Next Generation: talent development programme

Next Generation gives talented young people from disadvantaged backgrounds the chance to explore a career in acting, directing or working backstage.

A student learns how set and prop designers work
Photo by Lucy Barriball © RSC Browse and license our images

From actors and make-up artists, to technicians and props makers, the world you see on stage at the RSC is created by a huge pool of talented people.

We have trained generations of the very best theatre makers, but recognise that young people from low-income backgrounds remain under-represented across the industry.

From the first ever RSC young company of actors, to discovering the next generation of directors, stage managers and theatre specialists, RSC Next Generation, is a unique talent development programme. It gives gifted young people from financially disadvantaged backgrounds the opportunity to gain experience and explore whether a career in the theatre is for them.

Programme Structure

Next Generation is made up of three strands:   

  • ACT: Up to 24 talented youngsters aged 13-18 join Next Generation to hone and develop their skills as actors.
  • DIRECT: For young people aged 18+ who demonstrate the obvious creative leadership and directing skills needed to take a play from page to stage.
  • BACKSTAGE: Continuing our successful current 'Backstage Pass' programme, each year 40-50 students aged 13-18 get the chance to discover what goes on behind the scenes to bring each production to life.

How do you apply? 

Participants in the programme are recruited from the thousands of young people who attend (or have attended) our 500+ associate and partner schools nationwide, in communities that are under-represented in the cultural industries.

FAQ Next Generation

  • Can anyone apply to be part of it?

  • What does the recruitment process involve?

  • How will you select the final participants?

  • Is it open to the whole of the UK?

  • Will they be guaranteed jobs with you at the end of it?

Training the Next Generation

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