THE Stephen Joseph Theatre, in Scarborough, has won funding to employ an emerging director for three months in 2019.

Scarborough-born professional actor Nadia Emam, a former member of the SJT’s Rounders youth theatre, will work at the theatre from February on a placement supported by the Regional Theatre Young Director Scheme. The scheme allows theatre companies to host a new director at the start of their professional directing career. Nadia will spend the next three months learning about the role and skills of a theatre director.

She will be assistant director on Martha, Josie And The Chinese Elvis, a co-production with Newcastle-under-Lyme’s New Vic Theatre that will run in Scarborough from March 28 March to April, 20. She also will assist on the OutReach production of The Hare And the Tortoise from April 16 to 20 and will direct the First Draft play readings in March.

Artistic director Paul Robinson says: “This is a highly competitive scheme, so we’re thrilled for both ourselves and Nadia that we’ve been successful. We’re committed to developing artists and leaders for the future: in 2018, we welcomed Lotte Wakeham to the SJT as our associate artistic director on a year-long placement supported by Arts Council England and The Backstage Trust. Lotte is about to leave us to become artistic director at the prestigious Octagon Theatre in Bolton. We hope that Nadia will one day see similar success!”

Nadia says: “I’m very excited to be returning to my home town and theatre as part of this next step!”

THE Grand Opera House, York, is to play host to a series of interactive events at the 2019 York Residents Festival on Saturday from 11am to 4pm.

In the stalls bar, visitors can have a go at creating their own lighting experience and experiment with sound controls as someone sings loud and proud. “Is The Greatest Show, from The Greatest Showman, your current song of choice? Show us what you can do!” says general manager Rachel Lane.

On stage, there will be smoke machine demonstrations and lighting displays; in the foyer bar, video reels will be shown while visitors enjoy a cup of tea or something stronger to warm them up on the cold weekend.

In the auditorium: staff will be on hand to take questions from those wanting to know more about the history of the Cumberland Street theatre or what shows are coming up? “Our staff are very knowledgeable and will endeavour to answer any question for you,” says Rachel.

The box office will be open from 11am to 4pm to take bookings for upcoming shows. “Buy on the day and selected shows will have an extra discount,” says Rachel.

Visitors can venture above the stage, to the fly floor, to see how scenery is brought in during shows and how the theatre hangs the lighting. “This is your chance to see the stage from a completely new angle,” says Rachel. Entry to Saturday’s Residents Festival event is free for all.