North is a three-strand programme to help support the development of North East-based performers and theatre companies. It is comprised of:

Actor Training: sessions to develop and improve performance skills

Small Scale Touring: each year Northern Stage will present and tour a small scale production performed by local, emerging actors

Company Development: a 12-month programme of support to help create a step change in the development of independent theatre companies/theatre makers

Please note: Applicants to our NORTH programme must be aged 20+ at the time the courses begin. For younger creatives, we provide opportunities through our Young Company and Open Stages courses.



Are you training to be an actor or have you finished training and want to top up your skills?

Whether you want to enhance your current skills, learn new ones or gain valuable insight into the world of professional theatre, NORTH Actor Training is for you.

Throughout the year, Northern Stage will run courses in professional performance training, giving you the opportunity to boost essential skills including text, movement and creativity in the Autumn Term; and specialist skills such as puppetry, clown, commedia and mask across the Spring and Summer Terms.

Spring 2018

CLOWN, COMMEDIA AND MASK - 10 weeks (Thursdays from 8 Feb)

Pady O’ Connor Artistic Director MeeMee theatre creates a space where the game and play is integral to the creation of theatre. We will explore techniques in Mask, Clown and, Commedia Dell’Arte discovering the importance of connection, physical characterisation, and openness, to the journey of the performer.  

PUPPETRY - 5 weeks (Tuesdays from 6 Feb)

Over 5 workshops the course will delve into the world of puppetry and explore what it means to bring an object or puppet to life. The group will be led through the basic rules of puppetry and learn to apply them in various different settings. During the 5 workshops the group will be able to explore the diversity of puppetry with an introduction to the world of Objects, Table-top Puppets, Rod Puppets, Light and Shadow with a little bit of puppet-making thrown in. Over the 5 weeks we will also start to think about how you might begin making a piece of work using materials and/or objects as inspiration. Participants should leave with an introduction to the broad and diverse world of Puppetry and a sense of the magical potential of puppet, object and material, whilst also gaining some valuable puppetry-specific skills to take on in the future.

£10 per 3-hour weekly session.

Participants must be available for all sessions. Everyone who takes part in NORTH Actor Training sessions in 2018 will be eligible for an audition for the NORTH touring show in 2019, subject to attendance and commitment to the training course.

Each course is for a maximum of 15 participants, and you can apply for more than one course.

Subsidised places are available.

How to apply for NORTH Actor Training:

Applications to join the NORTH actor training for Spring 2018 are now closed - details for how to apply for the next cohort will be published in Autumn 2018.



Each year, Northern Stage will produce a small scale touring production, featuring emerging North East actors.

Our first small scale NORTH tour will be a new version of H.G. Wells’ THE WAR OF THE WORLDS, adapted by Laura Lindow and directed by Elayce Ismail. It will perform at Northern Stage 31 Jan – 10 Feb 2018 and tour to local schools and community venues.



North East-based theatre companies or individual theatre makers in the process of making a new piece of work are invited to apply to become a NORTH supported company. Companies/Artists will receive:

One-week R&D time in our Byker rehearsal space (does not include tech support)

One day with our Associate Director, Mark Calvert, to support your R&D. This can be split into a half day supporting preparations for your R&D and half a day during your R&D week.

Six essential skills workshops throughout the year covering: Finance, Fundraising, Marketing, Producing, Participation and Technical Theatre.

Four additional hours with a member of Northern Stage staff to support you in a particular area as identified by you (e.g. two additional hours with the Producing team to look over a G4A application and two additional hours with Finance to look over budgets)

How to apply to be a NORTH supported company:

Applications to join the NORTH supported company scheme for Spring 2018 are now closed - details for how to apply for the next cohort will be published in Autumn 2018.