IN 2017, THE REGIONAL THEATRE YOUNG DIRECTOR SCHEME BECAME AN ASSOCIATE COMPANY OF THE ROYAL EXCHANGE THEATRE WHERE IT WILL HAVE ITS NORTHERN BASE

The scheme supports a nationwide structure of paid opportunities for career development for emerging directors from under represented backgrounds. The Manchester base will be RTYDS’ second base.

The partnership between the Royal Exchange Theatre and Regional Theatre Young Director Scheme is expected to bring a number of new opportunities for young directors outside of London. The scheme gives them access to professional mentoring and advice. RTYDS aims to overcome barriers to entering the profession for emerging directors by uniting them with theatre companies. It also provides training and development opportunities.

“Manchester is the creative powerhouse of the north with the biggest concentration of producing theatres outside the capital therefore it is the perfect base for our work across the English regions. We are delighted to be able to make our home at Royal Exchange Theatre which, under the leadership of Sarah Frankcom, makes such a significant contribution to the development of artists and particularly of directors.” Sue Emmas, RTYDS Director

RTYDS is rewriting the future of UK theatre. It has consistently helped to develop some of the most inspirational directors in the country by immersing them in producing theatres. Discovering and supporting the next generation of theatre makers sits at the heart of the Royal Exchange. Working with RTYDS will provide even more opportunities for emerging directors to work in our studio and on our main stage. Creating a home for RTYDS in the city adds to an evolving and vibrant scene of creative opportunity here in the theatre and across Greater Manchester. We are thrilled that they are joining us as a new associate company and making Manchester their home in the North.” Sarah Frankcom, RET Artistic Director.

  • What is the Regional Theatre Young Director Scheme
  • RTYDS originated in the 1960s, aimed at supporting the development of artistic leaders, and has a star-studded alumni including John Tiffany, Ken Loach, Rupert Gould, Vicky Featherstone and Matthew Xia. However, in response to consultation across the sector in 2014, RTYDS introduced new programmes dedicated to increasing diversity in the profession, uniting emerging directors with regional theatre companies of all scales, providing opportunities for training and development which are designed to overcome barriers to entering the profession which arise from social, gender, financial, ethnic, cultural, geographic or educational disadvantage or disability.

    Since 2014 RTYDS has worked with 43 regional theatre companies and 277 directors. 93% of participants on programmes for new and emerging directors were from under- represented groups, 40% were BAME; 23% identified as disabled and are 61% face barriers due to socio-economic factors.

  • Development Opportunities
  • The RTYDS seeks out and nurtures talented theatre directors early in their careers providing exceptional professional training for the directors and artistic leaders of the future. The Royal Exchange presents a variety of opportunities in partnership with the RTYDS.

    • Introduction to Directing - Intensive practical training to discover if directing might be a future career. Aimed at local underrepresented adults who have a specific interest in directing and limited access to arts, training and employment.

    • 3 Month Scheme – each year The Royal Exchange will host a paid work placement for an exciting emerging director from an underrepresented background at the start of their professional career.

    • 18 Month Scheme – will place a talented emerging director in the Exchange as paid Resident Assistant Directors where they can develop their skills and learn what it takes to run a regional theatre.

    • Workshops – held in Manchester. More Information
  • Latest News
  • Nickie Miles-Wildin announced as Exchange RTYDS Resident Assistant Director.

    18 Jul 2017, we are delighted that the brilliant Nickie Miles-Wildin will join us here at the Royal Exchange later this summer. Maddie Kludje will join Birmingham Repertory Theatre and Taio Lawson will take up the position in Sheffield Theatres. Each recipient will receive exceptional work-based training in a producing house, and the opportunity to direct their own show... Read more


Open Exchange provides a series of developmental opportunities for emerging artists of all disciplines, rooted in the belief that collaboration creates great art and brilliant theatre doesn't always begin with a script. Sign up here for opportunities.