NE runner-up in Royal Theatrical Support Trust Director Awards

Published: 31 August 2019
Reporter: Peter Lathan

NE actor-director Maria Crocker is the runner-up in the Royal Theatrical Support Trust and Curve, in partnership with English Touring Theatre and Rose Theatre Kingston, Sir Peter Hall Director Award 2019.

Now in its fourth year, the award—which honours the memory of RTST co-founder, Sir Peter Hall—is made to an up-and-coming director demonstrating exceptional directing skills in a rigorous competitive process. The winner Anthony Almeida and runner-up Maria Crocker were chosen from eight finalists who were selected from 53 candidates.

They were selected by a panel comprising Nikolai Foster (Artistic Director of Curve) as chair and judges Jerry Gunn (Executive Producer at Rose Theatre Kingston), Carol Leeming (poet and playwright, Resident Assistant Director of Curve), Richard Twyman (Artistic Director of English Touring Theatre), Lindsay Posner (theatre director), Grace Smart (theatre set and costume designer), Cathy Tyson (actor), Erica Whyman (Deputy Artistic Director, Royal Shakespeare Company).

Chairman of the RTST, Sir Geoffrey Cass, said, “directing workshops—held over two full days, in which the finalists had to direct actors, observed by our immensely experienced panel of judges, and then be interviewed by the panel—constituted a unique and exacting test of their directing skills.”

Maria Crocker was a member of the first NORTH professional training company at Northern Stage in 2013 and appeared in The Man Who Thought the Moon Would Fall out of the Sky. That group formed The Letter Room which went on to produce No Miracles Here, Five Feet in Front and Bonenkai. She returned to NORTH in 2016 as assistant director to Mark Calvert for Animal Farm and appeared Northern Stage’s the 2016 Christmas show, James and the Giant Peach.

Other work in the region includes working as movement director for Leaving and Icarus Lights for Curious Monkey.

She is an associate artist at Headlong and regional practitioner for the JMK. Her work in theatre as director includes Little Bits of Light (workshop) at NT Studio / ARC Stockton, Pronoun at ALRA, Growth at Northern Stage, Brian Looks Like Alan Rickman at York Theatre Royal Studio and Found at Alnwick Playhouse. Her work as associate director includes Local Hero for The Edinburgh Lyceum, Hadestown for The National Theatre, Meek for Headlong and Birmingham Rep, Gods Are Fallen and All Safety Gone for Greyscale (international tour), The Gamblers for Greyscale and Dundee Rep. Her work as assistant or staff director includes Pinocchio at The National Theatre, Mood Music at The Old Vic and Catch 22 (UK tour).