Anthony Lau has been announced as the first appointment through the RTYDS Associate Artistic Director Scheme and he will be joining Sheffield Theatres as their Associate Artistic Director.

The Associate Artistic Director Scheme is part of RTYDS’ continuing commitment to the development of artistic directors as cultural leaders. RTYDS selected Sheffield Theatres back in November as the host for the inaugural scheme, which provides an opportunity for an experienced and exceptional director to work in a leading regional theatre at a senior level. They will be provided with the tools to continue to develop their craft whilst learning about the role of an artistic director in cultural leadership.

Sue Emmas, Artistic Director of RTYDS says “we’re in the middle of the biggest crisis the theatre industry has ever seen. It is testing everyone who works in the theatre and artistic directors will be at the forefront of leading the industry out of this crisis. Whilst it would have been impossible to prepare someone for the situation we now find ourselves in, the Associate Artistic Director Residency will provide a unique opportunity for Anthony to understand what it takes to guide a theatre and a company through this period and give him an opportunity to contribute to, and shape what theatre needs to be in the future.”

Anthony Lau spent a year as Laboratory Associate Director at Nuffield Southampton Theatres and trained as a director at LAMDA, on the Young Vic’s Jerwood Assistant Director Programme and at the National Theatre Studio. His credits as Director include The Shadow Factory revival (Nuffield Southampton Theatres); A Better Man as part of 5x5x5 (Young Vic); The Common Land (Rose Theatre Kingston); Dreaming in America (Shoreditch Town Hall); The Taste of Us (HighTide Festival) and I Am a Camera (Southwark Playhouse).

Anthony commented “I am hugely excited and privileged to be joining Sheffield Theatres and RTYDS, two brilliant organisations known for their artistic excellence and commitment to theatre and its future. In times like these, theatre has the power to unite and I am thrilled at the prospect of learning and building towards a collective tomorrow.”

During Anthony’s residency at Sheffield Theatres, one of the projects that he will be working on is their Open Submissions programme, which has a focus on collaborating with local companies and artists, seeking more work made in Yorkshire.

Artistic Director of Sheffield Theatres, Robert Hastie, commented “I’m very excited to be joined as we embark on this journey by our new Associate Artistic Director, Anthony Lau. A director of exceptional talent and vision, he will help us extend the scope and ambition of our work, and it’s a real pleasure to be welcoming him to the team. The role is a new initiative supported by the RTYDS, with whom we’re proud to have worked many times in the past, and whose commitment to nurturing and championing the wealth of diverse talent in the next generation of theatre leaders is inspiring and invaluable.”

Anthony will begin his residency as Associate Artistic Director at Sheffield Theatres in October 2020.