The Genesis Foundation has supported the Young Vic for more than ten years and currently funds the two-year Genesis Fellowship, the Genesis Directors Network, the Genesis Future Directors Award and the Genesis Fellow Production Fund at the Young Vic. The Genesis Foundation’s contribution has enabled the Young Vic to develop programmes which give young directors rounded, varied and multi-layered training.
The aim of the Genesis Foundation’s support is that these directors should emerge from their experience at the Young Vic technically confident, grounded in their craft and able to realise their creative vision.
The current Genesis Fellow at the Young Vic is the theatre director and playwright Nadia Latif. Latif began her tenure in January 2018 and is the fifth Genesis Fellow to be supported and funded by the Genesis Foundation since 2013. Past Genesis Fellows include: 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).
The Genesis Fellowship is a two-year grant that enables its recipient to work closely with artistic director Kwame Kwei-Armah as they continue to develop their craft as a theatre director. Nadia Latif is currently developing My England, a series of three-minute monologues released online, exploring what it means to be English.
Watch the below short film to find out more about the Genesis Fellowship.
John Studzinski, Founder & Chairman of the Genesis Foundation, said:
“The Genesis Fellowship at the Young Vic is one of the most respected and coveted awards offered to a young theatre director. To work closely with David Lan for two years, not only directing his own show but also being part of the theatre’s programming and artistic planning teams, is an experience that will enrich and challenge Gbolahan Obilsesan’s artistic vision in ways that will stay with him for their rest of his life. I’m delighted to welcome Gbolahan as the latest Genesis Fellow as he follows in the footsteps of previous Genesis Fellows Natalie Abrahami, Carrie Cracknell, and Joe Hill-Gibbins, whose achievements make us at the Genesis Foundation deeply proud of our collaboration with David.”
Genesis Directors Network
Formed in 2004 as part of the Genesis Foundation’s involvement with the Young Vic, the Genesis Directors Network is an online area that has since become an invaluable forum for members of the Directors Programme to share their experiences and seek advice nationwide.
Directing can be lonely – particularly in the early stages of a career – and the network encourages a sense of community and peer support amongst its members. It is also an area where they can find information about current activities, opportunities and special ticket offers at the Young Vic.
Independent producers, theatre companies and writers often use the network as a way of finding directors for their projects. Theatres – including the Lyric Hammersmith, the Globe and Cheek by Jowl – circulate special offers for free or discounted tickets to shows and events. Annual opportunities such as bursaries, traineeships and masterclasses are also publicised through the network.
The Genesis Directors Network currently consists of over 1,000 members, with more people joining all the time.
Read more about Genesis Directors Network here.
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. John Wilkinson and Debbie Hannan became the tenth and eleventh recipients of the award in 2018. They were supported by David Lan in his last months as Artistic Director of the Young Vic and are now supported by new artistic director Kwame Kwei-Armah. John directed Winter in February 2018 in The Clare and Debbie’s Things of Dry Hours opened in August 2018.
Lucy J Skilbeck and Nancy Medina, 2017’s joint recipients of the award, were supported and mentored by the theatre’s unique creative network, including Artistic Director David Lan and the Genesis Fellow, Gbolahan Obisesan. Lucy directed The Bear / The Proposal by Checkhov to outstanding critical acclaim, whilst Nancy Medina directed the Pulitzer Prize-nominated Yellowman in December 2017.
Watch our short film to find out more about the Genesis Future Directors Award.
Genesis Fellow Production Fund
The Genesis Fellow Production Fund is a new addition to the Genesis Foundation and Young Vic’s long-standing partnership. While the Genesis Future Directors scheme challenges young directors to take the next steps in discovering themselves as theatre artists, the support of the Genesis Fellow Production Fund contributes towards the research, workshopping and staging costs required over the Fellow’s two-year position, enabling them to work in the best possible conditions, supported by the whole of the Young Vic team.
Off Book, The Young Vic theatre’s podcast series
The Young Vic theatre’s recently launched podcast series, Off Book, features interviews with many of the exciting artists who have visited the theatre recently, including several Genesis supported directors. The conversations that make up the podcasts bring to light people’s first experiences with the arts and theatre, how their background has informed the work they produce today and how they have developed throughout their career.
For the latest news on the Genesis Foundation’s partnership with the Young Vic, click here.