Josh Roche’s blog

Applying for stuff is a big part of life as a theatre director. Applying for funding, applying for competitions, applying for jobs, the list goes on and on. Actors have to keep launching themselves into auditions, directors have to keep applying, keep pitching, keep offering themselves. It means that being bloody minded and obstinate can become quite useful, in its place.

For the JMK Award, this application process begins with a list of plays. The Trust puts out a list, and from the selection on offer you find one that sets your hair on end. The first application is an opportunity to talk about the elements of the play that most move you, and write about them as best you can. Trying to explain how you’d enable those elements, and amplify them. You get to dream big (which doesn't happen that often) so it’s worth enjoying that.

At the long-list stage you assemble a team and invite other minds into that mission, principally a designer and a producer who work together to make your vision seem attractive, dynamic and (crucially) affordable. If you reach the short-list, the specifics of your vision get tied down. What does the model box look like for your production? Can you justify each budget line? How do you work with actors? How does that complement the vision of the production?

The whole application process is about trying to convince a group of people that your show would be extraordinarily good. That’s ‘good’ in the context of other shows at the venue, good in the context of previous JMK shows, just good, period. Being humble in the face of that mission is really, really important. Try to admit what you’re not good at (in my case, devising, movement and music), then tailor your application toward what you can speak about with confidence and clarity. Try to do simple, achievable things very well. Stack the deck in your favour.

For me, the JMK was the annual highlight in a calendar of applications. Every December I would read through the list of plays and every January submit my 1500-word application. I tried every different tactic, with a whole host of different plays, and every year until 2017 I was rejected at the first round.

Each year the rejection got much easier to handle, until it was just a feature of January. That’s when you know you’re hitting a groove, when the rejection washes over you and you look forward to the next thing rather than dwelling on the past. Go for a run, have a drink, whatever you do to lift your spirits, then move on. Cracking that, psychologically, is much more important than winning a competition or getting a good review.

When it happened, I had no idea how I’d won or why my production was chosen over others. If you win I’m sure you won’t know why either. So, the important thing is to speak clearly about what you believe you can achieve, and why you think it would be a powerful, moving production. After that, just keep applying.

JMK HOME Manchester: Producing Theatre Workshop

We're excited to share details of our free Producing Theatre workshop, for members of our JMK HOME Directors' Group:

Monday 11 March, 5pm
HOME Manchester

Learn from a panel of producers about what’s involved in producing theatre. From their experience of independent and building-based producing, learn about the various duties and responsibilities of producers, their relationship with directors, and pick up some advice on how to self-produce your own work.

Nick Stevenson – Nick is the Associate Producer at Theatr Clwyd in North Wales, and the Exec producer and co-founder of Junction 8 Theatre, a company based in Chorley in Lancashire which is currently making its second ACE funded show.

Amy Fisher – Amy is the Producer at Stephen Joseph Theatre. She has previous experience as a freelance producer, and was the producer for Manchester-based new writing company, Box of Tricks.

Sarah Sharp – Sarah is the Talent Development Producer at HOME Manchester. Previously Sarah worked as Producer and Programmer at Theatre Deli Sheffield and co-conceived Migration Matters Festival in 2015.

To book your free place, please click here.

If you are not already a member of the JMK HOME Directors' Group, please email katherine@jmktrust.org and sarah.sharp@homemcr.org  to register before booking.

JMK South West – Upcoming Events

We're delighted to share details of our upcoming free programme at Wiltshire Creative. Please email nik@jmktrust.org to sign up for any of the below events.

If you are not already a member of our JMK South West directors' group, please also email katherine@jmktrust.org to register.

14th February - 2nd March
FEST WEST 2019

There's two weeks of incredible South West work on offer and some can be seen while in Salisbury for JMK events. Great opportunity to see what's being made in the region, find out where your work sits and then apply to be part of next year's festival. All info online here and full brochure here

There is also the South West Symposium on Thursday 28th Feb-  a chance to meet other artists and industry professionals and discuss cross art form practice, it's a jam packed day and always a really useful way to make connections. A lot of the Venues South West network and national promoters will be there too.

