tiata fahodzi to take part in Regional Theatre Young Director Scheme (RTYDS)

RTYDS announces successful applicants for its programmes starting in November 2016*

tiata fahodzi is one of 5 theatre companies across England to join up with the Regional Theatre Young Director Scheme (RTYDS), the country’s longest running and most influential training scheme for new directors. RTYDS helped launched the careers of Ken Loach, John Tiffany, Vicky Featherstone and Rupert Goold amongst others.


Established in 1960, RTYDS works with theatres across the country to provide talented new directors with the opportunity to develop their skills as directors and artistic leaders.


New director Ajjaz Awad-Ibrahim will be joining tiata fahodzi on a three-month placement where she will work alongside experienced theatre professionals gaining an invaluable insight into the work of a theatre director and developing her own career opportunities at the same time.


Ajjaz’s attachment – spanning a year but the equivalent of three full-time months – will be focused on the complete production process around good dog – tiata fahodzi’s spring 2017 world premiere by Arinzé Kene. Ajjaz will be mentored by Natalie Ibu, Artistic Director and Director of good dog and RTYDS alumni – and the production team for tiata fahodzi’s spring 2017 world premiere of good dog by Arinzé Kene.


Ajjaz comments I can’t wait to get started on good dog. I’m looking forward to seeing how a monologue play is brought to life; I’ve never worked on one before so this will be a new learning experience. I’m also interested to see how a production is created so that it can tour and what this means from a directorial point of view. I feel very privileged to be given this opportunity to work with and learn from some very talented people from the industry.


Sue Emmas, RTYDS Artistic Director comments Through Introduction to Directing and Three-Month Placements, RTYDS creates pathways for talented directors from under-represented backgrounds to learn their craft, build networks and take the first step towards a career as a professional theatre director.  Directors should be reflective of the diversity of our towns and cities and RTYDS is working towards making this a reality.


Natalie Ibu comments We, at tiata fahodzi, pride ourselves in inspiring, identifying and nurturing up and coming creative talent – often giving the first professional production to under-represented African-heritage actors and writers – so this attachment allows us to play our part in developing directors. It’s a great privilege to partner with RTYDS in supporting Ajjaz – a dynamic early career artist – in developing her craft and confidence as a theatre director. RTYDS has been transformative for theatre but also vital for this company – it’s because of their support of founder Femi Elofowoju Jnr in the 90s that tiata fahodzi exists at all and because of their support of me in 2008 that I now run this company, 8 years on.


*Other recipients of Programme Funding this November are Prime Theatre, Swindon; Open Clasp Theatre Company, Newcastle upon Tyne; Greyscale Theatre Company, Newcastle upon Tyne; Tamasha Theatre, London; Belgrade Theatre, Coventry; Queen’s Theatre, Essex; New Vic Theatre, Newcastle under Lyme.



The Regional Theatre Young Director Scheme (RTYDS) was founded in 1960 by Howard Thomas, then Managing Director at ABC Television (subsequently part of Thames Television), to support aspiring theatre directors. It was his belief that television has a debt to live theatre for its supply of creative talent. Many RTYDS alumni have enjoyed distinguished artistic careers in Britain’s theatre and film industry. They include Ken Loach, Roger Michell, Adrian Noble, Trevor Nunn and John Tiffany, many of whom have gone to lead organisations of their own including Michael Boyd (former RSC), Vicky Featherstone (Royal Court), Rupert Goold (Almeida), Dominic Hill (Glasgow Citizens Theatre), Jeremy Herrin (Headlong) and Natalie Ibu (tiata fahodzi). Last year RTYDS alumni Lorne Campbell, Nikolai Foster and James Dacre were appointed as first-time artistic directors to Northern Stage, Curve Theatre and Northampton Royal and Derngate respectively.

RTYDS is funded by Arts Council England and the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.


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