Rep gives opportunities to young artists

2015 Foundry scheme forges ahead.

Birmingham Repertory Theatre is pleased to announce that the third REP Foundry scheme will take place from April this year. Launched in 2013 by The REP’s Artistic Director, Roxana Silbert, REP Foundry is a professional artist development programme that supports the most exciting new generation of theatre artists in the region.

The REP has a long legacy of encouraging new writers and theatre directors, and REP Foundry is rapidly establishing itself as a springboard for emerging talent. This year three former Foundry artists will premiere their plays in The REP’s Spring season: Stephanie Ridings’ Unknown Male, Hannah Graham’s Collidoscope and Selina Thompson’s Chewing The Fat.

Having supported 36 artists in its first two years, there are also a number of other successes. Among them, 2013 Foundry artist Jo Newman is now Resident Assistant Director as part of the Regional Theatre Young Director Scheme at Salisbury Playhouse, playwright Joe White is now the Channel 4 Playwright in residence at Shropshire-based Pentabus Theatre and writer/performer Francesca Millican-Slater has premiered and toured her one-woman show The Forensics of a Flat. In 2014 the Foundry Artists created mini-productions as part of Home Theatre which brought theatre into the homes of eight Erdington residents.

REP Foundry 2015 will invest in and support a further six writers, six directors and six theatre-makers from across the West Midlands by offering them a year-long development and mentoring programme. The scheme will offer professional support and expertise from theatre professionals at The REP, masterclasses and an opportunity to try out new work in front of an audience in an informal and lively atmosphere that invites feedback directly from the audience.

One of the aims to further develop the REP Foundry scheme in 2015 is to diversify and develop the directors strand, as Associate Director Tessa Walker explains: “We are thrilled to be launching a third year of REP Foundry. The REP is deeply committed to honouring its legacy of encouraging new talent and continuing to identify and support artists from across the region.

“The Foundry has reaped rewards over the past two years working with a strong community of 36 emerging artists who now see The REP as a home. As we head towards the third year we are now keen to diversify and widen the reach of the scheme by encouraging and attracting, in particular, directors at a much earlier stage in their career, proactively recruiting from less advantaged education, demographic and ethnic backgrounds. So with this in mind we’ve created an Introduction to Directing strand this year specifically aimed at those people.”

Applications for REP Foundry 2015 are now open. Anyone interested in applying can find out more by visiting The deadline for applications is 6pm on Monday 9th March 2015.