Friday 1st March, 6.30-9pm
Media Space, Salisbury Arts Centre
with Tanuja Amarasuriya

Noise vs Space: ways to think about, talk about and work with sound as a director

Sound and music can be powerful storytelling tools, but they can be tricky to talk about and conventional theatre processes often leave little time for integrating sound in anything other than a supporting role. This discursive workshop will look at approaches to using sound dramaturgically and tips for collaborating with sound designers.

Tanuja Amarasuriya is a Director, Dramaturg and Sound Designer who works across theatre, film and digital sound. As a Director and Dramaturg, she has worked with playwrights and theatremakers including Improbable, Eno Mfon, Timothy X Atack, Dipika Guha, Sam Halmarack and Raucous. As a Sound Designer her work includes with Selina Thompson, Chris Thorpe & Rachel Chavkin, and forthcoming work by Inua Ellams. She is a resident at Watershed's Pervasive Media Studio, a Leverhulme Arts Scholar attached to Bristol Old Vic, and co-Artistic Director of Sleepdogs, a wide-ranging collaboration with writer/composer Timothy X Atack. Sleepdogs' work has been developed and presented nationally and internationally, including at: the National Theatre (London), Bristol Old Vic, Seattle International Film Festival, Manchester Royal Exchange, New Wolsey (Ipswich), Brighton Festival, NexT International Film Festival (Bucharest), BIOS (Athens) and Sura Medura (Sri Lanka). www.sleepdogs.org

Saturday 2nd March, 11am
Salisbury Arts Centre

Director’s Brunch

A chance to meet with Jo Newman, Associate Director at Wiltshire Creative and Nik Partridge, JMK Director Practitioner, as well as connect with other local and regionally based directors in an informal setting. Tea and coffee will be provided.

From 12pm onwards there is a chance to catch live music and performance at Salisbury Arts Centre as part of Fest West including Jo Bannon's Exposure

Saturday 2nd March, 2-5pm
White Room at Salisbury Arts Centre

Staging Memory with Melly Still

This workshop will explore the process of adaptation and staging a 'whodunnit'.

Melly Still is a director, designer and choreographer. Her recent directing credits include The Lovely Bones (Birmingham Rep, Royal & Derngate and Northern Stage co-production in association with Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse); My Brilliant Friend (Rose Theatre Kingston) and Cymbeline (RSC).

There’s also a ticket offer for The Mirror Crack’d directed by Melly Still at Salisbury Playhouse for 2nd March 7.30pm. Tickets are availble at £9. Please email jo@jmktrust.org to reserve your ticket by Monday 25th February.

Wednesday 3rd April
Main stage at Salisbury Playhouse

Invitation to sit in on tech and dress rehearsal for Handbagged. 
Times tbc
Directed by Jo Newman, this is an opportunity to sit in and observe the process as a show moves from tech to final dress rehearsal. Final timings will be confirmed with participants upon signing up, but they should expect this to be a full day of observation.

Saturday 27th April, Wiltshire Creative, 4-6pm 
Rehearsal Room, Salisbury Playhouse
Making your own theatre - Producing Workshop - Lizzie Stables

As artists, we often hear that the best thing we can do is to make our own work. The question is how, and where do you start? In this two-hour workshop, we will explore ways to approach getting projects off the ground - looking at the process of creating a show from the seed of an idea through to production.

Lizzie Stables is an actress, theatre producer and Artistic Director of Folio Theatre Company, which she formed in 2015 in order to create and produce new plays for touring. Folio's debut show, Unearthed, received critical acclaim and was subsequently listed in The Guardian as one of their readers' favourite stage shows of 2015. Folio's next production, The Edit, will tour in Spring 2019 in association with Wiltshire Creative, premiering at Salisbury Playhouse's Salberg Theatre. @lizzie_js / @foliotheatre / www.foliotheatre.co.uk

To reserve your free place for any of these workshops, please email nik@jmktrust.org

JMK Northern Stage – Working with a Movement Director Workshop

Monday 25th February, 6.30 - 8.30pm, Northern Stage
Working with a Movement Director… 

Join Northern Stage’s Associate Director, Mark Calvert, and Movement Director Martin Hylton, for a free, 2 hour workshop, exploring the director/movement director relationship.

Mark and Martin have worked together on staging large scale musical productions, including Northern Stage’s James And The Giant Peach, Alice In Wonderland and most recently, A Christmas Carol. This workshop will delve into the process of working with a movement director, from the first meeting through to press night, and will touch on different approaches of staging dance and movement. There may be some physical activity, so please wear appropriate clothing.

