also want to ensure we are not asking too much of applicants at the early stage of the process.

In order to give each artist thorough and careful consideration, there is a four-step process:

  • Make an expression of interest by indicating which artistic community you would wish to reach out to and support over the 12 months (see below)
  • Selected artists invited to tell us more about their ideas and thoughts on how they would work over the 12 months (a bursary of £50 is available in recognition of the time taken to do this).
  • A longlist of artists invited to meet with the RTYDS team – this will be made up of a diverse panel of both staff and freelance directors / theatre makers who are part of our network.  We also offer the opportunity to chat with Anthony Lau (Associate Artistic Director) to talk through ideas, ask questions, address queries before these meetings.
  • A shortlist of artists will be invited to meet for a second time, for an informal conversation.

We are committed to giving feedback to all applicants who submit a full application.

To apply for the RTYDS Artistic Associates opportunity, please return the following documents to Manli Siu, Programme Producer at application@rtyds.co.uk :

We are also happy to receive video, audio, and BSL expressions of interest. Please send your video (approximately two minutes) via WeTransfer or a Dropbox link to application@rtyds.co.uk.

The deadline for expressions of interest is Wednesday 12 May at noon.