The Regional Theatre Young Director Scheme (RTYDS) places new, emerging and experienced theatre directors as resident directors in theatres around the country, with a focus on theatres outside London.
In Leeds at what will be the newly refurbished Leeds Playhouse from September this year, the resident director will be Sameena Hussain. Sameena will be given the opportunity to direct her own production.
Sue Emmas, Artistic Director of the Scheme, said “We are thrilled to work with Leeds Playhouse to bring new and emerging talent to the cultural landscape. RTYDS set out to challenge the idea that anyone wanting to work in theatre had to go to London, and for almost 60 years we have been hugely successful in placing great talent with prominent producing houses outside the capital. We create pathways that affect who can lead in theatre; if you change the directors, you change the work that gets made, the actors they work with and the stories they tell. We believe it’s hugely important to see everyone represented in theatre and at every level and in every area.”
Leeds Playhouse Artistic Director James Brining, Leeds Playhouse Artistic Director, had this to say:
“We are delighted to be partnering again with RTYDS to find and nurture the next generation of artists; the relationship has spanned many years and follows in the footsteps of leading cultural figures like Vicky Featherstone, who notably started their long and successful career here through an RTYDS scheme. Sameena Hussain is an inspiring artist, whose passion and commitment shone through brightly. The team and I are looking forward to working with her and seeing how she grows as an artist and a cultural leader, as well as being moved forward as an organisation by her ideas and energy.”
The 18-month residency also covers all the elements of the theatre’s day-to day-running; finance, development, producing, administration, marketing and publicity are all part of the training. Sue Emmas was quite clear about how complex theatres are: “The high level of work that goes into them before there is even a production, before the doors open, is incredible. We believe it’s important that our Directors understand that because we want to create future leaders in theatre; the names we have worked with up to now would suggest that we are achieving that.”
For more information about RTYDS and their programmes visit www.rtyds.co.uk
Feature photograph: Sameena Hussain and Leeds Playhouse Associate Producer Amy Leach at the Press night of Around the World in 80 Days. Photograph provided by Faye Dawson PR.