Places are limited, please email maria@jmktrust.org to secure a place.

JMK South West – Routes for Collaboration Call Out

There has been a strong desire from members of the South West JMK group to seek routes of collaboration with other artists and practitioners who are based regionally.

As such, the JMK are facilitating Routes to Collaboration - research and development periods at Reading Rep, where artists based in the Wiltshire, Hampshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire area will have the opportunity to explore, in a non-outcome focused environment, new ideas and potential future collaborations with other artists.

The call-out will work in two stages.

Firstly, we will be accepting ideas from lead creatives. These ideas should focus on a singular question around a topic or theme you are interested in exploring. It may be that the work already exists, i.e. in the form of a new play or you may wish for it to take a more discursive and open approach to the question.

There is no expectation about what this idea should be, however, you should feel confident that you can meaningfully explore it over the course of the day, with up to 5 collaborators.

You do not need to be a director to submit an idea at this stage. We will accept ideas from artists and practitioners regardless of background or discipline. This call-out will be circulated to all the artist networks at Reading Rep, Wiltshire Creative and Nuffield Theatres.

We are unable to offer technical support during the R&D days, therefore your idea should not require sound or lighting.

The deadline for submission of ideas is: Monday 18th February 2019 and these should be emailed to nik@jmktrust.org

For your submission please send a document or email, identifying your area of exploration, they key question you would like to explore and no more than a paragraph detailing how you would like to explore this and why you feel this will be beneficial to you.

Ideas will be selected by Saturday 23rd February. 

The R&D period will run from Monday 8th- Friday 12th April. Each lead artist will be given the space for one day, from 10am - 6pm.

If there are any days which you would be unavailable for in this period, please identify these at the bottom of your application.

On the back of this, we will be doing a second call-out in late February where the five selected ideas will be announced and an invitation for interested collaborators will be announced.

In addition to this, we have the following South West workshops and events coming up. Please email nik@jmktrust.org to book for any of the below:

14th February - 2nd March
FEST WEST 2019

There's two weeks of incredible South West work on offer and some can be seen while in Salisbury for JMK events. Great opportunity to see what's being made in the region, find out where your work sits and then apply to be part of next year's festival. All info online here and full brochure here

There is also the South West Symposium on Thursday 28th Feb-  a chance to meet other artists and industry professionals and discuss cross art form practice, it's a jam packed day and always a really useful way to make connections. A lot of the Venues South West network and national promoters will be there too.

Friday 1st March, 6.30-9pm
Media Space, Salisbury Arts Centre
with Tanuja Amarasuriya

Noise vs Space: ways to think about, talk about and work with sound as a director

Sound and music can be powerful storytelling tools, but they can be tricky to talk about and conventional theatre processes often leave little time for integrating sound in anything other than a supporting role. This discursive workshop will look at approaches to using sound dramaturgically and tips for collaborating with sound designers.

Tanuja Amarasuriya is a Director, Dramaturg and Sound Designer who works across theatre, film and digital sound. As a Director and Dramaturg, she has worked with playwrights and theatremakers including Improbable, Eno Mfon, Timothy X Atack, Dipika Guha, Sam Halmarack and Raucous. As a Sound Designer her work includes with Selina Thompson, Chris Thorpe & Rachel Chavkin, and forthcoming work by Inua Ellams. She is a resident at Watershed's Pervasive Media Studio, a Leverhulme Arts Scholar attached to Bristol Old Vic, and co-Artistic Director of Sleepdogs, a wide-ranging collaboration with writer/composer Timothy X Atack. Sleepdogs' work has been developed and presented nationally and internationally, including at: the National Theatre (London), Bristol Old Vic, Seattle International Film Festival, Manchester Royal Exchange, New Wolsey (Ipswich), Brighton Festival, NexT International Film Festival (Bucharest), BIOS (Athens) and Sura Medura (Sri Lanka). www.sleepdogs.org

Saturday 2nd March, 11am
Salisbury Arts Centre

Director’s Brunch

A chance to meet with Jo Newman, Associate Director at Wiltshire Creative and Nik Partridge, JMK Director Practitioner, as well as connect with other local and regionally based directors in an informal setting. Tea and Coffee will be provided.

