JMK Northern Stage – Meet the Artistic Directors

Thursday 6th June 2019
Northern Stage, Stage 3

A JMK event hosted by Northern Stage’s Associate Director, Mark Calvert. This panel discussion with Artistic Directors from across the North East will allow you to find out more about journeys into the industry, what leading a company is like in ‘real-life’, what they’ve learned and how that’s helped shape them as makers. Plus, there will be a chance to put your questions to the group. The panel will be:

Annie Rigby – Unfolding Theatre
Ali Pritchard – Alphabetti Theatre
Joe Douglas – Live Theatre
Lorne Campbell – Northern Stage

There will be a chance to meet fellow artists, theatre makers and members of the panel following the discussion.

This event is hosted as part of Northern Stage's NORTH Festival. You can book your place here.

Tristan Fynn-Aiduenu Wins the 2019 JMK Award

The Trustees of the JMK Trust today announce that Tristan Fynn-Aiduenu wins the 2019 JMK Award, this year in a new partnership with the Orange Tree Theatre, with his production of Arinzé Kene’s Little Baby Jesus forming a core part of the theatre’s annual programming. This opportunity provides Fynn-Aiduenu with the opportunity to direct a full-scale Orange Tree show with the production values and nurturing guidance the building is famous for. Tristan will work with designer Tara Usher on his production. This year’s runner ups, and the recipients of £2000, are Oscar Toeman and his designer Rebecca Brower in recognition of their effective collaboration on their proposal for The Sugar Syndrome by Lucy Prebble.

As a director, 24 year old Tristan Fynn-Aiduenu’s credits include Sweet Like Chocolate (Jack Theatre Studio), Melanin Box Festival (Theatre Peckham), Fresh Direction as part of the Young Vic’s My EnglandTimbuktu (Theatre Royal Stratford East), and Black Attack (Bush Theatre). As an Assistant Director, his work includes The Brothers Size (Young Vic), Soapbox (Central School of Speech and Drama/Embassy Theatre/Talawa Theatre, and D and Suffocation (Ovalhouse). Tristan is an Associate Creative of Initiative.dkf.

Little Baby Jesus was first performed at Oval House Theatre, London, in May 2011 in a co-production by Oval House, BEcreative and the English Touring Theatre. It is published by Nick Hern books and saw Kene win the Most Promising Playwright Award at the Off-West End Theatre Awards.

Tristan Fynn-Aiduenu said, “It is a blessing to be given the support and time to mount the professional revival of Arinzé Kene’s play Little Baby Jesus that changed my life. I want people to watch this piece and see that their growing pains can make incredible stories and that there is someone out there desperate to hear them. I thank the JMK Trust and Orange Tree Theatre for investing in my madness. I cannot wait to tear this stage up!"

Stephen Fewell, Chair of the JMK Trust, said today, “It’s a unique privilege to be able to support emerging directors like Tristan. We all know there are so many artists in the theatre industry who deserve to encounter opportunity, but Tristan’s engaging ability and ambition when working with actors make him a more than worthy winner of this year’s JMK Award. In partnership with the Orange Tree Theatre, we’re delighted this year’s JMK Award will give him an unrivalled opportunity; to direct in the main space of an Off-West End theatre.

“We are exceptionally grateful to all our funders, who share our belief that new theatre artists need to encounter support and opportunity if they are to sustain both a career, and themselves. Their financial commitment helps us identify and sustain the creative leaders of the future.

“With his singular energy and flair, Tristan’s forthcoming production of Arinzé Kene’s ‘Little Baby Jesus’ should set the Orange Tree space alight this Autumn.”

Paul Miller, Artistic Director of the Orange Tree Theatre commented, “We are extremely proud to be working with the James Menzies-Kitchin Trust for the first time this year, producing the show chosen as this year’s winner of the JMK Award. The Orange Tree has artist development at the heart of its ideals, and in recent years we have produced work by many exemplary emerging directors such as Ned Bennett, Alice Hamilton and Chelsea Walker. Our partnership with the JMK Trust starts a new chapter in this history of director development here at the OT. I have no doubt that this year’s winning director will make great theatre happen in our unique space.”

Tristan Fynn-Aiduenu. Image credit:

Assistant Director Opportunity on RADIO (directed by Josh Roche, JMK Award Winner 2017)

Josh Roche (JMK Award Winner 2017) is looking for an Assistant Director on the stage production of RADIO by Al Smith (Harrogate/Diary of a Madman) at the Arcola, starring Adam Gillen (Amadeus, National Theatre).

"Lying there, drifting up into those ancient lights was exactly like looking into the past. It is looking into the past. History, I think, is just a property of light."

The production is rehearsing in two 2-week blocks. One from 13th May to 24th May, and the other from 3rd June to 14th June. Tech Rehearsals will occur on Monday 17th and Tuesday 18th. The show opens on Wednesday 19th. This is a paid opportunity with a weekly fee of £471.

