A Year in the Life of a Trainee Director

April 30, 2018


We are hosting a FREE Open Day on Thursday 10 May to offer more information about becoming a Trainee Director, including panels and discussions from members of the King’s Head Theatre team.

Every year, we take on four Trainee Directors for one year on a part time basis and during their time with us, successful applicants will be attached individually to the King’s Head Theatre productions as Assistant Producers and Assistant Directors. They will also be invited to attend previews of all King’s Head Theatre productions, attend productions outside of the theatre on our behalf and to be involved in all aspects of theatre production at the theatre.

Siobhan James-Elliot, a recent graduate from our Trainee Director scheme, gives us a summary her year with us:

'I was Assistant Director on a variety of productions, including: How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (Wilton's Music Hall) where I observed the roles of the Director, Choreographer and Musical Director; The Retreat at The Park Theatre, where I learnt about the importance of an open dialogue and relationship between the director and writer when developing a piece of new writing; La bohème (Trafalgar Studios), where I developed the language of opera for the first time and how an Associate Director may remount a production, and East (King's Head Theatre) where I understood the value of true collaboration, not just between the Director and Movement Director, but of the entire Creative Team to create a succinct ensemble piece of theatre. To have learnt how every rehearsal room is run completely differently from such a range of disciplines was extremely valuable, and observing how each Director gives notes was extremely useful to figure out the best way to frame constructive compliments and criticisms.

I was Assistant Producer on 5 Guys Chillin' and Coming Clean, as well as Associate Producer on Festival 47 and A Haunting (Belgrade Theatre) which were all fantastic roles to prepare me for when I need to self-produce shows and taught me the importance of the Director/Producer relationship. I learnt everything from budgets and contracts to marketing and audience development.

Aside from my roles on these shows, all of the other elements of the course allowed me to grow in confidence in pitching, public speaking, networking, and making change in theatre.

I have recently finished producing a show called The Fever which definitely has a longer life which I'm looking to continue. My main focus at the moment is preparation for my Directing showcase in Playmill Festival, I have chosen my play and I am now looking for my Creative Team which is exciting. I am also spending a lot of time researching Working Class Artists in Theatre, in order to improve visibility and accessibility.'

You can apply to attend the Open Day on our website:

Applications are now open for our September intake. To apply email info@kingsheadtheatre.com with a CV and a cover letter, explaining why you want to be on the course, to us by the deadline on Monday 18 June at 6pm.

Hope to see you there!

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