From 12pm onwards there is a chance to catch live music and performance at Salisbury Arts Centre as part of Fest West including Jo Bannon's Exposure

Saturday 2nd March, 2-5pm
White Room at Salisbury Arts Centre

Staging Memory with Melly Still
More details to follow.

There’s also a ticket offer for The Mirror Crack’d directed by Melly Still at Salisbury Playhouse for 2nd March 7.30pm. Tickets are availble at £9. Please email jo@jmktrust.org to reserve your ticket by Monday 25th February.

Wednesday 3rd April
Main stage at Salisbury Playhouse

Invitation to sit in on tech and dress rehearsal for Handbagged. 
Times tbc
Directed by Jo Newman, this is an opportunity to sit in and observe the process as a show moves from tech to final dress rehearsal. Final timings will be confirmed with participants upon signing up, but they should expect this to be a full day of observation.

Saturday 27th April, Wiltshire Creative, 4-6pm 
Rehearsal Room, Salisbury Playhouse
Making your own theatre - Producing Workshop - Lizzie Stables

As artists, we often hear that the best thing we can do is to make our own work. The question is how, and where do you start? In this two-hour workshop, we will explore ways to approach getting projects off the ground - looking at the process of creating a show from the seed of an idea through to production.

Lizzie Stables is an actress, theatre producer and Artistic Director of Folio Theatre Company, which she formed in 2015 in order to create and produce new plays for touring. Folio's debut show, Unearthed, received critical acclaim and was subsequently listed in The Guardian as one of their readers' favourite stage shows of 2015. Folio's next production, The Edit, will tour in Spring 2019 in association with Wiltshire Creative, premiering at Salisbury Playhouse's Salberg Theatre. @lizzie_js / @foliotheatre / www.foliotheatre.co.uk

JMK Regional Blog – Marcus Bazley

"I felt like I’d reached a point in my career where I needed to challenge my ways of working, get more experience in bigger spaces and go back to learning again."

In our latest JMK Blog, our recent JMK South West bursary recipient Marcus Bazley discusses his experience working on Beauty and the Beast, the Christmas production at Wiltshire Creative.

Why did you apply for the JMK Trust Assistant Director bursary?

I had been looking for (and applying for) opportunities to assist at regional venues for a while. Wiltshire Creative is a venue that I know well and had wanted to build a stronger relationship with so it seemed like the ideal place to make that first step into working in main house regional spaces.

I had been making a lot of my own work as a director for the past few years and done very little assisting. I felt like I’d reached a point in my career where I needed to challenge my ways of working, get more experience in bigger spaces and go back to learning again.

The opportunity to assist on a pantomime too – with all the elements of music, dance and set – seemed like a really full and rich way of getting the most out of an assisting job. I knew Ryan McBryde had directed the pantomime at Salisbury with great success for a number of years, so I was excited to see how he would work with the actors and production team to bring all the different elements together.

What were your main tasks as the Assistant Director?

The Assistant Director is a strange role that seems to not only vary from production to production but often from day to day. I think the main thing I realised on this job was that the Assistant’s main role is to fill whatever gap there is in the room at any particular time.

In the early stages of rehearsals, that’s being a sounding board and keeping a record of the staging. Working closely with Stage Management to help preempt any tight costume changes or impossible set changes before we fix anything that comes back to haunt us in tech.

At the same time, you’re the route into the rehearsal room for the marketing team. So writing rehearsal room blogs and taking the odd cheeky photo becomes part of the job.

Different actors also use you in different ways. Some actors use you as a route to the director – raising any issues or concerns they have with you first. Some actors run ideas by you first to see what you think before they show it to the director. Similarly, stage management might be running notes through you, to pass onto the director when the time seems right.

With this production, we had understudies to rehearse. So one of my main tasks was to create an understudy plot and rehearse the understudies so that they would be ready to go on if needed. The biggest challenges with this were the constantly changing script and the lack of time. All the understudies were on stage either as swings or in other roles so much that we only had a handful of short rehearsals to get them all ready. But we got there and when they were needed, watching them perform in their cover roles was one of the most nerve-wracking and rewarding experiences of my career so far!

What are three things you learnt from working on this production?

Be available to people: your role as an assistant is almost to be everyone’s friend! You need to be the one that people can come and talk to. If they’re having a problem, they should be able to come and share that with you, but equally if they have a great creative idea you want them to feel they can go through that with you too.

