Supporting and nurturing talent is a vital part of Royal & Derngate’s creative work and we have a number of ways that artists can engage with us.

Directors’ Group

In collaboration with the JMK Trust, Royal & Derngate are delighted to be offering a series of workshops which will allow directors and theatre makers based in the East Midlands the opportunity to gain an insight into the processes other directors use when rehearsing a play and the workings of a busy regional theatre.

If you are interested in joining a workshop or being added to our mailing list, please e-mail our Producer Erica Martin.


Royal & Derngate does not have a Literary Department and so sadly we do not have the capacity to read all unsolicited scripts that are sent to us. However, we read as much as we can and aspire to respond to writers where possible. Due to workload, please be aware that it can take a number of months for us to read your work and send a response. If you are interested in submitting a script, please e-mail it to Heather Mendonca.

Practitioner Training

Royal & Derngate is committed to supporting the work and development of local theatre makers through training schemes that develop emerging artists who have a passion for creative learning and participatory work. We have different levels of training, from Assistant and Trainee Practitioners through to Creative Projects Associates.

Occasionally, we also offer voluntary internships and support for emerging companies to work with the Creative Learning Team to develop a specific participatory project.

For more information email Trudy Bell.

Regional Theatre Young Director Scheme 

In 2015 Royal & Derngate joined with the Regional Theatre Young Director Scheme (RTYDS) to host emerging director Jesse Jones, for an 18-month residency. The programme nurtures young directors by offering them experiences to hone their craft, by providing a thorough introduction to life in a busy producing theatre.

More details about the scheme and how to apply can be found at www.rtyds.co.uk/rtyds-for-directors.php

Assistant Director Bursaries

Three local directors have become Levershulme Arts Scholars and been given the opportunity to assistant direct Made In Northampton productions; Dan Hutton assisted James Dacre on Cat On A Hot Tin Roof in 2014, Alex Rex assisted Gary Sefton on The Snow Queen in 2015 and Leigh Toney assisted Luke Sheppard on Peter and the Starcatcher in 2016.

Musical Theatre


In February 2016, Royal & Derngate hosted the first ever Musical Theatre Darkroom with partners Musical Theatre Network, greenhouse and China Plate. Darkroom is China Plate’s flagship artist development strand which offers opportunities to theatre makers who create work through a collaborative, sometimes communally authored or devising process.

Royal & Derngate played host to Rash Dash, Bola Agbaje, Caroline Horton, Katie Lyons, Tim Sutton, Craig Adams, Pippa Cleary and Ella Grace.


In 2014, the inaugural Perfect Pitch / Royal & Derngate Musical Theatre award was awarded to Chris Bush and Matthew Winkworth – a £12,000 commission to develop their brand new musical, Odd. The show was mounted in a concert version at Royal & Derngate in the Royal in February 2015.