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.

Young people taking part in our Backstage Pass work experience programme
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 will 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.

When does it start?

Next Generation will begin in full during the 17/18 academic year.

How do you apply? 

Participants in the programme will be 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

  • When does the programme actually start?

  • Can anyone apply to be part of it?

  • What will 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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