New Directors Programme

What Is It?

The VAULT New Directors Programme offers a complete introduction to directing for the stage in an accessible, non-patronising, and inclusive environment. This 8 week programme will provide participants with a grounding in choosing and working with a piece of text, structuring a rehearsal process, working with a creative team, the writer/director relationship, and working with actors in a professional setting. The course started on Saturday 22nd May 2021 and culminated in a professionally produced showcase performance on Sunday 11th July 2021.

Who’s It For?

Prospective directors over the age of 18, who have a passion for directing theatre for the stage and have never staged a full-length play before, or received any professional training in directing.

Absolute beginners are strongly encouraged to apply and we are particularly keen to hear from people whose backgrounds make it challenging for them to break into the creative industries.

What Does It Involve?

Six selected participants will receive mentoring and support to direct a 10 minute extract of a play written by participants in the VAULT New Writers Programme, and create a fully developed ‘Ideas Book’ for staging a full-length show. The programme is made up of weekly 3-hour sessions, which take place every Saturday afternoon, 2pm-5pm. Workshops involve practical instruction, group discussion, and guest speakers. Participants will also be encouraged to attend group trips to see shows, including streamed performances and if possible, live theatre.

A 10 minute extract of the piece developed as part of the New Writers Programme will be performed at a showcase evening on Sunday 11th July to an audience made up of invited industry and the public. The pieces will be produced by VAULT Festival, performed by professional actors, and directed by participants on the New Directors Programme that runs alongside the New Writers Programme.

Who’s Behind It?

The New Directors Programme is a new initiative from VAULT Festival designed to run alongside the New Writers Programme. The programme is devised and led by award winning Director, and Artistic Director of The Thelmas, Madelaine Moore (OV12 2020/2021). The programme is being supported by WarnerMedia, the leading media and entertainment company which is committed to increasing access to and driving participation in the creative industries.

Meet the Participants!

We’re delighted to introduce the participants for the VAULT New Directors Programme 2021.

A collage of the six participants of the New Directors Programme 2021

From top left, clockwise: Benjamin Willmott, Beth Murrell, Humira Imtiaz, Mirka Gedi, Nick Ishmael-Perkins, Princess Bestman.

Benjamin Willmott

Benjamin is so excited to be part of the New Directors Programme and can’t wait to get learning! Benjamin’s aim is to use the skills learnt during the programme to become a community theatre director and place great storytelling and amazing theatre right at the heart of local communities.

Beth Murrell

Beth is a proud Northerner, community drama graduate and aspiring director. Beth says that being part of the NDP is an amazing opportunity to expand and grow her practice, and she can’t wait to get started. Her aim is to make theatre that is inclusive and accessible – and that looks incredible too!

Humira Imtiaz

Humira a writer, director and producer. Humira loves exciting and emotional theatre, that grips the heart and the mind. Humira is really excited to be part of the New Directors Programme, and is looking forward to learning and creating, especially new writing!

Mirka Gedi

Mirka is nineteen and loves human-interest based theatre. Hearing stories from different perspectives is so important. So much goes into devising, knowing that everything the audience sees, there are people behind the stage that made it happen. Mirka is excited to see what the participants on the New Directors Programme will be creating!

Nick Ishmael-Perkins

Nick has lived in the Caribbean, Canada and Southern Africa working with theatres on social change campaigns. He started Wretched Theatre to get the accents he heard on Britain’s streets onto Britain’s stages. He has an enduring passion for science communication and Robert Wilson. For him the New Directors Programme is a ‘catalyst’ for change.

Princess Bestman

Princess is a performer and theatre maker who loves multimedia theatre with socio-political themes. As a member of the New Directors Programme, Princess is looking forward to enhancing their skills whilst connecting with and learning from other directors.


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