Donmar Warehouse launches access career development programme

Donmar Warehouse today announced CATALYST, a pioneering career development programme continuing the their commitment to equity in access to jobs in theatre. From 2021 onwards, the Donmar will recruit 13 paid CATALYST trainees per year in two areas, Creative and Administrative, with the aim of directly addressing the lack of awareness of roles and routes into theatre, both in creative disciplines and office roles.

As a development of the Resident Assistant Director and Resident Design Assistant schemes - alumni of which includes Rosie Elnile, Lynette Linton and Sacha Wares, CATALYST will support the development of talent both on and offstage which is underrepresented both at the Donmar and in the wider industry. The Donmar defines this as artists who experience barriers and inequality due to ethnicity, gender identity and/or socio-economic background, and as being D/deaf or disabled artists.

Speaking about the programme, Henny Finch, Executive Director of the Donmar Warehouse, said “I hope CATALYST will lead the way in creating meaningful change in our industry, by offering opportunities to a cohort of early-career individuals at a time in their working lives when they need it the most. We’re thrilled to be welcoming such a substantial number of brilliant creative and administrative talents into our team, and to be playing our part in ensuring ethnicity, gender identity, disability or socio-economic factors are no longer a barrier to anyone who aspires to make theatre happen, whether that be onstage or offstage.”

Technical reherseals for Europe at Donmar Warehouse. Photo: Marc Brenner

Piloted on the recent West End revival of Constellations, recruitment for Creative Trainees began early October, and trainees will join the creative team of the upcoming production of Shakespeare’s Henry V, with Kit Harington and directed by Donmar Associate Director Max Webster. Throughout the 2021-22  season, the 8 creative trainees will receive training in, and work across, set and costume design, movement directing, lighting design and sound design.

Creative Trainees will also receive mentoring from leading creatives including Lee Curran, Fly Davis, Carolyn Downing, Nadia Latif, Michael Longhurst, Benoit Swan Pouffer, Max Webster, and Donato Wharton.

Supported by Creative Access, Administrative Trainees will receive quality professional development training in marketing, creative engagement, producing and project management during their year-long attachment at the Donmar.

Working closely with members of the Donmar Warehouse Senior Management Team, Administrative trainees will gain insight into leadership skills and contribute to key decision making.

Director Nadia Latif said, “the vast majority of theatre artists I know from underrepresented backgrounds have always understood the vital importance of bringing people through the industry who look like us, or share our backgrounds. Theatre making should be transparent, accessible, and our rehearsal rooms should bustle with a multitude of people with totally different life experiences feeding each other creatively and taking care of one another. But up until now, that energy was largely ignored by institutions - so I am thrilled that the Donmar is taking this responsibility seriously and laying the groundwork for major systemic change.”

To apply, visit 


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