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 are encouraged to take risks in their practice and further their aspirations as theatre-makers. 

2022 – 2023 Programme

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

We were 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 was it for?  

Youth theatre Directors who were ready to challenge and develop a specific area of practice in their work with young people. The programme was specifically designed for practitioners who already had 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 were 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 did they get?  

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

Each Director also received a bursary of £1800 to allow them to attend the training and to work on their individual projects.    

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

Why should you apply for future programmes?  

By taking part in the project, youth theatre Directors could… 

  • 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 could apply as an independent artist, or alongside an organisation.   

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

  • 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 ran from August 2022 to March 2023 and was delivered over 4 phases to ‘inspire’, ‘focus’, ‘build‘ and ‘share’ practice. 

DDP timetable

Need more information?

We hosted an information session on Wednesday 8 June 2022 for potential applicants and/or organisations who were 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:

Edinburgh International Festival logo
William Syson Foundation logo
The Gannochy Trust Logo