The post is a 3 week post. The candidate would be free to choose which three weeks they would like to attend. The weeks or days do not have to be consecutive (for example first three weeks, or two days a week until the end of the run, etc).

All candidates with at least two credits either as a director or assistant director are welcome to apply. Application deadline is 6pm Wednesday 8th May (apologies for late notice).

How to apply:

Please send a brief covering letter of no more than 300 words detailing what you'd hope to gain from the role, along with a CV, to

JMK Northern Stage – Emerging Talent Directing Residency

The JMK Trust and Northern Stage are hosting an Emerging Talent Directing Residency.  

Venue: Northern Stage, Newcastle
Date: Monday 13th & Tuesday 14th May
Cost: Free

The residency is a 2 day series of events and workshops aimed at emerging directors working in theatre and based in the North East of England. A brilliant opportunity to develop your directing skills alongside local artists in a relaxed, supportive and inspiring environment! The two day event, led by Maria Crocker and Mark Calvert, will include an opportunity to work with 4 actors on a selection of texts, a skills sharing workshop and an open discussion about some of the practical and emotional challenges that directors sometimes have to face.

Applicants should ideally be able to participate in the full programme which will take place on Monday 13th and Tuesday 14th May (between 10am and 6pm). There can be some flexibility around this so please let us know your availability in your application.

This event is aimed at emerging professionals and so priority will be given to those with between 1-5 years professional experience.

Deadline for notes of interest is Wednesday 8th May, we will let you know soon afterwards if you have been successful.

To apply:

This opportunity is open to all directors with less than 5 years professional experience.

Directors – Please submit a short statement (1/2 page of A4 max) explaining why you would like to take part in this opportunity, where you are based and a copy of your CV, including your email and telephone number. Please send your application to

If you have any access requirements or any other questions, please don't hesitate to get in touch with

JMK Northampton Workshop – Well-being and Directing Trauma with Nikki Disney

Thursday 26th April
6 – 8pm
Royal & Derngate, Northampton

In this 2 hour workshop, we will be looking at trauma and how it impacts individuals and the collective. We will look at how these themes can impact on the rehearsal room and how to support actors who have both lived experiences of traumatic events or are embodying a character who has a traumatic response. We will also look at how these themes can impact on the cast/crew and audiences. There will be space for thinking about your own work in practice and developing critical thinking when designing safe spaces.

Nikki Disney is a dramatherapist, creative supervisor, yoga teacher and director specialising in working with vulnerable groups. She is currently investigating supporting the arts from a well-being perspective.

How to Book:

Please call the Royal & Derngate Box Office on 01604 624811. If you are not already a member of our free JMK Northampton group, please also email to register.

JMK Leeds Playhouse – Making Verbatim Theatre

JMK Workshop with Leeds Playhouse, Thursday 25th April

Verbatim theatre is a form of documentary theatre which is based on the spoken words of real people. This Spring, Junction 8 Theatre’s production of their new verbatim play Lancastrians will tour community spaces around Lancashire. The play was made using the real words of 500 people interviewed about living in Lancashire today. Three actors take the audience on a whistle-stop tour of the county, playing a multitude of characters in a variety of locations, creating a snapshot of Lancashire life.

In this FREE practical workshop with Leeds Playhouse, JMK Director Practitioner Liz Stevenson will share the process of making Lancastrians. You will find out about different approaches to making verbatim work, try out some verbatim techniques for yourself and explore how this approach to making theatre might influence your own practice. Liz Stevenson is an experienced freelance director and former winner of the JMK Award (2015), Artistic Director of Junction 8, and is soon to become Artistic Director of Theatre by the Lake.

Date & Times: Thursday 25th April, 2.30pm to 5.30pm

Location: The Blue Room, 2nd Floor, 7 Eastgate, LS2 7LY

To book your free place, please click here.

JMK Assistant Director Blog – Nyasha Gudo

JMK Assistant Director bursary recipient Nyasha Gudo shares his experience of working on The Mountaintop, written by Katori Hall and directed by Roy Alexander Weise (who won the 2016 JMK Award with this production). The show was a co-production between Reading Rep, Nuffield Southampton Theatres and Desara Productions, and also toured to Northern Stage, The North Wall Oxford, Curve Theatre Leicester, Bristol Old Vic and Birmingham Rep.

How has the JMK Assistant Director bursary helped your career as a director to develop?

I acquired new skills, knowledge and experience through working on my first touring production. The bursary added to my work experience, making me more attractive to future employers as my technical knowledge and ability to lead a company have been tested and proved. Each venue required the actors to give the audience a fresh energetic performance, the challenge of maintaining the cast’s performance and teching the show at various venues, all with different technical requirements, improved my confidence helping me to develop as a director and leader.

