National Programme Update

Announcing our Director Practitioners and new partner venue, Reading Rep

After many great applications and very tough selection decisions, we're thrilled to announce our new Director Practitioners (DPs). These five DPs, all of whom are established, regionally-based directors, will work closely with their local partner venues and the JMK Trust to shape the delivery of our National Programme, including running our Directors' Groups and Assistant Director bursary recruitment.

In this exciting new model, the DPs will curate our Programme for their region, tailoring it to the needs of local directors. The emerging directors who take part in our Programme will be able to benefit from mentorship, guidance and support from their local DP, who is in place to oversee their creative and professional development. The DPs will also lead workshops at each others' venues, exchanging knowledge and skills to benefit all our participants.

In addition to this development, we are excited to form a new Directors' Group in partnership with Reading Rep, who share our commitment to developing new and diverse talent in the industry. This Directors' Group will be led by JMK Director Practitioner, Nik Partridge.

Meet our five JMK Director Practitioners:

Nik Partridge (Reading Rep, Salisbury Playhouse and Nuffield Southampton Theatres)

Nik is a South-West based director whose work focuses on contemporary writing, adaptation and engagement. He was Director-in-Residence at Tobacco Factory Theatres from 2014-2015 and is currently Staff Director at Theatre Royal Plymouth, where he is responsible for artist development and support. As a freelance director Nik has made work for: Bristol Old Vic, Royal Court, Traverse, Tobacco Factory Theatres, Mayfest, the egg, Bath Theatre Royal, Strike-A-Light, Theatre Royal Plymouth, Oran Mor, Galway International Arts Festival, Travelling Light, New Diorama, Bikeshed Theatre. He trained on the National Theatre Studio Directors Course and at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. He was a BBC Performing Arts Fellow in 2014.

Adele Thomas (Sherman Theatre, Bristol Old Vic and Tobacco Factory Theatres)

Adele is already in post, working with our Welsh and Bristol directors. An award winning theatre and opera director, Adele is currently making Eyam for Shakespeare’s Globe and Berenice for the Royal Opera House. Previous credits include: Cosi Fan Tutte (Northern Ireland Opera); A Warring Absence (National Theatre); Unusual Unions (Royal Court); Macbeth: The Complete Walk, Thomas Tallis, The Oresteia, The Knight of the Burning Pestle (Globe).

Maria Crocker (Travese Theatre and Northern Stage)

Maria is originally from Middlesbrough in the North East of England. Her theatre credits as a Director include: Growth (Northern Stage Studio); Brian Looks Like Alan Rickman (York Theatre Royal Studio); Found (Alnwick Playhouse). Theatre as Associate Director: Meek (Headlong); Gods Are Fallen And All Safety Gone (Greyscale, International Tour); The Gamblers (Greyscale, Dundee Rep). Theatre as Movement Director: Leaving (Curious Monkey). Theatre as Assistant or Staff Director: Hadestown (National Theatre); Mood Music (The Old Vic); Pinocchio (National Theatre); Animal Farm  (Northern Stage); Catch 22 (UK Tour). Theatre as Deviser: No Miracles Here, Five Feet In FrontBonenkai (The Letter Room).

Liz Stevenson (HOME Manchester and West Yorkshire Playhouse)

Liz is the Artistic Director of Junction 8 Theatre and the Associate Director at Theatre by the Lake in Keswick. She won the JMK Young Director Award in 2015 and her production of Barbarians at The Young Vic was nominated for an Oliver Award. Other credits include: How My Light Is Spent (Royal Exchange Theatre, Sherman Theatre, TBTL) The Secret Garden (TBTL and York Theatre Royal) and Handbagged (TBTL). She is currently the Associate Director on the National Theatre production of Macbeth touring the UK and Ireland later this year.

Martin Berry (Birmingham Rep and Royal & Derngate)

Martin sits in the board of Stage Directors UK, trained on the Clore programme and is an international consultant for Trinity College. Previous directing credits include: Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella (Queens Theatre Hornchurch), Smile (UK tour with Tiger Press Publishing), The Last Five Years (Tobacco Factory Theatres), Neverland, A Christmas Carol, Sweeney Todd, Into The Woods, Lysistrata, Oh What a Lovely War, Little Shop of Horrors, Doctor Faustus, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Wiz (Nottingham Lakeside).

These DPs will soon be setting up a programme of free workshops for our Directors' Groups at our partner venues. Email for information on how to join any of our Groups.

Click here to read more about our National Programme, including our Directors' Groups and Assistant Director bursaries.