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ADF Board Shadowing Programme

By Simeilia Hodge-Dallaway

Artistic Directors of the Future's Board Shadowing Programme aims to bridge the gap between culturally diverse artists and leaders and boards of directors, while also providing our members with a real insight into how theatre buildings function.

About the programme

Artistic Directors of the Future (ADF) have partnered with Hull Truck Theatre, Leeds Playhouse, Sheffield Theatres, Stephen Joseph Theatre and York Theatre Royal to deliver a first of its kind, ADF Board Shadowing Programme: Yorkshire Edition.

This first of its kind initiative, over the duration of four months offers 10 ADF Members from a wide range of culturally diverse backgrounds unprecedented access to the boardrooms of five prominent theatres in Yorkshire to empower, advocate and transform ADF successors into successful leaders.

ADF members will gain experience inside five Yorkshire theatres, as well as participate in an ADF Board Shadowing Training Programme, theatre trips and networking opportunities over a period of six months from the start of the project in December 2018.

This programme offers the opportunity to develop skills, develop creative networks, learn about the Yorkshire 5 theatres and understand how boards operate at governance level in mainstream theatres. This programme does not guarantee an appointment onto the boards of any theatres involved in this initiative. However, as part of the Artistic Directors of the Future’s mission to redress the balance of diversity at leadership level, we are committed to support and advocate for all participants involved in our board shadowing programme.

The Board shadowing opportunity through ADF was an extremely informative and educational experience. Having access to witness and understand how executive decisions are made within a theatre institution is essential for anyone interested in working in arts leadership and artsdepot has been incredibly welcoming. Shadowing a board and the events leading up to it, has hugely demystified the work of a theatre board for me and the experience has been very accessible all throughout. - Tessa Hart, ADF Member

What's in it for you?

The project responds to the needs of ADF members and is an opportunity for ADF members to:

  • Gain an introduction to the challenges, complexities and rewards of board service, as well as real insight into how different boards operate and how executive decisions are made at board level.

  • Gain board shadowing experience at five different theatres to examine what type of board is most suitable to their personality and expertise.

  • Learn about the roles and responsibilities of the board of directors to assess if being a trustee or chair is right for them.

  • Become a part of a network of existing and aspiring culturally diverse trustees going through a similar experience who can share learnings and support each other.

Essential criteria

  • Strong interest in becoming a trustee or chair.

  • Commitment to attend at least two board meetings and to participate in the full programme - an understanding of your expertise to offer an organisation at board level.

  • Ability to work with others and respect and adhere to confidentiality policies and the values of ADF and partner theatre.

  • Taking part: This is a voluntary position. Travel expenses will be reimbursed at the discretion of the partner theatres.


Briefing: Monday 12 November 2018, 6pm at York Theatre Royal.

This is an opportunity to meet the partners and ask any questions before you submit your applications. Attendance is optional and will not inform the selection process.

Deadline: Monday 19th November 2018 at midday

First round interviews: Monday 26th and Tuesday 27th November 2018

Announcement: Monday 3rd December 2018

How to apply

Register your interest by emailing - once we have confirmed your free membership we will send you an application form.

For more info download our Recruitment Pack here and get those applications in!

If you are already a paying Delegate member, email Sim on the above email and we'll be in touch asap.

Delegate membership gives you exclusive access to ADF events, offers & network at only £30 per year.

Learn more about Artistic Directors of the Future at

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