Young Directors: The programme will be open  for applications early 2022!

Since 2006, StoneCrabs have been running a training programme for young people interested in Theatre Making, particularly as directors. The programme is about theatre making and also leadership, responsibility, collaboration and nurturing the next generation of theatre makers.  The aim to help train and develop the potential of a group of theatre-makers in the beginnings of their career

StoneCrabs Young Directors is one of the only programmes of this type in the country. Click here to view past graduates and what they directed in past festivals.

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.

It is a competitive programme, and whilst we would love to take everyone in, we can only take between 9 and 12 participants each time. So we need to make sure that the we have the right mix of participants for the programme. To do so, and to be as fair as we can, we have a three part selection process.


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.

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 

2) Are there restrictions on my choice of play?

Choose a play within our restrictions of max 45 mins running time and 3 actors – these restrictions 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 2022. 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. Our 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 theatre directing and devising as well as production and project management. 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 part of the 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 programme 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 programme.

6) Location and timetable?

The programme will be delivered in London and will start in 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 November workshops.

If you have any worries or questions please get in touch at,

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 12th November.