Directors’ Development Programme 2022-2023

YTAS’ Directors Development Programme first ran in 2019 as part of a programme of activities supported by the Gannochy Trust. These activities were designed to provide essential support and development across the country to aspiring young leaders, adult volunteers, emerging and mid-career professionals, and building-based creative learning managers.  

The Directors’ Development Programme is an extended creative development and career-progression programme for experienced directors of youth theatre. Through the programme participants will be encouraged to take risks in their practice and further their aspirations as theatre-makers. 

2022 – 2023 Programme

The youth theatre Directors’ Development Programme is an eight-month mentoring and development programme for eight selected directors. The programme will run from August 2022 to March 2023.  

We are pleased to offer this opportunity with the support of our partners, the Edinburgh International Festival and Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society, and funders the Gannochy Trust, Foyle Foundation and William Syson Foundation

Who is it for?  

Youth theatre Directors who are ready to challenge and develop a specific area of practice in their work with young people. The programme is specifically designed for practitioners who already have a range of youth theatre directing experience. This might include individuals who have taken a step back from directing themselves to run companies or allow opportunities for their junior colleagues.  

Successful directors will be expected to…

  • Attend all event/training days  
  • Commit to sharing the learning and/or a scratch performance at Emergence, March 2023  
  • Be willing to investigate an area of your practice  
  • Collaborate with peers and engage with the cohort throughout the project  
  • If working in partnership with an organisation, ensure the mutual understanding of the project  

What do you get?  

Six days of training, events, tickets, travel, and accommodation are provided throughout the programme by Youth Theatre Arts Scotland.  

Each Director will also receive a bursary of £1800 to allow them to attend the training and to work on their individual projects. This bursary should be used to pay for the time of the director and should not be spent on the project or performances that result from the programme.   

A £200 resource budget is also provided towards work-in-progress costs. 

Why should you apply?  

By taking part in the project, youth theatre Directors will: 

  • Have paid time for research and development  
  • Develop skills in creating new work with young people  
  • Have the opportunity to explore your own career development needs  
  • See shows and other directors at work  
  • Be part of a committed network of youth theatre directors 
  • Engage in peer learning and reflection  
  • Strengthen a creative relationship with an organisation  
  • Have the opportunity to develop and share performance work 

Directors are welcome to apply as an independent artist, or alongside an organisation.   

By supporting Directors involved in the programme, organisations will…. 

  • Support the development of an artist within or alongside your organisation  
  • Upskill your creative staff 
  • Provide quality artistic experience for your youth theatre members 
  • Be part of a network of organisations committed to artistic development and excellence 
  • Potentially develop a new youth theatre production with the support of YTAS and a wider network of directors. 

Programme Overview

The programme will run from August 2022 to March 2023 and is delivered over 4 phases to ‘inspire’, ‘focus’, ‘build‘ and ‘share’ practice. 

DDP timetable

How can I apply? 

The youth theatre Directors’ Development Programme is open for applications from experienced directors who:  

  1. Have demonstrable practice of directing theatre productions with young people and who are looking to develop this practice further.  
  2. Are based in Scotland. 
  3. Are a member of YTAS or are willing to become one. 

To apply to the programme please complete this online form by no later than noon on Monday 20 June 2022

Applicants are also welcome to answer the questions in the form via a video, audio or slideshow if you prefer. You can send this by email as an attachment to or provide us with a web address where we can access it online.

Need more information?

We hosted an information session on Wednesday 8 June for potential applicants and/or organisations who may be interested in collaborating with an applicant for the Directors’ Development Programme.

The information session was a chance to ask questions about the application process, the bursaries and programme logistics, and to learn more about…

  • the programmed events
  • the partners
  • the practitioners and team working on the project
  • time commitments for applicants
  • the final presentations.

You can view the video of the session below. If you’d like a transcript of the discussion, please get in touch with

Feedback on the Directors’ Development Programme 2019

“I’ve found confidence as a creator again!”

“The freedom and backing to take a chance and make the piece you’ve always wanted to make. The best incentive to push and challenge yourself.”

“It pushed me out of my comfort zone which was scary to begin its but liberating afterwards. I’m ready to continue developing my practice and excited for what’s next!”

“The programme has really helped me own my skills as a director and an artist, and overall empowered me.”

Project Partners

This project was undertaken with the help of the following groups and organisations:

The Gannochy Trust Logo