Structure: three weeks, plus one week of tech, is not a long time to rehearse a show like Beauty and the Beast. Something I will definitely take away is the precision with which the time was scheduled. Making sure the cast know what scenes they’re going to be working on that day in advance. Simple things like having your lunch break at 1:30pm instead of 1pm so that the day is neatly divided into two sets of 3 hours, with a tea break half way through the morning and the afternoon. It sounds silly but it gives everyone a really clear routine and helps establish a rhythm in the room.

Don’t be afraid to share a problem: sometimes you simply cannot do everything yourself and that’s fine. There’s a whole team around to support (and crack the whip!) if needed. If you’ve built good relationships early in the production, these people will really help you later on!

How was the experience different to what you may have expected?

In many ways, it was exactly as I expected just bigger and better; occasionally more stressful and always more glittery!!

What other projects are you working on, and how will they be influenced by this bursary?

I’m currently working on a couple of projects with my company, Cyphers. We have an R&D week on our new adaptation of Virginia Woolf’s Orlando at Wiltshire Creative in February, followed by work-in-progress performances at the Nuffield Southampton in March. We then tour our production of Northanger Abbey again in April and May.

The main influence the bursary will have is stronger ties with Wiltshire Creative. It now feels like a local venue that I can have meaningful conversations with, both for the development of my own work and that of the company.

I also think I will take a lot away from the structure of the Beauty and the Beast rehearsals. There was a very clear sense of order to the day and where we were aiming to be when, which I’ll definitely bring into my work – especially when re-rehearsing Northanger over just five days in April.

What support would you now like to receive at this stage of your career?

More opportunities to work on and learn from main house productions. Working on productions where you have a full, continuous rehearsal period with a full production team is something that you get very rarely as a young director – yet this is the norm within the established profession.

Just the opportunity to be in the room with more experienced directors and see how they work. There’s always something to steal or make your own, or even something that just confirms why you work in the way that you do.

Why is it important for local theatre-directors and makers to be supported through the JMK bursaries and Regional Programme?

The JMK bursaries and Regional Programme really is vital. I don’t think people are aware of just how much of an impact the JMK has on theatre in this country.

On a personal level, the opportunity to assist on Beauty and the Beast has given me so much confidence and self-belief. It has given me the assurance that I can work on a bigger scale, it has already opened up doors for me and I’m sure it will continue to do so.

More broadly, the JMK bursaries allow regional venues to have assistant directors where they wouldn’t have the budget for them otherwise. This allows venues to make bolder work and work of higher quality. It introduces regional theatres to a new generation of directors and theatre makers that they can nurture and support.

Marcus Bazley is the Co-Artistic Director of Cyphers Theatre Company.

This bursary was kindly supported by the Leverhulme Trust.

To find out more about our JMK South West Directors' Group, sign up to our mailing list

JMK Award Applications

We're delighted to have had so many applications for the Award this year. We have now emailed everyone to confirm receipt of their applications. If you've applied but haven't heard from us please get contact jo@jmktrust.org

JMK Traverse – Assistant Director Opportunity

Traverse Theatre Company Festival 2019 Production

The JMK Trust in partnership with Traverse Theatre is offering an Assistant Director Bursary to a participant of the JMK & Traverse Theatre Directors’ Opportunities group. The bursary is an arts scholarship, funded by the Leverhulme Trust, that will provide a learning and training opportunity for a talented emerging director, who has demonstrated a commitment to directing and a passion for theatre making. The recipient will become a Leverhulme Arts Scholar.

The Role

We are looking for an assistant director to work with Traverse Interim Artistic Director, Gareth Nicholls on an upcoming Traverse Theatre Company Festival 2019 production.  The production shall be staged in Traverse 1.  Details of the production are currently under embargo.  Shortlisted candidates shall be made aware of the production and playwright when invited to interview.

  • The assistant director will undertake a six week full time placement including rehearsals and tech week.
  • Prior to rehearsals, the assistant director may be invited to auditions, production meetings and given research tasks by the Director.
  • The assistant director will be required to be available throughout the run to watch and note performances, at dates agreed in advance with the director.
  • The assistant director should have a good understanding of the Traverse’s artistic mission along with our current work and programming.
  • The assistant director will need to demonstrate a commitment to living and making theatre in or near the Edinburgh / Lothian area.
  • The assistant director will be an existing member of the JMK/Traverse Directors Opportunities group, and if not already a member, must be willing to join the group and play an active role in programme’s development.

