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

JMK Assistant Director Blog – Evan Lordan

In our latest JMK blog, Evan Lordan describes his experiences as the JMK Assistant Director on Touching the Void, adapted by David Greig from the memoir by Joe Simpson, and directed by Tom Morris. Touching the Void was a co-production between Bristol Old Vic, Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh, Royal & Derngate Northampton and Fuel. The production also toured to Hong Kong Arts Festival, Perth Theatre and Eden Court Theatre, Inverness.

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

I had just finished studying at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and, having moved from Ireland, I had no professional theatre experience within the UK. This was an opportunity to introduce myself to theatre professionals working in the city I hoped to make my home and to the UK industry as a whole.

What are the main things you learnt from the rehearsal process for this production?

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Touching the Void was adapted by David Greig and I was amazed at how much director, Tom Morris, and the company were willing to ask questions of the initial drafts. I was like, “This is David Greig, I think he knows what he’s doing.” But he was only too happy to hear everyone’s thoughts as he continued to develop his own understanding of the script.

What did you learn from touring the show?

Keep digging. We were developing the show as we went and so the script was constantly evolving, even throughout previews we were making changes to the show and so we didn’t actually have a huge amount of time to finesse. This meant that as we toured we were still able to make discoveries about characters and moments as we went. This was great for keeping everyone interested, active and alive, even after 100 performances.

What are you working on next, and how will this experience help?

I am working on a new play with my company, Conflicted Theatre ( and so watch this space. I am very interested in creating new work and so this experience was a fantastic lesson on how to approach questioning and structuring work that hasn’t been seen by audiences before.

How did you get into theatre directing, and what advice would you pass on to those starting out?

I fell into theatre in my late twenties when I wrote a play with a friend of mine as a way to spend time together. I then studied Drama & Theatre Studies in University, which is where I actually learned what theatre was for the first time. My advice would be to always remember why you love theatre; it’s very easy to get distracted by the other trappings that you encounter along the way or while filling out endless funding application forms. It’s so important to remember why you do it, then it’s easier to transmit that love and enthusiasm to the audience.

Why is it important to have Assistant Director roles, such as the JMK bursary?

It’s incredibly helpful for budding theatre makers to see the process of more established practitioners and the process of producing a show in a large theatre. You learn what it is that you are striving towards. You also learn that highly regarded theatre makers don’t always have all the answers and often have the same struggles as you when making a show, which makes me feel an awful lot better!

What excites you most about directing?

I love being part of the creative process. Having and sharing ideas and then having them challenged and improved upon by the collaborators that you surround yourself with. One of my favourite things about being a director is the opportunity to inspire and be inspired every day.

To find out more about our JMK National Programme, including our Assistant Director bursaries, please click here

This JMK Assistant Director bursary was kindly supported by the Leverhulme Trust.

JMK South West – Workshop with Rosanna Vize, at Nuffield Southampton Theatres

Saturday 25th May

Workshop with Rosanna Vize, Designer
Designer for The Audience, opening soon at Nuffield Southampton Theatres

Nuffield Southampton Theatres (City)
Free to attend

This workshop with Rosanna Vize will take a look at the Director-Designer relationship and the process of creating and developing design for the stage. Rosanna is currently working on The Audience which will open at Nuffield Southampton Theatres this week.

Rosanna trained as a designer at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. On graduating she became one of the finalists for the prestigious Linbury prize for stage design in 2013. In 2014 Rosanna became one of the Jerwood Young Designers and was resident assistant designer at the RSC from 2014-2015. Credits as Designer include: Cougar (Orange Tree Theatre), Hang (Sheffield Crucible), The Phlebotomist (Hampstead Theatre), The Audience (Nuffield Southampton Theatres), The Almighty Sometimes (Manchester Royal Exchange), Leave Taking (Bush Theatre), FUP (Kneehigh), Incantata (Galway Festival & Barbican). She won the 2018 Off West End Award for Best Set Design for her work on Low Level Panic (Orange Tree Theatre).

To book your free place, please email:

JMK Leeds Playhouse – Director & Designer Intensive

With Leeds Playhouse, we’re hosting a two day intensive for 10 early career Directors and 10 early career Set & Costume Designers to explore the relationship between these two roles and the process of creating the design and concept for a piece of theatre.

It’s also an opportunity for artists to meet potential collaborators and peers from across the region. The two days will be led by Hamlet Director Amy Leach and Designer Hayley Grindle, with contributions from Sound Designer & Composer Alexandra Braithwaite. The intensive is FREE to attend and includes a free ticket to watch Hamlet.


Day One:
Friday 29 March, 10am – 5.30pm in Blue Room, Second Floor, 7 Eastgate

Hamlet Performance – Friday 29 March, 7 – 9.40pm at Leeds Playhouse Pop-Up Theatre

Day Two:
Saturday 30 March, 10am – 5.30pm in Rehearsal Room 3, St Peter’s Square.

The intensive and theatre tickets are completely FREE, supported by the JMK Trust and Leeds Playhouse.

How to Apply:

To apply for a place, please send your CV and a covering email including a paragraph explaining why you feel this workshop would be of particular benefit to you at this stage of your career development to Amy Leach - by 6pm on Friday 22 March.

Please mark your email ‘Director/Designer Intensive’ in the subject line.

Leeds Playhouse will let you know if you have a place on the intensive on Monday 25 March.

JMK Northern Stage – CV Surgeries & Application Q&As

Monday 25th March, 4-7pm
Northern Stage

If you’re 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 half hour chats with 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.

To book please email selecting your 1st and 2nd choice of time slot for Monday 25th March from the options below.

Slots will be allocated on a first come, first served basis and the deadline for notes of interest is 12 noon Wednesday 20th March.

Time slots are as follows:


Please remember to specify a 1st and 2nd choice of time slot.

If you have any questions about this opportunity, please do not hesitate to get in touch with