What are the main things you have learnt from the experience?

I learnt how to technically rehearse a production efficiently and that as a director you have to create an environment where everyone involved in the process feels safe and secure. Part of creating a safe and secure environment is enabling the company to be okay with getting things wrong to get them right, including myself the director.

What have you been working on since the bursary?

Since the bursary I have been working as a drama facilitator with young adults who have additional needs, young adults in care and young careers, as a facilitator at HMP Birmingham, as a support artist to a visually impaired director, directed two short plays with poets who are first time playwrights and currently as an assistant director for an immersive piece of theatre. I will continue to expose myself to a diverse spectrum of productions, theatres and creatives because I believe a variety of skills and knowledge will make my practice as an artist effective. I will continue to look for assisting and directing roles that challenge my ability and understanding of theatre and its many forms, I have also been taking part in masterclasses with the Birmingham Opera Company as a way of looking at different forms of theatre that can help enhance my work. I am also studying the human psyche using the works of the psychoanalyst Carl Jung to help me find a way of creating work that can penetrate and occupy an audience.

What was the best thing about being the JMK Assistant director on The Mountaintop?

Apart from being paid to do what I love on such a brilliant piece of writing, I would say the opportunity to work with a black cast and director who are also the same age as me. It made the whole experience fun and liberating.

Nyasha Gudo and Roy Alexander Weise in rehearsals for The Mountaintop. Credit: Helen Murray

JMK Birmingham Rep Directors’ Group Sessions

On the second Thursday of every month (7-9pm), our JMK bursary recipients Nyasha Gudo and Lucy Bird will be running a free workshop at Birmingham Rep for Midlands based directors.

These workshops will be a practical and theoretical look at various aspect of directing, such as preparing a text for production, working with a writer, how to give notes in rehearsals, blocking, running technical rehearsals, and a workshop with one of the Birmingham Rep's producers.

The first workshop will be held on Thursday 11 April, 7-9pm in Meeting Room 1, Birmingham Rep. It will focus on Approaching Text: Hints and Tips for Table Work.

To sign up to attend, please email

Click here to find out more about our free JMK Directors' Group at Birmingham Rep

JMK CV Surgery and Application Q&As at Dundee Rep – Sat 27 April

Free JMK event as part of Dundee Rep's inaugural Rep Stripped festival. 

If you’re a director and looking for some advice or guidance on how to polish up your CV or have questions about how to make job applications work better for you, we’re offering 1-2-1 20 minute chats on Saturday 27th April at Dundee Rep, with our JMK Director Practitioner, Maria Crocker.

Sessions will give you the opportunity to reflect on your application writing skills and are geared towards amplifying your confidence in applying for the next role. You will be invited to submit your CV or a recent application in advance, to discuss in more detail.

This event will take place in the Cafe Bar at Dundee Rep. It is free to attend but you must book your time slot in advance.

To book your free place, please email selecting your 1st and 2nd choice of time slot. Slots will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

Time slots are as follows:
09:30 - 09:50
09:50 - 10:10
10:10 - 10:30
10:30 - 10:50
10:50 - 11:10
11:10 - 11:30

This JMK session takes place on Day 9 of Rep Stripped - a new festival at Dundee Rep (18 - 27 April), that showcases the best as-yet-unseen stories for the stage in a stripped back, intimate environment.  The festival programme also includes workshops, discussions and opportunities. Find out more.

JMK HOME Manchester Assistant Director Bursary

The JMK Trust in partnership with HOME is offering an Assistant Director Bursary on Javaad Alipoor’s next production. This production is the third in a trilogy of shows by Javaad Alipoor and his collaborators, which began with the critically acclaimed The Believers Are But Brothers.

The bursary recipient will demonstrate a commitment to living and making theatre in the North West and will also be or become a participant of the JMK HOME Directors’ Group and as part of the bursary will also be responsible for working with the JMK Director Practitioner and HOME to support and facilitate the group until next year’s bursary recipient is chosen.

The Assistant Director will need to be available for rehearsals from 17th June – 29th July 2019

Bursary: £2,350 inclusive of all expenses. Additional expenses for rehearsals outside of Manchester will be covered.

Application Procedure:

Click here for a full job pack containing more information. Please send a CV and covering letter to

Please detail:

  • Why you are interested in working on this production.
  • How this assisting opportunity and involvement in the JMK Trust Directors’ Group will contribute to your professional development.
  • Your relevant experience and what you can bring to the role.
  • Your commitment to living and making theatre in the North West.

The deadline for applications is Monday 22nd April 2019

Interviews will take place on Tuesday 30th April 2019

HOME will acknowledge receipt of applications. If you have not heard from us by Friday 26th April 2019 please assume that we will not be taking your application any further. JMK and HOME strive to be equality of opportunity employers. Thank you for your interest in this post. If you have any questions please contact