Rehearsals from:                                        w/c 17th June 2019

First preview:                                             1st August 2019

Press:                                                       4th August 2019

Closes:                                                     25th August 2019

  • The dates given above indicate an example production schedule. Exact dates of engagement will be confirmed at interview. Please note that there may be some UK based travel required for this role.

As Assistant Director, your duties would include:

  • Providing general assistance to the Director
  • As agreed with the Director, to carry out any research that will inform and benefit the production
  • To observe rehearsals and have input in discussions and production meetings
  • To 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
  • To observe and assist the Director in the production week as required
  • To attend and participate in post-show discussions and/or other engagement activity by mutual agreement with the Traverse Theatre
  • To support the company whilst the play is in performance as agreed with the Director and Stage Manager, including attending and noting the production
  • Any further duties as required by the Director and the Traverse Theatre Artistic Team

The bursary recipient will be a member of the JMK Traverse Theatre Directors’ Opportunities and as part of the bursary will also be responsible for working with the JMK and Traverse Theatre to support the group until next year’s bursary recipient is chosen.

Bursary

The Leverhulme Bursary consists of £2,350.

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About the Traverse Theatre

Formed in 1963 by a group of passionate theatre enthusiasts, the Traverse Theatre was originally founded to extend the spirit of the Edinburgh festivals throughout the year. Today, the Traverse is proud to deliver its year-round mission of championing creative talent by placing powerful and contemporary theatre at the heart of cultural life – producing and programming urgent and diverse work spanning theatre, dance, performance, music and spoken word.

Through the work it presents, the Traverse aims to both entertain and stir conversation – reflecting the times and provoking crucial debate amongst audiences, inspiring them to ask questions, seek answers and challenge the status quo.

The Traverse has launched the careers of some of the UK's most celebrated writers – David Greig, David Harrower and Zinnie Harris – and continues to discover and support new voices, including Stef Smith, Morna Pearson, Gary McNair and Rob Drummond.

With two custom-built and versatile theatre spaces, the Traverse's home in Edinburgh's city centre holds an iconic status as the theatrical heart of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe every August

Outside the theatre walls, the Traverse runs an extensive engagement programme, offering audiences of all ages and backgrounds the opportunity to explore, create and develop. Further afield, the Traverse frequently tours internationally and engages in exchanges and partnerships – most recently in India, New Zealand and Quebec.

About The JMK Trust

The JMK Trust was founded in 1997 in memory of a theatre director of thrilling promise, James Menzies-Kitchin, who died suddenly and unexpectedly at the age of 28.  It runs the annual JMK Young Director Award and works with theatres around the UK in its Regional Programme to discover and support emerging theatre directors.  The JMK's Assistant Director Bursary, funded by the Leverhulme Trust Arts Scholarships Fund, is another part of our work which enables directors to learn new skills through practical experience.

About Gareth Nicholls

Gareth is currently Interim Artistic Director at the Traverse Theatre. His recent shows include the critically acclaimed Ulster American, How to Disappear and Letters To Morrissey (Traverse Theatre) the Scottish premiere of Yasmina Reza’s God of Carnage (Tron Theatre) and the sell-out production of Irvine Welsh’s Trainspotting (Citizens Theatre).

Other directing credits include: Blackbird by David Harrower, Into That Darkness by Gitta Sereny, Vanya by Sam Holcroft (Citizens Theatre); Under Milk Wood by Dylan Thomas (Tron Theatre); A Gambler’s Guide to Dying by Gary McNair (Show & Tell); Prom by Oliver Emanuel (Òran Mór); Educating Ronnie by Joe Douglas (Utter); The Tin Forest South West (National Theatre of Scotland); Tis Pity She’s a Whore, Coriolanus, The Burial at Thebes (Royal Conservatoire of Scotland).

Gareth has won four Fringe First Awards and was previously Citizens Theatre’s Main Stage Director in Residence (2014–16).

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Interview Details

Interviews shall be held week commencing 4th of March 2019.  Those invited to interview, will be interviewed by Traverse Interim Artistic Director Gareth Nicholls and a member of the JMK team.

