Open Call: Young Directors Training Programme 2020

Do you have the discipline, time and passion to dedicate six months to learning tools of making live theatre performance?

One of the only programmes of this type in the country, the StoneCrabs Young Directors’ Training Programme aims to help train and develop the potential of a group of theatre-makers in the beginnings of their career.

Next programme kicks off January 2020 and will culminate with a festival showcasing participants works in July 2020. Deadline for applications midday 25 November.

This is a unique free opportunity to learn from industry professionals and showcase your individuality through a series of short plays from an international repertory, at a professional level and using the theatre as space where you can explore and present your ideas, developing stories that resonate with a wide range of audiences.

This is a programme for those considering going into theatre-making, from a producing/directing perspective who are at the very beginning of their career.

Free opportunity to develop your skills in theatre directing and creative producing

Please, make sure you get your application in by midday on the 25th November. Candidates will be invited to a practical workshop on 30 November, followed by a panel interview on 7 & 8 December. So, please make sure you are available on those dates.

Apply now!


1) Is there an age limit on joining the Young Directors Training Programme? No. The Young Directors Training Programme was created to facilitate the development of theatre directors in the very early stages of their career, at whatever age. We are likely to offer places on our programme to people who can show they are committed to theatre-making (whatever their background) and who we feel will benefit from training.

2) Are there restrictions on my choice of play?

Choose a play within our restrictions of max 45 mins running time and 3 actors – they are there for a reason!
The idea is that you will be directing this play for a scratch performance as part of the Young Directors Festival in 2020. You will only be able to afford to work with 2 or 3 paid actors and it should have a running time of 45 minutes, so consider how this affects your choice of play. My main advice would be to be responsible and realistic in your within your restrictions but remain ambitious and creative. Often limitations encourage the most creative use of resources, so embrace them!

3) How do I find a play within these restrictions?

If you’ve got an hour or two to spare, go to a library or bookshop and look through the plays keeping in mind your restrictions – only 45 minutes long and with 2/3 actors. Skim over, get a good sense of the play and the issues it deals with and make a shortlist of plays that interest you. Although you are not expected to secure rights for the play before applying, it’s always good to check with publishers and have other ideas and options in case the rights aren’t available, which can be horribly disappointing.

Also, check out Nick Hern Books website: there’s a clever filter so you can select cast size. You can also explore plays on

4) What can I expect to learn over the 6 months?

You can expect to learn about production, project management and theatre directing. It introduces artistic and practical management tools for the director and encourages an individual approach, utilizing the director’s own vision. At the end of the programme, the participants put their training into practice by producing a festival of staged readings/or scratch performances with professional actors, each participant directing a play of their choice. This way, you see the holistic process of theatre-making. As a group, you will be responsible for fundraising for the festival which is a challenging and rewarding experience. The best thing about the programme is that it encourages you to dig deep and use skills you didn’t even know you had. Above all, you can expect to learn a lot about yourself as an artist, a manager and team player.

5) What will I be expected to pay for?

You will need to bring along a notebook and a pen, a packed lunch (or money for lunch) and comfortable clothes. The course does not require any specialist equipment or clothing, just your brain and energy! The funding for the festival itself will come from you fundraising as a group and any sponsorship you manage to secure. It is not expected for you to put your own money into the festival. The course is free of charge and is over 1 ½ days a week for a reason – we want applicants to not be put off by finances and to still be able to work around the course.

6) Location and timetable?

The programme will be delivered in London and will start on 15 January 2020.  You will need to commit to attending evening sessions on Wednesdays 6.30 – 9pm and full day Saturdays.  Candidates will receive a breakdown schedule when attending the 30 November workshops.

If you have any worries or questions please get in touch at [email protected], If you have the passion, talent and drive to be part of this year’s Young Directors Training Programme then make sure you get your application in by midday on the 25th November.