The Regional Theatre Young Director Scheme, Contact and Ramps on the Moon, today announce Sam Holley-Horseman as the recipient of the RTYDS 18-Month Residency, provided as part of the partnership between Ramps on the Moon and RTYDS. Sam will begin her residency at Contact in April 2021.

Sue Emmas, RTYDS Artistic Director said:
This is the first time RTYDS has offered an RTYDS 18-Month Residency with Contact, and we are delighted that this residency will also be in partnership with Ramps on the Moon. It is a fitting start to our 2021/22 programme, which will focus on providing opportunities for under-represented freelance directors and theatre-makers who have been disproportionally affected by the pandemic.”

The RTYDS 18-Month Residency at Contact is the first of four that RTYDS will be announcing in 2021. Applications from directors for residencies at Curve in Leicester, Live Theatre in Newcastle and a further theatre (still to be announced), will open later in the year. 

Matt Fenton, Artistic Director & Chief Executive at Contact commented:
We’re delighted Sam is joining Contact for the next 18 months, and she will make a brilliant addition to our team. Her residency comes at a time when we reopen our building, launch our manifesto of care, and open our Wellcome Trust health research studio in the newly expanded Contact.

Sam Holley-Horseman said:
I feel incredibly lucky to have this opportunity for the next 18-Months. I am thrilled to start at Contact, to be part of their team and be mentored by Matt Fenton, especially at this exciting time as they open the doors to their new building.

Michèle Taylor, Director for Change at Ramps on the Moon commented:
We are proud to be able to play a part in supporting Sam’s journey as a director. This seems like such a good match, and it will be exciting to see what Sam and Contact learn from each other and to see the work that develops from this relationship.

RTYDS is also opening for applications to two new programmes for 2021

From today, theatres are invited to apply for the first round of Assistant Director bursaries. The new initiative has been launched following feedback from directors and companies in direct response to the pandemic. It is focused on supporting directors and theatre-makers from under-represented backgrounds to gain their first assistant directing credit on a professional production.

In the coming week, theatre-makers will be invited to apply for two Artistic Associate roles. The Associates will work closely with RTYDS to provide access points for potential directors who might have had limited access to finding out more about becoming a theatre maker. The Artistic Associates will have a strong commitment and connection to under-represented communities and artists and will be part of RTYDS’ Craft and Career Development strand, which has increased significantly in response to the pandemic – reaching more than 1,800 participants in 2020/21.