These are the Rules and additional Information for candidates for the RTST Sir Peter Hall Director Award 2021.


To be eligible to enter for the RTST Sir Peter Hall Director Award 2021:

  • You must be permanently resident in the United Kingdom.
  • You must be aged 18 or over.
  • You must have a proven and demonstrable track record of directing professional theatre productions, as defined below. Relevant experience would include being a sole, lead, assistant or associate director of professional theatre productions. At a minimum, you must have been the sole or lead director of two professional theatre productions in a theatre or theatres with 250 or fewer seats (further explained below).
  • You must (if short-listed) be available to participate in an estimated one-hour workshop (and, if selected, an interview), in central London, anytime specified by the RTST between 9.30 am and 6.30 pm on the weekend of Saturday, 13 November and Sunday, 14 November 2021. You might need to attend on both days if your workshop is on the Saturday and you are called back for interview on the Sunday.
  • Covid-19 safety protocols will be followed at the workshops. To be admitted to a workshop, and thus to have the opportunity of winning the Award, you will be required to have taken a Covid-19 rapid lateral flow test, or a Covid-19 PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test, producing a negative test result within the last 24 hours. The same will be required of all of the Selection Panellists, the actors and the personnel assisting at the workshops.
  • You must please comply with the other Rules as stipulated below.

Terms & Definitions

The following outlines, as transparently as possible, what we mean when we say “professional theatre production”. Please read thoroughly.

For the purpose of these Rules, the term “professional theatre production” includes fringe productions, but excludes amateur productions and productions on which you worked as a student and/or in an educational context, such as drama school productions.

The Award scheme is designed to give a director a career-breakthrough and first-time opportunity to direct a play as part of a main programme or season of plays of a mid-scale producing theatre and to take that on a national tour of other mid-scale theatres. For this reason, the general Rule is that you will NOT be eligible to enter if you have originated and directed (or are contracted to originate and direct), as a sole or lead director, a professional theatre production as part of a main programme or season of plays in a theatre with more than 250 seats.

The RTST recognises, however, that productions take many forms, and that, in some cases, it might not be fair for a director’s production in a theatre with over 250 seats automatically to render that director ineligible to enter for the Award. Such cases might include: staged readings; runs shorter than two weeks; touring visits (e.g., if a director originates and directs a play in a small, say 100-seat, theatre, and the play happens to tour and, on that tour, visits a theatre with, say, 400 seats); and charity performances. If a director directs a public show at an accredited drama school in an auditorium of over 250 seats, that will also not automatically disqualify the director from entering for the Award.

The RTST will exercise its discretion with respect to the “over-250-seat cut-off” rule on a case-by-case basis.

You must please tell us about all your professional directing experience AND about all your contracts and commitments, if any, to direct future productions.

How to Enter

To enter for the Award, you must submit online:

  • a completed version of the Entry Form available by Google Documents; together with;
  • your CV, which must include detailed information on your entire professional track record as a director, specifying in the case of each professional theatre production: the name of the theatre and particular auditorium in question; the dates of the production; and whether you were assistant, associate, sole or lead director.

If you have any technical issues with the Entry Form, please contact outlining your query.

If you have any questions regarding the Award or Award process, please contact

Please refer to BOTH the Entry Form Support Document AND the Information below to guide you on how to complete the Entry Form.


We can provide access support for completing your Entry Form and/or for attending the workshops. This might include provision of information in an alternative format, BSL interpreters, scribes, access workers, transport and formatting assistance.

If you do not have equipment to record an entry at home, we can facilitate a recorded zoom conversation or arrange an appointment at ETT’s offices in central London to record you.

The RTST and ETT will ensure the workshop space is fully accessible and support any access requirements you may have during the workshop process should you succeed in reaching this stage.

To request support or simply more information on how we might assist you, please email

Guidance for Candidates

You may choose your entry play from the following list of options:

Classic or modern play
– To be accepted as a “modern play” for these purposes, a play must previously have been professionally produced in the UK or overseas.

– A new adaptation for the stage of a classic and/or modern novel.
– Please suggest your ideal (living) writer to undertake this adaptation.

– A new adaptation for the stage of a cinematic film.
– Please suggest your ideal (living) writer to undertake this adaptation.

