The Royal Theatrical Support Trust (RTST) and Royal & Derngate Northampton have announced Nancy Medina as the winner of the 2018 RTST Sir Peter Hall Director Award and Josh Seymour as the runner-up. Now in its third year, and its second bearing the name of the RTST co-founder, Sir Peter Hall, the award is made to an up-and-coming director demonstrating exceptional directing skills in a rigorous competitive process.
As the winner of the 2018 award, Nancy Medina will now get the opportunity to direct a full-scale, fully funded production to open in 2019 on the Royal Stage, as part of Made In Northampton, in a co-production between Royal & Derngate and English Touring Theatre (ETT), and then tour to theatres across the UK. The RTST will make a grant of £50,000 to Royal & Derngate to be applied towards the costs of the production.
Nancy Medina and Josh Seymour were selected from 70 longlisted candidates by a panel comprising of: chair James Dacre (Artistic Director of Royal & Derngate), and judges Kwame Kwei-Armah OBE (Artistic Director of the Young Vic); multi-Tony and Olivier Award-winning director Sir Trevor Nunn CBE; Olivier Award-nominees Tanya Moodie and Samantha Bond; four-time Olivier Award-winner Paule Constable (Associate, National Theatre); and Richard Twyman (Artistic Director of English Touring Theatre).
The Award Scheme promotes the RTST’s charitable objects in two main ways: it supports emerging talent in the theatre and it supports British regional theatres. The Award Scheme is intended to appeal to a diverse range of candidates and to play a part in promoting diversity in the theatre, onstage and offstage, and among audiences.
Chairman of the RTST, Sir Geoffrey Cass, said: “The 2018 RTST Sir Peter Hall Director Award had 8 finalists of the very highest quality, selected from a strong field of 70 candidates. Directing workshops – held over two full days, in which the finalists had to direct actors, observed by our immensely experienced panel of judges, and then be interviewed by the panel – constituted a thorough and exacting test of their directing skills. The winner’s prize is the unique opportunity to direct a production that will premiere on the stage of the Royal in Northampton and go on a main-stage national tour with English Touring Theatre. The RTST’s collaboration with Royal & Derngate and English Touring Theatre is admirably fulfilling the RTST’s twin primary charitable objectives of encouraging emerging theatre professionals and promoting British regional theatre”.
Winner, Nancy Medina said: “I feel privileged and ecstatic to have been named the RTST’s Sir Peter Hall Director Award Winner for 2018. To get to the next step in my career, through the generous help of RTST, Royal & Derngate, and English Touring Theatre, is truly a dream come true. I cannot thank the RTST panel enough for making the process feel supportive and nurturing.”