NORTH is a three-strand training 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.

Actor Training

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.

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

Applications are now closed 

A Play in 10 Weeks

Top up your skills and knowledge of the rehearsal process with this exciting opportunity to work with our Associate Director, Mark Calvert (The Snow Queen, A Christmas Carol, Frankie and Johnny).

The workshops will cover working with a script, character development, creating and devising in the room, and performing. Suitable for those just starting out in their professional careers through to seasoned performers looking to continue their development.

Applications are now closed 

Audition Dates: Week commencing Mon 20 Jan

Course Dates: every Wednesday from Wed 5 Feb 2020 (last session on Wed 15 Apr 2020)

Puppets and Puppeteering

Puppets and Puppeteering: For theatre and performance makers wishing to expand their skills and knowledge in puppetry and devised visual theatre making processes.

This workshop series will cover core puppetry skills, approaches to using puppets in performance and the ethos of making. Suitable for novices and those already incorporating puppets in their work. The workshop will be run by Will Steele of Life and Limb puppets, Puppetry Director of Christmas Carol at the Castle 2018 and producer of 'Dragon'.

Will was trained at the Curious School of Puppetry in Edinburgh and produces puppetry work for both theatre and applied social works in the North East. This workshop is presented in partnership with Moving Parts: Newcastle puppetry festival

Applications are now closed 

Audition Dates: Week commencing Mon 20 Jan

Course Dates: every Tue from Tue 4 Feb 2020 (last session on Tue 14 Apr 2020) (last session on Wed 15 Apr 2020)

Stage Combat

Following on from the success of the course held last year we are pleased to have True Edge back to run another Stage Combat course.

Learn this essential actors skill in a fun and challenging environment, while gaining the confidence to handle yourself on stage or behind the lens in a physical conflict. You will cover the fundamentals of stage combat including unarmed and small sword, and work towards performing a fight scene. 

This course is accredited by the British Academy of Dramatic Combat at Foundation level. The BADC is the oldest established stage combat institution in the UK.

The course will be led by BADC teacher Neil Tattersall, provided by True Edge Ltd. 

True Edge stage combat specialises in choreography and workshops worldwide. Founded by Rachid Sabitri and Jessica Hrabowsky, True Edge creates exciting and innovative ways for individuals to master creating the illusion of physical combat. @trueedgecombat

Applications are now closed 

Audition Dates: Week commencing Mon 20 Jan

Course Dates: every Thursday from Thu 6 Feb 2020 (last session on Thu 23 Apr 2020)

We are committed to making all areas of our work as accessible as possible, as such if you would like any of the above information in an alternative format then please let us know. If you are interested in applying and would like to do this either on the phone or via a face-to face meeting then please get in touch directly

Company Development

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:

Download application form - Please send completed application forms to Annie McCourt ([email protected])

Deadline for applications is Mon 10 Feb. 

Small-scale Touring

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

Our first small scale NORTH tour was a new version of H.G. Wells’ The War of The Worlds in Spring 2018, adapted by Laura Lindow and directed by Elayce Ismail. 

The War of The Worlds returned to Northern Stage after it's sell-out opening run in September 2018.

In Autumn 2019 Northern Stage presents Sherlock Holmes’ most infamous case The Hound Of The Baskervilles, adapted from Arthur Conan Doyle’s gothic classic adapted by Douglas Maxwell and directed by Jake Smith.

North is supported by Esmée Fairbairn Foundation