Artist Development

A woman holding up card dressed in a white gown with wings

About the Artist Development Programme

West Yorkshire Playhouse nurtures, trains and develops creative people from across the performance sector. We provide opportunities to support the skills of people from all levels of experience and backgrounds in Leeds and beyond.

A range of opportunities for actors to develop their skills and connect with Playhouse productions.

Directors / Theatre Makers
Support for theatre makers and directors at all stages of their careers, creating vital theatre and performance.

Playwrights / New Writing
A range of opportunities for playwrights to develop new scripts and big ideas.

Design / Technical Theatre
We are planning to launch our Design and Technical Theatre Development Programme in 2017.

Summer Sublets
Summer Sublets invites professional artists from all disciplines to occupy the West Yorkshire Playhouse.

  • Activities April 2017

    Activities April 2017

    To book one of the activities or for more information contact Artist Development Co-ordinator, Jenny Sullivan,

    Date and Time Name Activity Aimed At
    10 April, 7pm – 9pm Directing – What is a Theatre Director? Are you interested in directing for the stage? Do you want to find out more about what being a director involves? Join us for this session where we will talk about a director’s responsibilities, their relationships with their creative team, cast and crew, and what it means to lead a project. This workshop is aimed at those who are curious about theatre directing with little or no practical experience
    12 April, 6.30pm – 7.30pm Verity Bargate Award Intoductory Talk Do you have a story that needs to be told? Soho Theatre are on the hunt for the next winner of the Verity Bargate Award. This biennial, national award seeks stand out inspiring new writing talent. Past winners including Vicky Jones and Matt Charman. The winner receives £7000 in respect of an exclusive option for Soho Theatre to produce the play. The Verity Bargate award is open to everyone resident in the UK or Ireland with fewer than 3 professional productions.
    15 April, 10.30am – 12.30pm Collaboration – Developing a show through the writer/director relationship Join Lulu Raczka and Ali Pidsley, the award winning writer and director of A Girl in School Uniform (Walks in to a Bar) to explore ways of developing a show through collaboration. Looking closely at the writer/director relationship, this workshop is for those looking to learn new skills about working with others. This workshop is for writers and directors keen to improve collaborative skills.
    22 April, 10.30am – 1.30pm Acting: Self-taping Workshop A fun and informative session that explores how actors may best meet the increasing demands being made by casting directors for professional standard self tapes. Led by actor and film maker Sam Swainsbury, the session will include watching examples, a chance to explore equipment and techniques and to share knowledge of what is often an isolating element of an actor’s job description. This workshop is for actors who are working professionally in screen or theatre. This workshop is aimed at actors who are working professionally.
    27 April, 7pm – 9pm Writing: The Dynamic Scene A practical workshop for playwrights on the ingredients for a dramatic, dynamic scene. Led by Literary Associate, Jacqui Honess-Martin. This workshop is aimed at writers keen to improve their craft. .

  • Activities May 2017

    Activities May 2017

    To book one of the activities or for more information contact Artist Development Co-ordinator, Jenny Sullivan,

    Date and Time Name Activity Aimed At
    8 May, 7pm – 8.30pm Directing: Preparing for Rehearsals What process does a Director go through in the build up to the first day of rehearsals? How does an idea transform into a design, how is a show cast, and how does the creative team work together to make the ideas a reality? A practical exploration of the process of preparing a production from first idea to the start of rehearsals. Early career theatre makers or anyone interested in the start of the creative process.
    18 May, 11.30am – 1pm Writing & Acting: Rehearsaing a New Play Bringing a new piece of writing to an audience for the first time is a thrilling process. It can also be a daunting and stressful one for writers whose natural environment may not be a rehearsal room. This workshop is an attempt to demystify the process; bringing together writers and actors to give a shared insight into how it feels to have your work staged and how it feels to bear the responsibility of saying them for the first time. Jacqui Honess-Martin is Literary Associate at West Yorkshire Playhouse and Charley Miles is Channel Four Playwright in Residence. Jacqui directed Charley’s first play, Blackthorn at the Playhouse in September 2016. This workshop is aimed at actors working professionally and writers and directors keen to learn about or improve their rehearsal room experience.
    26 May, 7pm – 9pm Theatre Making: Making Theatre From Your Own Experiences This workshop will be an active look at how we might write and devise theatre inspired by autobiographical experience to ask bigger questions about the world. During the workshop we will gather a range of personal source material – that weird youtube video you are obsessed with or the rubbish at the bottom of your bag or that gift you never asked for – and begin to use them to make a scene. Please wear comfortable clothing suitable for practical work. This workshop is aimed at directors, writers, actors and theatre makers who wish to improve their craft
    30 May, 6.30pm – 8.30pm Composing for Theatre A workshop discussing the role of music and sound design for theatre by looking at extracts from plays and creative responses to director briefs, along with the challenges this entails. Participants should bring whatever they need to make music – whether that’s a laptop, an instrument or just themselves! Non-musicians are also welcome to observe as well! This workshop is for artists interested in learning more about composing and sound design for theatre productions

  • Activities June 2017

    Activities June 2017

    To book one of the activities or for more information contact Artist Development Co-ordinator, Jenny Sullivan,

    Date and Time Name Activity Aimed At
    12 June, 6pm – 8pm Directing Verbatim Theatre: Pushing the Form Why do we put real-life experiences on-stage? What are the ethics involved in telling another person’s story? How much dramatic licence can we take? This workshop is a toolkit for directors and theatre-makers interested in crafting, rehearsing and performing verbatim theatre. Theatre-makers interested in working with verbatim script
    1 July, 12 – 2pm Writing and Directing workshop Join Artistic Director James Brining and Writer of Ode to Leeds, Zodwa Nyoni to explore the relationship between director and writer when developing a production from script to stage This workshop is aimed at directors, writers, and theatre makers who wish to improve their craft