Regional Programme

We are working 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 Bristol Old Vic, Sherman Cymru, Direct North with HOME in Manchester and Bolton Octagon, Royal & Derngate Northampton, Salisbury Playhouse, Traverse Theatre, Birmingham Rep, Northern Stage , West Yorkshire Playhouse and Nuffield Southampton Theatres. Click on a partner venue to find it's JMK Directors Group and Artistic Development work, or email for how to join.

About the Regional Programme:

In August 2013 we appointed Lisa Spirling to be our Artistic Coordinator for the Regional Programme. She is working with the Trust to design and deliver the regional programme of work and the bursaries.

In autumn 2013 we launched a new regional assistant director bursary offering 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 Richard Carne Trust (Sherman Cymru) for supporting this work. We have awarded 24 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, West Yorkshire Playhouse, assisted Mark Rosenblatt on Untold Stories

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

David Crowley, West Yorkshire 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 Theatre Southampton, 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, West Yorkshire 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, West Yorkshire 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, will assist Sam Hodges on Shadow Factory

Read about their experiences:

Paul Jenkins describes working on The Cherry Orchard at Sherman Theatre 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.

Joe Mellor's blog about working as an assistant at Bolton Octagon is here.

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

We are grateful to Arts Council England, the Noël Coward Foundation (, the Richard Carne Trust , the Sir James Knott Trust, the Coats Foundation Trust and the Blakemore Foundation for supporting the regional progamme in 2016/17.

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