Frequently asked questions about RTYDS

A young person of colour deep in thought

What is a regional theatre company?

A regional theatre is a professional theatre company that produces plays, musicals, ballets, operas or comedy. The term regional theatre most often refers to a professional theatre outside of London. It is often used to particularly refer to theatre buildings but can also include companies that exist to tour and don’t have their own space.


I am a director/theatre maker – how do I apply for the Introduction to Directing project and Three-Month Placement?

If you are a new director/theatre maker who is interested in taking part in either of the above programmes, you should contact RTYDS to find out if theatre companies near you are participating in the scheme. These programmes are primarily aimed at new directors/theatre makers who are new to theatre, regionally based and from backgrounds or communities under-represented in UK theatre.


As a director can I take part in all programmes of the RTYDS?

The different levels of the programme are designed to stand alone but, potentially, a director might progress from an Introduction to Directing project to a Three-Month Placement at a suitable point in their artistic development. In time they may also apply for an 18-Month Residency, and then to an Associate Artistic Director opportunity.


Do I choose the theatre where I will be based for the RTYDS 18-Month Residency?

We hope that when applying, directors/theatre makers will be interested in the opportunity offered by any of the host theatres. However, we understand that relocation may not be possible due to professional or personal circumstances such as caring responsibilities, housing issues or access requirements. We are committed to this opportunity being open to you, whatever your circumstances, including if you have been shielding or continue to shield.

During the application process there is an opportunity to let us know if you can only consider a residency at a particular theatre.


What do we mean by an under-represented community?

RTYDS’ ambition is to help change the face of UK theatre so that it fully reflects contemporary society. At present, the theatre sector does not adequately reflect the breadth of the communities it exists to serve- in its workforce, its audiences, or the creative work it produces. We are convinced that working with the theatre sector to develop a diverse cohort of directors and artistic leaders is the surest and most enduring way to drive this change.

The Introduction to Directing and Three-Month placement strands are targeted at directors / theatre makers from communities presently under-represented in the theatre because of social, gender, financial, ethnic, cultural, or educational disadvantage or disability.

18-Month and Associate Artistic Director Residencies are recruited through an open process and we do not exclude anyone from applying who meets the criteria. We are especially keen to hear from directors and theatre makers from backgrounds and circumstances presently under-represented in the theatre because of social, gender, financial, ethnic, cultural, or educational disadvantage or disability for these opportunities.


I am still at College/University, can I apply?

To apply for one of the 18-Month Residencies you need have no less than 18 months professional experience and demonstrable commitment to a career as a professional director. Vocational experience as part of an accredited training course at MA level can count as professional experience. To take part in all our schemes, including Introduction to Directing or Three-Month Placement, you should not be in full time education.


Is there an age limit?

Applicants should be over 18 years of age and there is no upper age limit for any of the schemes we run.


I have applied before, can I apply again?

There is no limit to how many times you can apply as a theatre company or a director.


Should I attach reviews of my work with my application for the 18-Month Residency?

No. This is not part of the application process.


If I need to relocate to undertake the 18-Month Residency will I get financial help?

£500 is available per director towards relocation costs.


Is the 18-Month Residency paid?

Yes. This is a full-time paid role, with each resident assistant director receiving a salary of £25,000 per annum.


What is Manchester Royal Exchange and the Young Vic’s relationship to the scheme?

The RTYDS is an Associate Company of Manchester Royal Exchange and the Young Vic. It is based in Manchester at the Royal Exchange and also has an office at the Young Vic in London. The Artistic Director of RTYDS also works part-time as the Young Vic’s Associate Artistic Director. There is no formal relationship with the Young Vic or with the Young Vic’s Directors Programme which includes the Genesis Directors Network and Jerwood Assistant Director Scheme.

Our programmes for directors and theatres

Our success stories

“The Regional Theatre Young Director Scheme offers an amazing opportunity to anyone wanting to learn about directing plays and running theatres. Year after year it produces some of our most exciting young directors, many of whom have gone on to run some of our most important theatres. It is a complete training, looking at every aspect of the theatre industry. It’s properly run, properly mentored and has a success rate second to none. It has become an invaluable part of the cultural life of this country.”

Michael Grandage
Artistic Director, Michael Grandage Company