JMK & Leeds Playhouse Trainee Director

In partnership with the JMK Trust, Leeds Playhouse are now looking to recruit a Trainee Director to work on three productions across their Autumn/Winter season 2018.

Purpose of the Role:

During Leeds Playhouse's re-development period, whilst their two theatre spaces and their front of house areas are undergoing refurbishment, the Playhouse will present an ambitious season of work in off-site locations and in a temporary theatre space that will be created in their workshop space. This temporary theatre, the Pop-Up, will seat 350 people in a thrust formation, and the space will host a wide variety of plays from classics created in a contemporary way to some of the very best new writing from the last 50 years. All of the plays have been chosen as they interrogate Britain through the lens of the past but also speak to now, and many have an especially Northern perspective.

Most of the productions in the Pop-Up will be performed by an ensemble company of ten actors who will join Leeds Playhouse for ten months. This is the first time the Playhouse has hosted an ensemble of actors for twenty years.

We are looking for a Trainee Director to assist on three productions in this Pop-Up Theatre and to support Leeds Playhouse with the delivery of this ambitious season. The productions are as follows:

ROAD by Jim Cartwright. Directed by Amy Leach, Designed by Hayley Grindle.

EUROPE by David Greig. Directed by James Brining, Designed by Amanda Stoodley.

A CHRISTMAS CAROL adapted by Debbie McAndrew. Directed by Amy Leach, Designed by Hayley Grindle.

The Trainee Director will:

  • Assist Amy Leach on Road and A Christmas Carol, and James Brining on Europe, including any research, script maintenance, planning, attending production meetings, and work with the creative team and actors as required.
  • Support the rehearsing of young actors playing Tiny Tim in A Christmas Carol.
  • Work alongside the Playhouse team to support the logistical delivery of this complex project.
  • Assist the company in documenting the rehearsal process for the purposes of marketing, archiving and evaluating the project through blogs, social media and other forms as agreed.
  • Observe and assist the Director in the production weeks as required.
  • Support the work of the Creative Engagement team whilst the show is on tour within the community.
  • Support the directors and stage management team during the tech week of the production in the Courtyard theatre.
  • Contribute to the daily life of the theatre and its communities, including Furnace and the Artistic Development programme. This will include becoming a participant of the JMK Fuse Directors' Group and working with the JMK Trust to support and facilitate the group until next year's bursary recipient is chosen.


The contract starts on Monday 30th July and ends on Saturday 24th November.

Person Specification:

  • The Trainee Director will demonstrate a commitment to living and making theatre in Yorkshire.
  • Experience as a professional assistant director and/or experience directing professional theatre productions.
  • A passion for theatre and some knowledge of the work of a range of artists and theatre companies across the UK.
  • A commitment to pursuing a career as a professional director or theatre-maker.
  • An interest in and experience of working with young people.
  • An evolving vision for the kind of theatre they want to make.
  • Highly organised with an ability to juggle multiple priorities and projects.
  • Thriving in a fast moving, pressurised work environment.
  • Excellent people skills and experience of working within a team.
  • Positive, proactive and solution orientated.
  • Attention to detail.


  • Proficient administration skills.
  • Understanding of producing theatre.
  • Experience of working with actors and/or artists with a Learning Disability.

Terms & Conditions:

  • Contract: Freelance fixed term - 17 weeks.
  • Fee: £6,000.
  • This fee includes an arts scholarship of £2,350 funded by the Leverhulme Trust through JMK. The recipient will become a Leverhulme Arts Scholar.
  • Hours: Full time. 40 hours per week over 6 days: Monday to Saturday. Some evening and weekend work will be required and weekly hours will be adjusted to accommodate this.
  • Subject to receipt of 2 satisfactory references.
  • Proof of eligibility to work in the UK.
  • Confirmation you were born, raised or live in Yorkshire.
  • Completion of satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Service check (DBS).
  • This role does not include relocation expenses. You will be expected to live in commutable distance of the theatre during your contract.

Please download and read the job description before applying as it contains full role details, as well as further terms and conditions.


To apply for this role, please send a cover letter explaining:

  • Why you are interested in working on these three productions as part of the Pop-Up Season and why you are interested in assisting Amy Leach and James Brining.
  • Why this would be an essential next step for you.
  • Your relevant experience and what you can bring to the role.
  • Your commitment to living and making theatre in Yorkshire.

If you’d prefer to send a video message, please do, but ensure it’s no longer than two minutes.

Along with your covering letter please provide an up-to-date CV and complete this equal opportunities form, and send these three documents to

We actively encourage applications from people of all backgrounds, especially those currently under represented in our industry and on our stages.

To apply you must have been born, raised or live in Yorkshire.

The deadline for receipt of applications is Thursday 5th July at 5pm.

If shortlisted for interview you will hear from us by Tuesday 10th July.

Interviews will be held at Leeds Playhouse on the evening of Thursday 12th July.

Before applying, please download the job description and equal opportunities form.