These are the Rules and additional Information for candidates for the RTST Sir Peter Hall Director Award 2023 (please note submissions have now closed).


To be eligible to enter for the RTST Sir Peter Hall Director Award 2023:

  • 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 11 November & Sunday 12 November 2023.  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.  
  • 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.  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 (please note: submissions closed at 6.00pm on Monday, 18 September 2023)

If you had any technical issues with the Entry Form, please email Emma Bell at outlining your query. 

If you had any questions regarding the Award Rules or Award process, please contact:

Please refer to the Information below to guide you on how to complete the Entry Form.


To access the Entry Form, you will need a google account. This is so that we can protect your data and process the applications in the safest and most efficient way possible. If you don’t have an account already, you can sign up for free with your existing email (you don’t need an @gmail) by clicking “Create Account” when the page opens. You will be able to make and save changes to your Entry Form prior to submission.  You will not be able to edit your Entry Form after submission.

Questions in the Entry Form

The questions that make up your entry are split into 3 sections:  

  • Your Chosen Idea
  • Your Concept + Alternative Play Options
  • Your CV + Supporting Material

You have the option to submit a video response to answer the questions in the ‘Your Concept’ section. 

At the end of the questions, you may upload visual stimulus on 1 side of A4 to help convey your concept in .pdf format.  The Panel, at their discretion, will not read/watch anything over the limits specified in the Entry Form.

Your CV + Supporting Material

All documents in this section must be uploaded in .pdf format and be less than 10mb each.

Your CV must include detailed information on your entire professional track record as a director, specifying for 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. 

You must also specify future directing commitments.  

You may submit 1 page of A4 of visual references or inspiration to help convey your concept.


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.

The RTST and Northern Stage 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:


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).


Please specify a translation of the novel in the English language for your proposal of adaptation to be considered.  


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.

Further things to bear in mind…

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 Newcastle, Kingston, and potentially elsewhere in the UK. We are interested in how your ideas and your production will interact with audiences in Newcastle and elsewhere in 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.  
  • Does your play or adaptation provide meaningful opportunities for a diverse cast of no more than eight actors?
  • 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.)
  • Alternative play options.  For the reasons given in the “Ultimate Play” paragraph below, the play ultimately directed by the winner might not be the play that is the principal focus of their Entry Form. With this in mind, we have deliberately kept these guidelines as broad as possible – inviting you to propose a production that gives us a strong sense of your vision and taste. We want to meet you at your boldest. Once the winning director has been selected, there will be a supported process of selecting the text for production in conversation with the artistic directors of Northern Stage and its partner theatres. To prepare for that, the Entry Form invites you to think about alternative existing texts, for no more than eight actors, that you feel have strong audience appeal and are ripe for revisiting here and now.
  • The Entry Form specifies word counts for — and, in the optional cases of video 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 2023 Award scheme have to be received by no later than 6.00pm on Monday 18 September 2023

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 2023 are indicative only and subject to change at the RTST’s discretion.


All entries will be carefully reviewed and considered by the RTST with the assistance of Northern Stage with a view to producing a long-list of up to twenty entries.

Candidates will be notified in writing whether they have, or have not, been included on the Long-list. 

Regrettably, it will not be possible to give meaningful feedback to candidates who are not Long-listed. 


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 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 by email to attend a one-hour workshop on Saturday 11 or Sunday 12 November 2023.   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 settled in advance with 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 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 an Award winner and an official Runner-up.

The Award-winner and official Runner-up will be publicly announced by the RTST and Northern Stage 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.

None of the members of the 2023 Selection Panel has served on the Award Selection Panel in recent years.

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 Northern Stage, Rose Kingston, ETT or other partners; and/or new ideas arising from the creative relationship struck between the winning director and Northern Stage and the other partners.  In 2023, the play directed by the 2022 winner will be the play featured in their entry; in previous years, the play ultimately directed by the winner has been different from the one featured in their entry; but, in every case, the play ultimately directed has been chosen by mutual agreement between the winner and the producing theatre and, where applicable, its co-producers.  

Contract between the winner and Northern Stage 

If you win the RTST Sir Peter Hall Director Award 2023, you will be required to enter into a contract with Northern Stage in order to undertake the role of director of the Production. Your fee will be £6,000.

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 Award-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 2023, the RTST and Northern Stage and its co-producers (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 above 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 or Northern Stage into disrepute.


Nothing in these Rules places a legal obligation on the RTST to award the RTST Sir Peter Hall Director Award 2023 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 for the Award, you agree to the use by the RTST and Northern Stage of any personal data supplied by you to the RTST and/or Northern Stage, and to the passing of any of such data to any or all co-producers, the members of the RTST Sir Peter Hall Director Award 2023 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 2023.


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.