Ahead of the interview candidates will be given details on the play and expected to come prepared to discuss their thoughts, along with answering questions on their skills and experience as relevant to the role.

How to Apply

Please send a completed Application Pack to jobs@traverse.co.uk by 12 noon Monday 18th February

Please detail:

  • Why you are interested in working with Gareth Nicholls on this Traverse Theatre Company Festival 2019 production
  • How this bursary opportunity will contribute to your professional development
  • Your relevant experience and what you can bring to the role

Your application will be shared electronically with the JMK Trust.  The Traverse Team and JMK Trust shall select applications for interview.

If you have any questions relating to the Traverse Theatre please contact sunniva.ramsay@traverse.co.uk

If you have any questions relating to the JMK Trust please contact jo@jmktrust.org

JMK Award Workshop – Thurs 24 Jan

JMK Award Workshop
Thursday 24th January, 7 - 9pm
The Clare, Young Vic Theatre

Please note this workshop is now taking place in The Clare at the Young Vic - not at Platform Southwark as previously advertised.

This free workshop is another chance to find out more about this prestigious award presented by the JMK Trust to one theatre director aged 35 or under who has outstanding potential, enabling them to mount a professional production at the Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond.

Previous winners include Natalie Abrahami, Polly Findlay, Bijan Sheibani, Roy Alexander Weise and Thea Sharrock.

To book your free place or to receive a copy of the list of plays please email  jo@jmktrust.org. More information on the JMK Award can be found here.

Image: 2018 tour of the 2016 JMK Award winning production directed by Roy Alexander Weise - The Mountaintop, written by Katori Hall (cast: Rochelle Rose and Gbolahan Obisesan). Credit: Helen Murray

JMK Bob Carlton Bursary at Birmingham Rep

We're thrilled to be launching the JMK Bob Carlton Bursary - which will fund an assistant director bursary at Birmingham Rep. We are delighted that Bob's family have chosen to fund an assistant director bursary in his memory in partnership with JMK. The first bursary is now open to applications from emerging directors/theatre-makers based in the Midlands, and the deadline is Friday 1st February. Further details can be found below:

Bob Carlton:

Bob Carlton was a writer and director who shared Dennis Potter's faith in the power of popular song within drama, most famously expressed in his show Return to the Forbidden Planet, which won the Olivier award for best new musical in 1989. Billed as "Shakespeare's forgotten rock'n'roll masterpiece", it grafted nearly 30 great hits on to plot and dialogue based on The Tempest.

As a young director he cut his teeth at Coventry, Lancaster and the York Theatre Royal, before taking over the London Bubble theatre, which toured the outer boroughs in a tent, offering productions aimed at younger audiences and non-theatregoers.

There he wrote Return to the Forbidden Planet, pioneering the actor/musician show. There were London runs in 1992 for From a Jack to a King (based on Macbeth) and in 1993 for Lust, a Heather Brothers musical based on Wycherley's The Country Wife.

Bob's commitment to popular theatre resumed at the Queen's theatre, Hornchurch, east London, which he ran from 1997 to 2014, winning improved backing from the Arts Council, the local authority and audiences, retaining Shakespeare, Brecht and pop music as his guides. A lifelong socialist, he believed that the theatre should be accessible in all ways.

The JMK Bob Carlton Bursary:

The JMK Trust in partnership with Birmingham Repertory Theatre is offering an assistant director bursary for Roxana Silbert’s upcoming production of A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini, adapted by Ursula Rani Sarma.

This assistant director bursary will provide a learning and training opportunity for a talented new director, based in the Midlands. There will be lots of opportunity to learn new skills and gain insights into the production process. We particularly welcome applications from members of the Afghan community who are currently under-represented within our workplace and with the artistic community of the Midlands. All applications from this community will be guaranteed an interview.