We would also consider a proposed new adaptation of a classic play. If you propose such, please suggest your ideal (living) writer to undertake the adaptation.

If the play, novel or film (as the case may be) is NOT in the English language, the following rules apply respectively:

Play – The Selection Panel will need to be able to read an English language translation of the original text. Therefore, please indicate an existing translation you would like us to consider (even if you are proposing a new translation of the original text for your production).
Novel – Please specify a translation of the novel in the English language for your proposal of adaptation to be considered.
Film – Please specify a version of the film with subtitles in the English language in order for your proposal of adaptation to be considered.


Whatever the play you pitch, it must be possible to stage it with no more than eight actors.

When thinking about your answers to the questions set out in the Entry Form, please consider the following points:

  • We are excited to hear your original ideas. In what respects will your production be imaginative, surprising and engaging? Are you uncovering something in the work that audiences are unlikely to have seen before?
  • When choosing your production, please consider how it will engage a broad range of audiences in Leeds and on tour. We are interested in how your ideas and your production will interact with audiences throughout the UK.
  • As well as hearing about your passion for your chosen play, we are also keen to hear how you would approach making work at scale, and what you think are the particular demands and opportunities of this. Please consider how your production will sit in a mid-scale, end-on space. Owing to the technical demands of weekly touring, it is unlikely that it would be possible to configure the auditorium in anything other than end-on.
  • Does your play or adaptation provide meaningful opportunities for a diverse cast of no more than eight actors?
  • Consider how you might address creative access as part of your production — e.g., integrated BSL, captioning, audio description.  Does your production lend itself to be accessible for a wider audience?
  • If you are pitching an adaptation, please consider how you might invite the writer to approach the adaptation in terms of form and content. (You will be asked to discuss this at the finalists’ interview stage if you are selected to attend one of those interviews.)
  • The Entry Form specifies word counts for — and, in the optional cases of video/audio recordings, timings of — your responses to various items. Please note that these are maximum permitted word counts and timings. Therefore, please do not feel that you must treat them as targets; you will not be penalised if you can express your ideas in fewer words or less time.
  • We do understand and respect the fact that entering for this Award involves a lot of time, effort and creative thinking in generating your own particular concept for a production. We hope that, regardless of the outcome of your entry, this is a useful process for you as an artist, and if you are unsuccessful, you might nevertheless find that you have a concept for a production that is sufficiently developed to be useful in other contexts.

Entry Deadline and Other Dates

Entries for the 2021 Award scheme had to be received by no later than 6.00pm on Monday, 4 October 2021.

The RTST reserves the right to extend the deadline for entries – either generally or, if it considers it to be equitable to do so in exceptional circumstances, in individual cases.

Dates given by the RTST in relation to the process for selecting the winner of the RTST Sir Peter Hall Director Award 2021 are indicative only and subject to change at the RTST’s discretion.

In particular, there is always a risk that the workshops will need to be postponed in whole or in part for reasons relating to the Covid-19 pandemic, but the precautions we are taking should minimise this risk.

All entries will be carefully reviewed and considered by the RTST with the assistance of ETT with a view to producing a long-list of up to twenty (20) entries. Candidates whose entries are not included on the Long-list will be notified in writing.

The Long-list of written entries will be submitted for consideration by the full Selection Panel. The Selection Panel will agree upon a Short-list of up to eight (8) candidates. The Long-listed candidates whose entries are not included in the Short-list will be notified in writing. They will be provided with brief written feedback after the Award process is complete, if they request it.

If you are Short-listed, you will be invited to attend a one-hour workshop on Saturday, 13 or Sunday, 14 November 2021. The workshop will be in a central London venue. You will, if practicable, be given a couple of weeks’ notice if you are called to a workshop. It is a condition of your entering for the Award that you are available for attending such a workshop (and, if selected, a subsequent interview) if required by the RTST, on both days. In a workshop, you will be required to direct professional actors in a text-based scene from a play stipulated in advance by the RTST. The workshop will be observed by the Selection Panel. Further information on the workshops will be notified in advance to candidates who are Short-listed to participate in them.

