Four upcoming young directors have received a huge boost to their fledgling careers by winning places on the Regional Theatre Young Director Scheme for 2015-2016.
The quartet – Jesse Jones, Daniel Bailey, Rebecca Frecknall and Jo Newman – each earn 18-month paid residencies at major regional theatres to learn the business.
Jesse is off to Northampton’s Royal & Derngate; Daniel to Birmingham Rep; Rebecca at Northern Stage and Jo to the Salisbury Playhouse.
The group already has a considerable amount of experience behind it.
Daniel Bailey took part in the Young Vic’s Introduction to Directing and went on to be director-in-residence at the National Theatre Studio.
He has developed work with theatre companies including Talawa, Paddington Arts and the New Vic Theatre.
Rebecca was recipient of the National Theatre Studio’s Resident Director Bursary and was awarded one of the Jerwood Assistant Director Bursaries at the Young Vic.
She has directed work at Southwark Playhouse, Greenwich Theatre and the New Diorama.
Jesse Jones is the co-artistic director of The Wardrobe Theatre in Bristol which he founded in 2011.
In 2013 Jesse was assistant director to Bijan Sheibani on the National Theatre’s production of Emil and the Detectives.
Jo Newman is co-artistic director of Birmingham-based Tin Box Theatre Company and has developed work at theatres including Birmingham REP, mac, Battersea Arts Centre and New Diorama Theatre.
Jo was a member of the REP Foundry, Birmingham REP’s Artists Development programme.
The Regional Theatre Young Director Scheme is funded by Arts Council England and the Arts Patrons Fund and provides the opportunity for the directors to mount their own production as part of each theatre’s programme.
In addition, the residency will allow the directors to develop their understanding of the artistic and operational workings of a theatre as potential artistic directors and to assist on its productions.
Established in 1960, the initiative is the UK’s longest running and most influential training scheme for emerging directors.
James Dacre, artistic director of Royal & Derngate said: “It has been incredibly inspiring to meet so many emerging directors with a passion for working in regional theatre.
“The RYTDS offers an unparalleled opportunity to develop as a director and engenders an understanding and passion in all who receive it for making connections between theatres and their communities.
“It offers a young director a unique opportunity to engage with the wide variety of activities – both on and offstage – that encompass what regional theatres do.
“We greatly look forward to welcoming Jesse here next year.”
Roxana Silbert, artistic director of Birmingham Repertory Theatre: “This brilliant scheme has a unique legacy, discovering some of the UK’s most brilliant directors, and I am sure Daniel will follow in their footsteps.”
Lorne Campbell, artistic director of Northern Stage, added: “I am sure that Rebecca will be a dynamic, creative and exciting person to have in our organisation over the next 18 months.
“Having started my own career on the RTYDS scheme, I understand what a great opportunity this is for an emerging director not only to develop their craft but to get to grips with all areas of a theatre’s operations.
“This is a very exciting creative time in the North East and I am sure Rebecca will bring fresh energy and perspective to Northern Stage and the region during her time with us.”
Gareth Machin, artistic director of Salisbury Playhouse said: “Regional theatres crave the creative energy and vision of the very best emerging directors.
“Emerging directors crave the space and time to develop their craft. RTYDS makes it happen – brilliantly.
“Salisbury Playhouse is delighted to be participating in the scheme once more and will look forward to welcoming Jo to Wiltshire”.