Theatre director training for visually impaired practitioners

Image Description: “The Play is in the Room” Blue ink drawing of a Director, a white woman at home on Zoom. She stands up, one arm outstretched. With the other she holds a large smart phone up to her eyes as she reads out from a play.

Image Credit: Sally Booth 

Pathways Directors

Initial workshops took place in November 2019, and this three-day introduction to the skills and career path of a director was followed by a bespoke course in 2020/21 – extended due to Covid-19.

15 Pathways Directors completed this rich and vibrant course, which included: introductory session, masterclasses, mentoring, shadowing and a Showcase at the Cockpit Theatre in January 2022.

Masterclasses: Masterclass leads included: Chloe Clarke from Elbow Room Theatre Company, Jatinder Verma and Claudia Mayer from Jatinder Verma Productions, Matthew Xia from Actors Touring Company, Grace Smart freelance designer, Justin Audibert and Rachel Bagshaw from Unicorn Theatre, She Goat and Tim Etchells.  

Each Pathways Director worked with a Mentor for six sessions – and specifically planning for and reflecting on their directing work for the Showcase. Our Pathways Director Mentors were: Hannah Quigley, Carole Pluckrose, Alyson Woodhouse, Claudia Mayer, Angela Ekaette, Krista Viori and Tom Latter. 

Shadowing: Pathways Directors shadowed a working director within a tailor-made shadowing opportunity. Thanks to all host companies which included: The Globe, Commonwealth Theatre, Actors Touring Company, Royal Court, Young Vic, Camden People’s Theatre and Curious Directive.

Pathways Directors Showcase: 10 Pathways Directors presented a five minute duologue on stage – working with professional actors.

Ink drawing of a Director, a white woman who has headphones and reads on Zoom.

Image Credit: Sally Booth 

Pathways Directors Showcase Programme

Friday 28th January 2022, 7pm 
The Cockpit, Gateforth St, London NW8 8EH 

Image description: A Director is laughing out loud, her face has a wide smile. She has glasses and large headphones, and long fair hair drapes over her shoulders. The colours are bright and cheery pinks and yellows.  

Image Credit: Sally Booth 


Pathways is Extant’s pioneering five-year-long programme that aims to influence, embed and improve greater awareness of and accessibility for blind and visually impaired practitioners across the theatre industry.  
Since 2018, we have delivered training programmes for visually impaired and blind practitioners to support them in making a more sustainable professional career in the arts. In Year 1 in 2018-2019 we focused on acting, in Year 2 (2019-22, extended due to Covid) we focused on directing, while writers came on stream in Year 3 (2021-22). In Year 4 (2022-23), we will welcome our Backstage programme. 
The Directors showcase is a culmination of work from visually impaired and blind directors who have been training and developing their craft for the past two years, inspired by both their mentors and the directors they’ve learned from. 


Comperes: Pathways Actor/Director Anthony Gough and Pathways Actor Dougie Walker 

Showcase BSL Interpreter: Colette Burgess  

Actors: Terry James, Heather Gilmore   

Script extract: ‘Amy’s View’ by David Hare  

Pathways Director: Paula Connolly  

Actors: Lowri Lewis, Sophie Arram (via Sarah Mowat)  

Script extract: ‘My Mother Said I Never Should (Act 1 Scene 2)’ by Charlotte Keatley  

Pathways Director: Tam Gilbert 

Actors: Cindy-Jane Armbruster, Michelle Felix            

Script extract: ‘Winners’ by Lowri Jenkins  

Pathways Director: Tafsila Khan 

Actors: Lowri Lewis, Dougie Walker    

Script extract: ‘Tuesdays with Morrie’ by Mitch Albom 

Pathways Director: Steven George  

Actors: Louis Kissaun, John Sears  

BSL Interpreters: Bernadette Travers, Samuel Rojas, Steve Hudson, Caroline Richardson, Louise Mitcham, Vicky Pannell  

Script extract: ‘Midnight Movie’ by Eve Leigh  

Pathways Director: Amy Bethan Evans 

Actors: Charlotte Eyres, Dougie Walker     


Script extract: ‘Punts’ by Sarah Page  

Pathways Director: Karina Jones  

Actors: Luke Fox, Michelle Felix 

Access Support: Kathryn Bond (Access All Areas)  

Script extract: ‘Le Pere (The Father)’ by Florian Zeller  

Pathways Director: Anthony Gough 

Actors: Margaret Tulley, John Sears     

Script extract: ‘Below The Surface’ by Lily An  

Pathways Director: Lily An 

Actors: Bonnie Adair, Nell Hardy 

Script extract: ‘Martha Josie and the Chinese Elvis’ by Charlotte Jones    

Pathways Director: Zara Jayne 

Actors: Margaret Tulley, Charlotte Eyres 

Script extract: ‘Yesterday’ by Ada Eravama  

Pathways Director: Ada Eravama 

Actors: Adam Bone, Nell Hardy 

Running time: 133 minutes without interval 

There will be a 20 minute interval 

Showcase Creative Team 

Showcase Director/Programme Manager: Caroline Jeyaratnam-Joyner 
Stage Manager: Ruth Burgon 
Technician: James Cabot 

Backstage Crew: Jeremiah Johnson 
Access Workers: Andrew Baguley, Chikodi Nwaiwu, Grace Joseph, Dot Alma  

Understudies: Simon De Deney, Elizabeth Schenk 
Filmmaker: Primo Digital Video Productions 

Extant Team 

Artistic Director: Maria Oshodi 

General Manager: Rhianne Rowson 

Administrator: Amelia Zhou 

Extant Pathways Directors Round Table: ‘Navigating The Industry’

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