There’s no straight road to becoming a theatre director. The route is winding, improvised, long, hard, unpaid and often without promise. It’s lonely – and most of the time completely terrifying – attempting, as a training director, to guide an entire team of artists without any guidance of your own.
Training itself is additionally exceptionally difficult to access. Opportunities are few and far between and entry almost always benefits a certain kind of candidate. This is what makes training with StoneCrabs Theatre Company, in association with the Albany, so precious.
StoneCrabs Theatre Company and charity carefully selects its young directors based entirely on their passion to develop. Entry asks that candidates attend a directing workshop, as well as making presentations on their personal CVs, one-year plans and a play of their choosing. This process ensures organisers are able to select entrants they think will benefit most from the training, and that they provide equal opportunities to all.
Wonderfully, this process also amounts to a brilliantly diverse group of training directors, from a wide range of backgrounds, ethnicities, abilities, ages, genders and varying degrees of previous experience: A very different picture to the usual graduates theatres tend to intake. Candidates are also chosen whose own codes of living match the company’s values, which include: respect, excellence, friendship, courage, determination, inspiration and equality, making for a very friendly and supportive group of artists and collaborators.
Exceptionally, the scheme also runs as an exchange of services, essentially allowing young directors to train free of charge in exchange for their work, making training a possibility for anyone who is passionate enough! This means that StoneCrabs’ organisers and visitors offer their time and expertise from a raw passion to develop young directors and revolt classist systems: an example, truly, for the future of the theatrical universe, which strides to become more equal and accessible by the day.
This year, I am delighted to announce our team of training directors! We are Emily Marshall, Edwina Strobl, Fernanda Mandagará, Chris Davis, Sam Luffman, Bethany Kapila, Alex Prescot, Francine Morgan, Luke Howarth! And I certainly speak for the group when I say that the training StoneCrabs has provided us so far will be invaluable to us for the rest of our lives. We have received the expert training of StoneCrabs organisers Franko Figueiredo, Kwong Loke and Teresa Araujo, as well as the that of visiting artists such as Almiro Andrade, Mariana Pereira and Daniel Goldman to name but a few.
As well as developing our directorial skills, we are also working towards a theatre festival that will take place at the Albany Theatre in March 2017! In doing so we are learning through practice how to organise a professional theatre festival, and are becoming confident in all of the different elements that must go on for theatre to take place! So far we have named and branded the festival, applied for arts council funding, and have been working on methods of marketing and funding the project.
In order for our work to continue however, and for us to create a festival as fully accessible and equal as our training has been, we will be asking the public for pledges and donations. With this money we will be able to pay each and every person involved in the process of making the festival (actors and technicians alike), and if possible with the money we make, we envision a festival accessible to all.
If you would like to pledge to support this process our campaign opens Thursday 1st of December 2016.
Thank you for reading, updates certainly to follow!