Leeds Playhouse Announces New Theatre Director


Regional Theatre Young Director Scheme (RTYDS) – the professional artist development programme for potential, new, emerging and experienced theatre directors – has announced its 18-Month Residency placements for 2019.

Sameena Hussain

The newly redeveloped Leeds Playhouse will host the scheme from September this year welcoming Sameena Hussain for a paid residency and the opportunity to direct her own production as part of the theatre’s programme.

We are thrilled to work with Leeds Playhouse to bring new and emerging talent to the cultural landscape,” says Artistic Director of RTYDS Sue Emmas.

Sue Emmas

The scheme seeks out the most talented theatre directors at the early stage of their careers and helps develop their skills and experience by placing them in theatres outside London.

“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” continues Sue.

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.”

In the past five years RTYDS has placed 11 directors on 18-Month residencies across 10 venues – includingBirmingham RepCurve LeicesterSheffield Theatres and Liverpool Everyman and can claim an impressive list of past participants; Vicky Featherstone [Artistic Director at London’s Royal Court], Matthew Xia [ArtisticDirector with Actors Touring Company], Natalie Ibu [Artistic Director at Tiata Fahodzi], and Elizabeth Newman[Artistic Director Pitlochry Festival Theatre] are just a few.

Leeds Playhouse Artistic Director James Brining:

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.

Theatres are complex buildings,” concludes Sue Emmas. “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