Headlong Origins is a scheme that supports early career theatre directors across the UK, outside of London.
Finn Kennedy, a Belfast based theatre director and writer was one of their successful applicants in 2019. Finn is pictured at Kneehigh’s ‘Ubu’, Marble Factory, Bristol (Jan 2020) with Tilly Taylor, Alix Harris, Ellie Taylor, and Holly Race-Roughan.
Following the conclusion of her time on the programme, Finn said “We travelled to different places, visiting venues, meeting directors and seeing work. In these meet-ups, we had tasks to complete, working on different texts and focusing in on elements such as staging, auditioning, pitching etc. We had the opportunity to observe other directors in rehearsals, talk to writers about their experiences of working with directors, and get insight into Headlong as a company, from producing to marketing to finance to fundraising. I’ve been introduced to exciting emerging writers and plays, I’ve revisited plays with fresh eyes and my idea of what is possible on stage has been blown apart.”
“I’m gutted to be coming to the end of this programme, but know I now have a relationship with Headlong and its staff who have been incredibly supportive. I now have a clearer view of where I’m at and what my career trajectory could be. I learned that most artists have imposter syndrome, even after years of success, but if you’re not going into a new project with doubt and nerves and fear, then you’re not challenging yourself, and this will be reflected in the work. If you have fear or doubt about applying, shake it off and write the application – you won’t regret it.”
Headlong’s ambition is to celebrate and nurture emerging talent, and to diversify the pool of theatre directors that they engage with across the UK. They are keen to reach theatre directors that are currently underrepresented and in the industry at large, and are committed to 50% of their Origins Artists being people of colour.
The scheme supports directors committed to making work regionally through a financial bursary, research and development support, artistic mentorship, workshops, and employment on Headlong projects. Directors will be afforded the opportunity to work alongside a nationwide touring organisation and, crucially, will develop their own projects and practice.
You can see full details of how to apply to the scheme here.