The annual RTST Sir Peter Hall Director Award is designed to provide an up-and-coming director with a rare breakthrough-opportunity to originate and direct, as sole director, a fully-funded production as part of a main season of productions in a mid-scale British regional theatre.  The name of the Award honours the memory of the RTST’s co-founder Sir Peter Hall.

How the RTST Sir Peter Hall Director Award 2019 Works

The RTST is delighted to be running its RTST Sir Peter Hall Director Award 2019 with Curve in Leicester.  The winner of the Award will win the spectacular opportunity to direct a play at Curve in a co-production between Curve, Rose Theatre, Kingston and English Touring Theatre (ETT). The play will be staged as part of Curve’s Made in Curve programme in 2020, and will subsequently transfer to the main house of Rose Theatre, Kingston and then go on to tour to main house theatres across the UK. 

The RTST Sir Peter Hall Director Award 2019 will be awarded to an up-and-coming director for demonstration of excellent directing skills and appreciation of how to create theatre that appeals to regional audiences in a rigorous competitive process organised by the RTST in conjunction with Curve.  We are particularly keen to see candidates from a diversity of backgrounds, interests and needs, pitching productions that authentically mirror UK audiences. We welcome applications from parents and carers who need to balance their caring responsibilities with their working lives.

The RTST Sir Peter Hall Director Award Scheme opened for entries on 14 May 2019 and closed on 1 July 2019.

Candidates were invited to pitch their ideas for directing a production that will bring together a diverse range of exciting practitioners to create an imaginative, surprising and popular production for the widest possible audiences in Leicester, Kingston upon Thames and elsewhere in the UK. Candidates could have chosen a classic or modern play (in English or otherwise), or an adaptation of a novel or film. The candidate’s ideas for their chosen play had to demonstrate their artistic potential and the potential of their production to cultivate large audiences.  As part of the Entry Form, candidates were asked to write a letter setting out their vision to the Artistic Director at Curve, the Executive Producer at Rose Theatre Kingston and the Artistic Director at ETT.

Curve, Leicester

In the case of a proposed adaptation of a novel, film or non-English language play, a candidate had to specify an ideal choice of writer to undertake the adaptation.  The candidate had to give reasons for their choice of writer, and how they would like the writer to approach the adaptation.

Written entries were considered by the RTST with the assistance of Curve with a view to producing a Long-list of up to 20 entries.  The Long-list was be submitted for consideration by a Selection Panel comprising: Chair Nikolai Foster (Artistic Director of Curve), Jerry Gunn (Executive Producer of Rose Theatre Kingston), Carol Leeming (Poet and Playwright), Lindsay Posner (Director), Grace Smart (Designer), Cathy Tyson (Actor), Richard Twyman (Artistic Director of English Touring Theatre) and Erica Whyman (Deputy Artistic Director, Royal Shakespeare Theatre).  The Selection Panel have now selected eight short-listed candidates: Anthony Almeida, Maria Crocker, Jessica Edwards, Poppy Rowley, Josh Seymour, Anthony Simpson-Pike, Alexander Sutton and Lucy Wray.

The 2019 Panel (in order as written above)

The short-listed candidates will be invited to workshops on Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 August 2019, at which they will be required to demonstrate their directorial skills by directing actors in a text-based scene of a play. Candidates will be notified of the particular scene by the RTST in advance of the workshop.  The Selection Panel will observe and judge the workshops.

On the second day of the workshops, up to four finalists will be selected for interview, this being the final stage in the selection process.

The Selection Panel will choose the ultimate Award winner and runner-up. The winner and runner-up will be announced after the workshops.

Although there will only be one Award winner and one official runner-up, the Scheme is designed to provide a positive professional experience for all the candidates (up to eight) who are selected on the basis of their written entries to participate in the workshop stage of the selection process.  They will all receive constructive feedback from the Selection Panel after the winner of the Award is announced.

It is intended that the Award winner will benefit from the spotlight of publicity generated by the promotional activities of the RTST, Curve, Rose Theatre Kingston and ETT in relation to the Award and the Production.  The winner’s success will be celebrated at an Award ceremony organised by the RTST.

The RTST has agreed to make a grant of £50,000 to Curve to be applied towards its costs of staging the Production.  It is a condition of the grant that Curve participates in the Scheme and facilitates the Production.  The Award winner will not be required to seek funding for the Production.

The Award winner will be the sole director of the Production and will be paid a market-rate fee for undertaking the role in this co-production between Curve, Rose Theatre, Kingston and ETT. The Production’s cast and stage crew will be paid at the prevailing UK Theatre rates or higher.