Francesca Goodridge and Eleri Jones will be the first directors of The Theatr Clwyd Carne Traineeship for Directors in Wales funded by The Carne Trust, the Arts Council of Wales and proceeds from Sir Ian McKellen’s 80 at 80 performances at the theatre.
Inspired by the American system of internships and the belief that directors should have a fully rounded training experience in all aspects of theatre, the Theatr Clwyd Carne Traineeship for Directors in Wales offers these two aspiring artists a paid 18-month placement working alongside Artistic Director Tamara Harvey and the Theatr Clwyd team. The programme aims to develop their practical, creative and professional skills, giving Francesca and Eleri the opportunity to work on productions and co-productions in the Anthony Hopkins Theatre, Emlyn Williams Theatre and beyond. Each trainee will spend one week with every department at Theatr Clwyd over the course of the 18 months to build an understanding of every aspect of creating and producing shows and running a building. The Traineeship will culminate in each trainee directing a full production of a play in the language of their choice at Theatr Clwyd.
Artistic Director Tamara Harvey said, “Wales has a long-established tradition of producing great actors and exciting contemporary playwrights but has in the past had little formal training for directors. We want to change that. As Wales’ biggest producing theatre, we are committed to nurturing, training and developing directors from an early stage in their career. Great directors, trained in Wales, will go out into the world and champion Welsh actors, writers and other artists, ensuring Wales continues to grow as a leading force in the cultural landscape of the UK. The Theatr Clwyd Carne Traineeship is a powerful step towards this goal and we look forward to working with Fran and Eleri as our first ever Trainees.”
Francesca Goodridge, Tamara Harvey and Eleri Jones
Philip Carne from The Carne Trust said, “The Carne Trust has been supporting young drama students and professionals for over a decade and has a particular interest in developing directors of the future, especially those who are ambitions to run their own theatre space. Being Welsh, I am proud and pleased to be associated with Theatr Clwyd and the Arts Council Wales of Wales in funding this unique traineeship for young directors. I am sure Fran and Eleri will have an amazing experiences and I wish them every success in their future directing careers.”
Francesca Goodridge said, “I have been very fortunate to assist some wonderful directors, to work in incredible theatres and make relationships with creatives that I admire greatly. However, one thing I have lacked, and never had the opportunity to do, is to attach myself to a building for a longer period of time than the rehearsal process, and learn how the building and different departments work together to creating the running of a successful regional theatre. This placement will allow me time to develop as a director, build relationships and provide a platform to propel me into creating my own work with confidence in myself and my ability.”
Eleri Jones said, “I’m absolutely thrilled to have been given the opportunity to work with Tamara, Liam and every department at Theatr Clwyd, to learn first-hand both the art of directing, and to gain an understanding of the huge task of running such a unique building. I’m incredibly grateful to have been given this brilliant traineeship. To play a role in the exceptional work the theatre produces is very special, particularly at such an exciting time in the theatre’s development.”
Inspired by a rich theatrical history, Theatr Clwyd is striving to become a centre where talent and excellence can flourish. The Theatr Clwyd Traineeship for Welsh Directors forms part of the TYFU/GROW creative development programme, which develops young artists and supports and inspires emerging talent. Other elements of the programme include the Writers in Residence programme, developing technicians and craftspeople through our apprenticeships in lighting, sound and set building, and inspiring the theatre makers of the future through our young companies. This new programme will create an innovative and fully integrated training programme for the most exciting young directors in Wales today.
Francesca Goodridge graduated in 2014 with a BA Hons in Acting from Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA), then went on to become a trainee director at The Other Room in Cardiff. In 2018 she was Assistant Director on Theatr Clwyd’s Dick Whittington The Rock ‘n’ Roll Pantomime.
Llangollen resident Eleri Jones is a graduate in Drama and Screen Studies from the University of Manchester before training at Drama Centre, London. She was previously Associate Artist at The Charles Dickens Museum. Writer/director of the site specific The Hedd Wyn Story in Llangollen and was recently Assistant Director of My Dad’s Gap Year for the Park Theatre.