New Directions North is a new partnership between RTYDS, Theatre by the Lake, Leeds Playhouse, Northern Stage and Royal Exchange Theatre. We are working together to create a northern hub for 15-20 early career directors or theatre makers from Cumbria, Yorkshire, the North East and the North West.

What is New Directions?

In the last year, RTYDS has run three New Directions projects as part of our Craft and Career Development strand. They have involved online workshops for early career directors across the country, with the aim to provide entry points into the craft and career of directing for those who continue to feel theatre is neither accessible to them or inclusive of them (this could be due to barriers experienced due to ethnicity, socio-economic background, education status, gender or disability).

The directors and theatre makers have the chance to engage with a range of artists and leaders who share their practice, and those leading sessions have included Tinuke Craig, Ian Rickson, Amy Leach and Milli Bhatia.

Each series of workshops have been curated around the idea of what skills directors might need moving forwards as we begin to recalibrate after lockdown, and what feels important in the work we make and the way we make it.  For participants, this has been an invaluable opportunity to meet peers, develop skills and expand their networks.

What is New Directions North?

In the next version of New Directions, we will provide hubs across the country for early career directors / theatre makers. In the first instance, we’re creating a cohort of theatres based in the north of England. Our partners for New Directions North are: Theatre by the Lake (Keswick), Leeds Playhouse (Leeds), Northern Stage (Newcastle) and Royal Exchange Theatre (Manchester).

Each of the four partner theatres has invited up to five directors / theatre makers to take part. The full group will take part in two days of online practical workshop sessions with RTYDS, and then each theatre is providing their small group with the chance to meet in person to continue the conversation and practical skills development.

New Directions North will take place between July and October 2021.