The assistant director will need to be available for:

W/C Monday 1st April 2019: Rehearsals, London

W/C Monday 8th April 2019: Rehearsals, London

W/C Monday 15th April 2019:  Rehearsals, London

W/C Monday 22nd April 2019: Rehearsals, London

W/C Monday 29th April 2019: Production Week, Birmingham Rep

Thursday 2nd May – Wednesday 8th May 2019: Previews through to Press Night, Birmingham Rep

And subsequently to attend the get-in and opening performances of the following runs:

W/C 20th May 2019: Performances at Hackney Empire

W/C 27th May 2019: Performances at Northern Stage (opens Thursday 30th May 19)

W/C 3rd June 2019: Performances at Northern Stage

W/C 10th June 2019: Performances at Northern Stage

W/C 24th June 2019: Performances in Southampton

W/C 1st July 2019: Performances in Southampton

As Assistant Director, your duties would include:

  • To provide general assistance to the Director and Associate Director.
  • As agreed with the Director, to carry out any research that will inform and benefit the production.
  • To observe rehearsals and have input to discussions and production meetings.
  • To 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.
  • To observe and assist the Director and Associate Director in the production week as required.
  • To attend and participate in post-show discussions by mutual agreement with the Producers.
  • To support the company whilst the play is in performance as agreed with the Director and Stage Manager, including seeing the production in to touring venues and noting the production on tour.
  • Any further duties as required by the Director and Associate Director.

Bursary

The bursary is for £2,350 and covers the rehearsal and performance period until Wednesday 8th May 2019.

Expenses

In addition to the above fee, The REP will provide accommodation in and travel for any work outside of Birmingham. No other out of pocket expenses will be covered.

How to apply

Please send a CV and covering letter to Sarah-Katy.Davies@birmingham-rep.co.uk  by 6pm on Friday 1st February 2019. Interviews will be held Thursday 7th February 2019.

Please detail:

  • Why you are interested in working with Roxana Silbert on this production.
  • Your relevant experience, in theatre or other areas, and what you can bring to the role.
  • How this assisting opportunity and involvement in the Birmingham Repertory Theatre will contribute to your professional development.
  • Your commitment to living and making theatre in the Midlands.

If you have any difficulties with the above or would like to discuss it further please contact Sarah-Katy.Davies@birmingham-rep.co.uk /0121 245 2065 or Lynette Dakin lynette.dakin@birmingham-rep.co.uk /0121 245 2045

JMK Award Workshops

The JMK Award, founded in memory of James Menzies-Kitchin, is open to emerging directors under the age of 35. This is the first year of our partnership with the Orange Tree Theatre, enabling the winner to direct a fully funded and resourced production as part of their core programming.

To give an insight into the application process, we are running the following free workshops around the country over the next few weeks:

JMK Award Workshops:

Northern Stage
Monday 14th January: 4pm - 6pm
Led by Josh Roche, winner of the JMK Award 2017.
Sign up: email maria@jmktrust.org

Traverse Edinburgh
Tuesday 15th January
: 6.30pm - 8.00pm
Led by Josh Roche, winner of the JMK Award 2017.
Sign up: email jo@jmktrust.org

Orange Tree Theatre
Tuesday 15th January
: 7pm - 9pm
Led by Stephen Fewell (Chair of the JMK Trust), and the Orange Tree Theatre's Artistic Director, Paul Miller, and Literary Associate, Guy Jones.
Sign up: email jo@jmktrust.org

Leeds Playhouse - Rehearsal Room 3
6 St Peter's Building, St Peter's Square, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS9 8AH
Thursday 17th January
: 6.30-8.30pm
Led by Liz Stevenson, JMK Director Practitioner and winner of the JMK Award 2015.
Sign up: email jo@jmktrust.org

Nuffield Southampton Theatres
Thursday 17th January
: 6pm - 8pm
Led by Josh Roche, winner of the JMK Award 2017.
Sign up: email jo@jmktrust.org

Bristol Old Vic
Saturday 19th January
: 2pm - 4pm
Led by Josh Roche, winner of the JMK Award 2017.
Sign up: email jo@jmktrust.org

Birmingham Rep
Saturday 19th January: 4pm - 5.30pm
Led by Martin Berry, JMK Director Practitioner.
Sign up: email Sarah-Katy.Davies@birmingham-rep.co.uk

Platform, Joan Street, Southwark, London, SE1
Thursday 24th January: 7 - 9pm
Sign up: email jo@jmktrust.org

Further information on the JMK Award 2019 can be found here.

Image: 2018 tour of the 2016 JMK Award winning production directed by Roy Alexander Weise - The Mountaintop, written by Katori Hall (cast: Rochelle Rose and Gbolahan Obisesan). Credit: Helen Murray