New Donmar scheme showcases directing graduates

Published February 17, 2010

The Donmar Warehouse has today launched Donmar Trafalgar, a new three-year scheme to showcase the graduates of its Resident Assistant Director (RAD) programme.

Under the scheme, to be sponsored by United House, the Donmar Warehouse will take up residency in the Trafalgar Studios for 12 weeks a year to enable graduates of the RAD programme to stage productions there.

Directors Charlotte Westenra, Roisin McBrinn and Chris Rolls will be the first young directors to stage a production as part of Donmar Trafalgar this autumn.

Founded in 1994, the RAD programme offers young directors at the start of their professional careers the chance to work alongside leading theatre directors at the Donmar for a year. Graduates of the programme include Enron director Rupert Goold, Bush theatre Artistic Director Josie Rourke and Sam Buntrock, who directed the 2007 Laurence Olivier Award-winning production of Sunday In The Park With George. 

Commenting on Donmar Trafalgar, Michael Grandage, Artistic Director of the Donmar, said: “It has always been a great privilege to support young directors through the Donmar’s RAD scheme and this residency at the Trafalgar will now give everyone an opportunity to watch the next generation of theatre directors at work. I have every confidence that over the next three years we will see some serious and important talent emerging that will help us focus on the theatre practitioners of the future.”

2004 graduate Westenra kicks off Donmar Trafalgar with a production of Beau Willimon’s Lower Ninth, which runs from 30 September to 23 October (press night 4 October). The programme continues with 2003 graduate McBrinn directing Alessandro Baricco’s Novecento (28 October to 20 November, press night 1 November), and 2005 graduate Rolls’s production of Jean Cocteau’s Les Parents Terribles (25 November to 18 December, press night 29 November).

This is the second time the Covent Garden venue has launched a new initiative in the West End. Judi Dench, Jude Law and Derek Jacobi were among the high profile actors to take part in the recent Donmar West End season, which saw the Donmar stage productions at the Wyndham’s theatre over the course of a year.

CB