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Adapting and Directing for Emerging Directors

with Emma Rice and Laura Keefe

* Applications for Adapting and Directing have now closed*


12th - 21st December

Venue: Online

Cost: Free

Access support is available

Join award-winning Artistic Director, Emma Rice, and Wise Children’s Associate Director, Laura Keefe, for a unique insight into Emma’s process.


Adapting and Directing will involve group sessions, an individual task, and one-to-one time with Emma and Laura to explore and develop your ideas and approach. All elements will take place online. You will end the course with a developed and practised pitch ready to share with the industry.

The course will run from Monday 12th December to Wednesday 21st December and involve 10 hours of contact time online. There will also be tasks to work on between sessions. Here is a provisional schedule for the course. All times are in GMT and timings can and may change depending on student availability.

Who we're looking for: We're looking for theatre-makers (aged 18+) some experience of directing live theatre, of any length or scale. We'll prioritise applicants who work, or want to work, as a professional director and are ready to develop their adaptation/directing practice with the School for Wise Children.


Wise Children are committed to equal opportunities and actively welcome candidates from all backgrounds. To remove barriers, School for Wise Children courses are free and access support is available.

If you have any questions about the course, contact

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How to apply


Please fill in our form and send us a video application. For help recording your video click here.

The video should contain the following material and be no longer than two minutes.

(Due to the high volume of applications we receive we won't be able to watch beyond the two-minute mark).


An introduction: Tell us a bit about you and why you want to do this course. 


Two ideas for shows: One smart and one silly.


If, for access reasons, you are unable to do a video application we will accept a written application of 500 words or less.

Previous applicants are welcome to re-apply.

Applications for Adapting and Directing have now closed.


We'll let all applicants know if they have been successful by Tuesday 29th November.

About the course leaders

Emma Rice

Emma Rice is the proud Artistic Director of her company, Wise Children, and an internationally respected theatre-maker and director. For Wise Children Emma has adapted and directed the productions, Wuthering Heights, Bagdad Cafe, Romantics Anonymous, Enid Blyton’s Malory Towers and Angela Carter’s Wise Children


As Artistic Director of Shakespeare’s Globe: Romantics Anonymous, Twelfth Night, A Midsummer Night’s Dream  and  The Little Matchgirl (and Other Happier Tales).  


As joint Artistic Director of Kneehigh: The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk, Tristan & Yseult, 946: The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips, The Wild Bride, The Red Shoes, The Wooden Frock, The Bacchae, Cymbeline (in association with RSC), A Matter of Life and Death (in association with National Theatre), Rapunzel (in association with Battersea Arts Centre); Brief Encounter (in association with David Pugh and Dafydd Rogers Productions); Don John (in association with the RSC and Bristol Old Vic); Wah! Wah! Girls (in association with Sadler’s Wells and Theatre Royal Stratford East for World Stages); and Steptoe and Son.


Emma received the Outstanding Contribution to British Theatre award at the 2019 UK Theatre Awards, and in 2022 was named in the Sky Arts Top 50 most influential British Artists of the last 50 years. 

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Lara Keefe

Laura Keefe


Laura is Wise Children's Associate Director. 


Theatre as director includes: WildFire Road (Sheffield Theatres); The Christmas Goblin (Marlowe Theatre); One Million Tiny Plays About Britain, Robin Hood (Watermill Theatre); Parakeet (Boundless Theatre); Dennis of Penge (Albany Theatre/Ovalhouse); The Ladykillers of Humber Doucy Lane (Eastern Angles); My Beautiful Black Dog (Roundhouse/Southbank Centre).


Theatre as associate director includes:  Wuthering HeightsBagdad Cafe, Romantics Anonymous, Malory Towers (Wise Children).


Theatre as staff director includes: As You Like It (National Theatre). Theatre as assistant director includes: Brief Encounter (Westend); A Midsummer Night's Dream (Regent’s Park); Feast (Young Vic); The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Romeo and Juliet (Shakespeare’s Globe).  


Laura is a Creative Associate at The Northwall, Oxford.  

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