Start is a new training scheme from Iris, aimed at early-career artists who are just starting out.


Start is Iris Theatre’s new scheme to support young-in-career artists who are ready to get their hands dirty – people who are interested in a career in theatre, but haven’t got too far down the road yet. We’re looking to support eight people over the course of 2020 who are looking to nurture their skills in a practical environment, structured around two key pillars of learning and mentorship.



startDIRECTING supports four directors with little-to-no experience of making theatre at the helm of the creative team, and who haven’t received any vocational training in directing for the stage. It’s an entry-level programme taking place twice a month over six months, with the opportunity to also assistant direct one of our summer season shows.


startDESIGNING is for four set or costume designers, who’ve just got started or are recent graduates from training. The scheme is giving them the opportunity to be a part of making mid-scale theatre during our summer season. It’s targeted specifically at designers looking to develop their skills in a safe and supportive environment, and looking to build connections for the next steps in their careers, and provides an associate designer placement on one of our summer shows.



Start is kindly supported by The Mackintosh Foundation and the Aspinwall Educational Trust.

If you’re interested in finding out more, have a read of the further information pack, below. Applications for 2020 are now closed, but there will be further opportunities in due course. If you want to hear about Start as it develops, sign up to our mailing list using the pop up on this website.

If you’ve any questions, or need the attachments in a more accessible format, get in touch with us at

Further information