Three-Month Placement

For early career directors and theatre makers from backgrounds currently under-represented in theatre

A young, black woman leads a theatre-making workshop

“On this placement I was able to assist direction, create a movement sequence, run my own workshops with the LGBTQ+ youth of Watford, learn from dozens of staff members and become a better creative within this tumultuous world of the arts. All because of my willingness to be open, creative and vulnerable. This placement is a much about you as it is about the show.”

Vedi Roy, Three-Month Placement Director, Watford Palace Theatre

The RTYDS Three-Month paid placement allows theatre companies to host an under-represented director or theatre maker at the very start of their professional career. The director or theatre maker will spend three months full-time or six months part-time learning about the role and skills of how work is made. RTYDS offers theatre companies up to £6,000 to host a Three-Month Placement in their organisation.

We are not currently accepting applications for RTYDS Three-Month Placements.

Information for Theatre Companies

This opportunity is for a director or theatre maker (over 18 years of age) at the very start of their professional directing career.

The director or theatre maker will spend focused time with the theatre company learning about the role and skills of making theatre. The attachment should last for the equivalent of three months full-time; it can be a full-time commitment or structured as a more flexible longer placement if this suits the needs and commitments of the individual. All participants must be resident in the UK at point of application and able to work in the UK.

Up to £6,000 is available to cover the costs of the placement. This is based on a fee of £500 per week for 12 weeks for the participating director or theatre maker. For part-time placements this fee should be pro-rata. If this fee doesn’t fit within your existing pay structures please let us know in the budget section of your application.

When applying, theatres and companies can either:

  • Apply with a nominated director or theatre maker
  • Run an open recruitment process to identify the director or theatre maker

RTYDS will support companies and theatres running an open recruitment process . We can tailor this, depending on what you feel would be useful, but for example we could:

  • Review recruitment timetable, copy and processes
  • Circulate the opportunity to directors on our mailing list and on social media

Given the continued uncertainty caused by the pandemic we understand that schedules may change. However, if the proposed project doesn’t proceed or is postponed for more than three months, we may not be able to continue with the partnership.

At this time, we want to find as many ways to provide freelance artists with support and opportunities. Consequently, companies and theatres who host a Three-Month Placement will be asked to work with RTYDS to offer an additional opportunity beyond the placement for a wider group of artists on our network. This might include an online workshop exploring the rehearsal process for the show, providing access or insights into Board meetings, running discussions around commissioning or programming choices for the company etc.

The placement is for adults over 18 years of age from backgrounds currently under-represented in UK theatre. We use the term under-represented to embrace those artists facing barriers that arise from inequalities due to gender, social, cultural, financial, racial, geographic inequality, educational disadvantage or disability. In this strand of our work we are particularly keen to encourage companies to support artists who are Black or Global Majority, Deaf and disabled directors and theatre makers, or working class artists at an early stage of their development.

There is no upper age limit.

The director or theatre maker will have had limited opportunities to: make their own work, work as an assistant with professional actors, or study directing in an educational context. However, they should able to demonstrate a commitment to a career in theatre directing or theatre making. This is the chance for the placement to gain first-hand experience in a professional but supported environment.

These criteria should be part of any open recruitment for the placements.

If the director or theatre maker has access requirements, please get in touch with RTYDS to discuss how we might be able to help you provide necessary provision.

The programme is for professional producing theatre companies based in England (outside London), that have a practicing artistic director, a track record of education and outreach work and knowledge of artist development. The companies can be touring or building-based and of any scale. Companies can also apply as consortia, so for example a touring company can apply in partnership with a theatre.

Companies can apply to more than one RTYDS programme at the same time. In this case, the company will need to make clear how the strands of work would complement and support each other and also demonstrate that there is capacity to support more than one initiative.

This placement is a way of supporting a director or theatre maker at the very start of their professional development. We encourage the company to design a placement that best suits the director or theatre maker’s needs. The placement might involve attending design meetings, observing or assisting in rehearsals, supporting participation work, shadowing members of staff etc. Learning about the director’s role in the leadership and operation of the company is also important.

At the core of our work is identifying and nurturing new and early career artists and increasingly digital media and new technologies are inherent in the way they create and communicate. We ask our partner organisations to endeavour to include an engagement with digital and new technologies within their project activity plans.

Evaluation of this scheme over the past seven years shows that the directors benefit greatly from having access to the early production process. For example, the director or theatre maker should be invited to join the company at design meetings at the outset of the production for which they will assist, as this will give them the in-depth knowledge of the production from the very beginning. This time should be paid as part of the placement.

We are not currently accepting applications for RTYDS Three-Month Placements.

Applications are assessed on the basis of:

  • the quality of the proposal and benefit to the director or theatre maker
  • the track record of people involved
  • the background and experience of the director or theatre maker

In each round we will aim for a geographical spread of theatres and a mix of smaller and bigger companies.

Decisions will be made by a panel made up of RTYDS Board members, individual Board members are not involved in considering applications from theatres to which they are personally connected.

If you would like to have a chat about RTYDS Three-Month Placements, please contact Manli Siu, Programme Producer on or 0161 883 0296.

Guidelines for Directors

Participants for the Three-Month Placement are recruited directly by participating theatre companies. No professional experience is needed to take part. Participants should be over 18 years of age (no upper age limit), live locally to the theatre, and want to know more about directing in theatre.

If you are interested in doing a Three-Month Placement in a theatre, we recommend that you talk to your local professional theatre to see if they might apply to host one.

Some of our partner theatres may apply to host a Three-Month Placement and hold an open recruitment process for their director. To find out about these opportunities, follow RTYDS on social media or sign up to our mailing list.

Amelia Thornber, Three-Month Placement Director:

“I am so immensely grateful to both RTYDS and The North Wall. This placement has really given me time to think and reflect on my own practice as a theatre maker, about what I want to achieve next and in the long run.”

The North Wall:

“People often think of placements as one-way, ie someone to manage and look after, but I believe that The North Wall has gained equally if not more from Amelia’s presence and contribution during her 3 months with us. It has been an energising time (in spite of its unexpected coronavirus-ending), and we have able to support and develop a relationship with a local artist who will continue to be part of The North Wall family long into the future.”

Our other programmes

Current Three-Month Placements

Three-Month Placements

“The time I spent at The Nuffield Theatre in Southampton equipped me, not only with skills for the rehearsal room, but also skills needed to lead a company. Most valuable of all though was the opportunity to try ideas, succeed and sometimes fail, within a supportive, creative environment.”

Robin Belfield
Theatre Director & writer

Three-Month Placements have been hosted in partnership with: