The partnership between the Genesis Foundation and the Young Vic dates back to the time when a very young Rufus Norris — now Artistic Director of the National Theatre — became the Young Vic’s first Genesis Director.
The Genesis Foundation currently funds the Genesis Network, the Genesis Fellowship and the Genesis Future Directors Award as part of the Young Vic’s Creators Program.
“The Directors Program, the Genesis Network and the Genesis Future Directors Awards profoundly influence everything we do at the Young Vic. It provides a unique opportunity for early-career artists to take their work to the next level, and our entire industry has prospered thanks to 20 years of exceptional talent.”
Artistic Director, Young Vic Theatre
In 2001 as part of its Directors Program (now the Creators Program), the Young Vic created a group of 30 directors. In 2004, this group transformed into the online Genesis Network with 200 members.
Today the network comprises 1,500 theatre professionals based all over the UK. It provides theatre-makers with news on opportunities for work, training and bursaries, and enables them to meet other theatre-makers, share ideas and develop a nationwide support network. The Network was relaunched with improved web functionality in 2019, and this proved invaluable when the UK went into lockdown in March 2020: the Young Vic immediately pivoted to delivering its free workshops online, expanding the reach of these events in the process. As a consequence of the pandemic, the theatre industry will continue to face challenges in 2021 and beyond and these workshops will play a part in tiding over the next generation of theatre-makers and in ensuring that today’s talent is not lost to alternative employment.
Since 2010, there have been six Genesis Fellows selected to work closely with the Young Vic’s Artistic Director and develop as directors while participating in the theatre’s programming and artistic planning. Each Genesis Fellow also contributes to the Creators Program and mentors recipients of the Genesis Future Directors Award.
The current Genesis Fellow is Taio Lawson.
Former Genesis Fellows are: Jennifer Tang (Further than the Furthest Thing, 2023), Nadia Latif (Fairview/My England, 2018), Gbolahan Obisesan (Cuttin’ It and Sus, 2016), Natalie Abrahami (Wings, Happy Days and Ah, Wilderness!, 2014), Carrie Cracknell (Macbeth co-directed with Lucy Guerin, 2012) and Joe Hill-Gibbins (A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Measure for Measure, 2010).
Genesis Future Directors Award
The Genesis Future Directors Award nurtures and develops emerging young directors by providing them with an invaluable opportunity to explore and develop their craft while creating their first, fully-resourced production at the Young Vic without the scrutiny of the media. Andrea Ling is the 2023 Genesis Future Directors Award winner. In 2024 she will direct The Earthworks by Tom Morton-Smith (running from 26 Mar 2024 – 6 Apr 2024).
Past recipients of Genesis Future Directors Awards include Diyan Zora (Klippies, 2021), Dadiow Lin (In a Word, 2019), Caitriona Shoobridge (Ivan and the Dogs, 2019), Lekan Lawal (Wild East, 2018), Debbie Hannan (Things of Dry Hours, 2018), John R. Wilkinson (Winter, 2017), Nancy Medina (Yellowman, 2017), Luke Skilbeck (The Bear/The Proposal, 2016), Bryony Shanahan (Trade, 2016), Ola Ince (Dutchman, 2015), Rikki Henry (Creditors, 2015), Tinuke Craig (Dirty Butterfly, 2014), Finn Beames (Man: Three plays by Tennessee Williams, 2014), Matthew Xia (Sizwe Banzi is Dead, 2013), Ben Kidd (The Shawl, 2012).