Finalists’ Interviews
Up to four (4) of those who attend the workshops will be selected for interview by the Selection Panel. These interviews, which will be the concluding stage in the selection process, will occur towards the end of the second day of the workshops or as soon as practicable thereafter. The Selection Panel will select a winner and an official Runner-up. The Award winner and official Runner-up will be publicly announced by the RTST and ETT as soon as practicable after the workshops and, until announced, should remain confidential.

Selection Panel
The RTST reserves the right to substitute members of the Selection Panel, or to add further members. It is the intention that all members of the Selection Panel participate in all stages of the selection process as indicated above, but individual members might be unavailable at certain times.

Ultimate Play
While it is intended that the play directed by the Award winner will be the play that is the subject of their entry, this outcome cannot be guaranteed owing to a variety of factors, such as: availability of rights; pre-arranged or historical programming at the participating theatres and tour venues; and/or new ideas arising from the creative relationship struck between the winning director, ETT and Leeds Playhouse. In previous years, the play ultimately directed by the winner has been different from the one featured in their entry, and, in every case, the play ultimately directed has been chosen by mutual agreement between the winner and the co-producers.

Contract between the winner, ETT and Leeds Playhouse
If you win the RTST Sir Peter Hall Director Award 2021, you will be required to enter into a contract with ETT and Leeds Playhouse in order to undertake the role of director of the Production. Your fee will be £6000.

Feedback to workshop candidates
Constructive one-to-one feedback will be provided by the Chair of the Selection Panel to all candidates who have participated in workshops. This will be provided at an appropriate stage after public announcement of the winner and official Runner-up.

Promotional Activities
By entering the Award scheme, you agree to participate in such promotional activity with the media with respect to the RTST Sir Peter Hall Director Award 2021, the RTST, Leeds Playhouse and ETT (including submitting to interviews, photographic shoots and filming and attending an Award ceremony in central London), as the RTST shall reasonably stipulate.

Travel Expenses
The RTST will, at its discretion, contribute towards the reasonable travel expenses incurred by any candidate in travelling to and from a workshop, provided such candidate is travelling from home or place of work outside Greater London and provides receipts or other supporting evidence to the RTST.

The proviso that the candidate must be travelling from outside Greater London does not apply in the case of any candidate who requires support accessing the workshop space.


The RTST reserves the absolute right at any time to disqualify from the Award scheme any entrant:

  • who ceases to be UK resident or otherwise fails to comply with the Rules of the Award scheme;
  • who has failed to supply all the information required by the Entry Form;
  • who is found to have supplied materially inaccurate information to the RTST in the Entry Form or otherwise; or
  • who, in the opinion of the Trustees of the RTST, has brought the Award, the RTST, ETT, or Leeds Playhouse into disrepute.

Nothing in these Rules places a legal obligation on the RTST to award the RTST Sir Peter Hall Director Award 2021 or to make any payment to any candidate. The RTST shall determine and resolve any ambiguity in the interpretation of these Rules at its discretion.

As an entrant to the Scheme, you agree to the use by the RTST and ETT of any personal data supplied by you to the RTST and/or ETT, and to the passing of any of such data to any or all of Leeds Playhouse, any other co-producers, the members of the RTST Sir Peter Hall Director Award 2021 Selection Panel and the RTST’s advisers, in any and all cases for use in connection with the RTST Sir Peter Hall Director Award Scheme 2021.

Notifications by the RTST to entrants will be given by means of email. The RTST can accept no responsibility for any failed transmission of emails. Communications by entrants to the RTST must be made by email to the email address specified in the Entry Form, unless otherwise notified.

How to refer to the Award
If, in the future, you refer to your participation in this Award scheme in social media, your CV, biographies, etc., please refer to it as “the RTST Sir Peter Hall Director Award” (or “the Royal Theatrical Support Trust Sir Peter Hall Director Award” ), and use the hashtag #RTSTDirector Award (or #RTSTSirPeterHallDirectorAward). Reference to the RTST or the Royal Theatrical Support Trust/RTST will differentiate this Award from other awards and schemes that now or in the future bear Sir Peter Hall’s name.

Governing Law
The Scheme is governed by and shall be construed in accordance with the laws of England, and the courts of England shall have exclusive jurisdiction in relation to it.