Regional Programme

We work with venues around the UK offering groups for young and emerging theatre directors which provide access to exclusive workshop and development opportunities as well as a chance to meet regularly with a group of peers to network and share ideas.

Partners so far are Tobacco Factory Theatres and Bristol Old VicSherman Cymru; Northern StageTraverse TheatreHOME Manchester;  Leeds PlayhouseRoyal & Derngate Northampton;  Birmingham RepReading RepSalisbury Playhouse and Nuffield Southampton Theatres.

About the Regional Programme:

Our groups at these partner venues are curated and run by our five Director Practitioners (DPs) - who are established, locally-based directors. These DPs curate our Programme for their region, working with their nearest partner venues to tailor our Programme to the needs of local directors. The emerging directors who take part in our Programme benefit from the mentorship, guidance and support of their local DP, who is in place to oversee their creative and professional development. The DPs also lead workshops at each others' venues, exchanging knowledge and skills to benefit all our participants.

Our five Director Practitioners (DPs) lead our groups at our partner venues as follows:

Adele Thomas: Tobacco Factory Theatres, Bristol Old Vic and Sherman Cymru

Maria Crocker: Northern Stage and Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh

Liz Stevenson: HOME Manchester and Leeds Playhouse

Martin Berry: Royal & Derngate and Birmingham Rep

Nik Partridge: Reading Rep, Nuffield Southampton Theatres and Salisbury Playhouse

You can click here for background on the work of each Director Practitioner.

If you would like to join any of our groups at these partner venues, simply email

About our JMK Assistant Director Bursaries:

In addition to workshops, networking and development opportunities, our Regional Programme also offers Assistant Director bursaries - giving one member of each of the groups the chance to work as an assistant director on a production at their local venue. We are grateful to the Leverhulme Trust Arts Scholarships Fund and The Carne Trust (Sherman Cymru) for supporting this work. We have awarded 41 bursaries so far:

Stephanie Kempson, Bristol Old Vic, assisted Sally Cookson on Jane Eyre

Ben Mills, Salisbury Playhouse, assisted Ed Dick on Gaslight

Caroline Wilkes, Birmingham Rep, assisted Tessa Walker on The Mother

Maria Crocker, Northern Stage, assisted Rachel Chavkin on Catch 22

Yusra Warsama, HOME, assisted Walter Meierjohann on Romeo and Juliet

Joe Mellor, Bolton Octagon, assisted David Thacker on A View from the Bridge

Miriam Battye, Bristol Old Vic, assisted Michael Oakley on The Life and Times of Fanny Hill

Dan Hutton, Royal & Derngate Northampton, assisted James Dacre on Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

Rob Jones, Traverse Theatre, assisted Rachel O'Riordan on Unfaithful

Oliver O'Shea, WYP (now Leeds Playhouse), assisted Mark Rosenblatt on Untold Stories

Katherine Nesbitt, Traverse Theatre, assisted Orla O'Loughlin on Swallow

David Crowley, Leeds Playhouse, associate director on Beryl

Jac Moore, Sherman Theatre Cardiff, assisted Rachel O'Riordan on A Dolls House

Christa Harris, Birmingham Rep, assisted Tessa Walker on The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe

Tom Guest, Northern Stage, assisted Annie Rigby on Up and Out Christmas Sprout

Alex Rex, Royal & Derngate Northampton, assisted Gary Sefton on The Snow Queen

Rosanna Purdie, Nuffield Southampton Theatres, assisted Liam Steel on Merlin

Miriam Higgins, Salisbury Playhouse, assisted Adam Penford on Deathtrap

Anna Ryder, Northern Stage, assisted Lorne Campbell on Get Carter

Jo Gleave, Birmingham Rep, assisted Tessa Walker on Folk

Alasdair Pidsley, Leeds Playhouse, assisted Kate Wasserberg on Barnbow Canaries

Michael White, HOME Manchester, assisted Louise Lowe on On Corporation Street

Amy Gilmartin, Traverse Theatre Edinburgh, assisted Orla O'Loughlin on Milk

Ed Madden, Bristol Old Vic, assisted Dominic Hill on The Rivals

Jon Luke McKie, Northern Stage, assisted Katie Posner on The Season Ticket

Chelsey Gillard, Sherman Theatre, assisted Rachel O'Riordan on The Weir

Leigh Toney, Royal & Derngate Northampton, assisted Luke Sheppard on Peter and the Star Catcher

Piers Black Hawkins, HOME Manchester, assisted Leo Warner on City of Glass

Joe Hancock, Birmingham Rep, assisted Roxana Silbert on Amédée

Flora Longley-Cook, Salisbury Playhouse, assisted Ryan McBryde on Before the Party

Nikki Kalkman, Traverse Theatre Edinburgh, assisted Orla O'Loughlin on Girl in the Machine

Sophie Jacobs-Wyburn, Bristol Old Vic, assisted George Mann on Medea

Gitika Buttoo, Leeds Playhouse, assisted James Brining on Ode to Leeds

Chino Odimba, Bristol Old Vic, assisted Christopher Haydon on The Caretaker

Chloe Masterton, Tobacco Factory Theatres, assisted Mark Rosenblatt on Waiting for Godot

Paul Jenkins, Sherman Theatre, assisted Rachel O'Riordan on The Cherry Orchard

Zoe Murtagh, Northern Stage, assisted Mark Calvert on Alice in Wonderland

Finley-Rose Townsend, Birmingham Rep, assisted Tessa Walker on 101 Dalmatians

Gemma Aked-Priestly, Nuffield Southampton Theatres, assisted Sam Hodges on The Shadow Factory

Charlotte Marigot, Tobacco Factory Theatres, assisted Adele Thomas on Macbeth

Holly Gallagher, Northern Stage, assisted Mark Calvert on Frankie & Johnny in the Clair du Lune

Alice Wordsworth, Salisbury Playhouse, assisted Ryan McBryde on Love on the Links

Kolbrun Sigfusdottir, Traverse Theatre, is currently assisting Gareth Nicholls on Ulster American

Previous Bursary Experiences:

In the Blog section of our website, former JMK Award winners and Assistant Director bursary recipients discuss their experiences, and this section also lists upcoming opportunities. You can also find blogs about our Regional Programme by following the links below:

Kolbrun Bjort Sigfusdottir describes preparing for rehearsals for Ulster American

Alice Wordsworth lets you in to rehearsal week 1, week 2 and week 3 for Love on the Links

Charlotte Marigot gives an inside look into the  week 1, week 2 and week 3 of rehearsals for Macbeth

Paul Jenkins describes working on The Cherry Orchard in this blog

Here's Nikki Kalkman's blog about working on Girl in the Machine with Orla O'Loughlin

Read Flora Longley-Cook's experiences in the rehearsal room for Before the Party

Here is a blog on Katherine Nesbitt's experience of working on Swallow Week 1 and Week 2

To find out more about joining one of our regional groups email or subscribe here

Read more about the programme here:

Talent, tenacity and something else

How the JMK Trust is supporting emerging directors

Leaving London: the hunt for theatre directors outside the capital

The JMK Regional Programme in 2018 is supported by The Carne Trust (for our work at Sherman Cymru), The Leverhulme Trust, the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation, the Austin and Hope Pilkington Trust and Arts Council England Grants for the Arts.

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